It goes without saying that 2020 has been a challenging year for our planet. Whether in the thick of things or on the outskirts, we’ve all been touched by the wild upheavals of this past year. Discussions of weariness have been rampant. Of ill-sleep, tiredness, stress, unfocused thoughts, of feeling drained and overwhelmed at the same time. Out of balance.
These days we need healing, and we need it in abundance.
But what does that mean? To Heal?
My relationship with healing magic has grown exponentially and has changed my perception of what it truly means to heal. At face value we go to healing when we are hurt or unwell. To heal presents itself as cure to an ailment or situation. While this is true, there is a much greater depth behind this act.
Healing magic is the action of making whole again. Of balancing. It’s the practice of settling that which is, interacting mindfully with it, and bringing about change. Healing is a type of ending in many ways. It is often difficult and challenges us, as with any kind of change, regardless if we’re talking in the physical, emotional, or spiritual sense.
With the hard work of healing it’s important to incorporate a gentle aspect to sooth the stress that often comes hand in hand with mindful healing.
Simplicity can hold abundant power, and tea rituals top my list on approachable yet potent magic. The following is a gentle balancing herbal blend to incorporate into a tea ritual, or even used as an infusion in a ritual bath prior to bed, meditation, or soul flight that will calm your spirit and ease your mind on any path of healing. Rich in folk magic, this base for a tea ritual has herbalism at its core.
- Restful Release Tea
- *This tea is not safe if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
- 3 parts Roman Chamomile (Matricaria recutia)
- 3 parts Rose petals (Rosa rugosa)
- 2 parts Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
- 2 part English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 1 part Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- 1 part Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- 1 slice of dried lemon peel, cut in half
Let’s go over why these beautiful herbs works so synergistically together, and what their personalities are bringing to the table here:
Used worldwide, German Chamomile is one of the most common and accessible teas out there. It is with good reason too; this adorable little flower is both potent and gentle. As an aromatic and when consumed it acts as a sedative. It has a calming effect that ideal for anxiousness, restlessness, and those moments when you feel down. Personally, I have always associated chamomile as the embodiment of a warm hug for the downtrodden mind.
Well known for being a nervine, did you know that chamomile is anti-spasmodic and helps relax the muscles? We hold our stress in our muscles and in our gut, so what better way to relieve our physical body from the burden of our mind than with something that sooths it. To add to this humble little plant’s repertoire are its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving ability, as well as its ability to aid the digestive tract.
Chamomile is a common correspondent in magic for breaking emotional chains. In a multitude of traditions it will carry you into the liminal world of sleep and protect against bad dreams. It acts as a beautiful accompaniment to meditation and can be used as a pre or post meditation tea for those wishing to expand on their mindfulness rituals.
An interesting quality of chamomile is its relationship with lavender. They both have aromatic sedative qualities, with lavender being the milder of the two. When combined they work harmoniously together increasing their calming and soothing effects. This relationship produces a fragrant blend that is frequently used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia, restlessness, and fear.
Alone, lavender is gentle and fragrant. It is an iconic herb of self-love. The ability of lavender to ease a stressed mind, and promote sleep is legendary and has been used as a home remedy for ages. Rest and relaxation. Tranquility. Lavender calms and sooths you into a peaceful sleep with ease. If your mind is on overdrive, lavender in its many forms will come in and slow things down.
An ingredient that is growing in popularity right now in tea is rose petal. A personal favorite of mine, rose is a plant that I work with very regularly. An emblem for love and sex, rose petals connects you to your emotions. This ability is so much more than the surface level we see with this focus. Roses are renowned for reducing mental stress, reducing headaches, and healing. It is used for prophetic dreaming, making it a very cerebral flower.
Lemon balm, which despite it’s name is a member of the mint family, is another cerebral plant. It’s beautiful for stress and anxiety, and just like lavender helps to slow things down a bit. In the 1700’s it was recommended to consume lemon balm after dinner to ensure peaceful sleep and good dreams. In spite of its ability to aid insomnia, it’s also used as a supplement to improve cognitive function. I like equate lemon balm to the peaceful coordinator. It connects you to your mental state, organizes it, unpacks what isn’t working for you in the moment, and then gives you the clarity to move forward.
Which is identical to its magical properties as well. Lemon balm is used often for cleansing and balancing. In hoodoo is used to promote good health, clear away bad luck, and restore youthfulness. Like chamomile lemon balm is an excellent herb prior to meditation. With its ability to offer mental clarity it allows for a deeper meditation, setting the groundwork for more meaningful experiences for the practitioner that value mindfulness and discipline of thought.
Another member of the mint family, spearmint has several of the same benefits as lemon balm such as aiding in cognitive function. Like most mint it is wonderful for memory, as well as stress reduction. It’s regularly used to sooth the digestive tract with its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Magically spearmint is a great herb for protection in sleep and keeps spirits from bugging you whether in the dream or waking world. It draws you to the places in your mind that need healing and offer the clarity necessary for facing them head-on. Spearmint acts as an ally and amplifier for rose as it aids in prophetic visions, and helps you remember what you see in your dreams.
Lemon is renowned for its detoxifying and cleansing capabilities, both physical, and spiritually. More popularly used in hoodoo and kitchen witchery than in other traditions and practices, lemons are used for a multitude of things, but the big two are cleansing and protection. Lemon cleanses negative energy and rebalanced personal energy. Being shaped like an eye it acts as sympathetic magic for watching, or “keeping an eye out”.
Mugwort is a fascinating plant with a long, rich history and considered sacred by many cultures both past and present. It is probably best known within the magic community as one of the traditional herbs used in flying ointments. It has ties to stimulating prophetic dreams and offers protection from spirits whose wish is to cause problems. This sets the stage for safe travel and as an added bonus it helps make your journeys more enjoyable and memorable.
Medicinally it’s a gentle nervine which helps ease physical and emotional tension. It offers comfort acting as a spiritual aid for depression. Beautiful for weary minds, or when moments of anxiety and stress are high and your thoughts overwhelm you into nights of fitful sleep. Mugwort comes in, sooths you, and offers strength.
Lacnunga, a Wessex writing from tenth century Europe, identified mugwort as one of nine sacred herbs used in a healing charm. It is a member of the artemisia family, but with much milder effects, and was classically used to brew beer before the introduction of hops. It is also venerated a sacred women’s herb used in treating the female reproductive systems, and is particularly adept as easing cramps and irregular menstrual flow.
My preferred time to perform any kind of releasing magic is during the waning moon, especially when the Moon is in Pisces. There’s potent magic for returning back to the void, which is what the sign of Pisces embodies on an existential level – the place where things are, are not, and are about to be. Pisces, being herald of the twelfth house is akin to that moment between your breaths – where nothing is, but everything is about to be. It’s the most liminal sign in the zodiac in my opinion, and as such embodies the true potential of life. No stage has yet been set, no script written. Just potential. Just peace. Its focus is outside the world of the physical and defines the relationship we have with our minds and souls. This is a deep and complicated place, but when we’re looking to release from our minds, we need to find a place whose focus is outside the physical world.
Releasing of any kind is always a transformative experience, whether great or small. We want to keep in mind that when we release one thing, it also means we are creating space at the same time. Be mindful to choose what you fill that space with. When you intentionally leave it empty the universe or your subconscious mind will pick what goes there, and they don’t have your best interests in mind – the universe is neutral to you, and your subconscious mind will always pick a familiar comfort to keep you in place because it does not like change.
When indulging in this tea as yourself: “What blessings am I ready to bring into my life?”
An important note to readers: It is imperative to learn and use the proper (Latin) botanical name when working with plants. Common/folk names are not universal and can be misleading, and many plants share common names (chamomile, lavender, and rose are all excellent examples of shared common names).
- “The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook” by James Green
- “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs” by Scott Cunningham
- “Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic” By Catherine Yronwode
- “Aromatherapy: An Introductory Guide to The Healing Power of Scent” by Nicola Jenkins
- “Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers” by Stephen Harrod Buhner
- “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft” by Raymond Buckland
- “Witchcraft Medicine” by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratsch, and Wolf-Dieter Strol