By Isabella @TheWandCarver
It is July but I am thinking of Yule so Rosemary came to mind and its heady “pine-ish” aroma. It is a scent and a flavour I love wholeheartedly. Rosemary roasted potatoes come to mind! But I am not here to write a cookbook, am I? No, I’m here to explore all the wonderful magickal ways with which Rosemary can assist us in spells and healing. And even with Yule being a half a year away, Rosemary can be used in so many ways, from magick to good health. So, let us begin.
Reading through Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician, I find it amusing that as he wrote about most herbs and plants, he would always say in the beginning of each plant’s description, ‘…it is so well known, I need not describe it.’ I would have to argue a few of his entries saying that as I would never know the plant without a description or picture, however, I can agree here…I imagine everybody knows the look of Rosemary! It has been around for so long and used by so many that it is a staple in all kitchens most likely and grown in many gardens. It is so easy and hardy to grow that it can flourish even in the gardens of those without green fingers. If you’re not sure of yourself as a gardener I believe you will find success at last by growing Rosemary.
Rosemary is a favourite of mine to use in poppets and incense for courage and healing spells and for protection. It is also a fundamental ingredient in clearing rituals.
Burning Rosemary whether in an incense or as a smudge stick/wand is a long-favoured way of “clearing the air” in a negative home or room. It has been found to help students whom are swotting up for exams and whilst doing revision for it helps clear their minds and keeps them on task because it helps their memory.
Many people I have talked to use Rosemary oil for cleansing and consecrating their altar and tools, however, I have not tried this. I stick to using Myrrh. Still, I may give Rosemary a go sometime. I certainly know it can’t hurt.
Plant Rosemary near your entrance doors on your home to ward off thieves.
My family swore by Rosemary being left underneath the marital bed for increasing the chances of fertility. You can make sachets to lay under pillows on the bed to achieve the same if you don’t want to have to sweep Rosemary needles from under your bed.
For marital loyalty, have your groom’s buttonhole made to include a sprig of Rosemary and be sure to have it added to your own bouquet to use during your wedding / handfasting.
Rosemary can be used in wreathes and decorations for the Yule season [keep in mind for next year] for its protectiveness, heath-giving, and loyalty attributes.
Hanging a bunch of Rosemary above one’s bed can ensure nightmares will not come.
The Elven folk are said to be attracted to Rosemary and I can attest to that as we had a maisonette a few years ago with a massive, bushy Rosemary growing in the back garden. We also had an impish Elf we named “Squishy” who notoriously pulled pranks when we sat out at night with a glass of wine. He was a quite a lot of fun, however, we haven’t seen him since moving to our bungalow. If we did not come out, he would chuck pebbles against the bathroom window to get our attention!
According to Culpeper, Rosemary “….is very much used for inward and outward diseases, for by the warming and comforting heat thereof it helps all cold diseases, both of the head, stomach, liver, and belly. The decoction thereof in wine, helps the cold distillations of rheums into the eyes, and all other cold diseases of the head and brain, as the giddiness or swimmings therein, drowsiness or dullness of the mind and senses like a stupidness, the dumb palsy, or loss of speech the lethargy, and falling-sickness, to be both drank, and the temples bathed therewith.” He also goes on to say it is good for bathing away pains in teeth and gums and is used “to clear away stinking breath“. Rosemary also helps a weak memory and a plethora of other maladies! It would seem that if you had Rosemary in your garden and knew how to use it, you could almost live forever!
How do we use it in these times? A lot of the same ways as in olden days. We use Rosemary in cooking much of the time to guarantee proper digestion, particularly during holiday meals. It is one of the reasons why I always add Rosemary to my roast potatoes. Not only does it make them taste wonderful, but it is also helpful to sooth our stomachs from the excesses of the day.
Other ways I have used Rosemary is to melt down some bee’s wax, then add a bit of camphor. Next, I add a good amount of ground, fresh Rosemary, and a few drops of Rosemary oil, then allow it to sit til completely cool. It is the most fabulous nose un-stuffer when you have a cold, not to mention very gentle round your sore nose. It can also be used on cuts and bruises with success. It works for sore muscles, of which I generally have many, and this balm also helps reduce the appearance of spots and scars in the skin. For very sore muscles a drop or two of turpentine won’t go amiss. The same as people used it for many centuries ago.
For our hair, my daughters and I make an infusion with castor oil and fresh Rosemary by stuffing as much as will fit into a large jar. Then, we fill it with either castor oil or extra virgin olive oil and let it set for thirty days in the sunny window sill with the lid on tightly. Note: Be quick about using it if you make your infusion with olive oil as it seems to go “off” quicker than castor oil. Just massage into your hair and apply heat, let it sit for an hour, then wash as normal. Your hair will be softer than ever, and it seems to help strengthen against breakage. Infusion made oils are also useable in your magickal work in place of their essential oil counterparts. In fact, I like using infusion made oils better.
Rosemary is a wonderful pick-me-up in the sickroom. Have fresh bunches of Rosemary placed about the room for the spirit-lifting aroma and the protection of the patient.
I warn you, though it is bitter, you can steep Rosemary flowers and needles in a diffuser to make a cup of tea for an upset tummy.
Zodiac: Aries *Many say Leo, however, I use the designation of Aries by Nicholas Culpeper
Powers: Health, Protection, Courage, Cleansing, Loyalty, Fertility, Longevity
Deity: Aphrodite, Venus
I hope you have found some use for Rosemary from my blog that you may not have already thought of. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all this way wander. x
The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c.1700’s