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Botanical: Lavendula angustifolia
We know that lavender has been a herbe treated both with respect and as a sacred herbe since ancient times. Customs date to pre-Christian times in which lavender is brought into Midsummer rites. Lavender was very popular in the Middle Ages. Used by some to promote lust and romance, others believed it kept them from the temptations of the flesh. Prostitutes use to wear lavender water or the essential oil to attract men and advertise their profession. In the Renaissance period it was thought that along with rosemary, it should be worn to preserve a woman's chastity.
Lavender is a staple of the magickal herbalist. Among the lore is the belief that lavender is associated with snakes. In the second volume of Grieve's A Modern Herbal we find this reference:
Dr. Fernie, in Herbal Simples: "By the Greeks the name of Nardus is given to Lavender, from Naarda, a city of Syria near the Euphrates, and many persons call the plant 'Nard'. Saint Mark mentions this as Spikenard, a thing of great value. It was formerly believed that the asp, a dangerous kind of viper, made Lavender its habitual place of abode, so that the plant had to be approached with great caution."
In Pliny's time, blossoms of the Nardus sold for a hundred Roman denarii. This Lavender or Nardus was called Asarum by the Romans, because it was not used in garlands or chaplets.
Modern usage includes lavender being burned in birthing rooms, the scent of its smoke welcoming the new life into the world. Lavender may have the properties of a Fertility herbe; it has been woven into small wreaths to crown newly married couples, the blossoms added to the bridal bouquet, the flowers may be ground into a fine powder to be mixed into the wedding cake's batter. This powerful herbe is known to bring calmness and serenity to your inner self. It is believed that its strength is so strong that if gazed upon when depressed, all you depression will disappear and a feeling of well being will emerge. Carrying lavender brings strength and courage.
Lavender is known for its ability to increase one's clarity when viewing the world and to assist the evolution of one's spirit through life. This well-known herbe is used magickally to assist bringing any work into manifestation.
Lavender is sometimes used to increase one's ability to manifest money or to attract desired possessions, however if the motive for the magickal working is desire rather than genuine need, the magick could work in reverse.
Lavender (as herbe or essential oil) may be used in as an ingredient or substitute for magick spells and formulas related to Mercury matters (overcoming addiction, breaking bad habits, communication, divination, eloquence, intelligence, mental powers, psychic powers, self-improvement, study, travel, and wisdom). Be careful about substitutions for preparations that will be ingested or come in contact with the skin. These substitutions do not apply to medical uses.
As mentioned, there is some association with snakes. Whether this is an aspect of lavender's ability to increase wisdom (the snake has been associated with knowledge since early biblical times) or of folklore (snakes may find comfort resting beneath the bush), this information may be of value to many practitioners. There are significant number of deities associated with snakes and lavender might be used in a ritual to any of them. Lavender would also serve as a patron herbe fore those who work with or keep snakes.
Associated with the Hermit card, lavender is also used in the blessing of your home. A bunch of lavender bound together is well used in aspurging your home, temple or ritual circle.
Place lavender under your pillow, while thinking of a wish, right before retiring for the night. If you dream something that is connected to your wish it will come true.