With the magical energy and spiritual wisdom associated with creativity and nonconformity, it is no wonder nasturtium was a favorite of Benjamin Franklin and Claude Monet, both of whom had gardens full of them.
In the Victorian language of flowers, a nasturtium meant something like “just kidding.” It was a way of showing the recipient that he or she was being teased. Similarly, in Latin the word nasturtium translates into “nose twister,” although that is commonly believed to be because of his pungent and peppery smell.
Banishing Prejudice and Supporting Tolerance
Because he helps us remember that there is plenty of room for all kinds of people and belief systems, and because of his ability to change our minds and help us see things in new ways, nasturtium can be a wonderful magical ingredient for humanitarian spells and rituals aimed at banishing prejudice and establishing pluralism and acceptance. For example, if you do social work or teach school in an area where racism seems to be an issue, you might like to put some nasturtium essence in rose water and mist the space before a meeting between usually opposing factions. Or if your heart is aching for the state of a certain country where prejudice often seems to prevail, you might place a representation of that country on your altar, along with a few nasturtiums in water. And if you suddenly discover that you harbor prejudice toward a certain group of people (it can happen!), you might take the essence regularly until you feel that condition shift.
Choosing to Create Your Own Reality
If you’re reading this book, you most likely (at least partially) subscribe to the idea that—through our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs—we each create our own reality. And when we do so consciously (in other words, when we choose to), we are completely empowered to create the conditions we’d most like to experience.
Furthermore, if you’ve been putting this idea into action for any length of time, you know that during especially challenging times in our lives, or times when we know that it’s high time to make some positive changes, we sometimes have to reassert our choice to create our own reality. In other words, we have to put our foot down, make a point of lifting our spirits and aiming our thoughts and feelings in the right direction, and establish a new energetic momentum.
And during times like these, nasturtium can help. From a vibrational standpoint, he attacks the situation from a number of angles. First, he opens new doors in our consciousness and loosens old ways of thinking and believing. Second, he packs an energetic punch: he fills us with courage and stamina, and gets our energy moving. And third, he dissolves our fear of change so that we can be open to the beautiful new reality we’re choosing to create.
And so, if it’s one of those times, you might like to engage in some kitchen witchery—did I mention nasturtium is edible?—to get that energy flowing. For example…
“NEW MOMENTUM” SALAD
Make a salad with nasturtium leaves and blossoms, lettuce, purple cabbage, pine nuts, tomatoes, avocados, and your favorite vinaigrette. Carve the words new momentum into an orange candle; place it on the table, and light. Hold your hands over your salad and say:
Toward my goals all things now flow.
Into my sails all winds now blow.
If I choose it, it is so.
Enjoy. (If you try this with a partner or group, substitute “our” and “we” in the incantation.)
If increased creativity is one of your magical goals, take a hint from Franklin and Monet and grow a ton of nasturtiums in your yard. If you don’t have a yard, consider growing them in pots. You might also add the essence to your drinking water. (And drink a lot of it!)
Freedom and creativity go hand in hand. When we feel free, we feel creative, and when we feel creative, we feel free. Both have to do with allowing: allowing oneself to be oneself; allowing the Universe/God/Goddess/All That Is to animate us, guide us, and flow through us; and allowing the moment to be as it is (going with it, not against it). It’s natural, then, that nasturtium helps with both.
So if you find that you just don’t feel free in one or more life areas, a great way to employ nasturtium’s liberating power is to add the essence to your drinking water regularly. Over time, this will help dissolve any possible energetic blocks and get you in the natural, divine flow of freedom.
Independence and Creating Your Own Archetype
Most (if not all) of us go through times when we rail against the ideas and ideals we were brought up with or absorbed from our culture. This usually happens when we realize that we feel limited or even trapped by these ideas and ideals. For example, many of us feel, on some level, oppressed by the idea that we’re supposed to be a certain amount of “sexy” or “hot” (as defined by media) at all times, and that if we’re not, we’re not valuable or lovable. Others may feel oppressed by the idea that “responsible people” have “real jobs,” and that if we try to do our art professionally or open our own business, we’re being juvenile or unrealistic.
In cases like these, what nasturtium helps with is not banishing these ideas from the face of the earth, but rather banishing these ideas from having power over our individual lives and helping us to establish whole new archetypes that are empowering to us. So instead of just railing against them (“If only I hadn’t been brought up with those ideas, I could do what I really wanted to do”), we just notice that they weren’t our ideas to begin with. Then we say “thank you for sharing,” let them go, and establish new ones.
To help yourself get out from under those old, externally imposed oppressors, you might plant lots of nasturtium in your yard and around your home, and take nasturtium essence in your water as well. Then you’ll find yourself saying, “There’s a new sheriff in town!”
In Magical Aromatherapy, Scott Cunningham suggests that inhaling the pungent scent of nasturtium as you engage in protective visualizations will strengthen the visualization’s magical effects. Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus noted that nasturtium’s leaves look like shields, while his blossoms look like helmets.
Since the overriding flavor of nasturtium’s magic has to do with being strongly grounded in oneself, it follows that nasturtium would naturally fortify our personal protective energetic boundaries.
So, before any situation that triggers the feeling that you need a little extra energetic protection, you might eat three leaves and one blossom, or just inhale nasturtium’s scent.
Releasing Fear of New Situations
It’s said that moving to a new home is just as psychologically taxing for most people as the death of a loved one. Indeed, we are creatures of habit, and while moving out of our comfort zone generally makes us more comfortable in the long run, the initial discomfort it brings can sometimes be a deterrent to making the changes our heart most desires. Helping us release this fear is another one of nasturtium’s specialties.
And if we’ve already made the change and are in the middle of the ensuing discomfort (e.g., if we’ve just gone away to college or started a new job), nasturtium can help with that as well.
For either of these purposes, I suggest taking the essence daily or misting your space with rose water into which you’ve added two drops nasturtium essence and eight to ten drops rose geranium essence until the fear and discomfort subside.