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Herbalism For Your Day: Buckthorn

By Katrina Rasbold

Buckthorn was one of the first magical herbs I learned about back in the 1980s. I was in Scorpio Herbs (no longer in operation) in Texas and one of the folks working in the shop told me that buckthorn “brings the magic together.” She went on to explain that if you include herbs in your spell work, you should also throw in some buckthorn because it encourages the other herbs to work together more cohesively toward your goal.

I was just starting out my herb collection beyond the four or five I used for cooking and that sounded like just what I wanted. I went home with around eight little bags of specialty herbs, having spent more than I would ever admit to my husband (that husband, at least… my current husband would have celebrated that kind of investment into that kind of product). I moved the precious content of those little bags into baby food jars, yogurt cups, and any other little container I could find.

I am a user end herbalist rather than a developer. For most of my life, I have lived in weird places where the altitude and weather were inhospitable to growing herbs, but really, it is because I do not have a talent for it. I wish I did. I don’t. I also suck at identifying herbs in the wild, including the wild of my garden.  The flowers are obvious to me and some, like rosemary, are unique enough that I can usually remember. Smells are important parts of identification to me, so herbs like anise, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, the mints, and such  are easier for me.


Thankfully, my Virgo skills kick in and I keep my herbs meticulously labeled, researched, and organized so the relative blind spot I have for herb identification does not become dangerous and I use herbs throughout the copious spell work I do throughout the week, both professionally and personally.

Buckthorn remains a favorite of mine. I think that the formative experiences we have with herbs stays with us more often than not, so I still think of it as the glue that pulls the spell herbs together.

It is a protective herb, favored for repelling curses and other negative energies from the outside world, especially when placed around the doors and windows of the home. It also protect those going through legal woes and when carried or worn into court, increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Buckthorn is native to Europe and Canada.

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Katrina Rasbold is a professional Witch, published author, priestess, and editor of Green Egg Magazine. She and her husband, Eric, are the creators of the CUSP spiritual path and owners of Crossroads Occult. She and Dahlia Rose host the popular livestreamed video broadcast “Crossroads of Cognizance” most Thursday afternoons. You can reach her through

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