Have you noticed the abundance of blackberries this year? Last year I found enough to freeze for puddings over the winter, but not to make jam, this year I have picked enough for both.
All parts of the blackberry plant can be used in magical workings, different parts have their own correspondences. The thorny branches are ruled by Aries and fire, so can be useful for protection. Blackberry vines can be woven into protective wreaths, working especially well in combination with Rowan and Ivy. The thorns and leaves can also be added to bags, poppets and other preparations for general household protection and prosperity.
Blackberry leaves are ruled by the planet Venus, so can be employed in spells for love, self-esteem, fertility, abundance and healing.
An old healing spell, that can be seen in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, makes use of blackberry leaves. Dip nine leaves in a natural water source and lay them on any area which requires healing, say to each leaf as you lay them on the wound/area, “Three ladies came from the East, One with fire and two with frost, Out with fire, in with frost!”
The berries represent an abundant harvest and can be used in spells and magical cooking for prosperity.
The jam recipe I use is one inherited through my mother, from my grandmother, and uses liquid pectin, but crab apples can be substituted…
2 lb (900g) Berries
3 lb (1.4kg) Sugar
1⁄2 Bottle pectin
This amount makes 5lb of jam.
Make sure you use only fully ripe fruit and crush them thoroughly.
Place the prepared fruit and the sugar in a large saucepan, mix well and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a full rolling boil and boil over the hottest heat. Stir constantly before and while boiling. Boil hard for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the pectin.
Place back on the heat and boil hard for a further 1 minute.
Cool slightly to prevent fruit from floating.
Pot and cover to enjoy over the next few months.
A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food by Rachel Patterson
Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary
Spells from the Wise Woman’s Cottage by Steve Patterson