The heat is excrutiating. I feel like tearing off bits of my skin just to get cool. The rising heat hits every pore in my body. Still I must work; there is harvesting to be done. I begin with Mint.
I pick the best leaves that I can find, the ones from the top and some of the larger ones, which are not covered in insect eggs and hum to myself as I do. The smell is absolutely divine, and reminds me of summery cocktails and fresh starts, and as such is a great place to begin the harvest.
Once I have separated the leaves into three pots I rinse them in water, and begin to discern between the devil’s portion, and what I will use in my powders, incenses and brews.
Mint is an easy-growing perennial, and a great house plant. A kitchen witch can never go wrong with mint growing in garden or window sill. Mint is a wonderful medicinal for indigestion, colds, fever and headaches. As an external analgesic it can also aid in the treatment of arthritis and inflammatory conditions. One does need to be careful when applying the oil to the skin, as it can cause irritation and hypersensitivity.
Peppermint oil, when used with steaming can help with sinus and lung congestion. The oil has been known to help with insect bites and skin infections.
The scent of mint can be used to uplift the mood, and is helpful in countering anxiety, shock, and lack of focus. Mint is a stimulating herb and can be used in a floorwash to help uplift and raise energy levels in a room that is bogged down with negative emotions and icky spirits.
Mint is a herb of success and can be used in spells and charms for money and attracting business. Dried mint can be stuffed into healing poppets and can burned in the house to bring good spirits of healing and protection.Because of mint’s stimulating and heating effect it can be used in lust spells and charms.
Minthe, the Greek nymph, was said to have been transformed into a mint plant by Persephone’s jealous rage, after it was found that Hades was having an affair with her.
As I hum and collect and wash I think of all the wonderful uses of the mint plant. I dry the mint in the sun and decide that I will crush the leaves into an incense powder, which will be burnt at Deipnon.
“As for Rosmarine, I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and, therefore, to friendship; whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem of our funeral wakes and in our buriall grounds.”- Sir Thomas More
Rosemary is one of my favourite offerings for my Beloved Dead, and happens to be a part of the Mint family as well.
While Studying for exams at varsity, I would burn Rosemary incense for its reputation in aiding memory. It is a powerfully fragrant herb, often used in cooking, and can be used to flavour foods for the purposes of love and fidelity.
Rosemary is a great fumigatory herb, and I often burn it in the house to remove negative energy, unwanted spirits and bring the protection of the Ancestral dead.
As a medicinal it is antiseptic, and can help as an external analgesic for muscle pain and rheumatism. The main constituent of Hungary Water is Rosemary, and it can be used as a treatment for gout. Rosemary can be included in hair washes as a remedy for hair loss and dandruff. The oil can be used in the treatment of scars, inflammation and dry skin.
As a funereal herb, I will often burn Rosemary along with Myrrh as an offering for Anubis.
Rosemary is incredibly easy grow, and is drought resistant. It is an evergreen Perennial, and like Lavender and Mint is a Kitchen Witch’s best friend.
I cut off fresh bits of the Rosemary, and wash them in water, I think to myself of the meaning of the name “dew of the sea”, and how it is sacred to Aphrodite. I dry the bundles in the sun, and hang them up in my home; there are bundles hanging by my bedroom to protect me from nightmares, bundles by the window to protect me from evil spirits and other witch’s spells, and bundles hanging by the Ancestral altar, as a gift for My beloved dead.
I use some of the fresh sprigs to create a protection oil, and I will crush some of the Rosemary as incense for Deipnon.
Mint and Rosemary can be burnt together as a powerful cleansing and protective incense and would be wonderful additions to a floorwash with lavender and lemon.
Resources and Further Reading
The Druid Plant Oracle- Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Aromatherapy: a Complete Guide to the Healing Art- Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
The Healing Power of Herbs- Michael T Murray, N.D.
A Compendium of Herbal Magick- Paul Beyerl
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs- Scott Cunningham