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Fennel engraving Fennel, Organic
Foeniculum vulgare

Besides being popular in cooking, fennel has many uses in folklore and magick. Roman soldiers chewed the seeds before battle--perhaps because a famous battle of the ancient Greeks was fought at Marathon in a field of fennel--but fennel is also said to build confidence and courage. In the old days, British farmers rubbed a mixture of fennel seeds, soap, and salt on the blade of their plow to strengthen the land and encourage better harvests. Similarly for fertility, fennel was thrown at newlyweds instead of rice. For protection, fennel was hung over the doorway on Midsummer Eve to keep away evil and the seeds put into keyholes to keep out ghosts. Nowadays, an infusion of fennel makes a good door wash to keep away intruders. Top

as a Mercury Herb

As an herb of Mercury, which works especially on the mind, fennel is said to improve the memory. In fact, an old remedy for stroke victims was fennel tea.  Mercury herbs are also especially good for helping develop one's magickal skills. Fennel is unexplored in that area. Fennel smells surprisingly nice--spicy and licorice-like--mixed with elemi or ground with lavender buds for incense. It also mixes well with other Mercury seeds like dill. Some people say fennel should not be burned for incense; I have never seen any explanation for this assertion. Top

Non-Magickal Uses

The Puritans chewed fennel seeds to help them stay awake during their long religious services. The seeds have also been chewed by various peoples when fasting either for religious purposes or because food was scarce. Fennel keeps away mundane evils too--ground fennel seeds were sprinkled around dog kennels and stables to repel fleas. Fennel is sweet and warm, so Culpeper recommended it be combined with watery foods (like fish or fruits) in order to balance them. It has long been drunk as a tea for various purposes, especially digestive. A Renaissance herbal remarked that fennel was put into hot drinks to help heavy people be more spry and to lose weight. Fennel is good against nausea, but don't use when pregnant. However, fennel is supposed to help increase a nursing mother's milk. You can make fennel tea by pouring 2 cups boiling water over 1 teaspoon of bruised fennel seeds. Fennel is also known as fenkel, sweet fennel, and wild fennel. Top



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Fertility Spells
Protection Spells
Magickal Mastery
Mercury Herb

2004, 2016 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission