Our kitchen witch Silja shows you how to tap into the magical properties of your favourite herbs
The Ancient Greeks called lavender “the witches herb”, sacred to the Goddess Hecate. It was used for purification of clothes and bedding after illness or a fight. Lavender is also associated with the Roman god (and planet) Mercury, who was a messenger deity. In Roman times, people used to brush letters with a sprig of lavender to ease the shock of bad news, and burned it over coals during childbirth to make the baby’s journey into the world much easier.
Early Christians placed a small sprig of lavender in the keyhole of homes, too, to stop bad spirits and people entering their space. March is the month of the vernal (Spring) equinox and Ostara, symbolising the balance between night and day. This is celebrated with eggs and sweet foods to symbolise the upcoming season of fertility and plentiful food. You can make lavender honey or lavender sugar easily. Simply layer dried lavender buds in a jar of sugar, or drop a handful of lavender buds in a small jar of honey, letting it sit in a cool dark place for about a month. Sift out the lavender buds and enjoy in delicately flavoured cakes, whipped cream, custard and tea.
Lavender is used for its aromatic properties in spells and beautiful flowers. As purple is a colour of peace and witchy knowledge, some witches like just having a bushel of lavender on their altar, or weaving sprigs of lavender into their decorative broom (kept by the front door to ward off bad spirits and negativity, and to promote non-stressful relationships).
Now try this…
Useful spells for lavender
If you’re facing a stressful situation, such as a meeting at work, or encountering a friend you have fallen out with, get a white handkerchief (for peace and positive energy), and put five drops of lavender essential oil on it – one to symbolise each of the five points of the pentagram (earth, air, fire, water, spirit), to keep you grounded and balanced. Take it out and inhale the lavender when things get stressful.
If you’re wondering about an old friend or family member you haven’t heard from in a while, or had a disagreement with, run a warm bath and add some sprigs of lavender or a lavender-scented bath product. Relax and think positive thoughts about the person, asking the Messenger God Mercury to let you know how they are doing, or get them to contact you. Before you get out, submerge yourself fully three times before saying, “(Name) I care for you – my love for you still holds true. Please let me know you are alright. I only want positives, not a fight.”
Lavender can also be used to get in touch with spirits. Simply take a large sprig of lavender, and leave half where you think the spirit is, such as a gravestone, a fairy fort or your home. Put the other half under your pillow and the spirit should make contact via your dreams.
Did you know?
The word ‘lavender’ comes from the Latin “lavare”, meaning ‘to wash’. Roman soldiers used the herb to cleanse themselves physically and spiritually after combat
Silja is a Celtic Wiccan high priestess and has led a Celtic training coven in Ireland. She now divides her time between Dublin, Ireland and Arkansas, USA. Silja is the author of The Green Wiccan Book of Shadows and The Green Wiccan Herbal. Check out her Facebook page at facebook.com/SiljasGreenWiccan