Monday, May 2, 2011

Norse Shamanism and Herbalism

Herbalism is the magical art of botanicals. Some believe that Shamanism  first emerged as a "botanical cult." Individuals studied plants, communicated with them and learned all about them. They acquired knowledge of physical healing, magical, and psychoactive effects. 

Norse shamans were able to spiritually interact with plants (or at least their presiding spirits, depending upon interpretation). Herbalism remains a beloved magical art and botanicals are the primary component of magic spells from every tradition around the world. 

Each plant is believed to radiate a specific magical power in addition to whatever healing or harmful effects it might cause. Lavender is believed to sharpen the mind, while calamus root enhances your powers of command. Roses are favored for love spells; chrysanthemums are identified with death. 

Different botanicals are identified as under the domain of various spirits. Working with botanicals is one way of attempting to contact spirits or avail yourself of their power. 

Cowslips, wild primroses, are identified with the Norse goddess Freya. They are her favorite flower and are believed to transmit her grace and power. Washing one's face with a cowslip infusion is a method of petitioning Freya to share some of her beauty. 

The simple act of gardening or tending the Earth becomes a spiritual interaction. A private garden is transformed into an outdoor altar. Magic spells are transmitted via gardens. A desire for fertility may be conveyed to the universe by crafting a garden filled with plants associated with fertility such as poppies, figs and pomegranates. 

A desire for protection might be signaled by planting cactus, nettles, and poisonous plants like oleander or datura. Spirits may be summoned or fairies beckoned by planting inviting gardens filled with their favored botanicals.

The Norse magical tradition, as well as being many other things, is a botanical tradition. Some are simple, others extremely elaborate and complex. But this remains a very accessible magic. Many fine books on herbalism are available, as are academies devoted to the botanical arts including aromatherapy and flower essences in addition to the traditional herbalism. 

Brightest of Natures Blessings!

1 comment:

  1. The reason I love the red rocks is they are a rare rock formation not found in many places on the earth. The red comes from the high iron content in the rock formations.

    Ilchi Lee