Today, we call her Wood Betony. In the past, she was known as Betony or Betonica Officinalis then later as Stachys officinalis. She’s a member of the mint family who shares more qualities with the Woundwort-side than any other. She’s short and stout with delicate, soaring flower stalks. Harry Potter fans would easily identify her as Huffle Puff. The rest of us would call her an Earth Mother and describe her compact and mounding nature as Earthy. Alchemists would probably argue that her blossoms, being dainty and inwardly turned support those claims even if they do shoot up above her compact nature. Wood Betony’s outard appearance hints at the complexity of her affect on her surroundings. And that is just a peak into her Magickal qualities.
Traditional Use of Wood Betony or Betony
European physicians and householders alike prized Wood Betony for centuries until modern medicinal practice parted ways with whole-plant medicines. Wood Betony was considered an almost magical cure for a long list of maladies, most notably those of women and the elderly. Then, you might have found stands of Wood Betony growing at the edges of farmer’s fields, the family homestead’s land, and even Church gardens, graveyards, and Moneastic and Abby gardens. Wood Betony was welcomed into these spaces as much for it’s physically healing affects, which were well-known and much appreciated, but also for it’s protective affect.
Wood Betony was considered protective against malicious unseen forces, like demons, ghosts, and ghouls. For this, it has been planted in home gardens, hung to dry about beds and doorways, added to sachets and pillows near the bed, and carried in medicine pouches and made into amulets. Taken as a tea, Wood Betony is said to help those who dream of or experience Alien Abduction, attack from Demons and any similar entties, and those who suffer from Night Frights and Terrors.
Wood Betony’s Complex Magicks
Modern herbalists often disagree on Wood Betony’s energetics. Some describe them as cooling while others claim strongly heating. For each individual, it really is about the experience of Wood Betony. My own experience of Wood Betony’s magic is that it’s a centering of power and a balancing of energy sort of affair. The commonality I’ve noticed across reports many experienced and well-respected practitioners have made is that Wood Betony helps individuals find their own center, fill it and become solid and rooted in it, then clean up and balance everything else.
With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that Wood Betony would be cooling to some and heating to others. If you take a step beyond that, it also makes perfect sense that each pratitioner will likely find their own experience of Wood Betony’s action to be mirrored in that of their clients or patients. We draw to ourselves those with a commonality we are able to best serve. Therefore, it seems logical that any given individual is likely to draw to themselves others with similar imbalances, thus Wood Betony’s balancing action would seem to be the same across all those individuals even if it’s absolutely the opposite for a different prattioner and a different set of clients. From a magickal perspective, Wood Betony looks rather complex, but is it?
Practical Magick and Wood Betony
When folks of bygone times used Wood Betony to protect against demons and the like, they were actually asking Wood Betony to help them consolidate their energy to make themselves less attractive to the wrong sort. Wood Betony’s tendency is to concentrate and ground or root energy strongly first, then from that powerful place support creative and delicate self expression. When we’re disassociated or stuck in our heads, we’re essentially partly out of our bodies. Our energy field becomes too bright, too big, and ultimately too weak to repel hungry or malicious entities. Wood Betony can help us to pull our energy fields back into a size that’s better suited to ourselves, thus eliminating weakness and consoldiating our power such that we’re no longer easy victims.
Nightmares, Night Terror, and Demons of the Modern World
That translates into our modern world pretty powerfully. Have you ever had a poor night’s sleep because you kept being startled awake? Or experienced bad dreams in which you were being attacked or otherwise victimized that left you feeling fearful through out the day? What about those times when you’ve been somewhere and thought you caught glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye that startled you, but when you looked nothing was there? Or felt like you were being watched? Folks who have these kinds of experiences repeatedly, particularly those who tend to be rather heady or timid in nature already, fit right in with their ancestoral kin who reached for Wood Betony to protect against demons and the like. Regardless of what we call those entities or what their intentions may be, Wood Betony can help us hold our power suitably enough for them to back off and leave us be.
Protection Balm Boosted by Wood Betony
Saint John’s Wort combined with Wood Betony in a balm makes a lovely protective remedy against nightmares, night terrors, and day-time worries. While Wood Betony helps you consolidate your energy field, Saint John’s Wort helps you strengthen the boundaries and infuse it with extra umpf. Together, these two Magickal Herbs help us find and hold our power well, making us much less attracctive to wayward spirits. I like to harden mine with Beeswax and pour it into a lip balm tube to set at my bedside so it’s convenient to use just before bed. My original recipe used solely Saint John’s Wort oil paired with a blend of essential oils.
While that worked, I’ve found the addition of Wood Betony oil added a dimension of empowerment to the blend. You can find my new recipe Here. This is a powerful blend for all of us, but most especially for children or those of us inhabitiing adult-sized bodies with child-like mental functioning, like folks who are dealing with dimension or alzheimers or have been developmentally delayed for any reason. It’s also a good choice for folks who are Highly Sensitive, including folks who identify as Aspergher’s or Autistic or on the spectrum.
Creativity, Career, and Showing Up with Wood Betony
To create the life you dream of living, you’ve gotta gather up your power and make good use of it one step at a time. Wood Betony helps us do that. Wood Betony’s energy is one of consolidation, rooting, and then creation. It’s really quite practical, like a Basset Hound gathering his strength and hunkering down to the ground in pursuit of a scent. Wood Betony can teach you how to pull all your power into your core, be still long enough to pick your direction, then keep your head down as you push ahead. This is particularly helpful if you tend to get a little carried away with ideas but have a hard time actually making them happen. Wood Betony can help you get your feet on the ground solidly enough to see if the idea you’ve caught wind of is worthy of your efforts. If it is, Wood Betony can help you find within the energy you need to follow it to fruition. This can be helpful in your career or in creative projects.
Mainfesting Your Dreams Tea Fueled by Wood Betony
I like to work with four or five elements when I’m blending a
purposes. Here, Wood Betony holds space for Earth. Violet holds Water’s space and adds the renewal and clearing of Spring and New Beginnings, although if Violet is not available I might substitute Blueberries or Bilberries for their plump potential and connection to healthy eyesight. Air is held by Elderflower or Tilia, both of which open doors to the Otherworlds while helping us remember our forms in this one. Fire is held by Ginger for it’s rooted and juicy elements, which remind us of the juicy, spicy beauty of rooting ourselves and our Magick here in the physical realm. Drink this blend once or twice a day, holding your desired intetion in mind as you brew it and take your first sips, then let go of the intetion as you finish your cup in honor of letting Spirit handle the Heady stuff while you Anchor the manifestation in the Here and Now.
Romance, Relationships, and Wood Betony Magick
How many times have we been told, you’ve gotta take care of business at home before you go out to play? When it comes to Love and relationships, that’s certainly the case, but it doesn’t explain why some of us seem to attract good partners so easily while others struggle. Or does it?
Wood Betony teaches us to take care of business at home by helping us clear out any old baggage that’s been mucking up our Castle. Yes, I said Castle. Wood Betony is pretty clear that where ever you call home is your Castle, and if you want to make it attractive to the Best Mate, you’ll want to clean it up and get it Shining. Wood Betony can help you with that, and with keeping your energy tight and powerful, too. It’s all about making a mind-shift that brings your power back into perspective right at the center of your being. Even those of us who have done our therapy and work, who’ve put in the time at the gymn figure out how to eat right and all that can be held back by old stories that speak of victimhood and unsafe vulnerability. Wood Betony helps us gently coax those old stories into the light, review and discharge the energy they hold, and write ourselves a far better perspective for the story we want to live. As you transform your innerworld, so too do you transform your outer world. With business taken care of at home, you have more time and space to play…and suddenly the question of Love becomes an answer you hold in your hands rather than a far-away idea for which you’ve longed long.
Wood Betony Mojo
A Mojo bag is much like an amulet or talisman in sachet form. It’s a magical tool used to focus energy and communicate with Spirit and with your Higher Self. The idea here is to affect change to your inner world through focused regular attention. For this bag, you’ll gather three elements into a small packet you can carry with you or use in daily meditation practice.
Prepare: Gather Your Mojo
Begin by gathering a piece of cloth that’s square in shape and roughly 1.5 times the length of your hand, preferrably one made of natural materials, and some string, yarn, or thread. If you so choose, you can add a small heart-shaped charm or a set of two beads that remind you of Love to your materials. The colors you choose should resonnate with you, so that each time you see your bag you smile and feel a playful affection for the you who pulled all these bits together.
Next, gather your three elements:
- First, Wood Betony represents the center of your power, clean and consolidated into a beautifully rooted wholeness. This is your Fire Element in it’s most rooted and practical form. It will provide the energy for this working.
- Next, for the fuel of your fire choose the tree you’d like to embody. It symbolizes the self you’d like to grow into in your current environment, so choose a tree with the characteristics you most desire for yourself. Magnolia, for instance, symbolizes the ability to stand with regality even amidst chaos while Cottonwood symbolizes the ability to thrive amidst loads of emotions and flowing energies. Oak symbolizes great strength and endurace while Douglas-fir is virility and a relaxed ease amidst others like youself.
- Next, choose a seed or small fruit that represents the secret self you hold inside. This is the part of yourself that loves life and shines with potential, it’s your soul mate held within, the aspect of yourself you fall in love with every day whether you will it or not. This is the part of yourself you’re growing once you’ve cleared the space within for it to thrive. Choose a seed or fruit that you love, regardless of what symbolic meaning may or may not be attached to it. If, for instance, your favorite fruit is strawberries, then a dried strawberry or a drawing of a strawberry is a terrific choice. If you love the sunny faces of sunflowers in the late summer, try a sunflower seed or two with or without their shells. The job of this seed or fruit is to hold your potential until it’s taken root and you can feel the joy of it filling your heart. Then and only then will you recognize your Love’s true self.
Create: Build Your Mojo Ritual
- Once you’ve gathered all your materials and your elements, create a safe and sacred space to assemble your Mojo Bag. Use whatever ritual is comfortable and familiar to you to clear and cleanse your space, call to Spirit to witness and support your work, and to focus your mind on your intention.
- With your intention clear, lay the cloth flat. As you set each of your elements in the center of your cloth, take a moment to visualize yourself pouring liquid love onto or into it. This will help you empower the Spirits of these objects to work on your behalf.
- When all the elements have been placed, gather each corner of the cloth, acknowledging the four compass directions and the Spirits who live there and asking for their help in your working. Next, gather the four sides of the cloth, acknowledging the cross-roads where the directions meet and boundaries dissolve. These are places of power where we can choose a new direction. Ask the Spirits of these cross-roads to help you dissolve your old stories in favor of new ones that will carry you to the loving relationship you desire. I recommend gathering ther corners beginning with the season and direction you’re in and working clockwise around twice, once for the corners and a second time for each crossroad, but you should do this in the order and way that feels most right to you.
- Once you’ve gathered all the corners and sides of your cloth, you will bind it into a small bag or bundle using your string. As you do so, repeat a mantra for love, such as Aham prema, which means I am Love, or another simple phrase that encapuslates your intention. I recommend wraping the strong around 9 times before tieing it off with two half-hitch knots. The first knot represents your yang force working the transformation work and the second knot represents your yin force gathering power and transforming. At this point, add any charms or beads you so desire, using two knots to hold them in place, an cut off the tail of the string to make a neat bundle.
- Once you’ve finished making your mojo bag, speak your intention aloud as you hold it up for Spirit to see. If speaking aloud feels uncomfortable to you, let the words you would use ring out in your mind as if you are speaking them aloud. If you can, allow yourself to feel them resonnating in your throat, as if they’re being voiced through your throat chakra.
- When this is done, you can close your sacred space appropriately, thanking Spirit for supporting your work.
Daily Work: Use Your Mojo to Affect Change in Your Life
Carry your Mojo Bag with you daily or make time to hold it as you meditate each day. The important part is to give it your focus for at least a few minutes each day then let it go. The focused time will recall you to the work you’ve intended and will remind Spirit of that work. Letting it go is an act of Trust in Yourself and in the Divine to make the necessary changes happen. Continue to work with your Mojo Bag as long as it feels right.