Sep 25, 2012

Lavender , the purple sorceress

Lavender  is used to refer to any of approximately  40 species of genus  Lavandula, of the family Lamiaceae.   Their most common life form is shrub , sometimes also smaller shrubs and sunshrubs or “pillow” shrubs.

The species used in pharmacy and magick are from the specific subgenera ( mind that most taxonomist though still do not acknowledge necessity for this subcategory, when referring to Lavender )  also named “Lavandula” ( like the “basic” genus - ??? )  , whereas  those from subgeneras Fabricia and Sabaudia, are not normally used in magick, and even If used , it’s unjustified and due to mistake, for the first magickal records about using Lavender could have referred to few species only , namely Egyptian , French and common Lavender.

With that being said, the Lavander we will be dealing in this article is any of the following species : Common Lavender ( Lavandula officinalis syn. angustifolia ) , French Lavender ( Lavandula denata ) ,  and Egyptian Lavender ( Lavandula  multfifida ), for those  are really those few we could “attest “ were called  Lavender  in magickal texts.

And these species  are ( now, due to cultivation ) cosmopolite , widely used, and  have all typical taxonomic markers of the genus, which include , whole ovate leafs, rarely  unevenly pinnate,  often pale green , olive or grey in color, covered with glandular trichoma ( hairs  ) . The flowers are arranged on whorls, held on spikes, that grow over the foliage, though sometimes bracts may appear near the inflorescence, in few species vividly  colored.  Flowers are like in all Lamiaceae tubular, and in Lavandula genus always  both calyx and corolla are differentiated, both mostly tubular, while corolla resembling split lips ( hence the family name ) , mostly zigomorphyc , containing 4 stamens, and ovary.   With the few exceptions of species with yellowish color, the color ranges from pale blue or pink, to purple and indigo. As with any other, albino species may appear of course.  The three species we will be dealing with have dark blue or purple , followers ( sometimes the color is actually referred as Lavender, modeling after the very flower I guess :S ) can be somewhat pale , but due to environmental  factors . They have nice, to most, familiar and pleasant spicy fresh scent,  originating from aethorlum Lavandulae ( Lavender essential oil ) , and they are shrubs or bushes with small , whorled flowers on top of spikes. Meaning , If You have seen them once, You’d probably know them anywhere :D
Botanical illustration of Lavender
( Kohler )

They are used ( according to pharmacy ) to treat burns ( extremely efficient in such  ) and as a mild  neuro-tonic and sedative, also for some digestive disorders , such as meteorism  [1] ( taken  in a form of tea , or infusion, made from  followers ), vomiting and nausea.  It has also shown ( by clinical trials and studies  )  to  helps treating alopecia, and that it has mild analgesic , particularly in cases of nervous pains and headaches, and for migraine  prophylaxis, also in treating sore muscles, and is often used for rubbing in case of migraines and muscle pain. The essential oil can be used undiluted in smaller amounts, externally meaning , not ingested.  Due to  being rich in camphoric and citroline  compounds,  the oil ( and the dry  botanical that contains it )  makes a great  moth ( and other insect )  repellent.

In magick the use of Lavender is very wide and diverse.   It ranges from love, protection, purification,  chastity, longevity, peace of mind, peace in home and conjugal happiness, divination, and seeing spirits [2] It corresponds  to element of Air and Mercury , so it’s clear where  it’s mind and mood affecting powers come from J 

Ancient Romans have believed it to also be a strong demonifuge , hence the use of Lavdender for such in Mediterranean magickal infusions ( potions  ) and incenses. 

For purification, it’s often used in form of floorwahses or baths, the latter particularly when   aiming to reduce lustful  thoughts and aspirations, and is often combined with Camphor for such. According to late occult author, Cunningham Scott , carrying Lavender and inhaling it’s scent helps becoming able  to see spirits. And it is indeed found all over older European grimoires , as ingredient in suffumigation recipes, which were supposed to attract and make spirits  visible.

An example of such could include:

·         Gum Mastic

·         Acacia

·         Myrrh resin

·         Saffron

·         Lavender  flowers

·         Dragon’s blood

That would make a nice Ceremonial, and Spirit working incense formula J   I have  composed and posted many  formulas for incense with similar aim ,  also containing Lavender  before, some on this very blog in the post on Clairvoyance and Samhain 

It is often placed under pillow,  not only to ease the sleep, and allay nightmares and bad dreams, but also for a divinations regarding wish magick.  That is, having dreams regarding Your wish ( You’ve made )  was interpreted   as an  positive omen , announcing  satisfactory results. I was  suggested once ( by a friend Wiccan ) to use it in wish magick, and while I myself did not really saw  it as a “wish magick” herb,  the results have surprised me . Here is a simple  spell/ritual I used :

Lavender wishing spell

Lavender fields ( Provence )
During a waxing moon period, or on the Night of the Full  Moon ,  write Your wish in red ink ( preferably dragons blood but a nice pen shall work just fine ) on a parchment or brown paper ( grocery bag style )  . Fold it three times  towards oneself ( If You are trying to draw something or attain, If You are “wishing something away , fold away from oneself  ) and place it inside mojo bag with Lavender flowers, and a small quartz or turquoise crystal.

Go to a lavender bush and carry Your bag , then whisper :

Not out of greed or any ill will
But I need my wish to fulfill
Angels and benevolent spirits hear my plea
Make my wish come true so mote it be
Whit harm to none
Let this charm be done !

Hide the beg inside the lavender bush . After Your wish comes true , take back the bag , burn the paper and scatter the ashes with the lavender flowers from the bag, or bury them under same Lavender  bush,  giving thanks.

 The  results may surprise You, although not If You are being silly,  of course.  “I want a new 100.000$ worth cars with a pretty blonde coming  as bonus, by tomorrow”, is an example of wish that  that would be a challenge for a jinnee , let alone a  herb, regardless how magickal may it be haha

As I have mentioned , it can be used to reduce lust and inspire chastity.  Few will find a need for such nowadays ( >.< ), but nevertheless, those that may be needing spiritual help in such , may also find this  a very worthy formula indeed

Chastity charm

In a pure white mojo bag, place some Lavender flowers, Camphor resin, Hawthorn leaves, Onyx  crystal , with a Chastity Cross pendant or charm , or St Dymphna’s Holy Card. Dress with Cast off Evil oil, or Clarity oil, Essence of Van Van or Florida Water.  Women may add Rosemary instead of Hawthorn leaves, also. Alternatively, the Chastity Cross could be embedded on  the outer side   f  the  mojo bag, or even embroider it, in which case include St/ Dymphna’s image inside, not to disturb the odd number of   ingredients.

Lavender is prominently used as love and harmony, even peace herb, which  mostly  reflects through Hoodoo herbalism ( herbal magick )

Along the lines of Hoodoo Perfumery I though how it could be nicely combined with some Catnip and Vanilla to form a sweet, long lasting cologne, and  here is what I came up with, girls enjoy :D

Men magnet Cologne

·         70% alcohol  60 ml (  about 2 oz’s )

·         Lavender  essential oil 20 drops

·         Catnip essential oil 10-15 drops

·         5-10 drops of either Vanilla essential oil or Palmarosa essential oil

·         OPTIONAL: smallest pinch of brown sugar or few drops of honey

Shake well , refrigerate for at least a month before use, to get good quality scent, and then use. You can use small amount of Castor oil as a kind of fixative for essential oils in which case, first dilute essential oils synergic  blend in Castor oil, then add it all to the  alcohol.

Finished perfume could be  poured into a fine stylized glass bottle with a cork lid , and a small charged lodestone could be placed inside.

Lavender in Hoodoo herb magick

Lavender is a popular love herb in Hoodoo,  said to be very good to draw men , and sometimes  used  by homosexual men ( along with sassafras I think  ) and  also used   in  formulas such as Lavender love drops,  or other alike. Mixed with Red Clover  flowers and Rose petals it makes a great love charm and or formula.  It’s “Sweet balsamic”[3]   scent is used to  give odor to various occult oils , formulas and perfumes , in Hoodoo mostly for love and health [4] , though I personally may add some to “Spirit guide” formula, and even to Peaceful home on occasions.

It’s also said to promote Conjugal happiness and ends dispute between  couples, particularly when used in form of floorwash , often mixed with Rosemary and  White Rose petals for that [5]   Burn  some Lavender and Angelica  with Frankincense , and fume a family photo with  it , then place bellow a glass of water to which You have added some “Peaceful home”  oil  , in few drops, over the water as You prayed for tranquility in the family , to ease the tensions in a family. Later pour that “Peace water” ( from the glass, that stood over photo ) in some bottle and give  it to the family, alongside with a Rosemary twig to  sprinkl e it in their house.

Mix it with Camphor and Mint and burn in rituals to ease mental pain or fewer, or with Camphor and Frankincense to reduce lust.
NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself , therfore,   should You desire to use any part of it elswhere online,  add credits: Shadow of Shadows magick place,  , or a direct link to this post/article .
[2] Lavender is supposedly very efficient in eneabling seeing spirits, according to Cunningham , Scott , as noted in his “ Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of  Magcial Herbs”
[3] perfumery describes the  scent of Lavender as “balsamic sweet” and says it’s used   in versatile fashion in perfumery, according to  as described in “Dumonts kleines Lexicon Parfum”  by   Tobias Phele and Sylvia Jonas
[4] according to Lavender essential oil is used for “love and health work” , as stated on their page.
5] As stated in “Hoodoo herbs and root magick, a   materia magica of African American  Conjure” by Catherinh Yronwode, proprietor of above mentioned luckymojo shop and website
IMAGE CREDITS: The botanical illustration is from , page on Lavender , while   the other one. depicting Lavender fields is from , bith used here for illustrtrative , also explanatory purposes without  any sort of ill will

1 comment:

Kallista said...

Brilliant post and with such great amount of information!

I do love your recipes my dear :)

Hope you are well, countless blessings!