Honeysuckle - In the Wild - August

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

In the Wild

Common Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)

*Also known as European honeysuckle, love bind, wild honeysuckle, and woodbine

Italian Honeysuckle (L. caprifolium)

*Also known as goat leaf and Italian woodbine

There are about two hundred species of honeysuckle; some are shrubs and others are vines. The two included here are twining climbing vines with woody stems that can grow ten to twenty feet in length. They both have rounded leaves and whorls of thin, tubular flowers at the end of the stems. The common honeysuckle has pale to medium yellow flowers and dull gray to bluish-green leaves. It produces dark red berries in the autumn. Italian honeysuckle has pale yellow to pinkish or purplish-tinged flowers and produces orange-red berries in the autumn. Its leaves are dark green above and bluish-green underneath.

The species name for Italian honeysuckle comes from Greek and means “goat’s leaf.” 88 It was so named because goats enjoy eating the leaves. Common honeysuckle’s species name comes from the Greek hero Periclymenus, who was one of the Argonauts as well as a shape shifter. The common name honeysuckle comes from the practice of tearing off the bottom of the flower to suck out the honey-sweet nectar. According to folklore, honeysuckle flowers were not taken indoors where there were young girls because it was believed the scent would give them erotic dreams.

Honeysuckle vines wind in a sun-wise direction and grow tightly around trees or anything in their paths. A honeysuckle stick was believed to guarantee good luck especially in love. This stick is a hazel branch around which a honeysuckle vine has grown. When the vine is removed, the stick has a twisted appearance. According to folklore, if a man carried one as a walking stick, he would be able to call on the woman of his dreams. Because of honeysuckle’s tight embrace, it was sometimes called love bind.

Place fresh honeysuckle flowers on your bedside table to aid in dream work. Also do this to encourage dreams of love and passion. Before going to sleep, spend a few minutes holding the flowers to your nose to enjoy their fragrance. Dried flowers and leaves in a sachet hung over the bed fosters fidelity and affection between partners. Place a handful of flowers and/or leaves on your altar to aid in magic work or to increase psychic powers. A honeysuckle vine growing near the house brings luck.

Honeysuckle is associated with the element earth. Its astrological influence comes from Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury.



Figure 27. Honeysuckle is associated with the oghams Ebad (left) and Uilleann (right).