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(Stachys betonica, Stachys officinalis,
Betonica officinalis) G
Folk Names: Bishopwort, Lousewort, Purple
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Fire
Powers: Protection, Purification, Love
Magical Uses: Betony has long been celebrated
as a protective and purificatory herb. The
pseudo-Apuleius said that the plant protected
the wearer’s soul as well as the body,
and that when placed beneath the pillow
it shielded the sleeper from visions and
dreams. Betony is added to purification and
protection mixtures and incenses, and it is
traditional on Midsummer to burn it on a
bonfire and then jump through the smoke
to purify the body of ills and evil.
Betony is also grown in gardens to protect
the home, and is scattered near doors
and windows. This forms a kind of protective
wall around the property through
which no evil can pass. Betony is also a good plant to carry
when making love advances, and is said to
reunite quarelling couples if the plant is
added to food.
Additionally, betony prevents intoxication
if carried, strengthens the body when
worn, and is a cure for the mysterious disease
known as ‘elf-sickness.”