In the Garden
*Also known as elf leaf, rosmarine, and sea dew
Often growing on sea cliffs around the Mediterranean, rosemary was described as having the smell of the ocean with a hint of pine. This is the source of its genus name, which means “dew of the sea.” 50 Rosemary is a shrubby evergreen perennial that often reaches six feet in height. It has short, stiff, needle-like leaves similar to spruce trees. Its pale blue, tubular-shaped flowers grow in clusters of two or three. They bloom from late winter to early spring and sometimes intermittently throughout the year.
Since ancient times, rosemary was used in religious ceremonies, magic spells, and more mundanely as a medicinal herb. The Greeks and Romans used it at weddings as a symbol of fidelity and at funerals for remembrance. In the belief that rosemary improved memory, students in ancient Greece burned it or wore a sprig of it in their hair for help in passing exams. The folk name elf leaf is in reference to the belief that these magical beings lived among the rosemary bushes.
Rosemary’s cleansing properties make it useful for clearing negativity. Burn a few dried leaves before ritual, magic, or healing work. Also burn it for defensive magic to release and protect against hexes. Using it in food to reduce the intensity of strong emotions makes it helpful in balancing relationships and engendering fidelity between lovers. Also use dried leaves and/or flowers in spells to bind people together. While it can attract elves and fairies, it also protects against malicious entities. Rosemary enhances awareness and increases magic and psychic powers.
Rosemary is associated with the element fire and with fairies and elves. Its astrological influence comes from the planet Mercury, the moon, the sun, and the fixed star Alphecca.
Figure 15. Rosemary is associated with the rune Jera.