Witch Tips--Easy Herbs: Catnip

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,


Around our home (and, indeed, across the entire valley in which we live) can be found great
clusters of wild catnip plants.  Right now they are all in flower, their soft purple crowns constantly worshipped by hovering bees.  It's quite a sight...and scent!  Catnip has a distinctively pungent herb-minty smell that most people recognize simply from being around the plant's greatest fans, cats.  But don't let that make you think that the only place it belongs is in the toy mouse!  Catnip has an illustrious history in magic that you can easily make good use of today.

The standard application for catnip is in love spells and potions, as well as any kind of work for peace and enduring friendship.  However, there is a flip side to this calming plant; it can be used just as well for instilling fierceness, courage, and energy.  Think of the different reactions cats have to it and this becomes clear; some roll in the leaves and then fall asleep purring, others eagerly tear through them and bite any hand they see.

I like to chew a leaf or two before starting something really challenging.  One of the hardest roads I cycle in my standard 13 mile trek has a row of catnip plants growing alongside it, which is perfect for me because they're right at the bottom of the biggest hill I climb.  A quick pluck from a plant as I pass, the taste of catnip, and suddenly I know I can conquer this mountain like I've done with all the others.  I've also taught our son (now 10 years old) to do the same when we go for runs together and he is starting to lose his enthusiasm.

Catnip tea has been a popular relaxant for thousands of years and I highly recommend it.  The Amish families in the area in which I was raised grow great quantities of it just for after dinner tea.

As an interesting addition, whole dried catnip leaves (the bigger the better) were said to be traditionally used as bookmarks in witches books to keep anyone unwelcome from reading them.  Even though we have little to fear from angry villagers with their pitchforks and torches, it is still an excellent idea to protect your BoS from the snooping of others.  After all, you may possibly consider your own grimoire to be sacred but it is also certainly private.  To expose to foreign eyes your written explorations of magic, your own mind and wishes, your fears and how you conquered them, as well as every spell you've cast and who it helped or hurt is both humiliating and damaging.  So even if you think that no one would try to spy on your personal thoughts, it's a good idea to protect them nonetheless.  

With the exception of the last example, all of the other ways to use catnip can work equally well in dried form as in fresh, so if you are not as fortunate as I am to be writing from the convenience of summer in a rural valley, you can still work this wonderful herb into your magic and your life.

*Also check the link below for information on the use of catnip tea before entering the sweatlodge.

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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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