Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Today's herb, moonwort, can be a little confusing particularly if one is considering planting some in the garden. Two separate plants are called moonwort and, as this nice description at Alchemy Works points out, one is a variety of fern and quite difficult to grow particularly from seed. The other, and the one that is generally used in Wiccan love spells, is called Lunaria annua and is a member of the broccoli family. It grows large, silvery seed pods that have been used in various alchemical and old wives' concoctions since Medieval times in Europe.

The nearly transparent seed pods were once placed in purses and money chests to encourage an increase in wealth. Alchemists believed that the moonwort would actually spontaneously produce silver if left alone in such places. As a pocket piece, the seed pod is probably no less beneficial for increasing cash than any other herb/curio used with intention for the same purpose.

The sweet smelling leaves are dried and added to love sachets. They can also be sprinkled into a bath or simmered into a tea to add to same to make an individual more attractive to a potential love interest. Likewise, wearing the lovely violet-colored flowers is said to draw love. Having a lover hold one of the seed pods is said to encourage their honesty should they be less than faithful, so to say.

The fern known as moonwort was thought to magickally open locks and was thus a favorite of thieves and embezzlers. A fresh sprig from the plant was simply inserted into the lock and the rest was easy pickin's, so to say. The fern was also thought to remove shoes, from both horses and people. Blacksmiths and farriers were advised to carry the plant with them and simply have a horse with a stubborn shoe step over it for instant results. This believe was so persistent that colonists from Europe brought the fern and its folk name with them to the New World where it was largely known as "Unshoe-Horse".

The Lunaria annua is said to be easy to grow and Alchemy Works offers the plant's seeds for sale as well as a wide variety of other magickal herbs. Bonne chance ~

Header: The Love Potion by Evelyn de Morgan c 1903 via Wikipedia


Timmy! said...

That is somewhat confusing, Pauline... They certainly don't look very similar, let alone have the same uses, so that makes it a little easier to understand.

Pauline said...

Yeah, it is. I just like that they're named moonwort...