Valerian was named for the physician Valerius, one of the first to use the plant medicinally. Around the eleventh century, Anglo-Saxon leeches recommend its use in battling menstrual cramps. It was called Amantilla during the middle ages, and there is a recipe which recommends the use of a tea made from “the juice of Amantilla id est Valeriana,” to bring about peace between warring factions. Chaucer refers to the plant as Setwall.
Traditionally, valerian was used more often for medicine than magic, but there are still some uses for it in spellwork.
Valerian may smell raunchy, but it’s also known as a plant of love and protection. Hang it in your home to protect against natural disasters, such as lightning strikes or fire. If you’re a woman, pin a sprig to your shirt to attract men your way. Quarrels can be resolved in a home by placing valerian leaves around the perimeter of the house.
If you are fighting with a family member, try putting a sprig of valerian in each corner of your home. Putting it over each door will prevent strife and discontent from entering — but be warned – some people find that the smell of valerian reminds them of cat urine.
Other Names: All-heal, Heliotrope, St. George’s herb, Amantilla, Setwall
Deity Connection: Aphrodite, Venus
Planetary Connection: Venus
If you’re a gardener, valerian tends to attract earthworms, which are great for your soil. This has to do with the levels of phosphorus produced by the plant’s roots, so if you need wormy dirt, plant some valerian.
Herb of the Day
Deities: Venus, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hathor, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Marian.
Powers: Love, Fertility, Youth, Peace, Money
Magickal Uses: Myrtle has long been considered a “love” herb. A chaplet of fresh leaves and flowers worn on the head while performing love spells is highly appropriate. Myrtle is added to all love sachets and spells, especially those designed to keep love alive and exciting.
Myrtle is also worn to increase fertility, but interestingly enough it is also worn at weddings by brides to ensure that they do not quickly become pregnant!
Myrtle wood, when carried, preserves youthfulness. A cup of myrtle tea, drunk every three days, will doo the same, but it must be drunk every three days without fail.
When carried, myrtle preserves love. If grown on each side of the house, love and peace will reside within, and it is a lucky plant to grow in window boxes, if it is planted there by a woman. Myrtle is also used in money spells.
Rules: Emotions, feelings, love, courage, daring, sorrow, the ocean, the tides,
lakes, pools, streams, and rivers, springs and wells, intuition, the unconscious
mind, the womb, generation, fertility.
Colors: Blue, blue-green, green, gray, indigo, black.
Signs of the Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
Spirits: Undines, ruled by King Niksa.
Name of the West Wind: Zephyrus.
Plants: Ferns, lotus, mosses, rushes, seaweed, water lillies, and all water
Animals: Dragons (as serpents), dolphins and porpoises, fish, seals and sea
mammals, water-dwelling snakes, all water creatures and sea birds.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Isis, Mariamne, Mari, Tiamat.
Gods: Dylan, Ea, Llyr, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon.
Deity of the Day
Handsome God of Desire and Manly Good Looks. Has a very high squeee! factor.
For reasons we won’t go into, APHRODITE turned his mother Myrrha into a pregnant myrrh tree. When it split and the baby was revealed, APHRODITE was enchanted. “Ooh, he’s gorgeous. I’m saving him for later”, she decided.
So she put him in a box and checked him in at the Underworld Bank Vault under the care of PERSEPHONE, who took a quick peek and had the same thought.
When ADONIS grew old enough to be ‘Gods Gift to Women’, PERSEPHONE refused to hand him over. The case went to arbitration and CALLIOPE was asked to bring about a settlement.
Her final judgment was this: For four months of the year, he would live with APHRODITE. Then she must hand him over for four months with PERSEPHONE. For the remaining four months the choice was up to him.
As APHRODITE was the first to find him, she had the first go. Using her girdle of desire, she declared that ADONIS loved only her and PERSEPHONE could take a running jump.
So PERSEPHONE took a running jump to ARES (who was very struck on APHRODITE himself) and said: “Your fancy woman has got herself a mortal lover. And you don’t stand a chance, he’s absolutely gorgeous!”
ARES was furious, and being of a boorish disposition, changed himself into a boar and killed ADONIS in a hunting accident. This resulted in much hair-pulling and scratching and shrieking in Olympus.
Eventually ZEUS decided it was time for a bit of peace. He declared that ADONIS was not totally dead, but could spend six months with each of them.
So now APHRODITE has him in the spring and summer, and he goes down to the Underworld for autumn and winter. This is why everything fades and gets miserable during the winter months. So the Underworld would seem a good place to choose for a winter break.
Goddess Of The Day: HERA
Themes: Love; Romance; Forgiveness; Humor
Symbols: Oak; Myrrh; Poppy
About Hera: Hera rules the earth, its people, and the hearts of those people. Using passion and creativity, Hera nudges star-crossed lovers together, chaperones trysts, and helps struggling marriages with a case of spring twitterpation!
Legend tells us that Hera refused to return to Zeus’s bed because of a quarrel. Zeus, however, had a plan. He humorously dressed up a wooden figure to look like a bride and declared he was going to marry. When Hera tore off the dummy’s clothes and discovered the ruse, she was so amused and impressed by Zeus’s ingenuity that she forgave him.
To Do Today: Ancient Greeks honored Hera and Zeus’s reconciliation today, often in the company of old oak trees. Small pieces of fallen wood are collected to symbolize the divinities, then burned on the ritual fire to keep love warm. To mirror this custom, find a fallen branch and burn a small part of it as an offering to Hera. Keep the rest to use as a goddess image year-round, burning a few slivers whenever love needs encouragement.
Present someone you love or admire with a poppy today to symbolically bestow Hera’s blessings on your relationship. If you have a loved one away from home, burn some myrrh incense in front of their picture so Hera can watch over them and keep that connection strong.
By Patricia Telesco ~ From “365 Goddess” (FMP) and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
Some modern religions use spellcraft regularly as part of their worship. Neo-Pagan religions such as Wicca, Druidry, Ásatrú, and other established path such as Santeria, Voudoun, and Candomblé all use spellwork as part of their worship process. Spellwork can certainly be done within a religious context, whether the religion is one of those mentioned or not. Within a spell, the inclusion of a deity or a higher power of some kind immediately transforms the spell into a spiritual act. However, the deity you appeal to in a spell should be a deity to whom you have at least introduced yourself, and have obtained their permission to work with them, otherwise you’re not going to get much out of it. Several spells in the “cookbook craft” category toss around invocations to Hecate as the Queen of Witches or invoke Aphrodite to help out in a love spell. These are ancient deities, now often thought relegated to mythology books. You can’t just harness their energies; there has to be more to it than that., If your spell knocks at their door, they’re likely to take a look through the spyhole, not recognize you, and won’t answer. Even ancient deities understand what dangers lie with inviting just anyone into their home. Conversely, why invoke a deity associated with another culture or religion just because a spell in a book tells you to do it? What do you know about them? Who knows what kind of energy you might be inviting into your spell?
If you function within an established faith, your best bet is to appeal to the deity or aspect of the Divine that you already work with. You have an established relationship with this deity. When your spell comes knocking,k the deity will recognize your energy, and your spell will have the added boost of love and energy freely given.
If you involve a spiritual entity such as a deity or an angel in a spell does it become a ritual? Not necessarily. It depends on your goal. Is your goal to achieve nirvana, or to become spiritually balanced within your religious path? Then you’re performing a ritual. Is it to obtain a new cat, or to release anger or stress? Then it’s a spell. When you’re not precisely sure if your goal is spiritual or practical, then it’s probably still a spell.