The Bad Witch’s Guide to Hexing Herbs
I am a bad witch. There are a long list of reasons why I am a bad witch. Having been out of the broom closet for some considerable number of years I would on occasion get asked “but you’re a good witch though?” My response to that depending on the person asking but I found I started to say “yes, a very, very good witch” rather darkly as it usually got the point across.
I have been an amateur herbalist all my life. From hedgerows and fields running barefoot I knew more than most well-read folks by the time I was 11. As I grew I sought to back up my knowing and instinct (I would make, pastes, potions and perfumes for as far back as I remember) with reading. My first proper herbal was David Hoffman’s Complete Illustrated Holistic herbal. I was 16 when I “shared” this book with my mum. It has everything from a step by step to poultices to lozenges as well as photographs of the whole or part of the plant you use.
From that point I started using herbs and collecting herbal books, magickal herbals came later and I have yet to find a herbal magickal that pleases me, well at least completely. I find the “gender” of herbs quite weird and in some cases just wrong (chamomile is often magickally listed as a masculine herb but it’s known as “mother’s herb” so that just seems off to me). A lot of the time the American and British version of common names are different (a Bluebell in American is what we would call a Harebell, and that stuff matters!) This is why knowing the Latin can be as important as being able to identify the plant. You should also know if it is rare or toxic, and beware that doses and strengths can vary plant to plant, season to season. I don’t use rare or endangered plants like mandrake, when I can happily substitute with other thing. Ginger root works well, but so does galangal. Wear gloves if you need know it can cause skin irritation and don’t burn things that going to cause irritation to the eyes, throat and lungs (like pepper, mustard and chilli) at least not in an enclosed space.
Now when I say harm and hex, I don’t mean straight up poison people, which is perfectly possible to do from the most random things (it is possible to poison someone with lettuce, dose is everything). I mean using herbs and spices, from your garden or kitchen cupboard for their left-hand use.
Well let’s start with pepper.
For the purposes of this Piper nigrum is the fruit of a tall vine and white, red and green pepper are the same berry at different stages of ripeness. Pepper is put in food as a spell with salt as a banishing to unwanted or “evil” energies or spirits. After a while the digestive properties and flavour became something we just got used to and it became standard. A simple ring of salt and pepper is a great way to get rid of unwanted folks.
Pepper plays a significant part in my infamous F%*k Off powder. (My powder has a unique blend of ingredients to really, unequivocally dive the point home in a jar or poppet situation.) I know it’s a condiment but you would be surprised how effective it is! The difference between a “go away” and a stronger intention is dose and the other things with it! Obviously the better quality and freshness the more potent the effect. If you ever deal with it freshly ground in bulk (it’s popular for a reason) you will not be lacking in potency.
Nutmeg Myristica fragrans is a common spice that tastes great but can of course have a dark side. Too much can give visions and vomiting and even death! It was used as an abortifacient which I imagine was expensive and not as good as many common European herbal “moon waters”. I am in no way suggesting you poison anyone, especially yourself! However a pinch to a poppet (is known to “wake” it) or in some incense “draws and attracts”. In larger quantities in a hex/curse jar or binding it disorientates and blinds enemies (some folks who have smoked it and survived said they felt like they were drowning in mud). You can even add it banishing work, it is the same plant as mace after all!
Roses Rosaceae. You might be surprised that the best part of this plant (come on you were thinking thorns) is actually rosehips. Rosehips, the edible fruit of the rose plant can be made into syrups and other sweet treats, but inside a rosehip are some very useful terrible seeds! Rosehip seeds are my “crotch crickets” hex par excellence! Sometimes that guy/gal just needs to be a bit more careful where they drop their underwear, and with whom! A good phallic/vulvic symbol in a bag or jar with some rosehip seeds, and a pinch of pepper for good measure should do the trick! Handle carefully and wear gloves because you don’t want to get caught red-handed…so to speak!
Onion Allium cep, has a long history of health and healing work. However it is also strong and can be used to banish or remove too. Onions make great poppet substitutes, you can even remove the very centre and add soil from a foot print, a folded photograph or a name. You can then pin it shut and “throw it away” (preferably into running water) or keep it in a jar, or get creative! Place it at a cross-roads, put it in a bog or swamp. You can simply cut one and run it across someone’s name.
The truth is any herb that can heal can also harm. If it is powerful it can do either. If your words say “love and light” but deep in your heart you mean the opposite, your magick isn’t going to be all love and light not that all love and light is healthy! It dishonest and ungrounded. Most folks whose magick “doesn’t work” come from this conflict. The desire and what they say and they want are in conflict with each other. Sometimes the healthiest response is to yell F$*K OFF! Because sometimes that’s the only thing that gets the point across!
I’m rather fond of cussing in my cursing. It gets exactly what I mean across. It gives the exact energy to my work that I really mean. You shouldn’t curse lightly, but you should always mean it, balls to bone. The same with any healing. You have to actually care.