“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”
–Anne Morrow Lindberg
Flowers may either be gathered from your garden, the wild, or purchased from a store. They should be a beautiful bundle that looks pleasing to the Great Mother Goddess and to all the Nature Spirits. The Elementals are attracted to the beauty and scent of flowers, hence, why we place them on the altar in our rituals.
The altar can have as many flower bouquets as you wish! Many times, witches will bring flowers to share to the covenstead to be placed on the altar to serve as a beautiful meditational piece or a silent prayer to the Lady. When placing flowers as a request or petition, it is customary to place them in a nice vase and to balance them on the altar with the other items. Many times, we like to place random flowers around and within items on the altar – in whatever manner your intuition guides you and in a way that looks pleasing. This is an act of devotion in our religion.
If you understand the language of flowers, you can select the proper type of flower for each occasion. The language of flowers is a crafty way of sending messages, especially between initiates of the Wicca – for example, when in mixed company of non-initiates, we sometimes rely on non-verbals along with the occasional basic telepathy – but the language of flowers can be used too. When outdoors in mixed-company, for example, if I pick a certain plant and hand it secretly to another witch, they can divine what I am trying to say to them by the type of plant or flower I’ve given them. I know of very few covens that keep up with or discuss these old practices today.
The practice of taking flowers to someone who is recovering from an illness is an instinctual type of magic. The Elemental Spirits are drawn to fresh cut flowers, and elementals are also responsible for our growth, spinning and weaving life and growth. For those that know the language of flowers, selecting the right type of herbs and flowers for healing is a carefully thought out art and gesture.
To send silent wishes, prayers, petitions and messages to the Deity through the use of Elemental magic by flowers is a beautiful act of natural magic that produces little to no waste since the flowers will either decompose quickly back into the elements or turned into fire and ash when burned. Most of the time, the flowers are left on the altar for approximately 24 hours and then taken out to the garden to decompose and fertilize new plants.
On occasion, witches will take one or two flowers home with them. A fun coven project is to make a Seasonal Wreath out of flowers from each of the Sabbat meetings of the coven. This is a year-long project to make a wreath that conveys the messages from the carefully dried plants from each Sabbat.
Herbs of many varieties can be used as a form of petition magic as well, no matter what the season and what you are able to grow. To do so, you would select the appropriate dried or fresh herb. If fresh, select a nice bundle, and form into an herb-man if you like, which is an activity our coven does at the Lammas Harvest Festival; or if dried, use approximately 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. Your local Occult shop can sell you the appropriate herbs you would need for the type of herb spell you wish to cast if fresh are not available.
Dried herbs are very condensed since the water has been removed from the plant. That means the herb itself will have become very fragrant, especially when crushed in the hand. The elementals and nature spirits are highly attracted to herbal and floral fragrances. Those with clairvoyant vision will be able to view and see the mass rush of elementals, especially the salamanders, dance within the flames of the fire when the aromatics are scattered upon the coals or the flames. As they sizzle and release their fragrant smoke you will notice how quickly the atmosphere changes. This occurs very easily in the home of doing this by the hearth or fireplace – toss in a bundle of dried lavender with good and happy thoughts for the home or another person, for example, and just watch how the entire atmosphere changes in the space around you. It’s a truly mysterious phenomenon.
“A mantram is a collection of words which, When sounded in speech, induce certain vibrations not only in the air, but also in the finer ether, thereby producing certain effects.”
-William Q. Judge, 1888
Any written Incantation, if well thought out, can be offered up to the Great Mother Goddess or the Deity.
I like, when possible, to perform my incantations and invocations outdoors, around the needfire if possible. Fire is very important in rituals, representing the Divine Fire or the Fire behind the Fire from which life has come. The Astral Light permeates all life – and the spark of spirit is but our indwelling “Spark of Life.”
You can pick up the bundle of flowers that you’ve purchased or cut, or you may at least take 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of dried herbs and hold them in both hands. Allow the mind to form the desire-thought and infuse it with the proper emotion and intensity to take the thought-form from the mental plane to the astral light. Allow the magnetic impregnation to saturate the flowers and herbs.
When ready, speak carefully and very intently the Incantation. At the end of the Incantation, toss the herbs or flowers into the roaring fire to be consumed. This releases the thought-form so that it is carried off by the elementals of the Astral light to its target and thereby affecting the astral body and electromagnetic body of the person, place or thing you wish to affect.
One useful thing you can do is combine herbs and their meanings to create a custom petition to address specific needs. Many good books of correspondences will guide you in discovering this.