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By Witchipedia, Herbs

Monkshood: Folklore, Magical & Spiritual Considerations

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Monkshood is a wildflower native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is a perennial wildflower with dark green, palmate leaves that grows to about 3 feet/1 meter tall and produces dark purple to bluish hood-like flowers in spiky clusters from early to mid summer.


Monkshood is a member of the aconite family.

Scientific Name: Aconitum napellus

Other names: Blue Rocket, Friar’s Cap, Auld Wife’s Huid, Old Wife’s Head, Monk’s Blood, Helmet Flower, Wolfsbane


Monkshood, also known as Aconitum, has a rich history in folklore, dating back centuries, and has been associated with both healing and poison.

This plant has striking blue-purple flowers and thrives in cool, mountainous regions with well-drained soil.

In magical and spiritual practices, Monkshood is believed to have protective qualities, warding off evil spirits and negative energies.

However, caution is necessary when handling Monkshood, as it contains potent toxins that can be deadly if ingested or applied to the skin.

History and Folklore

Monkshood was used historically to poison arrows and spears for hunting and battle.

Folklore StoryDescription
Poisonous ReputationMonkshood’s association with witches and poison
Werewolf ProtectionUse of Monkshood to ward off werewolves
Medieval Medicinal UseHistorical medicinal practices involving Monkshood
Symbolic RepresentationsCultural symbols and meanings associated with Monkshood
Table 1: Folklore and Legends of Monkshood

Growing Monkshood

Monkshood will grow in full to partial sun in zones 3-7. It likes average, moist soil and will not tolerate “wet feet”. Since monkshood resents being transplanted, it is best started from seed in the spring, but be aware that it tends to be quite slow to germinate.

Magical and Spiritual Considerations

Aconite has feminine energy and is aligned with the planet Saturn and the water element.

Magical PurposeDescription
ProtectionUtilizing Monkshood for spiritual or energetic protection
Banishing Negative EnergyClearing spaces and removing unwanted influences
Enhancing IntuitionTapping into psychic abilities and intuition
Ritual and SpellworkIncorporating Monkshood in magical rituals and spells
Table 2: Magical Uses of Monkshood

It is used in spells related to protection and invisibility. An infusion of aconite can be sprinkled on ritual items during rituals to charge them with protective energy and the roots and leaves can be burned in a ritual fire for the same purpose. Use caution not to ingest or inhale the fumes!

Monkshood is associated with Hecate and Medea.

Spiritual Considerations of Monkshood

Spiritual AspectDescription
TransformationSymbolizing personal growth and spiritual transformation
Meditation AidUsing Monkshood for deepening meditation practices
Connection to Spirit WorldFacilitating communication with the spiritual realm
Inner HealingHealing emotional wounds and promoting inner peace

Cautionary Notes

All aconite is poisonous and should not be ingested, nor should the fumes be inhaled.

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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