Bizarre Basil!

Basil has sparked many debates over the years, and its magical properties seem to be in constant transformation. People can’t seem to agree on the nature of this plant, whether it’s good or bad. 

On one hand, basil could be derived from the Greek ‘basileus’ which means ‘king’, relating it to cheer and royalty. On the other hand, it could be associated with the venomous Greek Basilisk! While it was a known cure for its deathly bite, debate sparked over whether that was due to its own venomous nature. 

In some cultures it was said that basil became scorpions – yes you read that right! People were told that if you place leaves of basil under a pot, you could lift it to reveal a scorpion. 

In Rome, basil went from a symbol of hatred to a symbol of love! Eventually, young Italians would wear or offer sprigs of basil to profess their love and intention to marry. Talk about a love-hate relationship!

It was also used to determine virginity. If it were placed in the hands of someone impure, it would wither. 

One thing is for sure – basil has caused some bickering among the historian and herbalist conversations over the years!

Jenna is a pagan and lifelong student of history. She's the potion expert at High Priestess, and also designs tarot decks, oracle decks, and powerful ritual oils.