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    Basil is for protection - Why?

    Most books you pick up on magic, no matter what path, will have at least some association/correspondance charts within it. Every time I ever read through these charts I begin to wonder why... Why is such and such associated with such and such. Who came up with the associations? What did they base their findings on? Or did the author just randomly state that basil is for protection or whatever because it sounded right and there werent enough protection herbs listed?

    Apologies if this sounds like a strange question or a silly question >.<

    Last edited by DomesticWitch; 19 Jul 2011 at 02:15 PM. Reason: added paragraph

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    Re: Basil is for protection - Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by DomesticWitch View Post
    Most books you pick up on magic, no matter what path, will have at least some association/correspondance charts within it. Every time I ever read through these charts I begin to wonder why... Why is such and such associated with such and such. Who came up with the associations? What did they base their findings on? Or did the author just randomly state that basil is for protection or whatever because it sounded right and there werent enough protection herbs listed?<
    It depends.

    For many herbs, often the magical properties are related to the medicinal properties - for example, rosemary has antibacterial properties, so it's also considered to have cleansing and protective properties magically.

    Sometimes, a property is related to a particular legend or folklore related to a herb or plant. Sometimes it's about the planet or deity associated with the herb.

    The thing that's really frustrating is that most places that talk about this don't cite their sources at all (even to something like [whatever area folklore], so it can be really hard to follow up. Personally, I tend to start with the medicinal effects (which at least there's some evidence for), and then go by my own experience.
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    Re: Basil is for protection - Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by DomesticWitch View Post
    Most books you pick up on magic, no matter what path, will have at least some association/correspondance charts within it. Every time I ever read through these charts I begin to wonder why... Why is such and such associated with such and such. Who came up with the associations? What did they base their findings on? Or did the author just randomly state that basil is for protection or whatever because it sounded right and there werent enough protection herbs listed?

    Apologies if this sounds like a strange question or a silly question >.<
    I've wondered the same about various items. For herbs, what Jenett says resonates with me. It makes sense.

    In addition, I think the look and behavior of a thing during its life cycle have influenced some correspondences (after watching mullein grow it seems like an easy connection to it and some of its correspondences ~ still mystified as to why it is feminine though, must look further I guess). And that can get pretty complicated as different parts of a plant behave in different ways. A flower, a stem, leaves and roots can all be observed separately and in conjunction with the whole to find analogies that could help at guessing a rationale.

    And how the plant is used or behaves in context of its environs seems also to be a factor. For example, some plants that have qualities that animals react to and seem to have associations based upon those interactions. Another example would be a plant that came in to its association based upon a need by the animals in the vicinity. I've read that horsechestnuts came in to their money association due to their being a a food resource in times of famine. But backing that up with proof is difficult.

    I've wondered if the native geography of a thing also had some influence. Today a good amount of the wild plants I find are alien to the area, but it's not hard to figure how they got here. And sometimes plants behave differently in different environments, so I've wondered if the correspondences attributed came from a plant's native lands or after it migrated. Certainly the rarity of a plant has some connection to its correspondences as in 4 leafed and more clovers. But once something is common or invasive even, could those correspondences found in books be less apropos?

    This is why I'd like a click-able global cross reference of plants, minerals, colors and all of their uses and lore. I think some things could be revealed. Some plants have different meanings in different traditions, and it would be interesting to find out why. At least to me it would be. I'd use something like that as a way to compare my own observations of a thing.

    Along the lines of your question, I ask myself this one frequently: Are there going to be new associations in the future based upon our current interactions with the things around us?

    Sorry for the length and for not delving in to basil!

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