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Catnip

(Nepeta cataria)

      

Description: Catnip is a beautiful green perennial plant that produces compact white flowers.  Plants can grow up to three feet tall, although it is difficult to get one to that height without its destruction by a worshiping cat.

Use: Catnip is an aromatic with a strong herbal scent.  Although not as bitter as many green herbs, adding too much to a blend can added an undesired note.  Used in moderation it adds more sweetness than is generally found in green herbs.  It will also drive many cats insane.  It is an excellent addition to blends containing Palo Santo.

General Information: Although generally limited to use in Western countries, it's a great addition incense blends from around the world. Catnip is, not surprisingly, closely associated with cats.  That association is with very good reason.  Cats adore this plant.  For that reasons, it is safest to grow it in containers.  If you have cats in your house, keep plants in rooms the cats don't enter or use hanging planters.

Outdoors, catnip is very hard to protect from neighborhood cats.  If growing in a garden, it is usually recommended to grow catnip from seed.  Transplanting larger plants will likely result in some bruising of the leaves or roots.  That releases oil from the plant will which draw cats like a magnet.  Several times I've gone out in the morning to find a catnip plant flattened to the ground.  I always look, but rarely see the very happy cat responsible.

Catnip is traditionally associated with cats (of course), love and happiness magick.  Although not traditionally a part of Egyptian incense traditions, modern neo-Pagan Egyptian rituals and magick due to Egypt's long historic connection with the feline.

References used and recommended reading (click title for more information):

The Complete Book of Herbs: A practical guide to growing & using herbs by Lesley Bremness (ISBN 0670854506)

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham (ISBN 0875421229)

Incense: Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents by Carl Neal (ISBN 0738703362)

Copyright 2004 Carl Neal. Used by Mother's Hearth with permission.

All information and text on these pages is copyright Little Pagans 2004, except where otherwise stated.
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