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(Matricaria recutita—German chamomile, used in US); (Chamaemilum nobile—Roman chamomile, used in UK)
Zodiac sign: Scorpio, Leo
Deities: Ra (Egyptian Sun god), Cernunnos (Celtic god of the underworld), Lugh (Celtic Sun and harvest god)
The name “chamomile” comes from the Greek word for “ground apple,” which is well-suited to this low-growing beauty of apple-like fragrance. Chamomile is well known by many for its calming effects as a tea, but it has plenty of magical uses as well! This charming plant has feathery leaves and sweet-smelling flowers that resemble small daisies. The flowers are dried and crushed to make tea, and chamomile essential oil has been used in skincare products as well as aromatherapy. If you don’t have access to bulk herbs and would rather not order chamomile online, you can always buy the tea and open the individual tea bags to use chamomile in spellwork. Chamomile was used as an incense in ancient Rome, and to ease fevers in ancient Egypt. It was one of the nine sacred herbs in Anglo-Saxon traditional Witchcraft, and is still recognized as such by modern followers of that tradition. It is used today to soothe indigestion, menstrual cramps, and stress from teething and colic in infants. However, many healing professionals warn against ingesting chamomile during pregnancy—as always, check with your doctor before trying any herbs! It is a very handy herb to have around for those who deal with a lot of stress and anxiety. And although it’s primarily thought of as a healing herb, the fresh leaves happen to be great mixed with sour cream or butter for potatoes! Magically, chamomile’s calming properties are also used to promote healing, stress reduction, and peaceful sleep. In fact, this is a great herb for beginners to get a feel for how the physical characteristics of a plant mirror its magical associations. It has other magical uses, however, including workings for purification, love, and money. It can be burned in money spells or added to prosperity bags. Gamblers will wash their hands in chamomile-infused water for luck before playing cards or hitting the casino. Similarly, it’s believed that keeping a packet of the herb—such as a chamomile tea bag—with lottery tickets can increase one’s chance of winning. Washing doors and windows with a chamomile infusion keeps unwanted energies at bay. A chamomile bath works well as a pre-ritual preparation, as well as releasing negative emotions or an old love relationship. Chamomile is also used for workings related to tranquility and purification, and makes a good all-purpose “booster” for most spellwork. If you have a garden, try planting chamomile near delicate or struggling plants—it will help increase their vitality. Chamomile is also known as camomile, earth apple, ground apple, whig plant, and scented mayweed.