Did you know that you can work witchcraft with weeds? No, not that weed, weeds like the kind that grow out of everyone’s lawn and drive them crazy. That’s right, next time you go out to weed the flower bed you might just find that it’s hiding a whole host of magical ingredients just waiting for you to pick them! Weeds are an incredible and overlooked resource for modern witches.
We’ve been so sold on the idea that we have to buy all of our herbs and go out of our way to procure exotic and hard to find ingredients that we’ve stopped paying attention to what we have available right in front of our faces. Well, no more. It’s time to take a look at some of the most common weeds that you might find in your environment and how you can use them in your witchcraft.
Yep, magical weeds. This might seem like the dumpster diving of the witchcraft world, but trust me, there are some seriously powerful plants being overlooked and ignored simply because the dominant culture has declared them “weeds”. I mean, what even is a weed, anyway? It’s not a botanical classification, it’s not a scientific term, it’s just what we call plants that we’ve decided we don’t want growing. Rather than letting nature take its course and allowing the natural diversity of plants to thrive in our environments, we’ve prioritized creating monoculture lawns that look pristine but are ecologically backward. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these plants! They’re just tenacious enough to grow where we don’t want them to grow and to keep coming back no matter how many times we remove them. It’s time to stop undervaluing these plants and start recognizing them for the spiritual powerhouses that they are. Here are 9 weeds that you can start using in your witchcraft today.
Of course, we have to start with the infamous dandelion. This weed grows everywhere, in many conditions, and has made itself the scourge of lawn owners everywhere. This little plant is associated with the planets Mars and Jupiter, and with its tenacity and sunny disposition, it’s not hard to see why. The dandelion is named for its appearance, with leaves that are said to resemble “the tooth of a lion” and a yellow crown of petals that are reminiscent of a lion’s mane. The dandelion is an excellent plant to use in your magic when you are facing challenges and struggles and need extra strength and grit to persevere and come out on top. It can be used in magic for optimism, opening opportunities, expansion, courage, and determination.
Bindweed, a flowering vine in the morning glory family, is the bane of many homeowner’s yards. Once this plant takes hold, it is almost impossible to rid yourself of it. If it has a chance to flower and sow seeds, it’s game over. Each plant can produce up to 300 tiny seeds in a season, making it downright impossible to overcome once it’s decided to set up shop. In magic, this plant is associated with the sun due to its love of growing in sunny patches. It has a cheerful, helpful energy to it and has long been considered a good nightmare cure. In North America, morning glory has been used by some native peoples for divination and dream work. This plant is excellent for calming nervous energy, soothing addictive behaviors, aiding in divination, clairvoyance, and astral travel.
Borage is a favorite of mine, and it grows rampant in empty lots and medians all over North America and southern Europe. This plant has beautiful periwinkle blue star-shaped flowers. The Romans used borage to bolster courage before battle and helped to spread it widely in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This herb is considered very uplifting. It has a long history of use for curing melancholy, lifting the spirits, improving moods, and lending strength and energy. This plant is excellent in any kind of magic for happiness, strength, alleviating depression, and fortifying yourself to meet challenges.
Thistle is a highly protective herb. This plant tends to spring up in places where human activity has damaged the land to the point where other plants struggle to thrive, and once it’s there, these spiny, defensive plants are hard to get rid of. Thistles crop up when the land needs to be protected from humans. Thistle is also said to inspire anger in those who wear it. Now, this might be because wearing a painful spiky plant is irritating, but anger is a reaction to having our boundaries crossed or being hurt. It is a protective reaction! In magic, thistle is excellent for all forms of protection and warding. It’s also excellent for purification and cleansing, blessings, and hex breaking.
Clover is associated with both divinity and luck because of the shape of its leaves. Almost everyone has, at some point, gone looking through a patch of clover to find a lucky four-leaf clover. Red clover is often used as a remedy for women’s hormonal problems, such as menopause and breast tenderness. It’s also associated with the planet Venus, strengthening its ties to feminine magic. This plant is excellent for purification and cleansing, healing heartbreak, helping with the transition into later phases of life for women, aiding in financial matters, especially business, attracting abundance, luck magic, and healing for women.
Nettles are another spiny, protection oriented plant. These plants are covered all over in tiny sharp barbs that are venomous and made of silica. If these barbs get into your skin, they break off and cause some serious irritation and pain. You do not want to handle this plant without gloves! Nettles have traditionally been used to amplify courage and virility. Nettles used to be fed to cows so that witches could not put a blight on them and stop milk production, thus, nettles are also excellent for protection and hex breaking. This plant can also be used for consecration and has some associations with death and burial customs. It was used in Wales to divine whether a person would survive an illness. Nettle is also useful for drawing money, protection from lightning, and healing magic.
Pokeweed is a pretty plant with bright red stems and small green or black berries. The berries have traditionally been turned into magic ink and dye. This plant is used to help release anger, increase the flow of energy, and ease tension. It is associated with the planet Uranus, which marks it as a plant of tumultuous change and revolution. When this plant helps you to release anger, it’s not just draining out of you to be replaced with peace! It opens the way to allow your anger to destroy old patterns and create something new out of the ashes.
Who doesn’t love the cheerful, cute little flowers of the daisy? This plant is associated with love first and foremost. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the folk practice of plucking petals off of a daisy while reciting ‘he loves me, he loves me not’. This is a form of love divination! Daisies are also associated with peace and innocence and childhood. They are excellent for magic that aids in positivity, both platonic and romantic love, new beginnings, beauty, and divination. Daisies have also been used for medicine as far back as the ancient Egyptians, so this plant has some serious healing potential in your magic. Daisies have also more recently become a symbol of peace due to the rise of the hippie movement in the sixties and seventies and their love of all things flower power.
As much as we witches love it, mugwort is considered a weed in many places. Many varieties of mugwort grow wild throughout North America and can be recognized by the silvery backs on each of its leaves. This plant is associated with the moon because of its silvery color. It is used for all kinds of dreamwork, prophecy, and divination and is very commonly used to consecrate tools used in these pursuits. It is excellent for purification, especially when used in conjunction with the moon cycles. Mugwort is also considered a women’s herb because it can be used to alleviate uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. This plant is excellent for all forms of psychic work, lunar magic, divination, consecration, sabbatic witchcraft, and connecting with our wild inner divinity.
Harvesting Weeds For Magic
Now that you know what plants to keep an eye out for, how do we go about acquiring them? The first thing to know is that these plants are typically found in in-between spaces. You might find them hiding under your flower bushes, in the median of a road, on construction sites, while hiking, etc. You have to be paying close attention to find these plants, but once you do you will start finding them everywhere in your surroundings, whether urban or rural. When you are harvesting weeds for your magic, you need to consider carefully what you are planning to use these plants for. Because these plants are growing in in-between spaces, they are often exposed to all kinds of toxic residue, herbicides, and pollution. I do not suggest ingesting these plants or using them in any kind of preparation that is designed to go on your body. If you want to use these plants in that manner, find a reputable source or grow them yourself so that you know exactly what went onto the soil that they were growing in.
If you’re wild harvesting, you can use the plant in any way that doesn’t go on or in your body. Add it to spell bags, spell powders, use them to dress candles, or add them to jars or oils. These plants and herbs are an excellent way to supplement your magical supplies and find new ways to interact with your environment. I’ve spoken many times about the benefits of integrating your witchcraft with your local environment. It gives the craft a sense of continuity with the rest of your life so that instead of going through your day-to-day life feeling disconnected from magic, you go about your day able to recognize the magical helpers that are growing all around you!