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Overlooking the wonderful herbs in your kitchen cabinet is one thing, but a place that gets horribly under utilized is your yard. Now, not everyone has a yard, but for those that do, or those who can get to any natural space, there are tons of herbs that you can just pluck up for free for your medicinal and spiritual use.
I have never understood why people consider what grows in their yard to be useless weeds, but they’ll go to a shop and buy the same things for a pocketful of money. If you take a little time to research what various plants look like and what grows in your area, you can save a lot by just going out into your yard, nearby park or woods, and picking the stuff yourself. You might be amazed by what grows right there amidst your grass or on the edges of your property.
For culinary herbs, it’s pretty common to spot wood sorrel, clover, dandelion and many others. For medicinal, you can often find chickweed, St. John’s Wort, skullcap, wild plantain and purslane among others. Of course, almost every plant known to man has some magical significance. (All those links are to images of the mentioned plants),
It’s really worthwhile to take the time to learn about the plants (even weeds) that grow in your area so that you can identify them. Learn when they’re at their best for collecting. Just be sure to never take all that’s in an area, leave enough for more to grow next year. You can save a lot of money by doing this. Plus, if you’re in a pinch for a culinary of medicinal herb, you may just be able to walk a few feet outside to grab it. (We get chives from our lawn all the time.)
When it comes to using outdoor plants for spiritual purposes, what could possibly be better than something you went out, found, and collected yourself? Just moments ago it was alive and thriving in nature, and you can really feel the connection to it and where it comes from. I actually love using natural elements in my practice when I can. Sometimes I use weeds that I can’t identify, just because they have a good energy to them and to me, they’re a beautiful part of nature that I can bring into my work.
So don’t overlook those things you call weeds. Or the things you may have in your garden or flowerbed for that matter. As I said before, there’s no need to go buy things specially if you can get them in other ways. I believe we need to let go of the false idea that buying makes something more valuable, especially when we’re talking about spirituality. Costing more and meaning more aren’t the same thing. And let’s not forget the purely wondrous aspect of just getting outside and connecting to nature and that source energy. That’s a gift and a spiritual experience in itself.
And as a little reminder, if you need a good reference: The Herbal Magic Correspondences Guide.
(Oh, before anyone mentions it, I know you might think pitching an expensive reference book is hypocritical when I’m talking so much about going free and cheap. However, if you read well in past posts, I have said that some things are worth paying for, you should just be smart about it. My reference books are probably where I have spent the most money in my herbal medicine and spiritual practice. I can afford them because I’m thrift everywhere else.)