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A few weeks ago, I went into meditation with the intention of contacting the spirit of Mullein. When I collected several stalks this summer to make into hag’s tapers, I had to be rather hasty, and I wanted to make sure that my offerings had been adequate, and that I hadn’t offended the spirits of the plants with my hurried gathering.

While I didn’t have any success in contacting Mullein itself on an Otherworldy level, I still managed to glean some useful information.  While in meditation, holding my dried Mullein stalks across my lap, I asked what the hedge tapers would be best used for. The answer that came to me was this: That the flame of their burning shines in such a way as to be a beacon for the souls of the dead, and so they would be well used in workings to contact Ancestors or other shades.

I also received an intuition that I should save some of the seeds and scatter them along a hedgerow or near a crossroads. So, I shook as much seed out of the heads as I could, and gave some to H.B. and to Wandering Woman, as well as keeping some for myself.

I think that to contact Mullein directly as a spirit or in the capacity of a Plant Ally, I may need to be near the living plants while I meditate. I’ll try this next summer when the Mullein comes into bloom, and see if I can develop a relationship with the spirit of Mullein itself; or with the spirit of an individual plant.

This weekend I undertook the final preparation of the hedge-tapers. I had picked up an ancient package of paraffin wax at an estate sale earlier this year, which would do nicely to coat the heads of the stalks. I took the cardboard tube from a roll of wrapping paper and cut just less than half out of its length, creating a trough. This I lined and capped with aluminum foil, covering the seams with masking tape so no wax would run through.

I melted my paraffin in a makeshift double boiler and scented it with some ‘Samhain’ essential oil blend from the local occult store. One of my favorites, it smells of ripening apples.

The surface of the Mullein-heads was fuzzy, and soaked up the wax readily. It only took a couple of passes through the trough to get a nice coating; I didn’t need to dip them again and again like one would if dipping candles on a wick. All in all, it was quite a simple process to make them. Now, to see how well they burn.

They’ll be burned outdoors, of course – they really are closer to a torch than a candle, and I imagine they’ll create quite a bit of smoke.

I’ll get my chance soon enough. My fellow witches and I are going to gather on Samhain eve, to do a bit of scrying and to speak to our dead. We’ll see if the light of burning Mullein will guide the shades home.