Our covens guide to hyssop magical properties and uses. Learn how to use this easily grown herb for cleansing and purification rituals within your own spellwork.
The main magical property of hyssop centers around cleansing, protection and purification. It can be used either as a dried herb or as an oil. Highly versatile and potent it’s origins stretch back far into the history of witchcraft and still has a lot of modern-day usage.
You may have heard of plants in the Lamiceae family, some related herbs, such as mint, rosemary, and basil. You may not know about their flowery cousin, hyssop, an herbaceous and sweet-scented plant that is used for more than just cooking.
Many cultures in different eras have praised hyssop as a useful plant with healing properties. This plant isn’t only used as a medicine, however, it can be incorporated into many different magical practices and proves to be a versatile herb. What are the magickal properties, benefits and how can you use it in your own spellcraft?
Roots of Hyssopus Officinalis
This magical plant, scientifically known as hyssopus officinalis, is native to Southern Europe, the Middle East, and the surrounding area of the Caspian Sea. In history, it has been used by kings, witches and common folk alike, in a wide variety of practices. Ancient Egyptian priests used it as a topping to purify their foods and adhere to their austere diet. Meanwhile in Europe during the Early Renaissance, branches of hyssop were believed to be a symbol of faith, purity and regeneration. Hebrews even used hyssop to protect themselves from the Angel of Death at Passover.
The plant is harvested during its flowering stage, dried, then used as an herb to make tea, powder, or oil. As a cousin to mint, basil, and rosemary, it’s easy to grow yourself and is a fragrant addition to your garden. Now that we’ve determined where hyssop comes from and its ancient uses, how can you take advantage of its magickal properties?
Hyssop’s Magical Uses
Note: Before using hyssop in a ritual yourself take a few moments to take our magick ability test. It’ll help narrow down your natural affinities and you might find another herb is more aligned with your innate ability.
Hyssop is a popular choice in cleansing rituals and it has been used for millennia. Modern witches will take the herb to purify homes or rooms, people, and more generally the inside or outside of things in this world. Below are the details and know-how, so that you can see the effects for yourself.
Have you got any enemies? Stepped on any witches’ toes? Or do you seem to have terrible luck? Try using hyssop to cleanse yourself of any possible curses or nasty spells. The best way to do this is with a ritual hyssop bath. When you prepare a warm bath, add a cup of hyssop tea and, while scrubbing yourself, recite this psalm:
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
After performing any curses or jinxes, be sure to follow-up with a cleansing hyssop bath, to avoid any bad-juju that may linger. Hyssop baths help purify the mind, spirit, and emotional self, so use this magical herb as often as you need.
If you’re someone prone to negativity or troublesome thoughts, I would suggest you carry a sprig of hyssop in your pocket or someplace close to your body. This prevents unwanted energy from sticking to you throughout your day.
For those who want a convenient hyssop tincture in their pantry, I have a simple and quick recipe for you. Hyssop tinctures can be used to anoint your self or others, and to purify or protect. A hyssop tincture can be carried in your bag easily and used to cleanse any people, places, or things you come across (just watch out for oil stains!). Follow these instructions when making your own hyssop oil:
- Put 7 drops of hyssop essential oil in 1/8th of a cup of olive oil.
- Swirl clockwise until oils have combined.
- Use as desired*.
*It isn’t recommended to ingest hyssop essential oil, due to its harmful effects on the gastrointestinal system.
If you’ve got a nasty feeling in your house that you just can’t shake, you can use hyssop to clear out and purify the atmosphere. Take a pinch of hyssop powder or dried leaves and sprinkle it into the corners of a room that you need to purify. If you’d like to be even more thorough, I would recommend using a hyssop floor wash to cleanse the space. You only need to put a few drops of hyssop essential oil in water to prepare the wash, and it has a lovely fragrance to boot.
As the most popular herb for purification, hyssop is an integral part of many rituals. Witches and priests use it to cleanse ritual tools and magical items. If you’ve come across a used or up-cycled item, you should wash it with hyssop, or dab with hyssop essential oil to cleanse the item before placing it on your altar.
Now that we’ve outlined how to purify yourself and the world around you, let’s take the steps to prevent bad juju and curses from ever sticking to you in the first place. Hyssop was incorporated into a variety of protective spells and rituals back in Biblical times, and its practical uses haven’t changed much since then.
Different covens tend to prefer different herbs (sometimes just depending on what they have readily available). We tend to use hyssop in cleansing rituals but we’ve covered herbs for protection against negative energy and hyssop wouldn’t be our first choice. It’ll work in a pinch, but there are better choices.
Protect Yourself From Bad Spirits
Italians had the right idea by using hyssop to ward off the evil eye. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not meet the Angel of Death (yikes) or stare into the evilest of eyes (double yikes). As was done in the Biblical era, we can use branches of hyssop to protect the home from any evil spirits and divert their attention. Tie the hyssop to your besom or just a regular broom and sweep away the negativity, rendering your home squeaky clean and free of bad juju.
Take an extra step to protect yourself by filling sachets with about four tablespoons of dried hyssop and tying them in a few different places. A great place to hang bags of hyssop would be near your doors or windows, where a breeze can carry the protective magic around the house.
Since hyssop corresponds with the fire element, burning it can release the herb’s full potential and connect you with dragon spirits. Burn it like sagebrush and light the end of dried branches, while walking through every room and spreading the smoke.
If you prefer not to burn the herb or encounter dragons, another way to protect yourself by sprinkling the house with hyssop water. Simply use branches of hyssop dipped in moon water (or regular water) and sprinkle around each room as part of a protective ritual if your choice.
My final recommendation is commonly practiced by witches, tried, tested and true. Add hyssop to your everyday mojo bag to strengthen its protective energy. Mojo bags can be worn or kept in your pocket during the day when you are encountering all of life’s surprises, of which there are many. We could all use a little more protection in our day to day lives.
Hyssop’s Other Uses
There’s more than just the hyssop magical properties. Even outside of witchcraft it finds a place in many herb gardens.
Concentrated Essential Oil
Before using hyssop essential oil, be sure that you are not prone to seizures or convulsions. People who suffer from these ailments should avoid using the concentrated form of this herb. Children should also avoid direct contact with it.
When using hyssop for everyday malaise, you should make sure to use it wisely, based on your symptoms. If you’re experiencing congestion or fogginess in your eyes, place a few drops in your diffuser or a bowl of boiled water and inhale its healing properties.
Hyssop can also be used for skin rashes by placing a few drops of oil on a wet compress. Heat up the cloth and place it on the inflamed skin to feel at ease.
As far as herbal medicine goes, hyssop tea is one of the tastiest and easiest ways to absorb the healing properties of the plant. To make hyssop herbal tea, take a heaping tablespoon of dried hyssop and steep in hot water for 10 minutes. Avid drinkers can consume 2-3 cups a day and relish the benefits.
Here’s a consolidated list of some positive effects of drinking hyssop tea:
- Reduces phlegm and increases respiratory health.
- Alleviates symptoms from the common cold.
- Can enhance digestion.
- Regulates high blood pressure.
- High antioxidant concentration.
- Has antimicrobials that can help fight infections.
- Can help reduce menstrual cramps.
- Mild antibacterial qualities can cleanse the mouth.
Tea drinkers use hyssop for cleansing their system and swear by the benefits of this herb. The magical properties as well as medicinal uses make it an essential addition to your pantry.
Where Can I Find Hyssop?
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, it’s also now naturalized in a lot of North America as well so you might find it growing wild but it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow yourself if you have a herb garden.
Hyssop is a common herb and can be found in physical or online stores. As I mentioned earlier, it would be a nice addition to your garden and is easily grown, like mint or basil. Growing it yourself can ensure that you’re using an organic plant for your cleansing rituals.
You can also find hyssop oil in health stores, homeopathy outlets, and natural product dealers online. Try a local search for hyssop and you’ll discover many affordable options. Whichever magical plants you end up growing or purchasing for everyday use, make sure to include hyssop, the wonder-herb!