I first fell in love with Teasel in late fall, when I noticed stands of brown, spiky sentinels crowding rural ditches. The sight made me think of old magic, of fireside visions in dim cottages and of forgotten secrets.
Later I learned its name, and learned that the spiked heads of teasel were once used to card wool, and my feelings about the plant made sense. I could easily imagine women sitting near the fire carding wool with teasel heads.
I first used teasel for heads on the nature spirit figures I made when I lived in the country. The ones with teasel faces always seemed a little spooky to me, in a good way–they seemed to have a consciousness independent of my intentions for them. And they were always fierce little things.
I tend to think of most poky plants as being protective, but there are different flavors of protective energy from one plant to another. I would describe the energy of teasel as watchful. I don’t know that teasel is especially protective of people the way hawthorn is, for example. I feel that hawthorn will protect anyone who asks politely–but I think teasel might keep an eye on you for a while to decide if you deserve protecting. I think teasel might make you earn it.
I haven’t worked with the plant for spells or healing. But I’ve spent a lot of time with it. I think I might have said before that I believe there are plants that are used in magic, and then there are plants that are magical in themselves–that just seeing them, being close to them, makes us feel more aware of and close to magic. Teasel is one of those plants for me. I have no real explanation for the way I love it. I just like being around it. Which makes it a good choice for something to put on the altar–as long as I watch out for the spikes.