Blackberry (Rubus villosus)
“Celtic lore says that blackberries are fairy fruit and may bring bad luck to people who eat them.
Blackberries were also considered protective against earthbound spirits and vampires.
It is said that if planted near the home, a vampire couldn’t enter because he would obsessively count the berries and forget about the people inside”. (1)
“The blackberry in England has a lot of folklore, each pointing to a common piece of wisdom.
Blackberry was the bane of all evils, from misfortune to illness. It was used to release people and animals from illness, misfortune, and witchery.
There are tales that the Devil was thrown out of Heaven and into a blackthorn bush, and such avoids and hates them”. (2)
A Witch’s Whisk is a bundle of blackberry twigs, bound on one end, and lit to be used as a cleansing smoke. The bound end forms a handle. The unbound end sprays out, giving the appearance of a whisk.
“Cecil Williamson, a well-known English witch and the once owner of the Boscastle Witchcraft Museum wrote this about witch’s whisks:
‘Witch’s whisk made of dried out blackberry stems and with the end bound to form a handle.
Here in the south west when a witch decides to make magic she first selects a spot or place where she will work, be the chosen place inside or out.
The next thing to be done is that of cleansing the chosen spot of all evil forces. This is where the bundle of blackberry twigs comes in.
She sets a light to the twigs and with them smouldering, burning and making smoke, she dances and weaves her way in and around and around over and over again. So this is one might call it: ‘a witch’s devil scarer’.” (3)
“Blackberry was considered to be sacred to some of the old Pagan deities of Europe, and was used in worship.
To the present day, blackberry pies are baked on Lughnasadh (August 2) by some of the Wiccans in commemoration of the harvest.
A bramble bush that forms a natural arch is a great aid to magical healing.
On a sunny day, crawl through the arch backward and then forward three times, going as nearly east to west as possible.
This will cause boils, rheumatism, whooping cough, and even blackheads to disappear.
The blackberry leaves were used in spells of wealth, as are the berries themselves, and the vines are protective if grown.
The blackberry plant is also used to heal scalds by dipping nine blackberry leaves in spring water and then laying them against the wound gently, while saying the following chant three times to each leaf (27 times in all):
‘Three ladies came from the east,
One with fire and two with frost.
Out with fire, in with frost.’
This is an old invocation to Brigit, the ancient Celtic Goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft.
Folk Names: Bly, Bramble, Bramble-Kite, Bumble-Kite, Cloudberry, Dewberry, Goutberry, High Blackberry, Thimbleberry
Powers: Healing, Money, Protection” (4)
(1) Mountain Rose Herbs : https://www.google.com/amp/blog.mountainroseherbs.com/herbal-folktales%3Fhs_amp=true
(2) Of Wood and Bone : https://witchbetwixtwaters.tumblr.com/post/163032916088/the-witchs-whisk
(3) Sarah Anne Lawless; “Witch’s Whisks and Spirit Riding”; 04/22/2009
(4) Cunningham, Scott; Cunninghams’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (2012); Llewelyn Publications; Pg 58-59
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