Elderberries tied in particularly well with Veteran’s Day this year – for Elderberries Remember. I know that poppies represent lives lost and blood spilled, but elderberries remember deeply. In every planet and in each aspect, elderberries remember what is true and deeply written. It was fascinating to walk through the planets with Hecate with this herb, because although this exploration was focused on dream, some of the specific properties and energies of the plant translated directly into other workings. In Mars it works as the primary pattern for a curse to awaken old feuds and grudges. In Jupiter there was an image of people dying their hands with elderberry’s purple juice, sealing an oath in a setting that felt Mithraic. In Saturn it was part of a complex binding of that planet’s energy, and clearly lends itself to inks and seals for Saturn. Even in the sun, where their energy is subtractive to solar, Elderberry acts as a perfect battery, storing not just the energy, but also remembering the aspect of the sun it absorbs. This makes it doubly potent in the moon offering not just its own patterns but, when properly prepared, adding pure solar energy as well.
Nettle’s cat wrote a post on elderberries previously with a recipe for a lovely oxymel we use regularly, and that can be found here: https://walkingamoonlitpathblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/elderberry-oxymel/
When working in dream, as I am still following Hecate’s lessons for protection there (and sharing my results as I promised her), as might be expected the aspect of elderberry most useful there is the Lunar. As a plant that remembers, elderberry energy in the moon meshes with the solar self-knowledge of the user, both consciously and unconsciously, so dream sendings or spells affecting people in their sleep are blocked from altering perception of self. While s dream sending may put someone in a strange situation or environment, the sending cannot block natural reactions or create false overlays of personality. This is extremely useful for the dream worker, especially when exploring new realms or dealing with hostile entities. A worker skilled in both illusion and dream can block or confuse thoughts and memories, and in some astral realms different wards, energies or the environment itself can cause altered perceptions.
Working with Hecate on this project, she revealed that dream work is part of her sacred path. It is a path to self-knowledge, and it makes up one of the five major aspects of study of Hecatean magic. As a result of this, she holds interference with dreams as an affront and will aid her students strongly and directly against interference in that realm. As with all things, of course, she expects you to pull your own weight and put in the work before seeking aid, and her aid will often be instructions on how to fix the problem yourself.
In using elderberries for warding dream, it is easiest to ingest them as a tea. I enjoy a couple teaspoonfuls with an equal amount of water and a half shot of whiskey as a nightcap. The point is to internalize the energy so that it can act in your mind and protect you – digesting it is a great way to internalize. Meditating on a dried berry to gain awareness of the energy and then sacramentally eating it would also work very well. There is no need (and it would not have a direct effect) to use this energy in a ward as the peppercorn was used.
|1||Moon||Additive||Source of energy, bars falsehood, reveals past lives. Blocks outside dream/spell energies in the lunar arena.|
|2||Jupiter||Additive||Carries and binds to tradition, traditional oaths|
|3||Mars||Additive||Remembers and fans the flame of old grudges|
|4||Mercury||Additive||Reveals deeply hidden thoughts|
|5||Saturn||Neutral||Binding agents, locks Saturnian energy|
|6||Venus||Neutral||Masks Venusian energy|
|7||Sun||Subtractive||Absorbs solar energy, releases in the moon|
After using elderberry, I found my dreaming, despite the odd energies that abound lately, to be more comfortable. In addition, I did not feel displaced in the mornings upon awakening, or need time to pull myself together after dreams of strange places and entities.
To follow up on the peppercorns, the ward worked well. It did not block outside sendings or environmental energies, but it did prevent negative aspects from manifesting. It worked well as a filter rather than a blocking energy. So in both of these dream protections, Hecate has prevented harm without blocking perception. Another lesson learned 😊 All knowledge is useful.