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.