has been used since antiquity for its aromatic and
magical properties. Lavandula angustifolia
(formerly Lavandula officinalis) is native
to the Old World, growing in a wide belt from the
Mediterranean lands to India. It has been used as a
perfume, as a culinary herb, and as a medicinal
plant. In fact, it was the effectiveness of
lavender oil in treating inflammation from cuts and
burns that helped spark the modern practices of
aromatherapy and the therapeutic use of essential
purposes, I encourage you grow your own lavender.
The plants are easy to grow in a wide range of
conditions, preferring lots of sun and soil that is
slightly on the dry side and well drained. Purchase
young plants at your local nursery in the spring.
(Lavender is difficult to grow from seed.) Although
lavender is a perennial, the varieties from warmer
areas (such as France and Spain) do not overwinter
reliably in many areas. English lavender,
especially large, established plants, can be
expected to survive winters in New Mexico without
special fuss. The plants make a beautiful addition
to the garden, with their silvery leaves and purple
flower spikes. Some nurseries have a range of
different varieties for sale, which vary in plant
habit, flower color, height, and other qualities.
lavender is associated strongly with love and
healing energies. It is ruled by Mercury, and its
associated element is air. I use lavender to
promote harmony, friendship, and light, easy, happy
feelings between people, animals, and spirits. The
sense of lightness and easy conversation also makes
lavender useful for enhancing clarity of
features prominently in my favorite house blessing
ritual. I use dragonsblood around the walls, doors,
and windows for protection, but then burn lavender
in the center of each room to fill each space with
loving, happy energy.
lavender bread for our wedding, not realizing that
this is actually a tradition in some
visualize the spirit of lavender as a beautiful
fairy or sprite, playing a harp or lute, dispelling
troubles and worries and providing gentle music to
sweeten the conversations between lovers or
of lavender is strongest in the flower buds,
although the leaves carry it too. The most direct
way to use the buds is to dry them and burn them as
incense while you cast a spell or perform a ritual.
You can also make an infusion by letting the buds
soak in a neutral oil for a few days. To make the
infusion stronger, keep the oil and replace the
used buds with fresh ones. You can also buy
lavender essential oil, and use it straight or
mixed with a carrier oil for dressing candles,
blessing magical tools, or anointing yourself for
purification, healing, or to bring more harmony
into your relationships.
also bestows its magical properties when used in
food or drink. Lavender sugar is quite nice, and
can be made simply by keeping some sprigs of
lavender in the sugar bowl for a few days. The
flower buds can be used whole in breads or cakes,
or added to sauces.
of lavender has many blessings to share with us. No
home or garden should be without her.