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Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

Candles are not the only thing used in spell work. While I was doing my research for the Vernal Equinox on candle colors, I decided to also take a look into crystals and herbs.

Crystals are also used in Tarot work. Crystals are meant to be used to draw energies out of the cards after use. They are made into necklaces as well. It is interesting to look at all the different meanings behind crystals.

For my personal cards, I have hematite, clear quartz, and smoky quartz. The hematite is supposed to draw out negative energies. The clear quartz draws out energies, negative or positive, and cleanses the cards. The smoky quartz also clears out negative energies.

The most popular crystal necklaces that I have seen are rose quartz, clear quartz, and amethyst. Amethyst is believed to bring calming and contentment. Rose quartz signifies love and forgiveness.

Crystals are used in spell work to ground the spell. They can represent the earth element as well, in spells that need the four elements. They can also be used to clear out the different energies in a spell.

They are also good to have around, spells or not. Salt crystal lamps help to cleanse the air and provide nice, ambient lighting. Hematite rings are said to draw out negative energy in a person, and they have a magnetic properties that is very neat to play around with. Just having crystals in your room makes them pleasant decorations.

Besides crystals and candles, spells also call for herbs. This is not a new thing to add to spells, as even the Salem witches were accused of using spells that called for different herbs. In the ancient Greek stories of witches, Circe used herbs in her spells.

Herbs, after being harvested, start to lose their potency. Old herbs might be used in some spells that call for them, but otherwise it is best to use fresh herbs.

Like candle colors and crystals, the different herbs have different meanings. From Agrimony to Feverfew to Mandrake, each herb has their own use and meaning. For example, Nettle is used for courage, protection, and healing. White sage is commonly used to drive negative energies and spirits out of a space.

Herbs are not just used in spells, and like crystals, they can be used for decoration and otherwise. Dried herbs and flowers make great decorations hanging on the wall, and some can be used to make a space smell better if burned. Of course, herbs are used in cooking as well.

Either way, whether in spell work or to spruce up your living room, herbs and crystals are very useful.