In the House
A Rose by Any Other Name
Rose (Rosa spp.)
The fragrance of roses is a scent that is recognized worldwide and has been written about throughout history. Linked with romance and allure, roses were also symbols of spirituality and mysticism. Not only do roses smell wonderful, but they also have healing properties, and the petals are edible. Of course the fruit, rosehips, are edible too. Resist pruning faded flowers to let the rosehips form.
There are thousands of books on the subject and a dizzying number of rose varieties and cultivars. The roses that we grow in our gardens are usually classified into three main groups: species roses, old garden or old-fashioned roses, and modern roses. The species roses are the ones that have grown wild for hundreds or thousands of years. They have a single flower with five petals. The dog rose, covered earlier in this chapter, is a species rose.
The old garden or old-fashioned roses (sometimes called heritage or historic roses) are hybrids that were introduced before 1867.76 Their flowers have dense ruffled layers of petals. While they bloom once in a season, they tend to be more fragrant than their modern cousins. Modern roses were introduced after 1867. These bloom more than once in a season, have a larger flower size, and have a longer vase life.
Many roses are at their height of blooming this month, making it a good time to add them to our magical repertoire. In addition to the actual flower, we can use rosewater and rose oil. Both are easy to make. The best time to pick flowers is when they are just coming into full bloom. Cut them from the plant in the morning after the dew has dried and before the heat of the day sets in. Gently pull the petals apart.
One way to make rosewater is to firmly pack rose petals into a mason jar and then pour in enough distilled water to cover them. Put the lid on and set the jar in a sunny place. Let the petals soak for about twenty-four hours and then strain out the petals.
Another way to make rosewater is to place the rose petals in a pan, cover with distilled water, and put the lid on the pan. Warm the petals on low heat on the stove for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the petals infuse for three to four hours, and then strain.
To make rose oil, use a lightweight oil such as sweet almond. Place the petals in a mason jar and pour in enough oil to cover them. Store in a dark cupboard at room temperature for three to four weeks, and then strain.
Sprinkle rosewater around your home to attract peace and aid in dealing with family issues. In addition, the healing energy of roses brings happiness, friendship, and luck to the home. Rose oil is good for consecrating amulets and charms. Use candles prepared with rose oil in banishing and binding spells and for releasing hexes. Sprinkle rosewater around your altar when engaging in clairvoyance, communicating with spirits, and psychic work in general. To aid in divination or encourage prophetic dreams, rub rose oil on your wrists where your body heat will aid in releasing a rose scent for several hours. Alternatively, add a few rose petals to a cup of herbal tea and drink it before a divination session or before bed.
Rose is associated with the element water, and its astrological influence comes from Venus. This flower is associated with fairies and the following deities: Adonis, Aphrodite, Cupid, Demeter, Eros, Flora, Freya, Hathor, Holle, Isis, and Venus.
65 Payack, A Million Words and Counting, 176.
66 Ian Ridpath, Star Tales (Cambridge, England: Lutterworth Press, 1988), 40.
67 Chevallier, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, 166.
68 Ivo Pauwels and Gerty Christoffels, Herbs: Healthy Living with Herbs from Your Own Garden, trans. Milton Webber (Antwerp, The Netherlands: Struik Publishers, 2006), 138.
69 Ralph Metzner, The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe (Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1994), 289.
70 Claire Kowalchik and William H. Hylton, eds., Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, Inc., 1998), 342.
71 Denys J. Charles, Antioxidant Properties of Spices, Herbs and Other Sources (New York: Springer Science + Business Media, 2013), 353.
72 Coombes, Dictionary of Plant Names, 115.
73 Tenenbaum, Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, 208.
74 Roberta Wilson, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty (New York: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 2002), 130.
75 Dobelis, Magic and Medicine of Plants, 226.
76 Tenenbaum, Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, 342.