The renowned medieval herbalist Hildegard von Bingen summarized lavender’s essence succinctly when she said that lavender helps us with “maintaining a pure character.” With profoundly purifying properties that span both physical and energetic planes, it is not surprising that her name comes from the Latin lavare, “to wash.” She’s a favorite of aromatherapists the world over, many of whom consider her essential oil to be among the most useful (if not the most useful) of all.
Lavender is aligned with the planet Mercury and, elementally speaking, is quite airy. These qualities lend themselves to the realm of thought and the conscious mind. Combined with the fact that her scent and energy are so highly purifying, lavender whisks away excess stress and mental chatter while magically imparting an exhilarating degree of lucidity. So, to transcend muddled thinking and gain clarity on a specific issue, you might want to simply inhale the scent of lavender. You could do this by:
✵ wafting a bottle of essential oil under your nose
✵ lightly crushing a fresh blossom between your fingers and inhaling
✵ diffusing the essential oil
✵ anointing your temples with the essential oil
For added power, you might say an invocation mentally or aloud just before you inhale, such as:
Lavender, thank you for clearing my mind and uplifting my spirit.
With your help, I am now in the moment and on my mark.
With antifungal and antibacterial properties, as well as an ability to purify the mind and spirit, lavender essential oil is highly cleansing on both physical and energetic planes. To cleanse and purify your body, mind, and spirit, you might add lavender essential oil to:
✵ bath water (alternatively, you might add dried lavender blossoms)
✵ body wash
✵ a mister of rose water (for a body mist)
✵ facial toner
✵ shampoo (as an added benefit, some aromatherapists claim that lavender oil can help with hair growth)
✵ your body (provided your skin isn’t extremely sensitive, lavender is one of the few essential oils that we can apply “neat,” or undiluted, to the body; for example, you might try anointing your heart and brow daily when spiritual or emotional cleansing is a concern)
To cleanse and purify your home (both physically and energetically), you might add lavender essential oil to:
✵ the washing machine (also consider adding a sachet or bundle of dried lavender blossoms to your stored clothes or linens, or put one in the dryer with your laundry to impart a fresh scent and feeling)
✵ a natural all-purpose cleaner
✵ an aromatherapy diffuser
✵ a mister of rose water or spring water (for a cleansing mist
or smudge potion)
If you feel fundamentally unclean in a spiritual or emotional way, and to generally assist with physical or emotional detoxification efforts, you might like to employ lavender essence rather than (or in addition to) the essential oil or dried herb. Alternatively, you might add dried lavender to an herbal tea blend and drink at least a cup daily until you feel sufficiently cleansed.
Perhaps “divine alignment” is the best way to summarize all of lavender’s endless magical uses. The scent and energy of lavender reminds us of our true divine self and clears the pathways within our life and energy field so that divine, healing, harmonizing, balancing energy can flow in the most ideal way. In addition to all the other magical uses listed in this chapter, the endless number of benefits of this dynamic may include:
✵ finding and flowing with one’s most ideal career and life path
✵ expressing oneself in a healthy way
✵ self-esteem and self-love
✵ healthy sleep patterns
✵ recognizing one’s own divinity
✵ feeling eternal
✵ going beyond the illusion of discord
✵ moving beyond fears and phobias
For this purpose, try employing lavender into rituals designed for the purpose, taking the essence under the tongue or in water, or inhaling the scent in any of the ways recommended in the “clarity” section. You may also add lavender to your bath water in the form of fresh or dried blossoms, essential oil, or flower essence. Growing lavender in your yard also can be an excellent way to align with divine energy.
Harmony and Balance
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, lavender promotes harmony and balance. Not only can she can help us find sleep patterns that work for us, she can also help us to be balanced and harmonious with regard to just about anything, including but not limited to the following:
✵ love and relationships
✵ family and household
✵ alcohol and sweets
✵ general health
✵ sleep patterns
✵ energy levels
For any of these purposes, or for balance in general, tune in to your intuition and choose a suggestion that you connect with from the above sections.
Aromatherapists employ lavender oil to support the healing process of numerous conditions, including (but not limited to):
✵ acne and other skin conditions (try adding to face wash or toner,
adding to a steam facial, or applying neat)
✵ insect bites and stings (apply directly to skin or add to ointment)
✵ headaches (apply to temples, diffuse, or waft under nose)
✵ flu (diffuse)
✵ asthma (diffuse, anoint temples, anoint chest, or lightly anoint
outside of nostrils)
✵ premenstrual and menstrual challenges (add to carrier oil and gently massage abdomen and lower back, add to bath water, diffuse, or waft under nose)
✵ constipation (add to carrier oil and gently massage abdomen and
lower back, add to bath water, or diffuse)
✵ irritable bowel syndrome (add to carrier oil and gently massage abdomen and lower back, add to bath water, or diffuse)
✵ infections (depends on type of infection—apply to skin, diffuse,
or drink tea made from dried blossoms)
✵ addictions (diffuse, anoint temples, or waft under nose)
✵ depression (diffuse, anoint temples, waft under nose, or add to
Lavender’s vibration and scent both lend themselves to experiencing a balanced, sustainable, and highly potent level of joy. This can be helpful for treating depression and bipolar disorder, as well as general mood swings or other forms of mood-related challenges. It can also be helpful for any time we’d like to give ourselves an extra shot of joy or turn up the volume on our happiness. For this purpose, diffuse the essential oil, anoint yourself with the essential oil, keep a bottle of the oil with you and waft it under your nose every now and then, or take the flower essence.
Lavender is often employed in herbal insect repellents, and this physical property is mirrored on the energetic level by shielding our mood from little annoyances and helping us to rise above (or even avoid) the day-to-day hassles that might otherwise bring us down. And, since like attracts like, the scent of lavender can also protect us by keeping our energy clear and positive; that way, we will be likely to attract more of the same. This can be especially helpful for entering challenging work or social environments. For these purposes, try anointing yourself with the oil or even diffusing it in the space if you can. You might also create the following charm.
Cleanse a white quartz crystal by running it under cold water for two minutes, holding it in sunlight for thirty seconds, and burning white sage smoke around it. Then hold it in both hands and charge it with the intention to keep your energy clear and positive. Place it on a small piece of lavender cotton and tie it closed with a small piece of turquoise ribbon. Anoint it with lavender essential oil. Keep it in your pocket or pinned to the inside of your clothes when you traverse challenging situations, and refresh the essential oil periodically (perhaps whenever the scent begins to fade).
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Since stress can pose such a big challenge to every aspect of our happiness and physical health, it’s no wonder that lavender is perhaps best known for its powerfully soothing and stress-relieving properties. In fact, according to aromatherapist and author Gabriel Mojay, experiencing the scent of lavender oil can be a helpful treatment for “nervous tension, insomnia, palpitations, and high blood pressure.” It’s even been said that the scent of lavender can help soothe and quiet wild animals.
For these purposes, try any of the aromatherapeutic suggestions recommended previously. You might also try anointing your pillow with the oil to help you sleep deeply and awake refreshed.
Author Scott Cunningham notes that “in North Africa, women used [lavender] to guard against maltreatment from their husbands.” Indeed, in contemporary magic, lavender is commonly recommended as an ingredient that can help promote peace within marriages and marriagelike relationships while generally protecting against domestic unrest. (Of course, if the relationship is not for your truest good, magically employing lavender for this sort of intention will be more likely to help precipitate a split.)
Similarly, lavender can help us to shift our personal beliefs about romance so that we can attain the state of mind that is the most likely to attract a harmonious relationship.
Additionally, lavender can help with any sort of relationship healing, such as healing family relationships or relationships with colleagues.
To promote healing in a specific relationship, you might try the following ritual.
RELATIONSHIP HEALING RITUAL
Obtain or draw a small picture of yourself and a separate picture of the other person. (You should both be the only person in each picture.) Be sure that you both appear happy in the pictures, and if they are photographs, be sure that you are both, to the best of your knowledge, actually happy in the pictures. Also choose or draw pictures that “click” for you or intuitively feel right for the purpose. Place a fresh lavender blossom (that has been lovingly gathered) between the two pictures, facing them toward each other (sort of like a lavender sandwich). Then gently tie the “sandwich” together with pink satin ribbon and hold it between your hands. Visualize very bright white light coming down from above, entering the crown of your head, going down to your heart, down your arms, and out through your palms and into the bundle. Say:
Spirit of lavender, please heal our hearts, minds, and spirits.
Align us with the Divine, align us with each other, align us with love.
Then completely immerse the picture bundle in a glass or jar filled with dried lavender blossoms as you say:
Spirit of lavender, I now release this relationship completely into your wise and loving embrace. May it be healed and blessed in all directions of time. Thank you.
Place the glass or jar on your altar or in a special place. You can keep it for as long as you like, but if you are ready to release it (perhaps when your relationship feels sufficiently healed), simply bury the contents near the base of a tree.
Releasing Guilt and Shame
Thanks to author Marina Medici, lavender (along with pine flower essence) has been my “go to” magical ingredient for guilt banishing since I first began practicing magic years ago. And—contrary to the belief of my Catholic grandmother, who famously asked, “Without guilt, how would anything ever get done?”—guilt banishing is an absolute must. While we all feel guilt at times, guilt is not a useful or a natural emotion. It is essentially self-flogging—a dysfunctional and abusive relationship with the self—rather than the much more effective and emotionally healthy pattern of (a) admitting one’s mistake or lovingly recognizing one’s pattern, (b) grieving over it and releasing it, and (c) constructively moving forward.
Similarly, the “emotion” we call shame is not something that benefits us in any way. It’s essentially a response to an illusory perception—namely that we are not beautiful, lovable, exquisite expressions of the Divine.
And lavender can help with both. Try any of the aromatherapeutic or essence remedies suggested above or the following bath ritual.
BATH RITUAL TO BANISH GUILT AND SHAME
During a waning moon, when the moon is in Cancer or Libra, draw a bath. Add one cup Epsom salts, one-half cup sea salt, and one-half cup baking soda. Light a white or off-white soy candle. Then add two handfuls dried lavender blossoms (lightly crushing them between your fingers as you do so) and/or twenty to forty drops lavender essential oil. Hold your hands over the bath water and take some deep breaths. Then visualize very bright white light coming down from above, entering the crown of your head, going down to your heart, down your arms, out through your hands, and into the water. See the water glow with a sphere of very bright white light. Say:
Spirit of lavender, thank you for cleansing me of all guilt and shame!
Thank you for aligning me with the truth of my being, which is divine love.
I now soak in acceptance, I now steep in forgiveness, I now radiate joy.
Keep plenty of fresh drinking water handy to drink as you soak for at least forty minutes and relax deeply.
Releasing Pain Associated with Unrequited Love
Lavender strengthens the physical and spiritual heart while balancing our mind/body/spirit and aligning us with divine love, self-love, and love in general. In other words, she is a great ally to call on for healing a broken heart or for releasing pain associated with unrequited love. For this purpose, try any of the aromatherapeutic or essence remedies suggested above or employ lavender in a ritual designed for the purpose.