MAGIC IN BLOOM: Spellcrafting with Flowers
By Kalyn Anderson/@sweetbitterritual
There is an innate and undeniable magic to flowers. Their colors, their shapes, the way they move in the wind or turn to their faces towards the Sun...flowers have enchanted humans (and pollinators) from the start. Most of us can appreciate the beauty of a fresh or preserved bloom...but not all of us are sure how to make the most of flowers in our magic!!
With Spring in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, I wanted to give you a simple guide to using these powerful natural allies in your spellcraft! As always, your craft is YOUR craft, so these are not hard and fast rules! If you like to use flowers differently (or not at all) in your own practice, you do you!! The more personally connected you are to your magical workings, the more effective they will be! That being said, here are some helpful starting points for working with flowers:
Using Flowers for Spellwork
Flowers are just as versatile as any herb or plant matter for spellwork. If you know how to use herbs in your magic...you know how to use flowers! Here are just a few of our favorite ways to work with fresh (or dried) blooms:
- Flower Essences -- Flower essences use water to absorb the vibrational energy of a flower/flowers. These are a lovely way to work with flowers because they require little to no harvesting of actual plant material. This means you can leave those lovely blooms intact and still work plenty of magic! Simply place a single bloom into a dish of drinkable water (or set your dish of water near the plant, perhaps with a leaf or petal dipping into the bowl) and sit with the flower/water while focusing on your intention for this essence. When you're done, top off your mixture with about 1 part alcohol or glycerine to 2 parts water, and you've got a flower essence! We also carry some beautiful flower + gem essences from witches like Sister Spinster, Dori Midnight, and Flowers + Stars!
- Magical Bouquets -- Choose your flowers with intention! If you can find a local florist that lets you build your own bouquets (or if you're really lucky and have your own garden to cut flowers from), build yourself or a loved one a bouquet of flowers imbued with magical intention. We'll talk more about the "meanings" of flowers later on, but feel free to go with your gut! Whether you're building an arrangement for your altar or creating a flowery spell for joy for a pal...your magic will bring an extra dose of beauty to your bouquet! You can also make magical bouquets with dried flowers, or create a sachet of blooms if they're not large enough/whole enough to create a bouquet!
- Oils -- Flower oils like Rose, Jasmine, Lavender, or Chamomile can be used to work some aroma magic however you please! Dilute some in a carrier oil like almond or jojoba to create your own ritual oil, or add a few drops to a magical bath! Just make sure to use essential oils with caution...they're POWERFUL stuff (that's what makes them smell so good)! Never eat them, and never put them on your skin undiluted!
- Teas, Baths, Incenses -- You can use flowers in magical teas, smoking blends, baths, and incenses just as you would any other herb! Erin's Apothecary uses Hibiscus flowers in her Love Ritual bath blend, and we can't get enough! As with any other herb, you want to do your research before creating your own blends to make sure it's safe for you to work directly with this flower (especially if you'll be drinking, smoking, or bathing in it).
The Magical "Meanings" of Flowers
There's a myriad of ways to figure out which flowers to use to match your intentions. If you're working within a specific tradition, it's best to look to resources and mentors from that tradition for guidance on which flowers to work with and when. If you are NOT working within a specific tradition, here are a few ways you can go about making meaning out of flowers!
- Magical Correspondences -- There are plenty of books/resources on magical herbalism that are not tied to any one tradition. We're currently loving Radical Remedies by Brittany Ducham, which includes profiles of herbs + flowers as well as instructions on how to use them for both practical and magical self-care! Lists of herbal correspondences can be a helpful place to start, but use your intuition to decide which plants on the list suit you + your intentions best!
- Color Magic -- It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of color magic. It's simple, it's intuitive, and even the least "woo" among us can admit that color has an effect on our energy/mood. If you want to cast a spell for passion + excitement, you could choose flowers in hues of hot pink, red, and orange (or other colors that make you feel fired up) to incorporate into a bouquet, bath, or tea!
- Floriography -- Floriography is the Victorian "language of flowers". The Victorian's were SUPER into flowers and developed an elaborate system of symbolism in order to send messages through tiny bouquets! (Do you think I could get away with sending tiny bouquets instead of replying to my emails?? A witch can dream.) Most of the symbolic associations they came up with were rooted in Greek, Roman, or other mythologies--and they're really fun to look up! There's even a whole book on it by artist Jessica Roux. For instance, Proteas symbolize "transformation", as they are associated with Proteus, the shapeshifting son of Poseidon. Likewise, Protea flowers appear in a staggering variety of colors and shapes. Finding out the history and mythology behind certain flowers is a beautiful way to learn to work with them and understand the WHY behind their associations. Victorian floriography can be a great place to start --just remember their interpretations are often through a euro-centric lens!
- Personal Mythologies -- In my opinion, this can be one of the most powerful ways to use flowers (or any ally/tool) in your craft. Using your PERSONAL associations for certain flowers is the easiest way to understand the "why" behind which flowers to choose. If want to conjure a spell for feelings of safety + comfort, why not use Sunflowers like the ones that used to grow outside your grandma's kitchen window? Maybe your partner gave you a certain type of flower on your first date or another special occasion...use these flowers in spells to strengthen love + connection or encourage sensuality. This method is all about how the flowers make YOU feel, so get creative!
Like I said, this is by no means a complete list of ways to use flowers in your magic! These colorful, strange, little aliens are bursting with energy just waiting to enhance your spell-work. Spend some time this Spring paying attention to what blooms in your yard, in your neighborhood, and in the wild areas around your home (if there are any)! The more you pay attention, the more magical you'll find the world around you is.
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