Sunday, August 27, 2017

Devil's Shoestrings - The Witch's Garden

Gardening is a skill that every witch should work on perfecting. Even if you live in a high rise apartment, you can grow some of your own magical herbs and plants.

Living in Portland, Oregon, with a nice shady back yard and a sunny front yard, I have plenty of opportunity to practice.

Lately, I've been paying more attention to growing my own magical herbs. While some plants and resins can only be purchased from far away places, others are easy to make part of your ally circle.

One plant native to Portland, Oregon is Viburnum trilobum, also known as "Witch's Hobble" or "Devil's Shoestrings."  This plant can be used in spells where you need to "trip up" an enemy. The name is due to the long, stringy ROOTS, which tangle one's feet and cause them to trip.

The plant is also called American Cranberry Bush. It loves water and must be planted in wet ground. It is green, with a pretty lace-capped flower in Spring.


In Autumn, the foliage turns a beautiful fiery orange and crimson berries become quite a focal point, attracting birds and other wildlife.



But remember, it's the ROOT you're after, so ask nicely, and harvest gently.

If you are in the eastern part of the USA, you will be more familiar with Hobble Bush or Vibrunum alnifolium, used also in old recipes as Devil's shoestrings.  It also has a white flower in Spring and red berries in Autumn.



When dried, Devil's shoestrings look like this:


or better yet, this:


Depending on how you will use them, they may be in chopped into small pieces to go into incense, oil, bath crystals, or a hand.

Devil's shoestrings are often used in Uncrossing Spells, 
or in spells where you want to trip up an enemy
who is hounding you.
Also very good in spells 
where someone is gossiping about you,
spreading lies and doing their best
to ruin your reputation.

Devil's shoestrings are a most excellent plant ally.

Other plants may be used,
of course,
as long as they have long, tangled roots
but always pay attention to any other magical qualities
of substitutions.


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