Nov 1, 2015

Botanical Symbols

Although this is not a typical Solomonic magic thing, I ve decided to show you my system of botanical symbols.

I employ this in labelling my plant parts. I ve devised a system of combinatory symbols that is easy to use, easy to remember, and hard to crack for anyone not familiarise with it s basics, so your planty things can be safe in their jars and bottles from nosy people.

The top part represents the plant part in question and the bottom part represents the plant itself. My six parts are derived from Agrippa s correspondencies and I use this inm employing them. Although each plant has it s virtues, every part of it may have different virtues and can be used differently.

The root, with all its subterranean symbolism and deposit of energies and potent juices, is ruled by Saturn and this is my symbol for it, a rough sketch of an outstretched root, placed upside-down for symetrical reasons of the sign series.

The stem, carrier of the sap, vertical and straight and hard and masculine, is of course ruled by Mars, and the symbol pretty much speaks for itself: one main stem with four secondary ones, the base stems being larger. 

The leaves, the receptors of light and heat much the same way our own natural satellite is,  are ruled by the Moon, and I ve chosen to stylise it as triangular not because of some arcane symbolism related to the Fire sign or Water sign but just because it seem damn well pleasent and dandy! 

The flowers, feminine, receptive, open and beautiful, are governed by the ruler of reproduction and beaty, Venus. I ve stylised six petals into one circular glyph due to the sexual symbolism of the hexagram and the pleasant polarity it develops.

The fruits, the berries, the nuts or the husks containg seeds and other potent things, usually full in shape and sometimes hard, are ruled by Jupiter, the master of abundance, stylised here as two round shapes on either side of the stem.

Last but not least, some of the most potent parts of the plant, containing the entire genetical code of itself and the ability to reproduce, the seeds, are ruled by the master of information and androginity, Mercury. The symbol is quite obviously representative of the two halves of the seed and the embrio within. 

To give an illustrative example, we`ll take the symbol I ve devised for Elder, Sambucus Niger, and combine it in two symbols:

Base symbol: Elder

Elder berries                  Elder stems

Just for kicks, another plant that does not have a simple letter symbol, but a magico-astrological symbol for hystorical reasons, the revered Wormwood, Artemisia Absinthium:

Base symbol of Wormwood


Wormwood leaves         Wormwood root

Frequent problems:

But Asterion, you re insane! You can`t make up symbols for a gagillion plant species and subspecies!

You`re right. And I won`t. Basic Solomonic magic teaches the use of 24 plants in the Book of Raziel, add that to another 7 planetary inceses, add to that 10 or 20 of the most potent plants of my country`s magical tradition and that`s kinda it. 
Since you can accomplish at least 6 operations with one plant, those would suffice. 
Every plant, and I mean EVERY plant has a magical use. But not all are as potent or as fit as others. So I will stick to a few and experiment. I think I m creative enough to come up with at least 200 base symbols so I m set..

But Asterion, you ve gone all Wiccan? 

Not really. Plant lore is far older than Solomonic magic, it s used all over the world and it s your duty as a practicioner to become proficient in it. 

But Asterion, you`re a moron! My Book of Shadows doesn t list any uses for Wormwood stems or Elder flowers!

It Should! I use every part of the plant, nothing is discarded. 

But Asterion, where is the Sun in all of this plant arrangement?

The Sun rules the resin of the plants, wherever that may be the case. Not all plants produce it and when they produce it, the resin is treated like a separate substance in it`s own class, like Frankincense, Opoponax or Myrrh, so I have not included a base symbol for Resin. 

Be free to develop your own set, this is just my way of labelling my magical jars and my macerating tinctures and wines. 

Best wishes and much love!