In the Garden
*Also known as hedge hyssop
Hyssop has upright, angular stems and reaches about two feet in height. Like other members of the mint family, it has square stems. The lance-shaped leaves are dark green. Tiny purple-blue flowers grow in whorls at the ends of the stems. They bloom from midsummer to early autumn. The stems, leaves, and flowers are aromatic.
Hyssop was highly regarded as a medicinal herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Because of its strong camphor-like odor, it was also used for cleaning domestic and sacred places. This plant’s genus and common names come from the Greek word hussopos, which means “holy herb.” 70 The Romans used the leaves for culinary purposes including a wine they called Hyssopites.71 By the eighth century it was a mainstay in Anglo-Saxon gardens and remained so throughout Britain well beyond the Middle Ages. Its use for cleaning was carried on for centuries as a strewing herb. Hyssop is still used in home herbal remedies.
Because of its long history of use in cleaning sacred spaces, hyssop is perfect for purifying areas for ritual and consecrating altars. Make a tea with leaves and/or flowers and sprinkle it around the area or on objects to remove negativity. Also add the tea to a pre-ritual bath or for a healing soak. Dip a stem of hyssop in a bowl of fresh water and sprinkle it around your home or property to remove hexes and to provide protection against enchantment. Use several stems like a broom to remove negative energy and to encourage unwanted spirits to move on. Infuse hyssop sprigs in olive oil and use it to anoint participants in ritual. Place a sprig under your bed to aid in fertility, vitality, and any sexual issue. Burning the leaves raises spiritual vibrations.
Hyssop is associated with the elements air and fire. Its astrological influence comes from Jupiter.