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Zodiac sign: Taurus, Libra, Capricorn
Planet: Mercury, Venus
Deities: Freya (Norse goddess of beauty, love, and destiny), Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love)
In contrast to the long, broad pale green leaves of garden sage, thyme leaves are very small, oval-shaped and dark green, with tiny pink flowers that bloom in spring and summer. This hardy perennial is popular in kitchen herb gardens, but can also be found in dried form in the spice aisle of any grocery store. Thyme also grows in the wild, though wild thyme is not thought to be as potent as the cultivated variety. Once you’ve worked with thyme, whether through cooking or through magic, its pungent scent is unmistakable. Originating in the Mediterranean and spread throughout Europe by the Romans, thyme was used in Sumeria as early as 3000 BC for its antiseptic properties. It was likely used by the Greeks as a smudging herb—the word “thyme” comes from the Greek for “fumigate.” Like rosemary, thyme was used as an embalming herb in ancient Egypt and placed into the coffins of the recently deceased in Europe. Roman soldiers placed thyme in their bathwater to increase their strength and bravery—an association that continued into the Middle Ages, when knights wore sprigs of thyme embroidered into their scarves. Likewise, Scottish Highlanders drank thyme tea to keep nightmares at bay. Medicinally, thyme has been most widely used in cough remedies, but it can also help with skin inflammation, digestive problems, and rheumatism. Thyme’s magical properties make it ideal for workings focused on healing, purification, love, and psychic knowledge. Wearing a sprig of thyme is still a way of drawing courage during difficult experiences, as is adding an infusion of thyme to the bath. Those who struggle with nightmares can try adding thyme to a dream pillow for more restful sleep. Hang a sprig of dried thyme in the home to purify the energies and attract good health to all who live there. When you’re working on a project or other goal that feels impossible, use thyme in a spell for staying upbeat and positive as you see it through to the end. To attract faeries to your garden, plant thyme around the edges. Smudging with thyme can dispel feelings of melancholy, hopelessness, and other negative vibrations, particularly when you’re just coming out of a long illness or experiencing some other prolonged struggle. Thyme is also known as common thyme and farigoule. The woody stems can be used to flavor barbecue smoke, and the flowers are edible as well.