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Witchy Wednesdays - Rue

Witchy Wednesdays - Rue Rue also known as Herb of Grace or Witchbane is a small evergreen shrub like herb, which is evergreen and native to Southern Europe. It is as blue-green coloured plant with woody stems and grows to around 3 feet in height. It has a strong fragrance. Rue is a traditional seasoning in ancient Roman, Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Rue is quite bitter and sufficient amounts cause vomiting, so, only very small amounts are used. Pliny was fond of rue and mentioned it often. He recommended it to artists to ease eye strain and improve eyesight. Rue is also a common ingredient in witchcraft and spell making. During the Middle Ages it was a symbol of recognition between witches. The Catholic Church also used a branch of rue to sprinkle holy water on its followers during this time known as the "herb of grace." Rue is considered a national herb of Lithuania and it is the most frequently referred herb in Lithuanian folk songs. In mythology, the basilisk, whose breath could cause plants to wilt and stones to crack, had no effect on rue. Weasels who were bitten by the basilisk would retreat and eat rue in order to recover and return to fight. Historically, rue has been used to treat various poisoning- probably through induction of vomiting, and to trigger menstruation- thus it should never be used by pregnant women who hope to stay pregnant as it has a history of use as both an anti-abortion and for inducing or speeding up labour. Magickally Rue is a common element in protection magic. You can mix dried rue with spring water and sprinkle it around the home to remove a jinx or invite peaceful vibrations. Putting a bag of rue above the front door wards off the evil eye. Rue can be made into a lover's incense if it is mixed with sandalwood and lavender flowers. Putting the incense in a man's shoe will insure his fidelity. A tea or incense made from rue can attract a lover. Incenses made from rue can be used to purify a house and purge it of negative energies. The smoke purifies the area. As the celebrant carries the incense through their home, they recite a prayer or psalm or sing. Rue may be placed over the third eye to assist with developing second sight and encourage psychic abilities. Finally It is also purported to be one of the ingredients in Thieves Vinegar, used to ward off the Black Plague and was hung over doorways and windows to keep out evil spirits, and rubbed on the floors to keep out pests.

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