Black Pepper in our modern day usage is often just within the realm of extra seasoning and cooking. Even in our daily uses, the Black Pepper is an unsung hero that can be used to help enhance or even to save a dish from blandness. Now in this particular piece, we will be talking about Black Peppers, but in terms of magic, we do treat the related Peppercorn members as similar in magical practice. If a ritual calls for Black Peppercorns and you only have White Pepper powder or Pink Peppercorns, you can substitute it out within reason. The only thing you might avoid is substituting Red Chili Peppers for Peppercorns as they are different families and have slightly different purposes.
Peppercorns have such a rich background in our history as they have been cultivated for so long and played such an intricate role in the cuisines of the world. Thanks to the spice trade from the East to the European countries, Black Pepper was introduced, not only as a spice but also as a traditional medicine and magic.
Now in terms of what you can use for Black Peppercorn, we have the fruit of the plant, of course we have the powder of the fruit, and some people will use the essential oil of the Black Peppercorn. When using this ingredient, please do be careful as the powder can cause sneezing and anything that is spicy should avoid contact with the eyes. For the essential oil, while it is not as strong on the skin as say Cinnamon, you should still dilute it or exercise caution around the idea of having it on topically.
Magically this plant is associated with the energy of Mars and fiery magic as expected since this herb tastes spicy. Now depending on the cultural magic, it can be used in a variety of ways but tends to have, by Mars’s providence, more of an aggressive energy to it, both retaliatory and protective.
If you feel like you have been in a bad situation or just have off energy around you, you can burn a small pinch of Black Pepper with other herbs for cleansing on top of charcoal. Some rituals will call for a freestanding candle to be studded with Black Peppercorns as a way to remove or reverse negative energy. If you do not have a freestanding candle, you can always add a few pieces to your candle with the same effect, although studding it can lead to some fun designs, though it can be difficult if you don’t have the right tools.
Now a common companion with Black Pepper, both in cooking and sometimes magic, is Salt. A work to keep disliked people from visiting your home involves the act of throwing Salt and Black Pepper on the places they walked, especially the places where their feet touch around the door as they were exiting. You can also follow this work up by cleansing your space with your choice of burning herbs, and some traditions also recommend sprinkling the mixture around the home and sweeping it up with a broom to chase out their energy.
With Black Peppers power over us as one of the most traded spices in the world, it’s no wonder why it still holds a place in our kitchens and our altars. Hopefully when you need to chase some nasty energy out of your home, instead of grabbing just a piece of Sage to cleanse them out, also reach for the Salt and Pepper Shakers too.