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Monday, May 16, 2011
Other Names: "Barrach" (Celtic for "man of courage"), tailwort, bee's bread, and starflower
Magickal Form: Blossoms, dried leaves
Borage is legendary for its spirit-lifting and courage-inducing properties. Celtic warriors drank wine flavored with borage to give them courage in battle, borage leaves and flowers were eaten for courage by Roman soldiers before they went into battle. Medieval knights wore scraves embroidered with the flowers for the same reason.
For courage, tuck a borage blossom in the pocket before any stressful situation, or drink a tea or glass of wine flavored with borage leaves.
Drinking borage tea is said to increase psychic powers and relieve symptoms of depression. Many of the most noted herbalists throughout history have considered it a very effective anti-depressant for the feeling of elation it induces.
Pliny said that borage-flavored wine was the Nepenthe of Homer, which when drunk brings forgiveness. In Elizabethan England, it was considered to lift melancholy; according to Culpeper, borage expells pensiveness and melancholy, and the candied or jellied flowers comfort the heart and spirits of those who are sick from consumption or from the passions of the heart. Gerard recommended eating this herb in a salad for joy and said that a syrup made of the flowers "purgeth melancholy and quieteth the phreneticke and lunaticke person."
Place the fresh blossoms on an altar to bring luck and power to your spells. Sprinkle crushed dried leaves around the workplace for inspiration and business expansion. Drink the tea to increase psychic abilities.
Eating the flowers in salads aids courage and cheerfulness and ends melancholy. The flowers sprinkled in the bath are good for courage or for Jovian protection, and a cup of borage tea can help with feelings of vulnerability and disjointedness.
In Hoodoo, borage flowers in the house help bring about domestic tranquility. Borage flowers may be used alone or mixed with blue-flowered Corn Flowers, Periwinkle, Rosemary, or Forget-Me-Not. Steep the flowers to make a tea. You can also add this tea to a floor wash for a peaceful home.
You can also sprinkle it at the 4 corners of the property, the 4 corners of the house, the 4 corners of each room, and the 4 corners of the kitchen table, to restore harmony and love to the family.
Place a pinch of dried Borage flowers in each corner of a room where family fights have occurred, with a fifth pinch under the rug at the center of the room.
Because of its connections to Jupiter, this herb is associated with the Hierophant in the tarot deck.
From: Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients and various other sources.