Herbs and Spice For The Winter Solstice
There are so many herbs, plants, and fragrances that when you see or smell them you are reminded of this time of year. The pine-y scents of evergreen boughs or the warm aromas of sandalwood and frankincense conjure images of fires in the fireplace, decorating the tree, and delicious baked goods in the kitchen.
Evergreens have many uses throughout the year but they really shine during the winter solstice.
Holly is easily recognized by its pointy, shiny green leaves and bright red berries. It’s one of the many symbols that have been used to represent Christmas as well. Although it is prominent in winter celebrations it does have magickal uses throughout the year. The pointy leaves make it a perfect choice for protection spells. It’s good to have some planted near an entrance or window of your home. Holly is a masculine plant, ruled by Mars, and is associated with the element of fire.
Have you ever kissed someone under the mistletoe? Mistletoe is an interesting plant. It has a parasitic lifestyle. Birds spread the seeds of mistletoe onto shrubs and trees where the seeds sprout and thrive, causing some damage or stunting to the host plant. Another masculine plant, mistletoe is ruled by the Sun and Jupiter and is associated with the element air. It’s commonly used for healing, love, fertility, and protection.
We can’t forget the evergreen trees like pines, firs, cedars. A lot of us have decorated a tree for the winter solstice or Christmas. If you decorate a live tree, save the trunk for next year’s Yule log.
Evergreen branches can be used for protection and purification. You can take a few sprigs of the type of tree you like to wrap and make a smoldering bundle instead of using sage.
- Evergreen boughs
- Pine cones
- Holly sprigs
- Any other thing you would like to include for your craft.
- Twine or wire to bind it together.
- Bag or basket
- Small shears
A fun way to start this craft is to go for a walk or hike. Have the intention of finding things to make a wreath for protection and prosperity. Bring a bag or basket to hold the items you intend to collect and maybe some small shears.
Remember to be mindful of what you are collecting. Ask the spirit of the item you desire to collect if it’s okay for you to take some with you. Take the time to meditate with the tree or area to build a relationship with the spirit/s. Always respect the plant or tree if it says no and never take more than you need.
When you’ve collected all of the things you want to include then lay them out to see how you would like to assemble it. When you get a design you like then begin to assemble.
Start with sturdier pieces like branches and boughs. This will be your base. Use the twine or wire and wrap them around the branches to create a circle to represent the wheel of the year and the cycle of the sun.
Once the base is created, use the wire or twine and attach the other items to your wreath. As you are attaching the other items, put your intentions into your work. Feel free to whisper an incantation as you work.
When you are finished you can consecrate the wreath by using the four elements. Passing it over a flame for fire, sprinkling it with water, blowing your intentions into it with air, and sprinkling some soil on it for earth. Hang it on your your or near a doorway.
In The Kitchen
We use plenty of wonderful herbs and spices during this time of year. It’s easy to perform a little kitchen witchery as we celebrate the season.
Bay leaf is a powerhouse herb. I admit that I don’t use it often in cooking because I don’t particularly like the flavor but you better believe I have some for spells and other magic workings.
Bay leaves can be burned to purify a space or circle for rituals and spells or just to remove some negative energy. It’s also great for helping to reduce stress when burned. Don’t forget the prosperity spells you can do with bay leaves. Write your desires or wishes on bay leaves and channel those desires while you burn the leaves.
Some spices that I want to mention together because they are friends and compliment each other very well. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are warming spices that spell divine and invoke warm feelings when you smell them in your favorite cookies, pies, or cakes.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of Cinnamomum trees and is used for protection spells, as well as love, lust, and healing. It’s readily available in sticks/curls and powder. Sprinkle a little cinnamon powder during a spell for an extra boost to your workings.
Nutmeg is actually the seed of the Myristica tree. You can find it whole or ground. It’s a fiery little spice as well and can be used for protection. Carry a whole nutmeg with you for extra luck
Cloves are the dried flowers of the Syzygium aromaticum tree. Oil from cloves has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Some people have rubbed a little on their gums for minor toothaches. Cloves have been used in magic for protection spells, to attract luck, and to stop rumors from spreading.
Bay Leaf Money Spell
- Bay leaves
- Green candle and match or lighter
- Bowl or other fire safe vessel
- Something to write with
I really like doing this spell during a new moon to create a spell that will build in energy towards the full moon.
Light the green candle and place it next to the bowl or other fire safe vessel.
Taking your time and with intention, write abundance or prosperity on some bay leaves. When you are ready, light each bay leaf over the flame of the green candle and place it in the fire safe vessel to burn keeping the intention of abundance on your mind.
Resins are viscous or solid substances from plants. Usually dried and burned as incense in magic.
Frankincense is extracted from trees in the Boswellia family. It can be used to create sacred space and to help with meditation. It can also be used to enhance psychic ability.
Myrrh is extracted from Commiphora shrubs and is commonly used in perfumes, incense, and medicine. Ancient Egyptians used it in linens when embalming the dead for the preservation of the body and to mask the smell of decay. The resin can be burned for purification and the oil can be used for anointing or blessing. Try some myrrh when trying to connect with the dead.
Masculine and Fire Related
Even though these plants, evergreens, spices, and resins are known to be used for the winter solstice, you will notice that they are mostly masculine and associated with the element of fire and that’s because this is a hard, cold time for most regions and we use these plants to attract the sun back.