As an earthworker, I'm all about flower power.
Flowers have taught me the power of softness, confidence, vulnerability, and secreted medicine- crucial lessons for a femme of color like me.
Plant's flowers are their crowning glory, and while they might be a milder energetic form of the overall medicine of a plant, they are absolutely vital and can be very useful in witchy practice. Additionally, flowers are easily accessible medicine (you don't want to consume the overpriced and chemically-fertilized stuff sold in stores anyway) that is easy to make whether as a tea, infused oil, or flower essence amongst other remedies.
Here are five flowers whose petals are magical to have on hand. I turn to these most often, both used alone and in cooperation with other tools and resources of my healing work.
(missing from this list and called on everyday are sunflowers, but I've already waxed poetic about this lovely darling over here so I thought I'd do some different but nevertheless dearly-loved flowers)
CALENDULA (calendula officinalis)
Also known as pot marigold, calendula is a gentle but powerful plant ally. Physically, calendula is used to nourish dry skin and soothe it when irritated. It's also found in heart and anxiety soothing blends, supporting more commonly used nervines and sedatives.
In magic and folklore, I've also found calendula to be a ritual herb, called in to mark beginnings and endings in celebrations of new love and remembrances of those dead. In your woo work, calendula petals can be used to represent the sun or a gentle fire (especially if you can't get access to sunflower petals). You can also add calendula to sweetening spells and let its honey scent permeate your magic.
As bright as calendula is, it works well with the shadow. I blend calendula with other herbs that reach beyond the veil in my Skeleton Key meditative tarot tea blend for the Hierophant due to its association with ancestors, clairvoyance, and the other side. Additionally, calendula can be cast with other protective herbs in circle.
Drink calendula tea to settle your spirit and as a guide to deeper knowledge. Anoint yourself with calendula infused oil for sweetness and calm and a brightening warmth. Internally it also helps us move what is stagnant- and that action can also be called in with spiritual healing work guiding us to move on and forward with a gentle nudge rather than a shove.
DANDELION (taraxacum officinale)
If you're familiar with dandelion in herb work chances are you've met it as roots, leaves, or even the famous puff ball. Less known are the uses of the golden dandelion flowers which have their own unique magic to add to the deep well of wisdom held in the dandelion plant.
Compared to the actions of the roots and leaves, dandelion flowers aren't as forceful. They are mildly pain-relieving and are useful to add in analgesic salves and oils. Once again physical and magical actions often correlate and as such, the flower essence of dandelion (wildcrafted and away from fields that suffer from chemicals like pesticides) can be used to soothe heartache and emotional distress- particularly the kind of distress caused by holding on to unnecessary baggage.
In ritual space, dandelions are associated with the element of air, particularly its puffballs, naturally. Often used to make wishes, dandelions are also often used in communication spells that require a bit of extra luck. The flowers can also be called in to provide a warm cleansing energy. Dandelion flowers also assist those who have a tendency toward uptightness and rigidity, helping you to loosen up and ground in yourself and your body rather than needless boundaries and restrictive structures. Dandelions help us understand the power of transformation that doesn't keep us in place- offering lessons on the freedom of impermanence, of what it might mean to be the vehicle for our next journey.
HIBISCUS (hibiscus sabdariffa)
A lovely hedge plant, hibiscus is too often underestimated in woo plant circles, I think. I'm always around it as I live in the Southwest of the United States and one of the favorites is agua de jamaica, essentially iced hibiscus tea, a sweet and sour refreshing way to cool down both the body and the mind.
Adding hibiscus' energy to a ritual and spell adds a spark of interest and sweetness. It's natural then that hibiscus has historically been used in love and passion spells, and is associated with Venus. I'll also readily add hibiscus to a blend of mugwort and passionflower, not just to mask the bitterness of the other two but to support their dream and divination energy.
Hibiscus is a gentle nervine; I love using it during the day, especially, when I want to unwind and de-stress without being so sedated I fall asleep. I'll also add hibiscus to quite a few teas that aren't particularly yummy- I've turned many a formerly-reluctant family member and friend to plant medicine by doing this. Which makes sense as hibiscus helps us move stuck energy without being obvious about it.
Which isn't to say that hibiscus should only be used in work you are doing for or with others. Sometimes the deepest love and passion we need to attract is for ourselves. Call on hibiscus as an ally to assist in this sweet and sour work of undoing doubt and investing back in ourselves.
LAVENDER (lavandula angustifolia)
Oh sweet lavender.
Lavender has been used to freshen a space and calm us to sleep for ages worldwide. Unfortunately, this means that it is one of the most chemically replicated scents on the planet. I urge you to seek out the natural source instead and experience its lovely magic. Outside of fiery work, there's little that lavender cannot assist you with if invoked with good intention. A protective, purifying, and sweetening herb, it packs a powerful punch despite its delicate exterior.
Lavender offers calm, sleep to those who need it, and reminds us that the sweetness we all have within us is the most restorative medicine available. Speaking of sleep, add lavender to your dreaming tea or pillow sachets to not only enhance your dreams but sweeten them. Lavender can also be burnt as incense, both purifying and sweetening the energy of your space. When caught in an emotional funk, use lavender to lift your spirits and help you find peace.
I am personally grateful to lavender. Lavender's magic led me through a particularly tenuous part of my growth during which I learned to love myself beyond the shadow of others underestimations. If you are still looking for an herbal ally through a particularly trying time in your life, I suggest calling on lavender. Even if you should discover a deeper bond with another plant, lavender will steadily move with you as you discover the healing you need.
ROSE (rosa damascena)
Roses are one of the oldest and most widely used flower magic out there. If you've ever given or received roses in a declaration of love and/or affection you are tapping into this age-old history of rosy magic. I've been adding rose to nearly everything I've been drinking lately. In my grieving work, she has been an indispensable ally to soothe my heart as I learn how to put it back together throughout this heartbreak. Rose works beautifully with other mood lifters like lemon balm and lavender.
Rose is often the chosen plant of many divine feminine love deities like Venus and Oshun; anoint yourself rose infused oil for self-love and beauty work; work a circle of rose petals to access the divine feminine within and around you. As it is associated with the element of water, one of the best ways to access rose magic is to add its petals into a bath you've intended to draw sweetness or ease ache in your heart.
Make a potion of rose tea or a hydrosol to invoke fertility- not just physical, we bring into this world our craft, art, and desires. Rose magic provides a sweet vessel to bring forth new and exciting passion projects. Call on rose when you feel the passion of your heart being drained- it will either guide you to new excitement or help you recognize whether the blockage is protective or necessary. Add roses to that sachet filled with lavender and mugwort to guide you in dreamwork and clairvoyance. Bless your new loveships with rose tea brewed together, speaking your intentions for each other and your partnerships.
Rose flowers carry the energy of the thorn magic in their stems, making them excellent protective energy. As such they are wonderful for boundary spells, particularly for soft, tender hearts that need protecting without suffocating. They teach the lesson of careful approach and reverence- our hearts (particularly your hearts, darling femmes) should be approached with care and reverence and those not ready to step up will find themselves in the thorns. We must also be careful we are not the ones who end up on the thorns as a consequence of not holding our own hearts with enough care. Roses teach us keep our hearts and spirits open without leaving them open to attack and disregard.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with flower and spirit work. Do you have a particular affinity with a certain flower? Which are your everyday flower allies?