In the House
In addition to rosehips and blackberries, this is the time to gather elderberries. The elder tree was covered in “June.” Ripe elderberries are actually dark purple but appear light blue because of a slightly waxy coating. If you rub the berry, the coating comes off, revealing the darker color. Be sure to use only ripe ones because unripe elderberries can be toxic when consumed. Ripe berries can be frozen or dried.
Use elderberries in love charms for attraction and in spells to increase fidelity. Place a handful of berries on your altar during healing circles to support the energy. Use crumbled, dried berries in a sachet to enhance sleep and to encourage dreams.
4 cups fresh elderberries
3 cups sugar
Crush berries and combine with sugar. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue to let it simmer, stirring frequently. Test by placing a small amount on a plate. If it stays in place, it’s done. While hot, pour into sterilized jars.
As you make the jam, chant:
Lady of the woods, elder tree; bring your magic to each berry. Infuse them with love and healing sweet; in your honor I make this treat.
89 Payack, A Million Words and Counting, 176.
90 Niall MacCoitir, Irish Trees: Myths, Legends & Folklore (Cork, Ireland: The Collins Press, 2003), 167.
91 D. C. Watts, Dictionary of Plant Lore (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1997), 34.
92 Janet Farrell Brodie, Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-century America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994), 42.
93 Coombes, Dictionary of Plant Names, 17.
94 Ernest Small, North American Cornucopia: Top 100 Indigenous Food Plants (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2014), 651.
95 Dobelis, Magic and Medicine of Plants, 318.
96 Kowalchik and Hylton, Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, 230.