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(Rosmarinus officinalis)

Zodiac sign: Leo, Scorpio
Planet: Sun, Moon
Element: Fire
Deities: Hebe (Greek goddess of youth), Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love)

Another favorite of Witches and cooks alike, rosemary has long been used for a wide variety of culinary, medicinal, and magical purposes. This fragrant herb tends to resemble lavender in appearance, but you can easily tell the difference between the two by rubbing the leaves with your hands, which will release the aromatic oils for easy identification. Another distinguishing characteristic is that rosemary leaves are whitish underneath and a deeper green on top, while lavender leaves tend to have a more blue-green hue. You can find dried rosemary in the spice section of any grocery store, but it’s also quite easy to grow in a garden or a kitchen window. In the ancient world, rosemary was sacred in Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and had associations with both festive and somber occasions. While the wood of the rosemary bush was used to make musical instruments, and brides wore wreaths made from the branches, Egyptians used it in embalming the dead. It was also used in funeral rites in Wales, where mourners would throw sprigs into the gravesite while the coffin was being lowered into it. In contemporary times, rosemary is used for improving circulation and warming cold arms and legs, as well as for improving the appearance of hair and skin. This herb has an all-around energetic quality of clarification, purification, and rejuvenation. Magical workings for rosemary make use of its purifying properties, particularly for eliminating negative vibrations from a physical space or one’s own person. For this reason, burning rosemary before spellwork is highly recommended, as is using an infusion of rosemary in a ritual bath prior to magical work. Alternatively, you can make a sacred water with rosemary to rinse your hands in before magic, or to purify and bless ritual tools. Combined with juniper, rosemary makes a great smudge for healing, and for clearing out any residual energies of disease in a room where someone has been ill. Other uses for rosemary include healing, protection, love, lust, retaining youth, combating jealousy, and strengthening mental clarity and focus. In love spells, rosemary is stuffed into poppets or sachets to draw new suitors. This same method can be used in spells for focusing during an examination, so rosemary is a great herb for students to make regular use of. And a fresh sprig of rosemary placed by the pillow promotes a solid night’s sleep, which is a key component in retaining one’s youthful vitality. Rosemary is also known as elf leaf, sea dew, and compass weed. As with many other potent herbs, it should not be used medicinally by pregnant women, but it’s fine to use as a seasoning on food.

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