*Please note: this is not a monograph, and I am not an herbalist. This is an excerpt from my herbal grimoire, and the writings of a Witch. It is intended to supplement your own research and studies.*
The Rowan is a deciduous tree, growing 5-20 feet tall. The bark is smooth reddish brown to gray, often with a silver sheen. Leaves are compound, oblong to lance-shaped and sharply serrated and dark green with lighter underside. Small white flowers form fluffy clusters and are replaced with bright red to orange berries in autumn. This tree can be found in low-to-middle elevation forests, as well as rocky slopes in northern and mountainous regions. It seems to prefer to grow on the fringes of places, such as meadows, clearings, stream banks, and slopes. Cultivars can also be found along roadways. The berries are edible but extremely tart and bitter.
The berries are high in vitamin C – can be added to jams, wines, beers, and bread. The Nuxalk would rub the berries on the scalp to combat lice and dandruff.
Powers: psychic ability, healing, power, success, creativity, protection
Rowan is primarily considered an Herb of Protection as well as a Visionary Herb. For centuries it has been used for protective purposes in Europe, often being planted around the home. A traditional protective amulet is made with two twigs tied together with red thread to form a cross. The branches are often used in fashioning dowsing rods and magickal wands.
The leaves and berries can be added to incense blends, sachets, and amulets, to enhance creativity and psychic abilities, and to banish unwanted energy.
Preparation and Recipe
To dry the berries:
String the berries together along a thread with a needle, and hang to dry. May be used as is for ritual adornment (as a necklace or on your altar), or removed from thread to add to incense, sachets, etc.
You can also purchase dried berries from the shop here.
Sol Incense Recipe:
2 TBS dried rowan berries
2 TBS dried rowan leaves
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 TBS frankincense resin
2 TBS St. John’s Wort flowers
Crush ingredients separately in mortar and pestle, then add together in a bowl and mix well. Store in an air tight jar.
Burn as needed for creative and visionary works, divination, or casting a circle for ritual.
Beyerl, Paul. The Master Book of Herbalism. Blaine: Phoenix Publishing, 1984.
Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1990.
Pojar & Mackinnon, ed. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Auburn: Lone Pine Publishing, 2014.
Deur, Douglas. Pacific Northwest Foraging. Portland: Timber Press, 2014.