The Shamanic Herbal: Walburga's Herbs

Sweet Woodruff

(Galium Odoratum)

Names: Herb Walter, Master of the Woods, Wood Rovelle, Wuderove
Household Uses: Traditionally put into May wine, the new wine served at Walpurgisnacht, for flavor. Woodruff is a potpourri herb; when dried it smells of vanilla.
To make May wine: Marinate a handful of freshly dried woodruff in the juice of one lemon and half a bottle of Rhine wine for four hours; then add 6 tablespoons of sugar and another bottle and a half of the wine. Just before serving, add a bottle of seltzer for sparkle, and/or a bit of brandy for a stronger drink.
Traditional Magical Uses: Used in pouches for protection and valor in battle.
Shamanic Use: Sacred to Walburga, the goddess of Walpurgisnacht who may well actually be Ostara, the spring-bringer. Can be used to escape pursuers, as Walburga is pursued through the woods each year by hounds. If you carry it, you can use her trick of standing in a triangle carved into a stump-top, and your pursuers will pass you by.


[Tansy](Tanacetum vulgare)

Names: Athanasia
Medicinal Uses: Abortifacient. To use, please see an herbalist.
Household Uses: Sprinkle for ant repellent. Hang to repel flies. Boil flowers for a yellow dye. Mix into compost heap for potassium content. Use in astringent baths and facial steams. Before refrigeration, meat was wrapped in tansy to preserve it.
Traditional Magical Uses: As Tansy has strong preservative and antiseptic qualities, dead bodies were often treated with strong Tansy tea in hot weather to preserve them for the funeral. Thus it is said to bring immortality.
Shamanic Magical Uses: The early young leaves are used sparingly in a Walpurgisnacht pudding called "tansy", which is special to Walburga/Ostara. Eat it on her eve to lend her your power to avoid the yearly hunt, and she will thank you.