It always makes magic more official when it has a snappy Latin name. I have adopted ‘Debitum Liber’ (The Book of Debt) for these posts for Hecate, since I owe these explorations to her. Of course, she is a Greek deity, so Biblio Chreous would be more appropriate, but the occult loves a liber more than a biblio so there you are. I blame Crowley.
This post continues to follow the focus of herbs used for dream working, so today is an exploration of Humulus, better known as hops. Never having worked with hops magically, although I have brewed beer with them, I was surprised by the depth of the flower. The floral aroma (solar) stands in deep opposition to the Lunar and Saturnian aspects, which touch deeply in the subconscious and even have strong high magical correspondences. In general, hops digs into the hidden aspects of things, touching deeply in the subconscious and unconscious. It reveals connections there, and lends itself to a couple of specific magical uses.
Before I delve more deeply, here is the chart:
|1||Moon||Additive||Reveals dark / hidden/ subconscious connections and motivations in dream. Especially useful in revealing outside influences or links that tap into areas where awareness is hidden (historical, emotional, deeply implanted). Reveals areas of weakness that leave one open to outside influences.|
|2||Venus||Additive||Reveal hidden sexual emotions or connections (kink).|
|3||Jupiter||Additive||Helps to strengthen the connection / awareness of the higher self which acts primarily in the hidden mind.|
|4||Sun||Additive||The sun blocks / blinds hops deeper effects. In the sun, hops aroma acts as an attractant, adding to desire.|
|5||Saturn||Neutral||Hops is naturally Saturnian, and amplifies the effects of other plants in Saturn.|
|6||Mars||Subtractive||Destabilizes control of Martian energy, releases suppressed anger / rage.|
|7||Mercury||Subtractive||Blocks / over-rides intellect, helps to release emotions or inhibitions that might be intellectually blocked.|
It is easy to see how a lot of these properties ties into alcohol / Dionysian energy! I wonder how strong the effects of a pure alcoholic tincture would be… It might make an excellent element for an initiatory ritual. Or for some pleasantly deep sex magic between trusting partners.
The traditional use of hops (I have looked it up now that my notes and meditation are complete) it to aid with lucid dreaming, and that is spot on in alignment with hops power in the moon of revealing and enhancing awareness of the subconscious and its contents. If we are blocking ourselves from thinking about a subject (for any reason), it makes sense that it becomes more difficult to retain a dream after waking, since our conscious minds will act to replace that block and obscure our dreams. I know that hops are often used in dream pillows, but their scent is primarily solar, so ingestion in some form seems more appropriate for use. A good hoppy beer might make for good sleep and dreaming! If not physically ingested, ‘swallowing’ the energy astrally would work to bring it into the spiritual body. After all, we want it to work deeply in us. A sniff simply will not do. Since the energy works personally and internally on a deep level, adding it to a ward or consecration does not seem particularly effective, although if you were to consecrate your bedroom as a sleeping and dreaming temple, it could have a strong effect. That would be a major work, however, and I would not recommend regular long term daily sleep in such an altered state.
In Jupiter hops helps to reveal the working of the higher self in our deep mind, so the use of hops in dream for this specific purpose is recommended. While I started this series of meditations to help deal with outside influences and dream wards, Hecate continues to guide me toward higher work using herbs and dreamwork as a branch of her teaching tradition. I wonder how these teachings will continue to morph.
Looking at the Solar, Venusian and Mercurian effects of the plant, hops also clearly lends itself to seduction magic. As with all such things, two warnings:
- Never use magic on another for selfish effect -even if you ignore karma and / or the rule of three, such uses create a binding that affects the sender as strongly (and sometimes more strongly) than the recipient.
- Always be careful about the mental doors you kick open with magic. It almost always pays to do some divination and preparation before delving deeply into your hidden thoughts and desires and it is never something to inflict on others unaware.
Dream well and deeply, and practice safe magic.