I like to do some work on Saturn after the Winter Solstice when Sol enters Capricorn, because that is my sunsign, ruled by Saturn.

This information (© 2004, 2009 Alchemy Works) came to me when I was working on an Artist Trading Card for Black Hellebore which turned out to be associated with Saturn.

Black Hellebore
Helleborus niger

This is the hellebore traditionally used in magick, as opposed to what is normally sold as hellebore, which is Veratrum viride (green or false hellebore) or Veratrum album (white hellebore).  Black hellebore is a perennial woodland plant of Middle and Southern Europe in the buttercup family, which is one of the most poisonous of plant families.  This herb is called “black” hellebore because of the dark color of its roots.  Associated with Saturn, Water, and Mars, this magick herb is used for banishing and in necromancy. Cattle were once blessed with black hellebore to protect them against malign influences and evil spells, and apparently a ritual was involved in digging it up; it is too bad that the knowledge of it has been lost. Black hellebore is also an ingredient in an incense for consecrating talismans of Saturn. Agrippa recommended it as part of a fumitory for raising spirits of Mars, and it goes into the Cauldren of Cerridwen Brew.


This is a dangerous (baneful) herb, so approach it with respect. Its root contains aconitic acid,{Aconitic acid is a flavoring substance which occurs in the leaves and tubers of Aconitum napellus L. and other Ranunculaceae.}  which is used in perfumery, but its principal active chemicals are glycosides (poisons).  As far back as the ancient Greeks, a tincture of black hellebore was used in single drop doses as a drastic purgative in mental illness (it is a CNS depressent) or to slow a rapid heart, but in larger doses it causes death by convulsions and heart failure, so it was not much employed, especially since foxglove and dogbane are less dangerous.

Uses in Witchcraft & Magick:

Baneful Works
Protection Spells
Saturn Herb

Incense for consecrating talismans of Saturn

Combine alum, scammony, asafoetida, sulphur, cypress, black hellebore, and ash leaves.  Burn in an earthen dish and hold the talismans in the smoke.

© 2004, 2009 Alchemy Works

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