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Clary SageSalvia sclarea
Clary Sage
This is the quintessential European dream herb and is much easier to grow and acquire than exotic New World herbs used for that purpose. Because of its association with dreamwork, this magick herb is usually thought to be ruled by Moon, but its effect on the mind makes some consider it a Mercury herb. Whichever the correspondence, clary sage finds great use in creating very vivid dreams and aiding in dream recall, especially in terms of divinatory dreams. It is generally helpful in building skills of clairvoyance. Although historians say that this magick herb was introduced to Great Britain during the Renaissance, some believe that the invading Romans brought it with them, so it's useful for rites honoring deities like White clary sageLuna, Diana, or Juno or consecrating tools to be used in works dedicated to them.  Some write wishes on the leaves, which can be up to a foot long, and then put them under their pillow before going to bed. Subsequent dreams reveal whether the wish will come true or not. If not, the leaf should be buried. This magick herb is also a candidate for incense, since it is one of the few dried mints that does not smell disgusting when burned. Many perceive muskiness in the scent of clary sage and it is also a fixative of scent, so it is associated with Elemental Earth. For that reason, it can be incorporated into love/sex magick - steep a muslin bag of leaves in bath water before a romantic evening, for instance. According to Culpeper, this herb "provoketh to venery." I now have a small amount of the white-flowered variety I grew myself last year--as you can see, it was quite stunning. To my mind, the white flowers are more in keeping with its Moon qualities as well.

Mundane Uses
Clary sage is a euphoric herb but can be sedating, so don't use it when you have to drive. Together with elder flowers, it was a flavoring of Rhine wine and so gave its name to muscatel (because some believe it smells musky). It was also added to beer to increase its intoxicating qualities. Unlike hops, it tended to provoke an active rather than a stupefying drunkenness, but it is best not to combine it with alcohol, as it can cause extreme drunkenness and a very bad headache later. By itself, it helps elevate mood and restore confidence, aids in releasing emotions, and encourages us to focus on the moment. Although it is no longer used medicinally, in Culpeper's day, the leaves were battered and fried in butter as a medicinal food for a weak back. It was once added to smoking tobacco for flavoring. Some consider the scent of clary sage to be similar to that of ambergris, and it is indeed an ingredient in many recipes for vegetable ambergris. More practically, this plant also concentrates heavy metals from the soil and can be planted to clear contaminated areas. It should then be disposed of rather than composted. Clary sage is also known as muscatel sage, clear eye, see bright, horminium, and gallitricum.

How to Grow Clary Sage
Barely cover seeds to germinate in two weeks in room temperature. Plant out in full sun after all danger of frost is over. It forms a rosette the first year and the second shoots up stalks of mint-like flowers that can be pink, lavender, or blue and that are 24-36"/ 61-91cm tall. This plant is biennial but usually lives longer than two years. It's hardy down to -20F/-28C (zones 5-9). Harvest the flowering tops in the early morning for highest essential oil content. Some believe it is best to harvest clary sage during the Balsamic phase of the Moon. Like all mints, it can be aggressive. It is a good idea to plant members of the mint family in areas where their lively reproductive capabilities will not be a problem, such as areas bordered by pavement or grass, where unwanted plants can just be mowed down. General growing info

Salvia sclarea
Clary sage
25 seeds $3.75

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Use in Witchcraft & Magic:

Honoring Luna, Juno, Diana
Love/Sex Magick
Moon Herb

Go to clary sage essential oil

2006, 2018 Harold A. Roths; No reproduction without permission