Country Folk

Magickal Folk Names for Herbs

Having knowledge of herbs and plants (either magically or medicinally) during the Middle Ages, often was reason enough to accuse a woman of being a “witch,” so there is no doubt some of the country folk at the time took these herbal folk names literal.  Chances are, these names were used merely as descriptors to help remember them easier.  Most plants were given names descriptive of their uses and others were given names for something they generally resembled. Spells written by witches in ancient times were often written with such descriptors, which personally i believe to be a form of secret coding.

Here is a small list of “witchy” herb names (most of these are already floating around the community) that you can use in your craft when you create your spells.  This list could be a great addition to any Grimoire and i hope you find them as useful as i do.

Enjoy ~~~  Cannawitch

Plants

Aaron’s Rod - Goldenrod or mullein stalk
Absinthe - Wormwood
Adder’s Fork - Adder’s Tongue Fern or Bistort
Adder’s Tongue - Dog’s Tooth Violet (or Adder’s Tongue Fern
Ague root - Unicorn root
Alison - Sweet Alyssum
Angel Food, Archangel - Angelica
Angel’s Trumpet - Datura
Ass’s Ear - colt’s foot or comfrey
Ass’s Foot, Bull’s Foot - colt’s foot
Auld Man’s Bells, Old man’s bells - wood hyacinth, Hyacinthoides hispanica

Bad Man’s/Devil’s Oatmeal/Porridge - hemlock
Bad Man’s/Devil’s Plaything - Yarrow
Bastard - false Dittany
Bat flower - tacca
Bat’s Wing - Holly leaf
Bat’s Wool - moss (which moss?)
Bear’s Foot - Lady’s Mantle
Bear’s Grape Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Bear Paw - ramsons Allium ursinum or the root of male fern Dryopteris Felix-mas
Bear weed - Yerba Santa Eriodictyon californicum
Beard of a Monk - Chicory
Beggar’s Lice - Hound’s tongue
Beggar’s Buttons - Burdock
Bird’s Eye - Speedwell Veronica officinalis
Bird’s Foot - Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum (Also bird’s foot violet and bird’s foot trefoil)
Bird’s Nest - carrot, Indian pipe
Bishop’s Wort, Bishop’s Elder - Wood betony Stachys betonica
Bitter Grass - Ague Root Aletris Farinosa
Black Sampson - Echinacea
Blazing Star - liatris
Blind Eyes - Poppy
Blood from a head - Lupine *
Blood from a shoulder - Bear’s breech *
Blood of a Goose - Sap from a mulberry * Morus nigra
Blood of an Eye - Tamarisk gall * (probably the tannin extracted from)
Blood of Ares - purslane *
Blood of Hephaestus - wormwood *
Blood of Hestia - Chamomile *
Blood - sap of the elder or bloodwort
Bloody butcher - Valerian
Bloody Fingers - Foxglove
Blue Bottle - Bachelor’s buttons
Boy’s Love, Lad’s Love: Southernwood
Brain Thief - Mandrake
Bone of an Ibis - buckthorn * I am not sure if this is Rhamnus cathartica or sea buckthorn Hippophae spp If I can find a recipe containing this, I will know for sure by comparing its purpose to their very different qualities
Bread and Cheese - Hawthorn
Bride of the Meadow - meadowsweet
Bull’s Blood - beet or horehound
Burning bush - false dittany, also a modern name for species of Euonymus
Cow’s Horn - Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum
Bride of the Sun - calendula
Brown Dragon - wake robin
Buttons - tansy

Calf’s snout - Snapdragon
Candlemas Maiden - snowdrop
Candlewick - mullein, the flower stalk
Capon’s Tail - valerian
Carpenter’s Herb - bugleweed Lycopus europaeus
Carpenter’s Square - knotted figwort
Carpenter’s weed - Yarrow
Cat - catnip
Cat’s foot - white balsam, black cohosh, ground ivy
Cat’s herb - valerian
Chameleon star - bromeliad
Cheeses - marsh mallow
Chocolate flower - wild geranium (I don’t buy it)
Christ’s eye - wild clary Salvia verbenaca
Christ’s ladder - centaury
Christ’s spear - adder’s tongue fern Ophioglossum vulgatum
Church steeple - Agrimony
Clear eye - clary sage
Cleavers - bedstraw
Click - goosegrass
Clot - great mullien
Cocklebur - Agrimony
Cock’s comb - amaranth
Colt’s Tail - fleabane
Crane’s bill - wild geranium
Crow’s foot - wild geranium, or wood anemone bulbous buttercup (verified)
Crowdy kit - figwort
Cuckoo’s bread - common plantago
Cucumber tree - magnolia
Cuddy’s lungs - great mullein
Crown for a king - wormwood

Dagger flower - blue flag
Daphne - bay laurel
Dead man’s bells foxglove
Death angel - fly agaric Amanita Muscaria
Death cap - fly agaric Amanita Muscaria
Death flower - Yarrow
Death’s Herb - Belladonna
Delight of the Eye - rowan
Devil Plant - basil
Devil’s Apple - Mayapple or Mandrake
Devil’s beard - houseleek
Devil’s bit - false unicorn root
Devil’s cherries Belladonna berries
Devil’s plaything - yarrow
Devil’s dung - asafoetida
Devil’s ear - wakerobin
Devil’s eye - henbane or periwinkle
Devil’s flower - bachelor’s buttons
Devil’s fuge - mistletoe
Devil’s guts - dodder
Devil’s herb - belladonna
Devil’s milk - celandine
Devil’s nettle - yarrow
Devil’s Shoestring: Various varieties of vibernum, esp Black Haw, cramp bark, hobblebush
Dew of the Sea - Rosemary
Dog Berry - wild rose hips
Dog’s mouth - snap dragon
Dog’s tongue - hound’s tongue
Dove’s foot - wild geranium
Dragon - tarragon
Dragon Flower - blue flag (really, wild iris? not an arum or a Antirrhinum?)
Dragon wort - bistort
Dragon’s blood - calamus

Eagle - ramsons Allium ursinum
Earth apple - potato
Earth smoke- fumitory
Elf’s wort - Elecampane
Enchanter’s plant - vervain
Englishman’s fruit/ White man’s foot - common plantain
Everlasting friendship - goosegrass
Eye root - goldenseal

Fairy smoke - Indian pipe
Fairy fingers - foxglove
Fat from a Head - spurge *
Felon herb - Mugwort
Five fingers - cinquefoil
Fox’s Clote - burdock
Frog’s foot - bulbous buttercup
From the belly - Earth-apple. * potato?? Did the writers know about potatoes? When was pgm written?
From the foot - houseleek *
From the loins - chamomile *

Goat’s foot - morning glory
Goat’s Horn - Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum
God’s hair - hart’s tongue fern
Golden’s star - avens
Gosling’s wing - goosegrass
Graveyard dust - mullein (and sometimes it’s just graveyard dust)

Hag’s taper - mullien stalk
Hagthorn - hawthorn
Hair of Venus - Maidenhair fern
Hairs of a Hamadryas Baboon: Dill Seed *
Hare’s beard - mullein
Hawk’s Heart, Old Woman - Wormwood Artemisia absinthium crown or seed head *
Hind’s tongue - hart’s tongue fern
Holy herb - yerba santa
Holy rope - hemp agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum
Horse tongue - hart’s tongue fern
Hundred eyes - periwinkle

Innocence - bluets

Jacob’s Staff - Great Mullein
Joy of the Mountain - Marjoram
Jupiter’s Staff - Great Mullein

King’s Crown: Black Haw vibernum
Knight’s Milfoil - Yarrow
Kronos’ Blood - sap of Cedar *

Lady’s glove - foxglove
Lamb’s ears - betony but more likely lamb’s ear Stachys byzantina
Lion’s Hair - The extra little roots that stick out of the turnip bulb or the base leaves Brassica rapa *
Lion’s tooth - dandelion
Little dragon - tarragon
Love in idleness - pansy
Love Lies Bleeding - amaranth (Not so ancient, a modern ornamental variant)
Love Leaves - burdock
Love man - goosegrass
Love Parsley - lovage
Love root - orris root

Maiden’s Ruin - Southernwood
Man’s Bile - Turnip Juice *
Man’s Health - Ginseng
Master of the Woods - Woodruff
May Lily - Lily of the Valley
May Rose - Black Haw viburnum
May - Black Haw viburnum
Maypops - Passion Flower
Mistress of the Night - Tuberose
Mutton Chops - Goosegrass

Nose Bleed - Yarrow

Old Man’s Flannel - Great Mullein
Old Man’s Pepper - Yarrow
Old-Maid’s-Nightcap - Wild Geranium

Password - primrose
Peter’s Staff - Great Mullein
Poor Man’s Treacle - Garlic
Priest’s Crown - Dandelion leaves

Queen of the Meadow Root - Gravelroot
Queen of the Meadow - Meadowsweet
Queen of the Night - Vanilla Cactus

Rats and Mice - Hound’s tongue
Ram’s horn - valerian
Ring a Bells - bluebell
Robin run in the grass - goosegrass

Scaldhead - blackberry
Seed of Horus - horehound
See bright - Clary sage
Semen of Ammon - Houseleek *
Semen of Ares - Clover *
Semen of Helios - White Hellebore *
Semen of Hephaistos - Fleabane *
Semen of Herakles - arugula *
Semen of Hermes - Dill *
Seven Year’s Love Yarrow
Shameface - Wild Geranium
Shepherd’s Heart - Shepherd’s Purse
Silver Bells - Black Haw viburnum
Snake Root - black cohosh
Soapwort - Comfrey or Daisy or maybe Soapwort
Sorcerer’s Violet - Periwinkle
Sparrow’s Tongue - Knotweed
St. John’s Herb - Hemp Agrimony
St. John’s Plant - Mugwort
Star Flower - Borage
Star of the Earth - Avens
Starweed - Chickweed
Sweethearts - Goosegrass
Swine’s Snout - Dandelion leaves

Tail of a Pig - Leopard’s bane *
Tanner’s bark - toadflax
Tartar root - ginseng
Tears of a Hamadryas Baboon - Dill Juice *
Thousand weed - yarrow
Thunder plant - houseleek
Titan’s Blood - Wild Lettuce Lactuca virosa *
Torches - mullein flower stalk

Unicorn’s horn - unicorn root or false unicorn root
Urine - dandelion or maybe urine

Wax dolls - fumitory
Weasel - rue
Weasel snout - yellow archangel
Winter wood - wild cinnamon Canella alba
White - ox eye daisy
Witch’s Asprin - white willow bark (this is ancient?)
Witch’s brier - wild brier rose hips
Wolf claw - club moss
Wolf’s foot - bugleweed
Wolf’s milk - euphorbia
Woodpecker - herbLpeony
Worm fern- male fern Dryopteris Felix-mas

Yerba Santa Maria - epazote

Plant Parts/Body Parts

Blood - Sap or juice
Eye - The disc of a composite flower, or a seed
Foot - Leaf
Guts - Roots, stalks, tangly bits
Hair - Very stringy roots (sometimes silk or tangly stems)
Head - Flower head or seed head
Tail - Stem
Tongue - Petal, sometimes stigma
Toes - leaf or bud
Paw - sometimes bud, usually leaf
Privates - Seed pod
Worm - stringy roots
Wool - Moss

Minerals

A Snake’s Ball of Thread - soapstone *
Blood of a Snake - hematite *
Crocodile Dung - Soil from Ethiopia *
A Physician’s bone - sandstone *

Animal Parts

A Snake’s Head - A leech *
Blood of a Hyrax - A rock badger, * small weasel-like/rodent-like (but actually neither) creature native to Africa and the Middle East
Blood of a Hamadryas Baboon - Blood of a spotted gecko *
Bull’s semen - the egg of a blister beetle *
Lion Semen - Human semen *
Kronos’ Spice - Pig Milk *

* From Ecloga ex Papyris Magicis: Liber I, V, xxvi



More Sources for verification -

  • Galen - De succedaneis, Claudii Galeni Opera Omnia, v 19
  • Paulus Aegineta, Corpus Medicorum Graecorum IX/2 vII
  • Dioscorides De Materia Medica
  • Witchipedia
  • Lady Raven
  • Tryskelion

Southern Gothic (also known as Gothic Americana, or Dark Folk) is a genre of music characterized by a fusion of alternative rock and classic country/folk. The genre shares thematic connections with the Southern Gothic genre of literature, and indeed the parameters of what makes something Gothic Americana appears to have more in common with literary genres than traditional musical ones. Songs often examine poverty, criminal behavior, religious imagery, death, ghosts, family, lost love, alcohol, murder, the devil and betrayal.


“It was always so hot, and everyone was so polite, and everything was all surface but underneath it was like a bomb waiting to go off. I always felt that way about the South, that beneath the smiles and southern hospitality and politeness were a lot of guns and liquor and secrets.”
James McBride, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother


As a southern woman and a southern witch, I can assure you that our region is haunted: by the past, by ghosts, by untold secrets, by an ancient magic that so few know how to tap into.  This music has always been an inspiration to my craft.  I hope you enjoy the as much as I loved creating it.  –Salt


Listen to “Ghost Rivers: a Southern Gothic Playlist” on Spotify.

‘Deep as Hell Kettles’
15.5x19.5 inches
Mixed media on watercolor paper

The Hell Kettles, three small circular ponds about seventeen feet deep near Darlington, have long been regarded with superstitious awe. Holinshead’s Chronicle reports:

There are certaine pittes or rather three little pools a myle from Darlington, and a quarter of a myle distant from the These [Tees] bankes, which ye people call the Kettles of hell, or the devil’s Ketteles, as if he should seethe souls of sinful men and women in them: they adde also that the spirites have oft been hearde to cry and yell about them…

It’s added that “the water is nowe and then warme,” and seventeenth century chronicler William Camden had heard the same - ‘“The common people tearme them Hel-Kettles, because the water in them by the Antiperistasis or reverberation of the cold aire striking thereupon, waxeth hot.”

But had Holinstead or Camden tested the water? Or had they simply heard the pits described in much the same terms as were used in 1634 by the Military Company, who dispatched “a captain, a lieutenant, and an ancient” on a survey and ultimately reported: ”The three admired deep pitts, called Hell Kettles, we left boiling by Darlington”? This might refer to heat or motion, as the kettles contain vigorous springs, and the water was certainly not hot in the nineteenth century, nor indeed at the turn of the seventeenth.

Camden had said that the pits were “of wonderful depth” and this was put to the test by “a very ingenious Gentleman” on behalf of Camden’s translator:

Sir,
According to the promise which I made you, I went to sound the depth of Hell-Kettles near Darlington. The name of the bottomless pits made me provide myself with a line above a hundred fathoms long … but much smaller preparations would have served: for the deepest of them took but fifteen fathoms, or thirty yards of our line. I cannot imagine upon what grounds the people of the Country have supposed them to be bottomless…

That more than one person must have known that the Kettles were not very deep did nothing to dampen the belief that they were bottomless, and in the nineteenth century they were proverbial - “As Deep as Hell Kettles.” Regarding their origin, Camden was probably nearer the mark when he reported the belief of the wiser sort that they had come by the sinking down of the ground swallowed up in some earth-quake. This might have been the one described in a Chronicle from 1328:

1179. About Christmas, a wonderful and unheard of event fell out at Oxenhale [part of Darlington township], that …the ground rose up on high with such vehemence, that it was equal to the highest tops of mountains, and towered above the lofty pinnacles of the churches; and at that height remained from the ninth hour of the day to sunset. But at sunset it fell with so horrible a crash that it terrified all who saw that heap, and heard the noise of its fall, whence many died from that fear; for the earth swallowed it up, and caused in the same place a very deep pit.

Whether or not they were created thus in 1179, a tradition of an earthquake seems to lie behind a tale told here in the nineteenth century. According to some versions, the farmer who centuries ago owned the land was about to cart his hay on St Barnabas’s Day, and when reproved for this act of impiety replied:

“Barnaby yea, Barnaby nay,
A cart-load of hay, whether God will or nay!”

Instantly he, his carts and horses were swallowed up in the pools, where they can still be seen on a fine day with clear water, floating midway, many fathoms deep.

The Signs as Symphonies

Aries: Shostakovich 5. (its first performance was the success that cemented Shosty’s career, with a half-hour standing ovation. he wrote it while angry at Stalin, of course.)

Taurus: Mahler 2. (the Resurrection Symphony. it’s got epic french horns and epic strings and epic voices and it’s all very epic.)

Gemini: Haydn 94. (the “Surprise Symphony”. my favorite of the theories is that it’s supposed to awaken those who fall asleep by that point in the music.)

Cancer: Beethoven 6. (the “Pastoral Symphony”. my favorite section is “merry gathering of country folk.”)

Leo: Mozart 39. (so many trumpets. the first word people think of is usually something along the lines of “majestic,” or “grand.”)

Virgo: Prokofiev 2. (each movement has a sort of nervousness to it, with anger fading in and out; my favorite part is the 3rd movement.)

Libra: Tchaikovsky 4. (”Fate.” composed for his patron/ pen pal/ best friend, Nadezhda von Meck.)

Scorpio: Liszt 109. (the Dante Symphony, detailing the levels of the Catholic Hell from the Inferno.)

Sagittarius: Haydn 45. (the “Farewell.” Symphony. it’s super happy and dance-y sounding and great for most situations involving food or pets.)

Capricorn: Sibelius 7. (literally the most depressing symphony of all time. only one movement. done that way one purpose, however; absolutely GENIUS.)

Aquarius: Dvorak 9. (”New World Symphony.” Neil Armstrong listened to this on his way to and from the moon.)

Pisces: Paganini “Sonata a violino principale” (not technically a symphony, but i like it a lot and it feels very Pisces-ish.)

now, go listen to whichever one is your sun sign. (note: symphonies are written in sonata form. most of these are in three or four parts.)

The Zodiac Signs as Music Genres

Aries: Dubstep

Taurus: Jazz

Gemini: Hip hop/rap

Cancer: Blues

Leo: Pop

Virgo: Country

Libra: Folk

Scorpio: Electro

Sagittarius: Alternative Rock

Capricorn: Orchestra

Aquarius: Psychedelic

Pisces: Disco

CHRIST STOPPED IN DIXIE || [PLAYMOSS] [SPOTIFY]

Later he saw Jesus move from tree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioning him to turn around and come off into the dark where he might be walking on the water and not know it and then suddenly know it and drown. 

- Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Blood on my Name  |  The Brothers Bright   
Saint Elizabeth  |  Kaia Kater
Don’t Go into the Barn  |  Tom Waits
Oh Death  |  Rising Appalachia 
God’s Gonna Cut You Down  |  Johnny Cash
Old Time Religion  |  Parker Millsap 
Pretty Polly  |  Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn 
Devil Got My Woman  |  Skip James  
Way Down Hadestown  |  Anaïs Mitchell  
Nothing but the Water (I)  | Grace Potter & the Nocturnals  
Freedom Hangs like Heaven  |  Iron & Wine  
Red Right Hand  |  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds  
Black Ghost Blues  |  Lightnin’ Hopkins  
Human  |  Rag n’ Bone Man

Girl From The North Country
Bob Dylan
Girl From The North Country

I’m a-wonderin’ if she remembers me at all
Many times I’ve often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day

Fleet Foxes - Can’t Help Falling In Love (cover)

ike a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
some things are meant to be
take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can’t help falling in love with you

Made with SoundCloud

IN THE DEEP DARK HILLS 

you’ll never leave harlan alive - the ruby friedman orchestra // calling the maker - aimee allen // black river killer - blitzen trapper // hard time killing floor blues - chris thomas king // i will never die - delta rae // devil’s spoke - laura marling // cherry tree - the national // devil’s backbone - the civil wars // bartholomew - the silent comedy // bottom of the river - delta rae // o death - ralph stanley // rocks and water -  deb talan // arsonist’s lullabye - hozier // you are my sunshine - jamey johnson, twiggy ramirez & shooter jennings // the preacher - jamie n commons // o children - nick cave & the bad seeds // riverside - agnes obel // wolf - first aid kit // judgement day - blues saraceno // old number seven - the devil makes three // like a mountain - timber timbre // old time religion - parker millsap // oh darlin’ what have i done - the white buffalo