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Herbs + Rituals

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

Salvia apiana (white sage) in my yard - a sacred plant to native communities throughout California; it should be noted that this plant is also at risk, and is often poached unsustainably.

Herbs + Rituals

From burning to cleansing, smoking, and bathing - herbs have been used ritually across all cultures, throughout time. Though often prized for their phytochemical and culinary properties - herbs serve both medicinal and spiritual purposes for many communities. Though we often explore the aspects of herbalism as they relate to our physical health in these blogs, in honor of the season and magic of October, this month I'm giving a little primer on the more spiritual and whimsical properties of the ever-so-mystical botanical world.

Herbs For Burning + Cleansing

Herbs have long been used for their cleansing properties, for both microbes and for dissipating energies that one may not want around. Herbs like rosemary, sage, and cedar have been used in various cultures as burning herbs to clear out bad vibes (and spirits) and to ward off pests and diseases as well. Many herbs used for energetic cleansing are also considered antimicrobial.

Herbs For Bathing

Many cultures also have a rich history of herbal bathing, for both physical and spiritual health. Another way to cleanse the body and its energies - the power of water to wash away that which we no longer want to hold spans beyond the physical realm. Baths can be infused with herbs that hold medicinal value for therapeutic purposes, and with herbs that hold energetic cleansing properties as well. Herbs for self-love, for clarity, and for calm are all examples of the many ways herbs can be used in intentional bathing to create greater psychic and physical health in our lives.

Herbs For Spiritual Health

Herbs are often used in herbalism for their energetic properties, helping to bring energetic medicine to both the spirit and the emotional body. Sometimes referred to as plant-spirit medicine, this branch of herbalism is alive and well in many cultures, and in some herbal practices is wholly intertwined with physical health. Many traditional healing systems view the spirit and mind as integrated parts of overall health and don't disconnect these complimentary healing modalities (physical and spiritual) in their work. Traditional herbal practices view plants as conduits and healers in both the physical and energetic realms - making their significance in those cultures run much deeper than we often experience here in the United States.

Herbs For Intention + Magic

Herbs have long held their place in supernatural practices. From protection to intention, love and romance, and connections with the ethereal worlds - herbs for sure have their place in the magical realm. When talking about herbs in relation to magic, It's also important to note that there have been many instances across history where people were proclaimed to be witches simply for using herbs. While the connection to magic and herbs is definitely there, it's important to remember that the two were often not synonymous. Whether you use herbs for intention or for medicine - the plant world is so much vaster than the confines of society often permit us to see.

Interested in Learning More About Herbs + Rituals?

If you're interested in taking a deep dive into the world of herbs and rituals I recommend doing a little exploring into what herbs were used as part of the ritualistic practices in your ancestral lineage(s). Re-connecting to plants that our ancestors used is a wonderful place to start to explore the more whimsical properties of herbalism in an authentic and meaningful way.

Salvia officinalis - a burning and cleansing herb in many European cultures.


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