Using Lavender For Pagan Ritual, Medicinal, and Gardening Practices
This is the first of a series of blog posts that we are publishing here on Peculiarities Peddler centered around how to grow and cultivate various plants and herbs as well as their uses in rituals, the magical household, and medicinal purposes. In this inaugural article, The Pagan Pantry – Lavender, we will help you understand the properties of lavender and how to better utilize the herb in your practices.
The plant is so powerful that, if when depressed one gazes upon the plant, all sorrow will depart and a joyous feeling will settle upon the observer. – Scott Cunningham
Bearing fragrant purple, blue, or white flowers, lavender is a low-growing Mediterranean shrub. Furthermore, lavender is cultivated for its lovely smelling flowers in both the United States and Europe. Lavender thrives in arid, sunny weather with well-draining soil. The stems are greenish gray in color, with bark that flakes off. However, we live here in North West Georgia where it is very humid. Our lavender is doing very well here in the humidity. The stems can grow one to two feet high. If you have your lavender outdoors, make sure to provide protection from cold and wet weather by applying a deep layer of mulch to help shield the roots of the plant. Ultimately, this causes less stress, which will aid in the overall growth. Your lavender will love full sun, but be cautious of high winds and soggy ground. Blooms begin to burst forth from July to September.
Growing lavender in pots works very well too. You will want to mix your potting soil with an equal combination of sand. Place some rocks, such as loose gravel, in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage. Growing your herbs in pots has many benefits, as you can move them inside when the elements are not cooperating with the needs of your plants. When watering your lavender, just make sure the soil is dry to the touch and water at the base of the herb.
Check out our infographic that we put together for you to utilize:
There are several folk names for Lavender: elf leaf, nard, nardus, and/or spike. The herb offers many powers that can be used to aid in love, sleep, happiness, protection and overall peace. It has been said that smelling lavender helps promote a longer life.
Lavender flowers can be burned to help promote rest and induce sleep. These can also be scattered throughout your home to help keep and to inspire peacefulness. Lavender is also used in love spells in which you take your paper and rub the lavender on it before writing your spell. Lavender is good for purification baths. In ancient times, it was used to scent bath water. The name Lavender derives from the Latin word lavandus, which translates to “to be washed.”
Here are a few interesting facts concerning lavender:
- Lavender protects against any cruel treatment at the hands of a spouse if worn.
- Lavender is Masculine, attuned to the element Air and planet Mercury.
- Lavender is carried to see ghosts and worn to protect against the evil eye.
- In the Renaissance it was believed that lavender together with rosemary, if worn, would preserve a woman’s chastity.
- Lavender has some antiseptic properties and is useful against putrefactive bacteria in the intestines.
- Lavender is used for gas and flatulence, migraine headaches, fainting, and dizziness.
A tincture can be produced with lavender, which can be used to attract love, as well as to promote chastity and peace. A tincture is concentrated liquid herbal extracts. Tinctures are made by steeping fresh or dried herbs and other plant parts in alcohol. This can be used to purify baths by adding a small amount to your bath. In conclusion, a lavender tincture can also be used to help promote sleep by anointing your forehead and your pillow with it.
In addition to creating tinctures, you can also create a lavender infusion. For example, simply steep 1 teaspoon of leaves in 1/2 of a cup of water. You can take 1/2 to a full cup a day.
The following are books that were referenced in this article and would be an excellent addition to your magical library:
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Bibliography and Works Cited:
Cunningham, Scott. The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews. Llewellyn, 1986.
Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Llewellyn, 1985.
- These are two must haves for your library. Cunningham is one of our favorite authors!
Lust, John. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam, 1974.
- Helpful for nomenclature, particularly folk names. The book includes some magical and mythical information throughout.
Witchipedia – Lavender. Retrieved from Witchipedia – Lavender
- A very useful website for all things witchy and pagan. Go explore!