By Isabella @TheWandCarver
If you guessed that this is the tree where our beloved Bay leaves come from, you are correct. The Bay Laurel [Laurus nobilis] is the aromatic, sun-loving tree which is renowned from the ancient Greek and Roman times as the embodiment of fame, victory, and success. The victors of those times [think Julius Caesar] wore Laurel crowns… as a matter of fact, Italian high school graduates continue this tradition today. The word “laureate”, which comes from the word laurel, indicates a high level of mastery and recognition, as in Poet Laureate. And I am sure you have also heard of the phrase “rest on one’s laurels”.
Bay is definitely aligned with fame, winning, successfulness in all you do. We use it extensively in magick. But why? And how? Many times, we may use an herb or spice because a spell requires it without giving much thought to why are we using this particular herb or spice. If you have used bay leaves in a success, luck, or money spell then you may have had great success with the spell. But, did you know that your herbs and spices may not work so well unless you enchant them to do your bidding first? My personal enchantment routine is to hold each item I choose to go into my spell work in my “power hand”, which for me is my right hand. Then I choose the correspondence of the herb that I wish to enchant it for… most herbs and spices have a variety of correspondences, as you may know. Some may do multiple different things such as money, fertility, protection, etc. So, if you want money, you must enchant that herb/spice for its correspondence of money and not fertility. Then, holding the herb in my power hand, I speak my enchantment to it nine times. After I feel the sudden warmth in my hand, I know it is ready to be added to my spell potion or incense.
Other ways in which to use the wonderful Bay leaf are for prosperity, wish granting, psychic abilities and more… one quick spell anyone can do is to write “prosperity” onto a Bay leaf in gold ink [you can get gold ink pens at most department stores with any kind of stationary department] and then burn the Bay leaf, focussing your intent for prosperity as it burns. For protection, burn Sage along with Bay leaves to cleanse your space needing protection. For success, hold a Bay leaf and channel your desire into the leaf until you feel it is working, then burn the leaf. You can also add one or more Bay leaves to any magickal working performed with the intention to manifest any variety of success. Another way to draw money into your life is to empower four Bay leaves during the New Moon in the light of the noon Sun, then place them in your wallet or cash box.
Hold a single Bay leaf between your flat palms in prayer pose near your heart. Fell or imagine a bright sphere of sunlight surrounding your and shielding you from all negative effects of harassment and unwanted advances. Call upon Daphne to support you in this intention and remind yourself that you are not deserving of such treatment. Vow to yourself that you will refuse to tolerate it or take to heart any longer. Then place it in a drawstring bag, along with a haematite stone, and wear it around your neck so that it rests over your heart. Thank Daphne for her help and wear as needed. ~ Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Trees
Powers: Anti-Harassment, Healing, Psychic Abilities, Prosperity, Protection, Success, Wish Granting
Deity: Apollo, Daphne, Gaia, and Peneus
Folk Names: sweet Bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel
Most of us have used Bay leaves in cooking meals, particularly Italian dishes. But did you know that Bay leaves have the ability to detoxify the body, slow the ageing process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimise digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer?
Bay leaves have a profound effect on our gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulating vomiting [as an emetic] when something toxic has been consumed. Furthermore, the organic compounds found in bay leaves are very effective for settling upset stomachs, soothing irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] or even lessening the symptoms of Celiac disease.
Having a hard go of breathing due to flu or cold? Melt down some bee’s wax, add a little bit of a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil, then some Bay leaf essential oil [the higher the grade, the better to make a salve. Rub on your chest and not only will it help you breathe better by loosening the phlegm, but its antibacterial properties will help rid you of the bacteria trapped in your respiratory tract.
Don’t be too quick to chuck out that salve when your cold is all better! You can likewise use it on arthritic joints or sore muscles for relief of pain.
** “Bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the Bay Laurel tree. There are some varieties that are toxic when consumed. You can purchase Bay Laurel leaf in capsule form. There is no scientific evidence I can find that it works, but as mentioned earlier, it is also believed to prevent certain cancers and lower glucose levels in diabetics. Please see your GP before embarking on any kind of self-treatment for disease.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst