On this sabbath the Druids ventured into Nature to collect herbs.
Herbs are part of the loot of the Sun God, which is always the pattern of healing and medicine.
The Greek sun god, Apollo, was the father of the god of medicine, Asclepius (or Aesculapius for the Romans). The Celtic solar god, Belinos, was the pattern of healing and renewal.
In the Irish tradition, the physician of the gods was Dian Cecht. His son Miach and his daughter Airmid were coaches to follow in his footsteps, and it was they who created a new arm made of silver for Nuada, after he lost his in the battle with the Formorians. The intelligence and skill of the brothers caused much envy in his father, Dian Cecht, who beat the man with a sword on the head of the man, causing his death. Miach was buried and from his tomb flowered 365 herbs, each for a part of the body. His sister Airmid picked them up and carefully placed them on her mantle, according to their properties.
However, Dian Cecth shook the mantle and as a result, the herbs were spread and humanity lost the power of the herbs to heal each of the diseases that affect us. Only a few plants were known. Breton herbalists retained some of this tradition, but they only know 26 herbs that are associated with one part of the body; of these, verbena is the head, St. John’s wort is the blood, mugwort is the waist, and so on.
Art herbalists use herbs for a variety of purposes. In principle, healing, then used for spiritual inspiration (the use of herbs in teas and wines, incense and magic oils), thirdly, used for spells, and finally, used in some divinatory methods.
Any witch who claims to be a witch will take advantage of the Midsummer/Litha sabbath to collect a good amount of herbs that will be put to use throughout the year.
At the end of this period, any herbs that have not been used should be thrown into the Midsummer campfire.
Tea is one of the best types of herbs to use during Midsummer. Although it can be harvested during any part of the year, this is when it tends to be the freshest.
We can focus our reading of the tea strands, using different varieties of herbs to prepare the infusion. The following tea incantations tend to work very well during MidSummer, but again you can use them throughout the year:
- Chamomile Tea: For dreams and desires.
- Black tea: General questions.
- White tea: For spiritual doubts.
- Cinnamon Tea: For action, movement and creativity.
- Citrus teas: For business and work.
- The English Breakfast: For new business, things that are just beginning.
- Fruit teas: For matters of the heart.
- Green Tea: For health questions.
- Jasmine tea: To ask about love and friendships.
- Mint Tea: For consultations about study, education, learning and wisdom.
- Mint tea and chamomile: For consultations about money.
There are a lot of great teas that you can use for your craft. Every witch should learn as much about them.