Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Fair Lavender

Ladies fair, I bring to you
Lavender with spikes of blue;
Sweeter plant was never found
Growing on our English ground.

— Caryl Battersby, 1896

The medicinal properties of lavender are well-known, tried and true for many centuries. But I also love it for its more subtle, equally powerful gifts.

I know lavender to be an intimate friend, teacher and a guide to the Goddess in ritual and magic. Its effects as a flower essence, for example, enhance our spiritual sensitivity and refine our awareness. Because of this, as well as its calming fragrance, it is a favorite addition to the purification bath before ritual.

Lavender is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo by some, but it also is harmonious with Air signs, particularly Aquarius. Lavender is the prime ingredient in many magical oils, including this one that will enhance the Mercurian qualities of communication, clarity and protection when traveling. Combine 4 drops of lavender, 2 drops of eucalyptus, and 1 drop of peppermint oil. Try rubbing this on your temples, or sprinkling a couple of drops in a kerchief around your neck. Yum!

Some people burn lavender as incense but I prefer only to burn it in ritual, and then, only in combination with the other eight herbs of the Litha (Summer Solstice) Fire.

The Litha Fire is based on the Greater Key of Solomon, which contains instructions for making an aspergillum using nine sacred herbs. This is often included in various Midsummer celebrations. Of course, it’s not that simple, thanks to archaic terminology and translation disputes. So there is some controversy about exactly which herbs are being referenced, and are meant to be included.

One Green Witchcraft tradition that I have studied suggests instead of sprinkling, you can burn the nine in a cauldron. Recommendations include betony wood, chamomile, either fennel or lavender, lemon balm, mullein, rue, St. John’s wort, thyme and vervain .

Naturally, I choose lavender and have found that burning this mixture in my cauldron at the height of my Litha celebration is intensely pleasurable, mystical and healing.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some more magical lore about this beautiful, ancient, and mostly easy-going friend from the garden.

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  • June 26, 2008, 9:00 am Tarot By Arwen

    A friend in the Craft shared this with me:

    To Help With Sleeping Problems

    Steep a handful of lavender in milk for 10 minutes. Make sure the milk doesn’t scald. Drain the herb and enjoy the warm milk just before bed time.

    (I would love to hear if anyone tries this with soy or rice milk to see if the same results can be achieved.)

  • June 26, 2008, 11:02 am Greg Fletcher-Marzullo

    Thanks for the lavender post. I absolutely love it (and I’m an Aquarian – go figure!) and use it often in my tea. (Lesson learned, only sprinkle a few buds in the water – too much makes for a weird taste.)

    This morning, my tea was skullcap, milky oats, some chamomile and a few lavender flowers. Really good stuff.

    Also, I often carry it with me as an offering to the Fae when I go out for a walk.

  • June 26, 2008, 12:49 pm Copper Asetemhat Stewart

    Oh, this one is attractive… I have everything but betony… 9 and Solstice are important to me. (I’m virgo but not especially partial to lavender, and have trouble growing it even though most plants I grow thrive)

  • June 27, 2008, 3:29 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Arwen – this sounds lovely! I will have to try it (although I still prefer cow milk). Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Greg – I can’t imagine drinking skullcap in a morning drink.. isn’t it a sedative? And yes, yes! Thanks for the reminder that lavender is an ideal offering for the Silver Blooded Ones.

    Copper – I don’t have ready access to betony, either. I found some at an herb shop one year that has since gone out of business. So I have since substituted oak bark, and even cedar, though I can’t really tell you what led me to make these particular substitutions, other than Mystery and availabiity.

    Even so, the Litha Fire smoke is truly wonderful, and I recommend it! And, in my opinion, it’s not really too late! 😉