Tuesday 26 March 2024

Book Extract: Runes for the Green Witch - Plants

Here's an extract on The Magick of Plants from the new book Runes for the Green Witch by Nicolette Miele:

The Magick of Plants

We harness the power of plants in a myriad of ways. We consume them, bathe in them, fill our homes and yards with them, burn them as incense, create medicines and magickal blends such as tinctures, potions, ritual oils, and other charms. When it comes to healing, plants can be used for just about anything, from anxiety to dandruff, from indigestion to heartbreak.

If you are brand new to working with herbs or magick in general, you might be wondering how an herb can be used to heal heartbreak. That is an excellent question. Like everything else in nature, plants comprise energies and vibrations that affect the body, mind, and spirit. For ailments of the heart, we can look to the hawthorn tree, which has an affinity for cardiac health. Clinical studies have shown that haw- thorn berries benefit the heart in more ways than one. They support muscle toning, improve circulation, reduce strain, and energize cells. These remarkable energies that focus on the physical strengthening of the heart lend themselves equally to the emotional matters of the heart such as love, joy, and grief. There’s no doubt that our thoughts affect our health. Think of the physiological symptoms of stress. The heaviness of extreme grief alone can cause a sudden enlargement of the heart muscles, resulting in heart failure. It’s a rare condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome, and it’s just one example of how the different levels that make up the self interact energetically. Engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla once said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibra- tion.”* And that is precisely how we come to understand the way plants heal, and they do so holistically.

*Goodreads (website), “Nikola Tesla > Quotes.”

While I prefer a holistic approach to herbalism, I’ve separated the magickal from the medicinal in the following pages to clearly present the various ways each plant has been worked with throughout antiquity. Once we are given the information, we can then merge the spiritual with the physical and the traditional with the contemporary; we can blur the lines between magick and medicine because truthfully, they’re not separate at all.

When learning about a specific plant, I recommend starting by spending one-on-one time with it. One way to do this is by drinking it as a simple infusion (first ensuring it may be safely consumed). A simple infusion is nothing more than a single herb steeped in hot water. Be mindful as you drink it. Focus on the taste, the temperature, and scent. Ask yourself how you feel while ingesting not only the constituents but the spirit of the plant. How do you feel about the herb after drinking it daily for one week? How about two weeks? Learn about its energetic composition, where it typically grows, and its planetary correspondences. Bathe in the herb or burn as incense (again, if these activities are safe with the particular herb). If you feel so inclined, journal about your various experiences with an herb. Did bathing in it feel different energetically than drinking it? These are a few ways to become closely acquainted with plants outside of simply studying them.

The subtle communication between human and plants relies on primal intuition—something many humans today have to work harder to access. In modern times there is a bothersome disconnect between humanity and nature, especially in the West. The more strides humans make in technology, the further we move away from our literal and metaphorical roots. Today, we must try much harder than our ancient ancestors to maintain this connection, as we are faced with endless distractions coming from all directions. When you do find that something that strengthens your connection to your roots, I implore you to hang on to it and prioritize it. It’s unsettling knowing how easily the spiritual sides of our lives can lose priority to the mundane daily grinds. It’s not intentional—we’re just overloaded. While the mundane world certainly has its place, it must be balanced with spiritual maintenance. To neglect the spirit is to neglect a large portion of who we are, the part that is eternal and not of this world. Earth is our home, and she’s a beautiful, magickal one at that, but she is a temporary home. Those who neglect their spiritual well-being will move through life feeling as though some- thing is missing, like there’s a void waiting to be filled. The need for something more flows through our very veins. 

About the Author

Nicolette Miele is a pagan, writer, rune worker, and herbalist. She has practiced witchcraft for more than 20 years with focuses on runes, folk herbalism, alchemy, and trance meditation. She is the owner and operator of Handfuls of Dust Apothecary LLC, offering rune readings and handmade ritual products. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://handfulsofdust.com/

Where to Find the Book

Runes for the Green Witch by Nicolette Miele© 2024 is published by Destiny Books. This extract is printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Please note I earn commission from some links. This helps subsidise my blog at no extra cost to readers.

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