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Indigo: Folklore, Healing & Magical Uses

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) is a small, subtropical, perennial shrub from the Fabaceae (pea) family. It has been cultivated for chemicals in its leaves that yield blue or violet dye depending on how it’s processed. Indigo is now naturalized in Asia, Africa, and Southern United States.

Indigo grows about six feet tall and has pink or violet flowers in clusters that appear in early summer and yield two-inch seed pods that resemble string beans in late summer. The leaves are pinnate and pale green. Both leaves and flowers are typical of the pea family in appearance.

Other Names True Indigo, Black Henna, Indigofera


Indigo has a rich history and folklore dating back thousands of years, with roots in ancient civilizations like Egypt and India, where it was highly prized for its vibrant blue dye.

Its symbolism and associations vary across cultures, often representing wisdom, spiritual insight, and the night sky, making it a potent symbol in art and spirituality.

Indigo is traditionally derived from the leaves of the indigo plant through a meticulous process that involves fermentation and oxidation, resulting in a deep blue pigment.

Beyond its dyeing qualities, indigo is also revered for its magical attributes, believed to enhance psychic abilities, ward off negative energies, and promote transformation and personal growth.

History and Folklore

No one is sure where indigo originated since it has been cultivated around the world for so long, but India is the top candidate.

Indigo Symbolism and Associations

IntuitionRepresents deep wisdom, spiritual insights, and the ability to access higher realms
MysticismSymbolizes the mystical and magical realms, connecting with the unseen and the divine
Inner JourneySignifies inner exploration, self-reflection, and the quest for spiritual growth
Psychic AbilitiesAssociated with enhanced psychic abilities, intuition, and the development of spiritual gifts
TransformationRepresents transformation, change, and the journey towards spiritual enlightenment


Indigo can be grown as a perennial in the Southern United States but as an annual in most places with a mild season. It makes excellent nitrogen-fixing cover crop and also kills nematodes in the soil.

Indigo needs full sun and good drainage in somewhat alkaline soil. You will need to rub the seeds briefly between two pieces of sandpaper and then soak for 24 hours before planting. Plant indigo seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 12 inches apart. Thin to three feet apart after the first true leaves appear.

Harvesting & Storage

Cut the leaves away when the plant is in full flower. Use fresh.

Magical Attributes

Indigo corresponds to the planetary energy of Saturn. It can be used in spells related to symbolically closing the door (as in on a chapter of one’s life), endings, binding, revenge, and rebounding.

Healing/Magickal UseDescription
Third Eye ActivationUse indigo-colored crystals or indigo visualization techniques to activate and balance the third eye chakra
Intuitive DevelopmentIncorporate indigo-colored objects or indigo-colored candles in rituals to enhance intuitive abilities
Dream WorkUtilize indigo energy for dream work, astral projection, and accessing the dream realm
Energy ProtectionWear or carry indigo gemstones for energy protection and to ward off negative influences
Emotional HealingWork with indigo-colored items or indigo visualization to support emotional healing and inner peace
Table 2: Indigo Healing and Magickal Uses

Healing Attributes

The indigo plant has been used in Eastern Medicine to treat ovarian cancer, epilepsy, and nervous conditions.

Indigo is poisonous and should not be ingested.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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