Hellebore, or Helleborus, is part of the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family- that same family that spawns the fantastically witchy Aconite. Hellebore, itself has an association with witchcraft and the raising of demons.
Hellebore is also known as the Christmas rose, and is a wonderful companion in the Winter garden as it is quite hardy against frost. It is a plant that enjoys shade and it flowers during both winter and early spring. The variety which I grow is Helleborus orientalis, which has whitish yellow flowers, with pinkish veins. The variety most often used in magic is Helleborus niger, also known as Black Hellebore due to its black roots.
This plant is a Saturnine herb which is used consecrate amulets of Saturn and to invoke spirits of Mars. The roots may also be carved in a manner similar to mandrake. The plant is believed to cause madness and can be used for vengeance and cursing. I find that the cursing herbs, including those nightshades I so adore, are some of my most powerful allies for protection and cleansing.
As it can be used for the raising of demons, it can also be used to banish and exorcise them. It is therefore an excellent herb to use when there are nasty astral parasites clinging to you or your home.
Hellebore is necromantic and is often planted in graveyards. It can be used magically to gain the allegiance of the Mighty dead.
Planting hellebore near the entrance of your home will deter evil spirits from entering. The herb can be used as part of banishment and exorcism blends, but beware when working with Hellebore, as with many of its Saturnine family, it is highly toxic.
Gather the herb on a Saturday at the witching hour, invoking the aid of Medusa, Lilith or Hekate Brimo. Gather it facing East and call to the spirit of the plant asking permission to use its roots, leaves and flowers in your magic.
I personally associate the Hellebore with the spirit of the Black Toad, a Chthonic and poisonous being which resides at the root of my practices, deep, and moist in the soil. Much of my work the Black toad begins during the early spring time, near the Equinox which I have come to call “The Toad Nights”, or “The Turning.” Many of my plants awaken during this time and many of the toadly plants which I work with are in flower reflecting the cycles of seasons, my relationship with the Toad and the different pace of work that I engage in during this time.
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