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Herbalism For Your Day: Slippery Elm

By Katrina Rasbold

What we loosely call “herbs” when we talk about magical herbalism is an inclusive label that also includes flowers, roots, barks, and in this case, trees. Where most people think of small green things growing in pretty pots when they talk about herbs, Witches and other magical folks basically mean, “botany” and we are voracious about studying the energy of all parts of pretty much any plant.

Slippery elm

Slippery elm is a forgiving plant as climate goes and can be found from southwestern Maine west to New York, extreme southern Quebec, southern Ontario, northern Michigan, central Minnesota, and eastern North Dakota; south to eastern South Dakota, central Nebraska, southwestern Oklahoma, and central Texas; then east to northwestern Florida and Georgia.

Its unique form of protection is important in today’s internet-dominated world because it protects the user from slander, gossip, and malicious lies. It is the epitome of a “shut your mouth” plant. One spell is to wrap slippery elm leaves in yellow cord and throw it into a fire, letting the smoke carry the protection to block those who speak out against you.

Folk tradition says that if you tie a bundle of slippery elm leaves to a child’s cradle, the child will grow up to have charm and be gifted in the art of persuasion. It is also said to encourage truthfulness and forthrightness in children and adults, so use it in spell work to reveal the truth of a matter or to push someone to confess a truth.

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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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