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Herbs for Lammas ~ Bilberry & Hollyhockby Amethyst
Botanical: Vaccinium myrtillus
The Farrars' Eight Sabbats for Witches describe the bilberry as being deeply linked to the Celtic Harvest Festival, which today is commonly known as Lammas or Lughnasadh.
The people of Cheshire are said to eat the berries picked on Lammas with cream and milk for good luck. In Ireland, there are still numerous county festivals centred around the picking of the bilberries on Lughnasadh.
Carrying a sachet in which bilberry leaves are placed will increase your luck, keep away evil and break hexes or curses. Eating the berries provide protection from within. Burn the leaves like incense in the bedroom directly before going to sleep. Do this for 7 days to make all your dreams come true.
Placing some bilberry fruit or the leaves of the plant around the entrances to your home can prevent malign influences from entering. Bilberry can also be used in spells or rituals to attract love or success. Bilberries may also be used as part of the temple decoration for the Lammas Feast.
Botanical: Althaea rosea
Hollyhock got its name "Althaea" from the Greek word "Altho", which means "to heal". It has been used medicinally since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. The root is rich in sugars, and both the leaves and root have been used as a vegetable. In ancient Egypt, flowers of this herb were imported and made into wreaths used to decorate mummies. Thus, this plant has strong associations with death and rebirth.
This magick herb is associated with the festival of the first fruits. The seedpods of this wonderful Faery plant are known as "fairy cheese" because they are shaped like an old-fashioned wheel of cheese. They make a good symbol for a well-stuffed purse and because of the abundance of seeds, for fertility.
Some practitioners work with ripe seedpods to increase success in the material world, to increase the flow of money, or to acquire new possessions. These old-fashioned flowers are known for their ability to attract Devas and help provide shelter for the little people. When grown near a home they help the success of the family flourish. Hollyhock finds modern ritual usage with the beginning of the harvest season, ritually celebrated at Lammas, as described in The Master Book of Herbalism:
"One long stalk of hollyhock may be carried by the children, at the beginning of the ritual procession to the fields."
Use hollyhock to attract wealth, abundance, success & healing. The white & pink blossoms are particular favourites of the faeries. The tiny leaves that shoot up at the base of the blossoming plant are incredibly potent in magick-making. Plant several hollyhocks around your home to bring material gain & prosperity to your family.