I was writing up a little essay on the use of herbs and plants in magic, and I came to the point of collecting the plants. Normally, I use a steel dagger (which is an alloy of iron and carbon), and I pondered to myself as to the reason why? Why iron?
I searched around a little as to why, according to folklore, faeries, spirits, ghosts, and witches abhor iron. I couldn’t find anything! I was so surprised. I thought maybe I could find something, but to no avail.
I did find, however, that the ancestors connected iron with lifeforce, because raw iron smells like blood (which is liquid lifeforce).
In magic Like attracts Like. I thought, well isn’t the opposite true as well? Opposite repels opposite. Fire repels water, earth repels air. Life repels death.
AH! I said. Iron is -condensed lifeforce-. It runs through our bodies. It is what turns our blood red, it is star stuff. It is the condensed lifeblood of the earth, in metal form.
What are spirits? They are non-living. They do not have flesh, or blood. They are air and smoke. SO! Condensed Iron Lifeforce repels their unliving essences. Spirits, ghosts, faeries, disembodied witches. Though, I’m sure the threatening edge of a sword or dagger probably helps, as well.
When we harvest our plants with an iron dagger, we literally cut through the power, and trap it within the stalk, or the leaf, or the root of the plant. Think of it as when you put your soaped up finger into a bowl of water and pepper. The power, the anima, the spirit of the plant becomes trapped within whatever you cut off (spirit fills form).
As I said, I -love- magic theory.
Anonymous said: A pagan astrophysics major told me another answer: As it turns out, iron is life to blood, but is death to stars. Elements lighter than iron can release energy with their fusion, but once a star proceeds up the fusion chain to the point of producing iron, it begins gaining deadweight and cooling/losing energy, because iron eats energy in its fusion reaction rather than releasing it. Eventually a star will “choke” on the iron and collapse. Iron comes from the death of a star.
Brilliant insight into Iron’s effect on energy.