In the House
*Also known as blue sailors, coffeeweed, and succory
Reaching two to three feet tall, and sometimes more, this perennial has a rough, stiff stem and spreading, angular branches. The lower leaves are long, narrow, coarsely toothed, and reminiscent of the dandelion. Sparse leaves on the branches are smaller. Chicory’s sky-blue flowers have rayed petals with ragged ends. Blooming from July to November, the flowers grow in clusters of two or three; they open and close at the same time every day. Chicory was introduced from Europe and is now naturalized throughout the United States and southern Canada.
Cultivated in Egypt five thousand years ago, chicory was used medicinally for a variety of ailments throughout the Middle Ages.113 The root is still used for some remedies and the leaves are used for cooking and in salads. Chicory is best known as an additive to coffee, giving it a slightly bitter taste but said to take the edge off the caffeine. In addition, this familiar roadside weed is a cousin to endive (Cichorium endivia), and the vegetable radicchio (Cichorium intybus ’Radicchio’) is actually a variety of chicory.
Carry a piece of dried root to help remove obstacles and banish turmoil from your life. Carrying it also helps to forget a former lover. Sprinkle dried root on your altar for aid in discerning your particular spiritual path. Use it in spells to unlock opportunities and in magical workings where secrecy is essential. Burning the root with incense aids clarity in divination.
Chicory is associated with the element air. Its astrological influence comes from the sun, Uranus, and the fixed stars Polaris and Vega