Photo by Magenta
Maybe you’ve noticed that a lot of spellcasting books and websites talk about using certain fruits, plants and herbs. A lot of the time there’s no explanation as to why that herb, or that fruit and not a different one. We use planetary herbs at Magenta, and we’re here to explain what they are and why, in our view, they provide a more sustainable approach when using plants and herbs in magick.
What do we mean by planetary herbs?
Planetary herbs are plants, fruits or herbs that are ruled by a certain planet and therefore have the same correspondences. For centuries it has been believed that the planets of the solar system have certain characteristics and that these planets “rule” certain star signs and certain parts of the sky.
Back in the day, the planets were also thought to “rule” certain parts of the body, and the herbs that aided healing those parts of the body also formed a correspondence with its ruling planet.
Today in Western medicine there is less focus on using plants themselves to cure diseases, but it’s the information about which plants correspond with which planets that we use in our magickal practice. That’s what is meant by a planetary herb.
Is there a list of planetary herbs?
Plants, fruits and herbs correspond with certain planets of the solar system by holding the same or complementary characteristics of its ruling planet. For example
Sun herbs can be used for magick focused on “the Self” such as confidence and charisma and for magick about creative self expression.
Moon herbs can be used magically for connecting to emotions and developing intuition and for magick about reflection and adapting to change. Moon herbs can also be used for the home and family.
Mercury herbs can be used for work all about communication, skills, knowledge and learning. Mercury herbs can also be used for friendships and sharing, and some wellness work.
Venus herbs can be used to bring small gains, loving and pleasant experiences. They can be also used to work magick associated with patience, harmony and agreements.
Mars herbs are useful for magick that increases vitality, personal protection and taking decisive action. Mars herbs are also useful for magickal work involving new beginnings.
Jupiter herbs can be used to increase luck and to magnify and enhance all good things. Jupiter herbs can be used in magickal practice involving expanding the mind.
Saturn herbs can be used magickally for binding, restricting undesirable behaviour or following the rules. In a magickal context, Saturn herbs can be used to ‘take responsibility’ and to “lead by example” as a figure of authority.
The plants, herbs and fruits we use in our magick come from a 17th Century doctor’s textbook called Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, which lists out over 400 different UK plants and herbs. There is a really good list from another of Culpeper’s works called The English Physitian on Wiki.
When we release our spells under a minute, we are careful not to prescribe very specific plants, instead we describe the plants to use in the broad terms above (eg “moon herbs” etc). This is because we accept that at certain times of the year, some plants are not available. We try to use plants sustainably, using what is available locally where possible. For us, when one plant is not available, we choose another plant that corresponds with the correct planet instead from Culpeper’s Herbal.
We feel that using this system as a framework when working with plants and herbs is a more sustainable approach, than, say, overusing one herb for a whole bunch of different kinds of magick.
When to collect planetary herbs
As we mention on our Casting Spells page, each day of the week is ruled by one, or more, of the planets. Further to that each hour of the day, including the night, is also ruled by one of the planets.
Combining a planetary day with the planetary hour grants a brief opportunity to fully exploit the power of the planet when picking plants and herbs to use in magick.
Pulling all this together for magickal use
Think about the kind of spell you want to cast, and then think about what planet that might correspond to. Then choose the plants and herbs from that broad range. If there’s a plant listed that grows wild near you, great! These can be collected from the wild open free spaces where you live. If not, you can select an alternative from the broad range and buy it. The important thing is that you’re choosing purposefully. Ensuring you have a clear framework yourself for why this herb and not another herb, rather than buying a herb because that’s what google said to use.
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