Of course our ancestors dealt with the threat of wild – and sometimes domestic – animals all the time and that is doubtless why thy decided certain herbs could be used to ward off such threats. The favorite in hoodoo is horehound, and this herb is also specifically protective in other magickal disciplines.
Root workers sprinkled dried horehound around the perimeter of their property to keep off dogs. This was in times when dogs were used as weapons, sent out in packs to dig up precious crops or to track people for lawful or unlawful capture. By extension, the herb is now used to keep almost any animal off one’s property. For example, I know a woman who has used it against her neighbor’s somewhat feral cats with a relative amount of success.
In Wicca, horehound is carried as a pocket piece for general protection against malevolent sorcery. It can also be used to exorcise property of troublesome spirits. Weak teas made from horehound are said to clear the mind and help one prepare for test taking, although pregnant women should not ingest the herb. Scott Cunningham says that horehound was and should be burned to honor the Ancient Egyptian God Horus, after whom he claims it was named.
Finally, horehound is said to be beneficial when planted in the vegetable garden as a magickal way to keep pests of both the insect and small mammal varieties from eating up your lettuces and parsley. Bonne chance ~
by William St. John Harper c 1890 East Hampton, New York