At Samhain, the veil between the worlds is thin and this is the ideal moment to remember and honour our ancestors. In this magical threshold our ancestors may cross over and walk among us, but so too can other worldly beings like fairies and ghosts, and perhaps not all of them are so welcome in your life. So perhaps you might consider making a Samhain herbal protection amulet.
But, first, let me invite you to travel to Scotland to hear about a Scottish folk tale about St. John Wort. One day, a long time ago, a mother found her son very ill with a high fever, muttering in an uncomprehensive language. She set off to ask advice to the old woman who lived on the edge of the forest. After listening carefully, the old woman put some herbs in her basket with yellow flowers, and they set off back to the son.
As they entered the house, they could smell sulphur coming from the son’s bedroom and at that very moment they could hear hooves in the distance. A huge dog bounded into the bedroom towards the son who was lying on the bed. The old woman quickly forced some of the yellow flowers into his mouth and around his heart and the dog was calm. A few seconds later, the devil himself came in. He was furious to see the yellow flowers and picked up his pitchfork and perforated the leaves. As he did a red liquid flowed from the leaves. The devil turned round and left with his dog trailing his tail behind him. The old woman made some herbal tea with the yellow flowers and the son soon recuperated his brightness. These yellow flowers were from a herb called Hypericum or St. John’s Wort and they are believed to keep bad spirits away, whether that be the devil himself or other bad spirits like depression. To this very day, if you hold up the leaves of Hypericum to the light, you can see the holes the Devil made with his pitchfork.
Hypericum is an excellent herb to have in a herbal protective amulet and you might like to consider including it in a herbal protective amulets that you create to keep evil spirits at bay in the dark winter months ahead.
You would need a little bag and some of the following herbs which are known for their protective properties.
- Angelica is thought to dispel negativity and invite positivity and good fortune.
- Basil is known to repel negative energy and attract positive energy and abundance. Holy Basil (Tulsi) is particularly powerful.
- Bay leaves are believed to protect against negativity and bring good luck and abundance.
- Lavender is known for its relaxing, calming properties Its soothing aroma settles into the darkest parts of our energy and clears the space, like cobwebs out of a forgotten closet, making room for the light to enter us where we need it the most.
- Mugwort is a popular herb with the Druids. It is associated with protection, divination, and astral travel and is also used to evoke prophetic dreams. It is widely thought that it transforms negative energy into positive energy.
- Rosemary is a popular herb for protection and to purify and protect spaces, as well as enhancing memory and increasing mental clarity.
- Rue is a powerful herb for purification. It repels negativity and promotes healing and spiritual growth.
- Sage is used to cleanse and purify spaces and banish negative energy and evil spirits. It is commonly used in the form of a smudge stick.
- St. John’s Wort is considered by the Druids to be a restorer and to be a gift of nature to humanity. As we saw in the story it is thought to protect against harm, banish negative energy and ward off evil spirits.
- Clean and air your physical space.
- Clean the space energetically by burning a smudge stick or some incense. You may wish to sprinkle some protective herbs and Moon water around your space. If possible, add a candle as fire is known to keep evil spirits away.
- Set an intention. You may wish to whisper your name and your intention into your bag.
- Connect with your herbs and offer your gratitude. Let yourself be guided intuitively by which herbs would like to be included in your amulet.
- Whisper your name and intention one more time into the bag before you close it.
- If possible, smudge your finished amulet and leave it overnight on your altar.
Find out more about the Celtic wheel of the year here.
Find out more about using herbs here.
I hope you have a lovely winter, free from evil spirits and full of positive energy.