Carnation - The Flowers

The Magic of Flowers: A Guide to Their Metaphysical Uses & Properties - Tess Whitehurst 2013

The Flowers

As the child of a funeral chapel family, I can say with every confidence that if anthropologists from the future were to study the funeral customs of today’s Western world, they would say that carnations were inextricably intertwined with death and the grieving process. Having spent as much time as I did at work with my dad, I cannot smell a carnation and not think of a funeral. Indeed, in my experience, bouquets and arrangements gifted for the proceedings were more often than not made up primarily of this beautiful, sweet-and-spicy scented blossom.

Although I am fairly certain that most grievers don’t choose carnations with the flower’s magical properties in mind, carnation has been traditionally associated with death and rebirth, or—as in the case of traditional Christian-themed art—resurrection. Also, many suspect (as I do) that the name carnation is, like the related words incarnation and reincarnation, aligned with the human cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth, as well as the sensual and emotional aspects of dwelling in this physical realm.

Magical Uses


Carnation’s sensual, spicy sweetness and his bright and vibrant countenance lend themselves to magical workings performed for the purpose of increasing one’s physical beauty. For this purpose, try taking the essence or adding it to a bath. You might also sleep with carnations near your bedside, add carnation blossoms or petals to your bath water, incorporate carnation into spells or charms designed for the purpose, or add four to six drops carnation essence to a mister of rose water, misting yourself as desired.

Heart Healing

Carnation resonates with the energy of the heart, and his bright, vigorous magic can help rebuild the heart’s energy field after grief or heartbreak. (Perhaps this is another underlying reason why carnation is so generously incorporated into modern funeral proceedings.) For this purpose, try spending time in quiet contemplation with carnation, planting him in your yard, bringing him into your space, giving him as a gift, incorporating him into spells or rituals, or taking the essence.


Carnation’s affinity for the heart and for the sensuality of this present life experience, as well as his sweet and spicy scent, all lend themselves to his magical ability to enhance, conjure, or magnetize romantic love. In fact, carnation essence is a potent addition to traditional love potions—you know, the kind that you secretly dose someone with to make him or her fall madly in love with you; tempting, isn’t it? But don’t do it! You don’t want to mess with anyone’s free will.

What, you’re not dissuaded? You still want to try it? Well, okay, here’s an example of a potion that—by honoring free will and only enhancing what is already there—will be relatively karmically safe for everyone concerned. You can secretly dose your partner, your date, or whomever you like. But please, for your own sake: only give this potion to one person at a time, and make sure that person is not romantically attached to someone else. Also, only employ it only when you really, really can’t help yourself, and definitely do not use it more than once per moon cycle.


On a Friday when the moon is waxing, ideally when the moon is in Libra or Taurus, fill a tiny dropper bottle (perhaps one ounce) half full of brandy. Add three drops vanilla extract, six drops carnation essence, and three drops garnet elixir (this is a gem essence and is available online and at some metaphysical supply stores—I like Alaskan Essence’s Rhodolite Garnet, but there are many). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with food-grade rose water. Hold it in both hands and whisper:

If love for me you truly feel

If your desire is really real

These feelings I do now ignite!

All inhibitions fall away

And you go under love’s fair sway

Throughout this dear enchanted night!

The night after creating the potion, sleep with the bottle under your pillow. Then, at a future date, add two to three drops to the object of your affection’s beverage. The potion will stay potent for up to six months. Please be aware that this potion is designed only to work to enhance someone’s existing feelings, not to conjure up feelings that aren’t there. But, either way, your endeavors won’t be wasted—if there are no feelings to enhance, at least you’ll know, right?

Other ways to employ carnation for love purposes include working him into charms or rituals, giving him as a gift, or adding the flower or flower essence to your bath water.


Carnation’s alignment with the cycle of death and rebirth makes him an excellent ally when taking the long view is of the essence. For example, sometimes we can get so caught up in a drama or an ambition that we forget the big picture and lose sight of the things that really matter. This is why carnation can be a great addition to essence mixtures, charms, baths, or mist potions formulated for worry or stress, and why it’s a good idea to bring him into your garden or space when you want to take a step back and remember to enjoy the process of life.


Like most of the symbols associated with ancient Egypt’s funerary rites, carnation (as a symbol of modern-day funerary rites) is a symbol not only of death and life, but also of rebirth and new beginnings. He is a reminder—like new blossoms in the spring taking different forms but retaining the same essence—that our soul naturally seeks to be reborn again and again into this physical world. Similarly, when we seek rebirth in any area of our present life, carnation will gladly lend his magical support. Consider incorporating carnation into rituals or charms designed for this purpose, trying any of the previous suggestions or employing him as your intuition dictates.

Vigor and Longevity

Far from being a delicate flower, carnation exudes the energies of heartiness and strength. Taking the essence under the tongue, spending time with carnations, or bringing a bouquet of carnations into your space can lend potency to one’s energy field, and, as a result, instantly boost overall health and well-being. In fact, author Scott Cunningham suggests placing a bouquet of carnations near the bed to help speed a person’s healing process. Similarly, taking the essence regularly can help boost vigor and longevity. You might also incorporate carnation into spells or rituals designed for the purpose.

Magical Correspondences


Element: Fire

Gender: Male

Planets: Saturn, Jupiter