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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.