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HERBS OF MARS

Mars has a bad reputation, being associated with destruction, impetuous action, strife and aggression, but these are qualities that Mars can express when it is not in balance. The energies of Mars are also those which protect and that break down and destroy in its effects of catabolism, the breaking down and clearing away of waste or dead tissue. The energies of Mars are represented in the activities of firemen, police officers and the military - all professions which can be dangerous yet protect life and, in the case of the police and military, preserve law and justice. Mars energies can be intense and uncomfortable at times when experienced in one's life yet are necessary to protecting life and health.

Red is the color of Mars which makes Martian attributions of Dragon's Blood resin and cayenne obvious. In ritual, Dragon's Blood has its uses in binding, protection and purgation, all of which fall under the dominion of the powers of Mars. Mars herbs in general are irritants, purges, stimulants and they act to build up body heat, increase energy and promote an assertive vitality. Rue is an aromatic stimulant whose energizing qualities have been known to relieve nervous heart problems such as arrhythmia and palpitation. Rue also relives colic, eliminates worms and can bring on menstruation. One quickly learns upon handling the fresh herb that the juice is a highly effective, though fortunately local, irritant.

Nettle, another herb of Mars, possesses thorns that act as hypodermics, injecting subcutaneous doses of stinging fluid. It is this same irritating juice, however, that when properly prepared becomes a powerful internal astringent, eliminating infections and blood in the urine, regulating blood pressure and flow, cleansing and relieving hemorrhoids, reducing susceptibility to colds and by virtue of its heating action, relieving rheumatic conditions.

Sulphur is another extreme irritant, being hot (in fact, flammable) and explosive - all properties that exemplify Mars. Peppercorns and cayenne share this quality of producing extreme heat (peppers being classified by the amount of BTU's -British Thermal Units - that they produce) and the efficacy of their use depends a great deal on the resilience of an individual constitution. Peppercorn and cayenne are noteworthy digestive catabolists, aiding immeasurably in the aggressive breakdown of food and waste products. Cayenne, in building up body heat, is excellent for maintaining resistance to colds and will increase blood flow to any area that it is applied to when used in a plaster (although watch out for the danger of blistering).

The internal effects of these irritants as well as the olfactory stimulus of sulphur used in incense are highly effective in the induction of a Mars temperament, especially where aggression is called for and in path-workings pertaining to the Qabalistic sphere of Geburah. Magically speaking, herbs of Mars give vast amounts of energy to projects and health. They give protection, independence, assertiveness and stimulate the passions. When mixed with in an incense or formula with herbs of other planets, Mars herbs lend their immense energies to the effects of the other herbs, thereby strengthening and vitalizing the whole. Traditional herbs of Mars include Aloes, Basil, Broomtops, Briony, Cayenne, Cumin, Galangal, Garlic, Gentian, Ginger, Mustard, Nettle, Pepper, Sanicle, Tobacco and Wormwood.