The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2017
Tap Into the Energies of Flowers
Live Closely with the Earth
Walking the Green Path
Flowers are the pretty parts of plants that carry valuable and essential reproductive information. Technically, they constitute part of an herb, shrub, or tree, but they are separated here because we often think of the flower as the identifying aspect of a plant. Also, in natural magic, the flower itself is often the part used.
Flowers can be dried whole to be used in wreaths or arrangements or pressed and used in a magical collage or in potpourri. When dried, flowers can also be crumbled and used in herbal blends for such things as teas, sachets, and sprinkling powders.
The flower of a plant carries a tidy bundle of energy, for it is the sexual organ of the plant, how the plant reproduces. Do dried flowers carry a different energy than fresh flowers do? Yes and no; the intrinsic energy remains, but its expression is different. For certain rituals or charms you may want the vibrancy of fresh flowers, whereas for other charms, such as sachets or powders, you may prefer dried flowers, which tend to exhibit a slower, longer-lasting energy.
Here are nineteen flowers commonly found in a green witch’s garden. They are also used magically.
CARNATION (DIANTHUS SPP.)
Also known as gillyflower, the carnation has a wonderful healing energy and makes an excellent gift for the sick. Carnations are used magically for protection, strength, energy, luck, and healing.
DAFFODIL (NARCISSUS SPP.)
Also known as narcissus and asphodel, the daffodil is an excellent flower to use in charms for love and charms for fertility. Magically, the daffodil is associated with luck, fertility, and love.
DAISY (CHRYSANTHEMUM LEUCANTHEMUM)
Also known as field daisy and the eye of the day, the daisy is commonly associated with love and flirtation. We have all plucked the petals from a daisy—“he loves me, he loves me not.” Magically, the daisy is associated with love, hope, and innocence. Use the daisy in magic associated with children as well.
GARDENIA (GARDENIA SPP.)
Gardenia is an excellent flower that attracts tranquil energy to a place or individual. Adding gardenia petals to a healing sachet or using them in a healing ritual incorporates this tranquil energy and helps the healing move at a controlled pace. Gardenia is also commonly used in love spells and charms. Magically, gardenia is associated with harmony, healing, love, and peace.
GERANIUM (PELARGONIUM SPP.)
Grown indoors or out, geraniums carry strong protective energy and extend this energy through the area around them. Red geraniums have traditionally been associated with protection. Rose geranium is used in love spells. Magically, geraniums are associated with fertility, love, healing, courage, and protection.
HYACINTH (MUSCARI RACEMOSUM, HYACINTHUS NON-SCRIPTUS)
Both grape and wild hyacinths have a lovely springlike scent. The perennial wild hyacinth, also known as the bluebell, is smaller and daintier than the cultivated grape hyacinth. Hyacinths bloom for only a short period of time, but in that short period produce a vibrant energy. Hyacinths are named for the youth of Greek legend, beloved of Apollo, whose accidental death Apollo commemorated by creating the flower. Hyacinths are magically associated with love, happiness, and protection.
IRIS (IRIS FLORENTINA)
Also known as flags, the iris is a lovely spring flower magically used for purification and blessing as well as wisdom. The three petals are said to symbolize faith, wisdom, and valor. The root is called orris root, and when ground up it produces a mildly sweet powder used as a scent fixative in potpourri. Orris powder is also used for peace, harmony, and love.
JASMINE (JASMINUM SPP.)
Also known as jessamine, jasmine possesses a heady but delicate scent that is usually stronger at night. Because of this, it is often associated with the moon and feminine energy. Jasmine, which has long been associated with seduction and sensuality, is a perfumer’s prized ingredient. Magically, jasmine is associated with love, meditation, spirituality, harmony, and prosperity.
LAVENDER (LAVANDULA SPP.)
Another perennial favorite, lavender is used frequently in magical and nonmagical applications. Thanks to its gentle scent, it is an ideal herb to use in conjunction with magic for children, for it encourages relaxation and sleep. Magically, lavender is associated with peace, harmony, tranquility, love, purification, and healing.
LILAC (SYRINGA VULGARIS)
The sweet, wild scent of lilacs in late spring is a heady experience. The flowers of this shrub are usually white or shades of purple. Magically, they are used for protection and banishing negative energy.
LILY (LILIUM SPP.)
The lily family is very large. In general, lilies are associated with protection and the elimination of hexes. Day lilies bring to mind the concept of cycles. In some cultures, lilies are associated with the concept of death and the afterlife, supporting the association with rebirth and cycles.
LILY OF THE VALLEY (CONVALLARIA MAGALIS)
This tiny cascade of white or cream-colored bell-shaped flowers has a delicate scent. Magically, it enhances concentration and mental ability and is used to encourage happiness.
PANSY (VIOLA TRICOLOR)
Also known as love-in-idleness and Johnny-jump-up, the pansy is a hardy, cheerful-looking plant with multicolored flowers related to the violet. It blooms throughout the summer and comes in both annual and perennial varieties. Magically, it is used for divination, communication, happiness, and love.
POPPY (PAPAVER RHOEAS)
Also known as the corn poppy, the red poppy is a bright flower with a furry green stem and leaves. Although the red poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is a gentle narcotic in large quantities, it is the Papaver somniferum species of poppies that is toxic and the source of opium. Poppy seeds are used in cooking and baking, and sometimes oil is extracted to be used in cooking as well. Magically, the poppy is associated with tranquility, fertility, prosperity, love, sleep, and invisibility.
ROSE (ROSA SPP.)
Across cultures and throughout history, the rose is one of the most famous flowers. Its scent is unmistakable. Folklore and literature have made the rose synonymous with love, although that is far from being the only association it carries. Roses create an atmosphere of beauty that encourages closeness with nature. The rose is a very feminine flower and is edible if unsprayed and prepared correctly (see Chapter 9 for recipes using roses and other flowers). The real flower has a gentle scent; it is unfortunate that artificially scented rose products are heavy and overly sweet. Magically, the rose is associated with healing, divination, tranquility, harmony, psychic ability, spirituality, and protection.
SNAPDRAGON (ANTIRRHINUM MAJUS)
Snapdragons have a lovely innocent energy. Magically, they are used for protection, particularly from illusion or deception, or to reflect negative energy to its source. Plant snapdragons along the perimeter of your garden to protect it.
SUNFLOWER (HELIANTHUS SPP.)
Also known as Peruvian marigold, the sunflower is, of course, associated with the sun and its energy, which means it carries magical associations of happiness, success, and health. The sunflower is also associated with welcome and family. The plant’s abundant seeds carry the magical associations of fertility. Sunflowers are excellent in a celebration ritual or during a summer solstice ritual. Germinate the seeds and then plant them to increase the energy of abundance in your garden in general. (Be sure you choose specific seeds meant for planting instead of planting random seeds, so you will know what size of sunflower to expect!)
TULIP (TULIPA SPP.)
The chalice or cuplike shape of the tulip makes this flower ideal for use for prosperity and abundance magic. The tulip is also associated with protection, love, and happiness.
VIOLET (VIOLA ODORATA)
Also known as sweet violet, the violet is a delicate flower used for peace, hope, harmony, protection, luck, love, sleep, and tranquility. Use violet in charms and sachets designed to maintain tranquility and to encourage peace, particularly among people. Combine violet with lavender for a child’s herbal pillow to aid sleep and calm nightmares. Violet also has aspects of fertility and abundance, which are reflected in how easily the plant propagates itself.