The Nine Sacred Herbs & The Nine Wort Spell 🌿

:herb: Sacred Herbs :herb:

While every herb and plant has a magick of its own, there are nine plants known traditionally as the “Nine Sacred Herbs”. The Anglo-Saxons of old England used these plants as apothecary staples that were at the forefront of herbal medicine and magick back in the day.

With advancements in technology and the development of modern medicine, herbalism has faded from common use. Some of these plants that were once deemed essentials are no longer commonly known. Others have survived the trials of time and remain popular today.

Are you familiar with any of the Nine Sacred Herbs? Take a look and see! :mag:



Mugwort

Mugwort

Artemisisa vulgaris

Associated with and named after the Moon Goddess Artemis, this potent herb is commonly found in herbal teas and bath blends. It is magickally associated with dreams and divination, and has been used medicinally for pain relief.

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Spells8: Mugwort Magickal Uses


Plantain

Plantain

Plantago major

This common weed grows on hillsides, fields, gardens, and lawns- it is a hardy plant that blends into the surroundings. Several varieties of the plantain are deemed edible, and it has been used medicinally to ease cough and respiratory problems.


Watercress

Watercress / Lamb’s Cress

Caradmine hirsuta

A charming plant with crisp green leaves, you may be able to spot watercress on the shelves in your local supermarket! It is believed to be one of the oldest leafy greens to be consumed by people.


Fennel

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

A tasty veggie and herb alike, you’re likely to find fennel at home in your grocery store. All parts of this trusty plant are deemed edible and serve a variety of uses in the kitchen and in the magickal cauldron.

  • Herb Society of America: Fennel

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Spells8: Fennel Magickal Uses


Chamomile

Chamomile

Matricaria chamomilla

Known for its relaxing and soothing qualities, chamomile is a kitchen staple most often found as an herbal tea. Medicinally, it has been used to ease inflammation (including in bee stings) and can soothe digestive distress. In magick, it is known as a sleep aid and plays a role in sleep spells and dream magick.

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Spells8: Chamomile Magickal Uses


Nettle

Nettle

Utricia dioca

Lush green and beautiful, be careful before you get too close! Although nettle herb is absolutely packed with nutrients and potential, it is protected by a potent sting. Harvest with gloves and cook it (either in water or over heat) to deactivate the sting. Nettle is packed with nutrients and makes a lovely herbal tea or side dish. Some believe it can lower blood pressure (and is thus not recommended for those who suffer from low blood pressure).


Chervil

Chervil

Anthriscus cerefolium

Known as a traditional French herb, chervil is similar to modern parsley and can be used in cooking. A note that some translations say that a version of thyme is more likely to have been used than chervil in the Nine Sacred Herbs, but accounts vary.


Crab Apple

Crab Apple

Malus sylvestris

Although they may look like their larger apple cousins from afar, these smaller little fruits often have a tart punch that can be off-putting. As such, they are not usually eaten raw, but may be cooked, stewed, or otherwise preserved.


Cockspur Grass

Cockspur Grass (alternatively: Betony)

Echinochloa crus-galli (alt. Stachys officinalis)

Commonly known as “barnyard grass” and considered to be a weed, certain varieties of this grass can be grown as an edible (though not very desirable) grain.

A note that translations vary about the identity of the final herb, with some scholars claiming it is Cockspur Grass and others saying it refers to Betony- a medicinal flower in the mint family.



The Nine Wort Charm / Lay of the Nine Herbs :sparkles:

Old books of herbal medicine sometimes contain charms, spells, and other spiritual healing remedies alongside the medicinal plants. This famous spell called the “Nine Wort Charm” (with “wort” being an Anglo-Saxon word for “herb”) or the “Lay of the Nine Herbs” is recorded in a book called The Lacnunga (“Remedies”). The book is written in a combination of Old English and Latin.


Picture from Wikipedia: The First Page of The Lacnunga

The full charm references the God “Woden”, who is believed to be associated with or another name for the God Odin :raven:

A modern translation of the “Lay of the Nine Herbs” and “Lay of the Nine Twigs of Woden” originally from the Lacnunga as well as an interpretation of preparing the herbs is available to the public through the University of Hawaii:

Lay of the Nine Herbs and Lay of the Nine Twigs of Woden



Herb Poll! :bar_chart:

Are you familiar with any of the Nine? Which of these traditional sacred herbs is most popular here in our modern Coven? Here’s a poll so we can find out! :grinning:

(Poll is anonymous) (You can choose multiple options)

Which of the Nine Sacred Herbs have you used in medicine, magick, and/or cooking?
  • Mugwort
  • Plantain
  • Watercress/ Lamb’s Cress
  • Fennel
  • Chamomile
  • Nettle
  • Chervil
  • Crab Apple
  • Cockspur Grass/Betony
0 voters


References and Additional Resources:

20 Likes

This is so interesting, thankyou for sharing this. I’ve bookmarked it. :green_heart:

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I love everything about this post!!! :green_heart: :green_heart: :green_heart: :green_heart: :green_heart: :green_heart:

Thank you! I’ve bookmarked it for later.

10 Likes

Out of all of these, the only two I hadn’t heard of were Chervil and Cockspur Grass! I’ve used fennel in cooking :joy: but I chose mugwort for the poll because it’s the only one I’ve used in a magical context - it was in a tea, of course (and it was gross)

9 Likes

Heard of them and used all.

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@tracyS & @Artemisia It’s my pleasure! :green_heart: :blush:

@MeganB I’d heard of Chervil or Cockspure Grass before either- although it seems like Chervil is pretty popular in French cooking, so if you’ve eaten at a French restaurant you may have had some there! :plate_with_cutlery: :grinning: :herb: And yeah, Mugwort isn’t my favorite flavor either- I’ve found it’s better in the bath than in the tea cup! :laughing:

@Mistress_Of_Herbs As expected of the talented Mistress of Herbs :clap: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :herb:

9 Likes

Chervil is wonderful with eggs and I’ve grown wood betony, but I don’t think it’s the same as cockspur grass. I voted nettle because it is such a nutritious and nurturing to the body herb when infused. Nasty to harvest, but provides its own cure for the sting. I’m mildly alergic to chamomile, but use it anyways for its calming affect in small quantities.

:goat:

8 Likes

Ohhh I’d love to try it! :fried_egg: :yum:

You’re right- they aren’t the same! I listed both as some translations of the Lacnunga disagree about the herb, but looking back at it now I can see how it would be confusing! I’ll go update it :grinning: :+1:

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Thank you for this information! I run a digital coven on discord, and do a daily herb description for the members. I am going to do these 9 herbs for the next 9 days! They will love this :pray:t3: Thanks for posting!

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What a fun idea! I hope everyone enjoys the herbs :blush: :green_heart:

It’s my pleasure- blessed be! :herb: :sparkles:

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