“Wort-lore isn’t just about knowing which herbs are suitable for use in treating medical conditions, it is also about their history, superstitions, magical use and correspondences.” [The Secret People]
One of our Coven members recently confessed that she felt not being raised in the country had a certain disadvantage in being unfamiliar with the various traditional wild herbs used in witchcraft. So, let’s put this in some kind of perspective and define exactly what we mean by ‘herbs’. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a herb is ‘any plant with seeds, leaves or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine or perfume’. Many of the herbs used in contemporary pagan herbals tend to use domestic herbs but once upon a time, all herbs were ‘wild’. The most popular plants that often were discovered to have multiple uses were cultivated, and later others were added as a result of invasion and migration. Although Melusine Draco is not a herbalist, she has grown up with domestic plant medicine being part of everyday life, and while Wort-Lore – the Craft of Witches might not have risen above the level of what is now labelled ‘domestic folk-medicine’ it does share an awareness of poisons and the ingredients used in magic spells that are an integral part of Craft knowledge.