Continuing with my Magic of Herbs series, Chili (capsicum annuum).
Chili is naturally associated with fire which makes complete and total sense when you put a chili on your tongue. Associated with war and passion deities like Mars and Shango. I'm moved to seek fire due to recent events, and turn to my herbs as always for guidance and support. Chili is one of the most medicinal herbs out there and packs just as great a wallop in spiritual work.
The oldest and most useful way to understand an herb is to taste it. It might be harder for some herbs, but chili holds very little back. You can feel its igniting and breaking power in its fiery heat as soon as it hits your tongue- and certainly by the time it gets to your stomach.
In our physical bodies, chili improves circulation which assists with a lot of physiological problems; in much the same way, chili improves our spiritual energy circulation if you will, releasing blockages and moving stagnant energy.
These properties make it an excellent way to add heat and energy to rituals and spells- and is also why caution is advised by so many elders in its use. However, as with everything there is a time and a place and you might need that kind of power behind what you are doing. You can shake a dried chili with its seeds intact inside it to heat up your spell or ritual as another way to invoke its energies. It should come as no surprise then, that it is often used offensively in curses and hexes and conversely in counter-magic to protect and defend. Chili can be used alone or added to other crushed herbs in powder form and sprinkled around a space as a protection measure.
Remember that note though, use sparingly and with discernment. Handle with care is not an idle warning. Approaching plants with respect is always best.
Otherwise, go ahead and have fun igniting your fire!
Take a tip from these folks burning chili peppers in front of government headquarters as they dispute land-grabbing. Old school badass.