There are certain herbs that act as catalysts spellwork and potions. Catalysts (according to my personal experiences) are ingredients that add extra fire, speed or movement to a spell.
It’s like the difference between a pack of sugar, and a cup of honey. The single pack of sugar will sweeten your glass of tea ever so slightly. But the cup of honey will super sweeten it. You’ll KNOW the honey is in there, for better or for worse.
So catalysts not only add an extra punch of energy, they can also make changes more erratic and earth shaking. You’ll get to the same end destination without a catalyst, it just might take longer, or the results may not be as intense.
My all-time favorite catalyst herb
There’s one root that I’ll pull out when I really need powerful magick behind my work. That root is Solomon’s seal.
Whenever I’ve worked with Solomon’s seal, I’ve always felt is as a protective root. I envision it as having a warrior’s spirit — strong and grounded.
As a catalyst, it works to reveal secrets as you need them. In this way, your magickal abilities are heightened. You may find yourself doing unusual or different things as you cast… and it will all come to you through a strong intuitive sense.
In the summer of 2016, I worked with Solomon’s seal almost every day. During that time I created a ton of talismans and worked intensely with planetary energies. It opened my abilities up to wavelengths that I hadn’t indulged in before. As a result, my skills improved in ways I could never imagine.
I don’t work with the root itself everyday anymore. Like I said, this is a catalyst I will typically use when I need serious change, a no-nonsense enhancement to a protective spell or if I just want to up my magickal abilities.
If I do need a burst of its energy, I tend to use Potent Magick Power Essence, which includes Solomon’s seal as a main ingredient, but is tempered and guided by other herbs.
The root by itself is like a fire hydrant being opened at full blast, where as Potent Magick is like water coming through a garden hose.
Other catalyst herbs you may want to consider…
Elecampane – Elecampane holds the gift of beauty and self-confidence in all matters. If I’m doing a love spell (after a bad breakup, for example) I will sometimes add a dash of elecampane to help my client regain their self-confidence. Notice I said a ‘dash.’ That’s because if you add too much, it adds an overabundance vanity and cockiness. I’ve had to throw oils away because elecampane adds too much of a good thing, so be aware.
Cardamom seeds – Cardamom is an accelerant, in an aggressive kind of way. It’s big and showy, like fireworks. When you need fast change — especially in love and relationship or even money spells — add the contents of 1 cardamom seed at a time (up to 3) in your mixture. If you add too much cardamom energy, you get relationships that start with a hot-and-heavy BOOM and end with a fizzle. More is not better with cardamom.
Holy basil – Similar to Solomon’s seal, except it rapidly opens your abilities to work with guides and spirit. You’ll feel like there’s more to life than what you see with your naked eye. If you’re looking for no-nonsense spiritual growth, try holy basil.
Chrysanthemum – This is a destroyer and re-builder. It’s probably the most unpredictable of all my catalyst herbs, but it delivers eye-opening results. I once used it in a love spell and the couple went through a rocky 3 months. They were forced to communicate in ways they hadn’t done before. A lot of lying was exposed and it left them both really raw.
But at the end of it, they were both stronger. She (my client) figured out that it was perfectly okay to have boundaries. And he started being more honest with her about what he wanted in a relationship. Chrysanthemum is like that. It peels away the layers of bullshit and forces you to see things for what they really are. I will usually only add it to potions and spellwork when the recipient tells me they’re absolutely ready for a major overhaul.
When shouldn’t you use catalyst herbs?
Just because you have catalyst herbs on deck, doesn’t mean you should automatically plop them into every spell or potion you make.
Because if you want to truly master herbal magick, you must always approach your process with a listening mind. Even if you’ve got a dozen spell books sitting on your shelf, you should approach each recipe with a listening mind. Using recipes verbatim WITHOUT listening to the herbs first lessens your spiritual connection to the process.
So many times I see people with a specific spell in mind, and they’ll go on a forum and ask, “Can I substitute this herb with that herb?”
A lot of people will say, “No, you have to use this recipe because it’s tried and true.”
I just don’t believe that. The answer is — of course you can. (Dammit!) We humans have defined what spiritual properties herbs have, but that doesn’t mean this is the extent of their capabilities.
That would be like saying because I like to read, I couldn’t possibly like bike riding or canoeing.
By forming a connection with your herbs, crystals and other living ingredients, you can create insanely powerful magick. You just have to listen and not be afraid to step outside of the boundaries of ‘tried and true’ formulas. You should always strive to work as a co-creator with your ingredients.
So before you use a catalyst herb, make sure you’re being called to use it specifically. What role will it play in your magick? Even more important, feel the quantity. If there’s any discomfort with a particular amount, you’ve got too much.
One last thing
Through your magickal travels you may discover that your catalyst herbs differ from my personal list — and that’s perfectly fine.
The point is, a catalyst herb will feel like it’s on a different level than your everyday working herbs. For me, catalyst herbs have an almost electrical feeling. They may give off an enormous amount of energy. Just really intense.
You may receive intuitive visions or hear very distinct messages.
Before I even purchased my first batch of cardamom, I had a strong feeling that I should get it. When I did get it, it felt like fireworks in my hand. In my minds eyes, it was like watching one of those theatrical light shows in Las Vegas. I always felt explosive and speedy with cardamom, so I knew that it wasn’t something to be used on an everyday basis. The energy felt extra-ordinary. Way beyond my other herbs.
Once you get a hold of a catalyst herb, you’ll know and you’ll appreciate them for their special abilities.