Rosemary: History, Care, and Use in Magic

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Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub that lasts year round and blooms beautiful blue flowers (during either winter or summer depending on the plant). If I am being honest, it truly is my favorite herb. Being an herb, it is one of the most fragrant out there, with simply touching it enough to pass its scent on to you. It is made with numerous “stalks” holding multiple leaves (typically referred to as sprigs). These “leaves” are very tiny and thin and cover the plant giving it the shrub like “shaggy” appearance

Most people will be familiar with the herb due to its popularity with cooking and seasoning, especially poultry, lamb, and stews. 

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Long having been associated with magic, Rosemary specifically has an unusual history with witchcraft, specifically in regards to Christianity. According to legend, the Virgin Mary at one point lay her blue cloak over a rosemary bush when she was fleeing persecution in Egypt. The petals of the rosemary flower originally were white but, when touched by the cloak, turned blue. This changed the plant to one that is holy in nature and able to ward from black magic and evil spirits. It was also used as a way to prevent infection.

Interestingly enough, Rosemary does indeed protect against infection. Modern day scientists have discovered the Rosemary contains very powerful anti-bacterial and cleansing properties. Specifically it can be used to help heal wounds, clear acne, dermatitis, dandruff, lice, fungal infections, combat indigestion, assist with arthritis related joint pain, and oddly enough, can even help to combat male pattern baldness. Scientifically, simply inhaling the scent of rosemary oil may improve concentration, thinking, and memory, especially with dealing with age-related complications. 

Use in Magic

Rosemary is the plant of remembrance, and while known for working well with most other forms of magic, really shines brightest when helping to bring long lost memories back to light. From wearing a charm in your hair to sleeping with it at night, Rosemary will help not just you memory, but reawaken that which was once lost. As such, it is great when used in finding and location spells, memory spells, and even curses for the same.

As an herb of remembrance, it can also be used for more than just memory. Rosemary works really well with spirit work, wether that is honoring your ancestors, or call out to the dead for guidance. Mourners would throw it in graves as a symbol of remembrance and herb has been known to grow in areas where many people have passed on, like Gallipoli Peninsula where many Australians died in World War 1. 

While it may seem that everything nowadays has “protection” and “cleansing” added to it as a correspondence, Rosemary has scientifically been proved to be attached to both of these things, especially when regarding physical and mental health. As such, it is a great talisman for protection from disease, cleansing a space, and even is (in my opinion) the best substitute for Sage. It is also one of the most popular ingredients to use in Four Thieves Vinegar and Oil.

Considered a “Holy” plant by some religions, there is not the stigma that goes with using it, as some other plants have. Since Rosemary is so well spread out, it is one of the easiest things to use and is perfect for any broom closet with, as no one blinks twice when seeing rosemary in the kitchen. 

Photo by Anna Pyshniuk on

Handling and Care

Rosemary is a very tough plant. It can grow from anything from a pot, to a shrub 4 feet across and 4 feet high. 

It is very drought resistant and requires full sun, and does best in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. That being said, as the plant is indeed drought resistant, it is better to underwater them than overwater them (I do mine every few days and I think that is even too much). 

The shrub likes warm weather and decent humidity, and typically cannot survive in temperatures lower than 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rosemary reacts very well to pruning and cutting once mature, eventually being able to be “trained” into beautiful topiary shapes. That being said, as with most plants, do not prune off more than 30% of the plant at any given time. 

Keep your Rosemary in the sunlight, keep it warm, and keep in well drained potting mix for a beautiful shrub that will grow, protect, heal, and cleanse!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

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