Herb Spotlight: Dandelion


Guest post by Tori

Dandelion. Image from Botanical.com

Dandelions are everywhere and many find them to be a nuisance.  They are easy to find anywhere, at least in northeast America.  And they are free!  Which is certainly not the case with many herbs.  So why not find a use for them?

Medicinal Uses
In USDA Bulletin #8, dandelion is listed as one of the top four green vegetables when it comes to overall nutrition. They are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, beta-carotene, and Vitamin A.  Most surprisingly of all, they are also good for protein.  And these are just what American studies through the USDA say!  Russian and Eastern European studies also give dandelions credit for nutrients like copper, cobalt, zinc, boron, vitamin D, and molybdenum.  Imagine finding all that in a week in your yard. Each one of these nutrients is important for various things and I could go into it, but what else is Wikipedia for?  If you want a more intense list of studies, uses, and other such information, here is a good website: LeafLady.org.

There is a bit of a caveat here.  For some people this won’t work as well.  Just like with any chemicals (and that’s what this all boils down to) it will interact with everyone’s bodies differently.  It may not work as well for you as it does the next person.  Also, check with your doctor before adding anything to your diet if you are sick.  Reactions with conditions or medications are always possible.

Now that you know all that you can go harvest some dandelions for your salads and sandwiches.  It’s like Popeye picking free spinach out of his yard!

Magical Uses
Dandelions are an air herb, which makes sense considering how you make a wish
when blowing on them.  They are also masculine*.  According to Cunningham, dandelions are used for divination, wishes, and calling spirits.  The seed heads can be used for both divination and wishes.  Set your parameters before you blow and see what happens.  You can also add bits of the plant to herb pouches, oils, or any of that.  Dandelions are also useful as decoration to set the mood for a divination or wish spell or ritual.

I would say that they would also be good when you are casting a spell to leave a situation gently.  If you do not want to make a big fuss, but float away to something better or just different.  The seed heads would be an excellent symbol for that.

*I can’t find anything that tells me what decides this, so if any of you know PLEASE tell me (via the comments or the site’s feedback form).  I have lots of plants I want to find associations for that are being slippery.

Sources

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One response to “Herb Spotlight: Dandelion

  1. Dandelion. Off the top of my head, they’d be corresponded to the male aspect because they look like little suns, and because they look like little lions (Leo, Emperor, masculine…). Male is elementally associated with air and fire, too, and as you mentioned, it’s an air herb.

    A search for “dandelion occult correspondence” yielded these charts, one of which agrees quite nicely with the top of my head: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31926835/Occult-Correspondence-Charts

    The thing about correspondence charts is: they don’t really cite their sources. Western occultism has been a mish-mash of correspondences since the first revival, at least. That’s okay. It’s all relative, all subjective, and all potentially very useful.

    In the Herbal Tarot I gave ya, Goldenseal is Judgment – the card in which the divine Will becomes abuntantly clear to the people pictured. Goldenseal is associated with dandelion due to their similar color and traditional uses (antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, digestive, detox, etc); and so a correspondence to Tiphareth seems likely. Which links back to the Sun, air, the color yellow, and maleness as it was understood by those who came up with these correspondences in the first place…

    Magickal systems are kinda like “this is the system because it is the system. I dunno, we came up with it based on what other people came up with, and it’s nice. Just work with it and see.” So who pinned Dandelion to a Golden-Dawn-esque system? I dunno, but there it’s pinned, and it fits in nicely. The overall system of correspondences, I feel, is a masterful poem under constant revision. Or a sculpture made with more hands than we can imagine, viewable only in more dimensions than we can perceive. Like everything that evokes awe, it is never finished and never fully understood, but very powerful. But I would feel that.

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