The Old Corpse Road Folklore Collective
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Mistletoe the most sacred herb of the Druids, a traditional Christmas symbol, it was revered by our Pagan ancestors. It was so sacred it had to be cut with a golden sickle. Holly and other ever greens were also respected as they provided shelter for the woodland spirits as the other plants lost their leaves. Misteltoe is a magickal activator. In Faery spells, use a dash of Mistletoe taken on Summer Solstice to empower your workings with Faery magick. POISIONOUS! and it ruled Winter Solstice.
Honey fungus or Armillaria is a genus of parasitic fungi that live on trees and woody shrubs. It includes about 10 species formerly lumped together as A. mellea.
Armillaria is long lived and form some of the largest living organisms in the world. The largest single organism (of the species Armillaria ostoyae) covers more than 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²) and is thousands of years old. Some species of Armillaria are bioluminescent and may be responsible for the phenomena known as foxfire and perhaps will o' the wisp.
As a forest pathogen, Armillaria can be very destructive. It is responsible for the "white rot" root disease (see below) of forests and is distinguished from Tricholoma (mycorrhizal) by this parasitic nature. Its high destructiveness comes from the fact that, unlike most parasites, it doesn't need to moderate its growth in order to avoid killing its host, since it will continue to thrive on the dead material.
Bioluminescent Honey fungusAmong European rural people, especially in Gaelic, Slavic and Germanic folk cultures, the Will-o'-the-wisps are held to be mischievous spirits of the dead or other supernatural beings attempting to lead travellers astray (compare Puck). Sometimes they are believed to be the spirits of unbaptized or stillborn children, flitting between heaven and hell. Other names are Jack O' Lantern, or Joan of the Wad, Jenny Burn-tail, Kitty wi' the Whisp, or Spunkie.
Anybody seeing this phenomena might merely have been seeing, without knowing, a luminescing Barn Owl, at least in some instances. As strange as it may seem, much anecdotal evidence supports the fact that Barn Owls have a luminescence which may be due to fungal bioluminescence (Honey fungus) or some other cause.
The ivy is not considered a tree, but depends on a host tree for support. Ivy belongs to the evergreen family, and oversees the month of September. It's leaves are deep green and rather waxy, and it has thin tendrils that attach themselves to surfaces, and are strong enough to force their way into bricks, cracks, and plaster. Ivy can grow in such abundance on a host tree that it smothers the tree and actually kills it.
Ivy berries can be used for medicinal purposes, but can be poisonous if taken In large quantities. A broth of fresh leaves can be used to cleanse sores or wounds. A powder made from dried leaves and berries can be used to clear stuffy heads, and is also believed to be a cure for hangovers.
The Ivy was considered to be a very powerful tree to the Celts because of its ability to kill even the mightiest Oak tree. Because of its tendency to create dense, inpenetrable thickets in the forest, it is seen as more powerful than the vine, and rather sinister in nature.
A Druid Sacred herb. Was placed in barns to protect cows from the influence of faeries. The herbs powers are strongest when picked on a Full Moon. Gather at the Summer solstice for good luck, and rub on ritual tools to increase power. Mugwort can be used as an incense (mixed in equal parts with Sandalwood)to aid in strengthening Psychic Powers. Try using it while scrying or before divination!!! Mugwort can also be placed next to the bed to aid in achieving astral projection. Its other magickal uses include strength, protection, prophetic dreams, and healing…
IRISH MOSS -- This herb is great to use in spells for money, luck, and protection. You can carry some with you or place some in your home to increase your luck and to ensure a steady flow of money into your house or pocket. Some place it under the rugs in their house for these purposes. Carry a little amulet filled with Irish Moss with you while travelling, for protection.