Said to help in spells seeking the protection of God, Hyssop is used in rituals of protection and purification as well as rituals of healing.
Hyssop is used in herbal medicine as an antiseptic and a cough reliever. Its medicinal properties have been written about since ancient times. The Romans drank Hyssop-infused wine as a digestive aid.
Hyssop’s holy reputation can be traced back to its Biblical endorsements. In Leviticus, God commands his people to purify the temple using Hyssop. It is a brush made from Hyssop that the Hebrews use to protect themselves from the Angel of Death at Passover. And the Gospel of John tells us that Christ takes his last drink from a sponge attached to a Hyssop branch. It’s no surprise that Christians in Europe ascribed great power to this humble garden herb.
Even among present-day Witches, magickal uses for Hyssop tend to revolve around purification. Dried Hyssop may be infused in floor washes or ritual baths, or scattered around the home. In Sicilian magick, Hyssop is used in protective charms to avert the Evil Eye. Most other traditions consider Hyssop to be a cleansing herb—more purifying than strictly protective. It is used to clear away sins, regrets, and worries that are blocking one’s spiritual progress.
Hyssop has a very particular use in American folk magick: To “wash away” the stain of negative spells. A Hyssop bath is a follow-up step to performing a curse or jinx. The Hyssop is said to cleanse inside and out, absolving the magick worker of any guilt. (It’s good for dry skin and hair, to boot.)