In the ancient world, juniper was connected with the dead and in the underworld, perhaps because its fragrance was used to cover the scent of death. The ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming process, while in ancient Greece it was used to invoke Hecate and other chthonic deities. In Christian lore, it was believed that fumigations of juniper had the power to eradicate evil, a reward to the tree for having once sheltered the infant Jesus. In mediaeval Europe, the home of a dead person was smoked with juniper. In Scotland, it was used as a sain at Hogmanay (New Year), while in Czechoslovakia stables were fumigated to expel demons.
Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.
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