Sunday, June 22, 2014


Making a Pentacle Herb Rack

You can make it any shape you want, but this tutorial is for a Pentacle Herb Rack.

I made my firsts one about 7 years ago, but unfortunately it came apart. I didn't use the right materials, specially because I keep one of them outside, and it's expose to the elements. I do keep it in the shade of course, you don't want to dry you beautiful herbs in the sun. Letting them dry slowly in the shade or inside the house, not only will preserve their bright color, but also their aroma, medicinal and magickal benefits.
So here's a better version (I think ), on how to make them to last. I've made different kinds and shapes thru the years, but I must admit, this is my favorite, because I can turn it and grab what I need with ease.

Your first step, is gathering branches strong enough to hold your herbs. You will need 5 for this pentacle and in whatever size you want. We trim our Mulberry Tree every year and use the branches to make trellises and cages for our vines, like tomatoes, beans, grapes etc... They work wonderful.
They don't need to be dry for this project, because like the herbs,... they will dry with time. I also use fishing line (stolen from the hubby). Good thing about fishing line, is that is nylon and it will hold those branches together wonderfully for years, and years, no matter how bad the weather gets. Ok, so here's a list of things you need:

Scissors, Fishing Line, Twine (optional), 5 equal size branches, herbs and/or flowers, small name tags, marker, wire cutter, and wire. I'm using copper, because I have lots of it, but silk flower wire work great also.

On a flat surface. Form your Pentacle, and don't worry to much at this point it it's straight. That part will come to play later, when you secure the inside.
Cut 10 long equal pieces of fishing line. Star wrapping your 1st 2 branches together and make sure to go in between for extra support.

When I say go in between, I mean criss-cross. Tie several knots (3 or 4) when you're done. Now, do the same exact thing again, but this time use the twine, right on top of the fishing line. The twine looks nice and rustic, but it does deteriorate over time. If this happens, you will have the back-up of the fishing line underneath. You don't have to do the twine, that is up to you.

Repeat until you've done all five outer points.

Now it's time to give it shape. Yes, once you do the inside, is what's going to secure the shape. If you don't, then it will move around and have no support.

After you tie the first inside one, keep checking to make sure your pentacle is straight. At this point is better to keep it flat on the table, and work around it, at least until you've tied 3 of them. Repeat the twine. Again, this step is optional.

 Cut another 5 equal length fishing lines again and make them long. About 36" each.

 tie each one to the inside or outside points. Stretch them up keeping the pentacle flat on the table. Bring all 5 lines together and make a strong knot on top. You can add a key ring if you have one, or make one with wire. This will be your loop to hang from the hook on the ceiling.

 Now you can make some hooks with silk flower wire, or any flexible wire you may have, or simply tie your herbs directly to the branches. I happen to have both so the photos show you both kinds.

 Use the same branch to shape and hug the brunch, and close it so it secure

 Then bend the wire opposite forming an "S" shape.

 I just happen to have copper, which I love, so that's what I used for my outside rack.

Now is time to make labels for you herbs and flowers. This is a must because a lot of them are very similar and difficult to distinguish once they've dried. Make your own with a little thicker paper. You can even get fancy and print them on the computer. Punch a hole and tie twine of any ribbon you have. You can re-use these labels for next time.

After you cut your fresh herbs and flower, make sure you wash them well, 2 and 3 times. Even though we do not use any pesticides, I still put mine in 5 gallon buckets and let them soak in cold water, and rinse them 3 times + if necessary. Then I tie them and hang the id-label.

This time, I am drying, Peppermint, Spearmint, Pineapple Mint, Catnip, Comfrey, Cilantro, Lavender, (2 kinds), California Poppy, Basil, Sage, Oregano, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme and Una de Gato (Cat's Claw).

A quick word on Cat's Claw. If you happen to grow this highly medicinal plant yourself and you haven't dried it before,... a word of caution:

Remove the thorns before you dry it. It's a lot easier and safer while is still green. You don't use the leaves, only the bark to make tinctures and teas. I use a piece of tape and put the thorns on it so they stick. You don't want them flying around if you have pets.

 Ok, back to work.  Now is time to hang your Pentacle. You'll need to have a hook drilled to the ceiling, or those removable hooks that you do not have to drill. They have tape. That's what I used on the outside one, because I didn't want to drill a hole on my awning.

You can see how I placed my copper hooks, so I can easily hang each herb.

My inside one, is drilled to the ceiling. I keep this one in my work room.

Time to hung whatever flowers or herbs you're drying.

 I like hanging the heavier herb bundles towards the middle, just to balance out the pentacle.

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I didn't make it to long and boring.

Blessed Be