From Pineapple Tea to Tepache! How to Use Pineapple Skins

Close-up on a pineapple skin.

Pineapple Peel Tea

Instead of wasting that pineapple peel, why not turn it into great-tasting and beneficial tea? A popular drink in Jamaica, pineapple peel tea gives you the opportunity to be resourceful with your pineapple peels. Not to mention it’s incredibly healthy as it contains vitamins and minerals that promote healthy digestive health, soothe arthritis pain, and fight cancer.

Pineapple Peel Tea is incredibly easy to make. For starters, using organic pineapple is ideal, as it lessens the likelihood of pesticides and also provides for a more nutrient-rich brew. Moreover, before you cut the pineapple skin off of your pineapple, make sure to scrub it really well using a veggie wash if available, or soak it in vinegar for half an hour.

Both pineapple peel and core can be included in your brew. It’s quite common to include a little ginger to give the pineapple tea some pop, as well as sugar or maple syrup if you prefer. You can also add turmeric to send its healing power into overdrive, or even orange peels, cloves, and nutmeg to give it a mulled twist.

A glass of frothy pineapple tea with a spice sprinkled on top, sitting on a wooden table.

Adding cinnamon as well can give your pineapple tea an autumnal vibe. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even add a little rum. Additionally, Pineapple Peel Tea tastes great as a hot drink during the colder months, or cold to refresh and stay cool during the summer.

Pineapple Peel Tea contains bromelain, a metabolite that helps to promote a healthy digestive system, prevent blood clots and help fight arthritis pain, among many other benefits. So as you enjoy your wonderful glass of pineapple peel tea, remember that you are doing your body a big favor as well.

Pineapple Vinegar

Pineapple vinegar is an excellent way to save your pineapple skins from the garbage and compost. It’s incredibly easy to make, with most of the ingredients and components being items you can usually find around the home and pantry. Moreover, pineapple vinegar provides a great way to improve your digestion and boost your immune system.

To start you will want to make sure that you clean your pineapple thoroughly with a vegetable brush, minimizing the chance that your vinegar is contaminated. Likewise, the jar you are using will need to be sterilized as well. There are many methods to do this, which can include microwaving the jar for a brief period of time, boiling it, or using vinegar.

Two glass jars of pineapple vinegar sitting on a cutting board in the grass.

The next step is dissolving some water and sugar in the glass jar, then adding your pineapple skins. When you’re filling it with the pineapple skins, make sure to leave about a centimeter of space at the top of the jar. Once this is complete, cover the jar with breathable material, like cheesecloth, a paper towel, or another otherwise light fabric, and secure it with a rubber band.

Your pineapple vinegar will need about 2-3 weeks in a cool, dark place like your cupboard or pantry before it is matured enough to use. During this time, you will want to open and stir it daily to help aerate the mixture. Once time enough has arrived, strain the pineapple vinegar of its scraps using a cheesecloth, then place the pineapple vinegar into sterile bottles and seal them.

At this point, you are more than welcome to make use of your homemade pineapple vinegar, but allowing it to sit for another week or so will deepen the flavor. Furthermore, this pineapple vinegar can be used in many of the ways you already use vinegar.

Making Zoborodo (Zobo Drink) with Pineapple Peels

Pineapple peels are oftentimes combined with dried hibiscus flowers to make a Nigerian drink called Zoborodo or Zobo for short. In this deep purple drink, it’s common to include ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and even cloves, making it a powerful healthy beverage. Moreover, it seems that the drink is quite effective in lowering high blood pressure.

Hibiscus flowers are not only incredibly nutritious, but their sweet and tangy flavor makes for an excellent beverage, and the natural sweetness of pineapple skins only compliments that. In fact, many parts of the world are quite fond of using hibiscus flowers in beverages. For instance, in Panama dried hibiscus calyces are used to make saril, with additional ingredients that very much resemble zobo.

A glass cup of deep red sorrel hibiscus tea.

Preparing Zoborodo

For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the Nigerian Zobo drink since it provides another wonderful way for us to use our pineapple skins. Making Zobo is surprisingly easy as it’s basically just making tea, but adding a few choice ingredients. Garlic, ginger, and cloves appear to be relatively consistent additions, but it’s okay to get creative and add lemongrass and even ancho chiles.

Be sure to wash your pineapple’s skin thoroughly before you use it, to ensure that your drink isn’t contaminated by dirt and germs. The hibiscus flowers as well — or “zobo leaves” — will also need to be rinsed. Don’t be alarmed when you notice the hibiscus flowers “bleeding” their color as you rinse as there will be plenty left for your zobo brew.

Two glass cups of hibiscus tea near cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and dried hibiscus flowers.

Add the zobo leaves to a deep pot, and on top of those add your pineapple peels. Next, add enough water to cover the contents of the pot plus a little more. Boil for about 5 minutes, then introduce some finely chopped ginger and garlic and boil for 30 mins more to allow the contents to become tender. Once time has arrived, turn off the heat and allow your zobo to cool completely.

You’ll want to do due diligence in draining out the food particles to produce the best juice, so straining it multiple times through a cheesecloth, sieve, and even finer grain cloth like chiffon as you progress is advised. Afterwhich, if you want to add extra ingredients, such as lemon or orange, now is the time to do so. Bottle and refrigerate your Zobodoro to store it and enjoy!

Pineapple Peels and Tepache!

Tepache is a quick and easy way to take your pineapple peels and turn them into something fun, flirty, and delicious. It is a recipe that dates back from Pre-Colombian Mexico and is made by fermenting pineapple peels for several days. Tepache is typically sweetened with unrefined cane sugar called piloncillo or brown sugar.

While you can easily order Tepache in many juice bars or traditional Mexican restaurants — especially in the Southwest — equally as simple is the ability to make Tepache right from your home. It requires minimal components: a clean glass jar, pineapple peels, water, and sugar.

Although Tepache is created by fermenting pineapples, its rather light on the alcohol content, but you can add a little beer to give it more punch. Likewise, the recipe is not harmed at all by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, which is common.

Close-up on a glass of tepache with a white and red striped straw.

Preparing the Tepache

To start, you’ll want to wash your pineapple thoroughly and mindfully with a vegetable brush to remove germs and dirt. Next, cut the peel off the pineapple, being generous with the amount of pineapple flesh you leave on the peel. About 1-inch thick peels should do the trick.

Now it’s time to dissolve the sugar in your glass jar, using a little bit of water. Add the pineapple skins, then introduce enough water to completely submerge the pineapple skins. You’ll want to push the pineapple skins well into the bottom of the jar and even weigh them down with something like a wooden spoon or a fermentation weight. This is because complete immersion is necessary to prevent mold from ruining your Tepache.

A half-drunken bottle of Tepache on a tile surface near a plate of Mexican food and leafy greens.

You’re coming to the last step, which is to cover your jar of Tepache with a breathable cloth, such as layers of paper towel or a clean dish cloth, and put it away. Store your Tepache at room temperature in a dark space for about 1-3 days.

You’ll know the brew is done and the Tepache is sufficiently fermented when you see bubbles on the top. Be sure to taste it throughout the process to make sure the flavor is to your liking, keeping in mind that the longer it ferments, the less sweet it will be. Once you’re sure you have an enjoyable result, store your Tepache in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation.

…Or, if you want to continue on to what is called the “second fermentation” — an optional step, but recommended if you want a fizzier brew — check out Live Eat Learn for complete directions as well as more tips to make your best Tepache.

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How Shakespeare Inspires Calendula Symbolism and Meaning

A hand holding a handful of dried Calendula flowers over a bowl.

Calendula as a Symbol of Death

Due to Shakespeare’s influence on the Victorian Era, specifically the Victorian Language of Flowers, Calendula has become associated with death. In his writings, the prolific playwright references the flower numerous times, referring to Calendula by its other name – marigold. The dramaturge employs the vibrant flower as a conduit to grief, a decorator of tombs, and a blanket for deathbeds.

To understand how Shakespeare’s expression of Calendula became so integral to its symbology, you must first understand the profound impact Shakespeare had on the Victorian Era. Shakespeare’s writings were incredibly influential on the practice of floriography – the secret language of flowers that was culturally popular at the time. There was a near cult-like reverence for Shakespeare during the Victorian Era, with his words treated as prophecy.

And with the playwright mentioning over fifty types of flowers throughout his literature, these flowers took on deeper symbolic and mystical meaning dependent on the traits Shakespeare attributed to them. Calendula is no exception.

Three fiery orange Calendula flowers.

The Winter’s Tale and Calendula

The most notable of these mentions comes from The Winter’s Tale, in which Perdita exclaims these words while handing out flowers at a sheep-shearing festival:

“Here’s flowers for you:

Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,

The marigold, that goes to bed wi’th’ sun,

And with him rises, weeping.”

The Winter’s Tale, Act 4, Scene 4

In this passage, Perdita refers to Calendula’s habit of following the sun with its petals until the sun sets or “goes to bed.” As the sun rises, the morning dew that collects on the flower’s petals and leaves is akin to the tears of grief shed by a lover missing their beloved. In this passage, Shakespeare uses Perdita to articulate the deep devotion Calendula has for the Sun, to the extent that the flower displays deep despair when separated from the daystar.

A butterfly perched on a calendula flower during the daytime.

Calendula in Pericles

In Pericles, Marina declares:

“No, I will rob Tellus of her weed,

To strew thy green with flowers: the yellows, blues,

The purple violets, and marigolds,

Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave,

While summer-days do last.”

Tellus is the classical name for Mother Earth, whose “weeds” are her clothing, fashioned from flowers. Marina plans to gather flowers of varying colors to decorate her nurse, Lychorida’s grave. Still, it’s interesting that she mentions both violet and Calendula (marigold) by name. Like Calendula, violets have connections to being used in funeral décor, particularly by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

A Calendula flower with water droplets on it cropped in half.

Shakespeare’s “Bridal Song” and Calendula

Shakespeare shows a fondness for figuratively adorning graves with Calendula in his poem “Bridal Song.” Shakespeare crafts intricate symbolism for many flowers in this poem, such as roses, daisies, primrose, and larkspur. To typify Calendula, he intonates:

“Oxlips in the cradles growing,

Marigolds on deathbeds blowing.”

It is important to note that oxlips bloom in late spring to early summer but wilt at the first sign of excessive heat. On the other hand, Calendula is known for not only withstanding the harsh summer heat but reveling in it. In these passages from Pericles and “Bridal Song,” Calendula’s purpose seems to be the burial décor that can remain where other flowers cannot, providing consistent company for the dearly departed.

►VIDEO: The Prophetic Power of Calendula

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The Immortal Crown: Magical Ways to Use Pineapple Leaves

Close-up of a pineapple crown against a gray background wall.

The Magic of Pineapple Leaves

Depending on who you talk to, a pineapple’s crown is either a nuisance or a blessing. Some treat it as an incredibly cumbersome part of the fruit, an obstacle to overcome along with the tough pineapple skin to get to the nourishing and abundantly pleasant flesh on the inside. What worth could possibly come from food scraps like that pineapple crown and skin other than compost?

But the beauty of pineapple is that the whole fruit — flesh, skin, and crown — can be used beneficially. Pineapple skin can be brewed into a tea that is actually surprisingly healthy, or dried and used as potpourri. And the crown — a pineapple’s glory — can’t be eaten, but can be planted to produce even more pineapples.

Yes, you read that right: the pineapple fruit that you bought at the store is also its own seed. This demonstrates the immortal power of pineapple, as even though the original fruit is gone, it still returns. A single pineapple can beget many generations if under the watchful eye of a careful tender.

A close-up of a pineapple in a basket.

There’s an inspiring lesson to be gleaned from pineapple’s journey of rebirth: we are connected to all that came before, and also to all that comes afterward. We are made immortal through our ancestors and descendants; our history and our legacy. It is of utmost importance to therefore listen to the lessons of the past, because that’s what makes us ancient and ageless.

Of equal importance, however, is plotting a course to the future that benefits those that come after you, because that’s how your spirit and your vision live forever.

The crown of a young pineapple plant.

Pineapple’s Regenerative Power

So you purchase a beautiful, healthy-looking pineapple and bring it home. Eager to partake in its sweet and tangy deliciousness, you promptly remove it from the bag, give it a good wash and prepare it for slicing and dicing.

You set to work right away, finding a good quality knife and carefully chopping off the crown and base of the pineapple. Next is methodically removing the skin, exposing the bright, juicy flesh that will soon be part of a spectacular fruit salad.

You prepare the fruit salad and eat it ravenously. It was the best fruit salad you’ve ever tasted! The pineapple was the star of the show — delectably sweet and tangy, while not too tough or soft. You head to the kitchen to deposit your dishes in the sink, only to find the pineapple skin and crown still waiting for you like an eye sore on the kitchen counter. Oh yeah, you forgot about that.

Close-up of a pineapple crown, with pineapple skins sitting out of focus on a wooden surface.

What to do with such bulky food waste? Some might decide to throw away the pineapple skin and crown without a second thought, having it take up precious space in the trash can. Others who are garden savvy might compost the pineapple scraps, and that would certainly be more than worth it. But not many know that within those very scraps is the potential for a whole new pineapple plant.

That crown, when placed in the earth, will grow and eventually yield its own generation of pineapple fruit. Such is the immortal and regenerative power of the pineapple plant — that it can continue to yield its own progeny cycle after cycle, recreating itself indefinitely.

Close-up photography of a pineapple.

Pineapple and the Secret to Immortality

The secret of immortality lies here, within pineapple’s story: to live forever, you must recreate yourself. You must allow yourself to transform, change and evolve every day. Yes, as mortals, we are limited to finality — eventually, you will die. But among those that live the longest, and those that see as much as life has to offer, have lived many lives and died many times before their final waltz with Death himself.

A life of eternal renewal requires you to be reborn, just like a pineapple. Shed the skin of habits and patterns that are not working for you and reveal that underlying glow. Those that remain stagnant decay in stagnancy, but those that embrace change embrace many lives anew.

VIDEO: How to Grow Pineapples at Home • DIY to Regrow Pineapple

Combatting the Evil Eye with a Pineapple Plant

Conversely, at times you might feel that you yourself are the object of someone else’s jealousy — or otherwise ill-intent. At times you might feel like someone put a literal curse on you, with things that were once whole falling apart all around. You might feel as if it’s like “the evil eye” is glaring down, encouraging your abject failure.

Likewise, you wouldn’t necessarily have to be paranoid to believe so either. The “Evil Eye” — namely, malicious thoughts and intents so corrosive and evil that they seem to coalesce into malevolent energy directed your way — is something that many have felt the need to protect themselves across cultures and generations.

Pineapple leaves lit up in a dark area.

Furthermore, the protections that many employ usually involve some semblance of fighting back — because if you sense that someone has violent ideations towards you to the point that they are cursing you, then yes, you need to fight. There is no reasoning with such an individual or force. Protective charms against the evil eye have included things such as gunpowder, nails, and of course the pointing of the index finger and pinky finger into the shape of horns towards the progenitor of the curse of evil.

And in that fight, pineapple can be and handy weapon. Its barbed leaves contain a chemical that is very abrasive and caustic, which you might know if you’ve ever pricked yourself with its pointed leaves to find your skin irritated.

When you next cut the crown off a pineapple, be sure to place it in water or in the ground, with the intention that whatever ill will directed your way be impaled in its sharp, bladed leaves. You can also include the leaves in a protective sachet or fashion it into a talisman to protect yourself against the ill-wishes of another.

A view of a pineapple crown as seen from the top.

Pineapple’s Power Over Jealousy

There is deep, healing energy that vibrates within the leaves of the pineapple crown. While the leaves should not be consumed, they can be used effectively to heal the ailments that plague our hearts and infect our souls. And one ailment that we tend to forget — or rather ignore — that has the cancerous potential of consuming us whole is jealousy.

Jealousy is an illness. It’s a disease. It pervades the body and mind like an unchecked toxin, corrupting what you see, what you think about, and what you feel. The ancient Greeks viewed envy as an abundance of bile within the individual, turning them green from the inside out, hence the phrase “green with envy.”

A pineapple plant growing near a wooden fence.

However, green is not only the color of sickness and decay, but growth and renewal, and this is where pineapple’s magic shines. That toxic, poisonous energy needs to be uprooted and replaced with regeneration and renewal. With the right intentions, you can plant your pineapple ground in the earth or water to effectuate the release of jealous energy, and replace it with loving energy that is all your own.

With every root it shoots out, let that be the uprooting of the object that is turning your eyes green. As it steadily grows, allow it to grow within you a wellspring of healing and renewal, so that you feel complete and not threatened by that which others have. You will have your own, as that very same pineapple plant will attract wealth to you. In fact, you already do have wealth, and the healing will help you realize that.

A Note of Caution on Using Pineapple Leaves

Practice caution when using pineapple leaves. They contain a high amount of bromelain, which can irritate skin. When placing in a sachet, used leather as it can help protect against pineapple leaves’ caustic nature. Pineapple leaves are not edible, and can cause severe mouth pain when consumed, so do not ingest them.

An extreme close-up of the top of a pineapple crown.

A pineapple sitting on green plants near the sea at sunset. In the foreground, the text reads: "The Secret Magic of Pineapple."
Close-up of pineapple skin. In the foreground, the text reads: "Magical Ways to Use Pineapple Skins."

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The Healing Power of Jasmine Tea • Jasmine Tea Health Benefits

A jasmine flower floating in a glass cup full of jasmine tea.

Jasmine Tea Health Benefits

Jasmine tea’s health benefits are most notably procured in tea form. It is quite rare, however, to find a jasmine tea that is strictly jasmine tea. The flavor of jasmine is quite mild on its own, so the flavor is typically infused into a more bodied tea, such as green tea, oolong tea, and black tea.

And while jasmine has plenty of healing power on its own – especially through its scent – working in conjunction with these other powerful teas raises its healing potential to something truly wonderful.

Jasmine Fun Fact: Jasmine in Name Only

Jasmine petals floating in a white teacup full of jasmine tea.

The Healing Properties of Jasmine Tea

Jasmine flower tea is copiously high in antioxidants, which can help empower your body’s fight against disease and give your immune system a healthy boost. The antioxidants within jasmine can also contribute to weight loss by enhancing metabolism.

Jasmine-infused green tea is generously high in catechins, an antioxidant that can help with cardiovascular issues and aid in preventing stroke. Additionally, Jasmine-infused green tea contains polyphenols which can help protect the body from carcinogens.

White jasmine flowers in a brown bowl.

Jasmine tea provides excellent benefits for the digestive system. The tea interacts favorably with beneficial enzymes within the gastrointestinal tract, and also helps to promote healthy bowel function.

Drinking jasmine green tea regularly can be an excellent preventative measure against developing diabetes, as well as help reverse some of the negative effects diabetes can have on the body.

Jasmine Fun Fact: The Art of Jasmine Tea

Jasmine flowers hanging on a wooden fence.

The Anti-Inflammatory Power of Jasmine Tea

Research shows that the antibacterial properties of Jasmine tea provide protection such as E.coli, as well as help the body fight against cough, cold and other infections. When dealing with swelling or painful inflammation, consider jasmine tea, as it contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Is Jasmine Tea Good for Pregnancy?

Pregnant women should avoid jasmine tea, as the scent of jasmine is quite powerful, not to mention many teas made with jasmine make use of the essential oil, which is potent. Coupled with the fact that some jasmine teas contain chemicals, it is generally a good idea to stay away from jasmine tea if you are pregnant, and there have been cases of jasmine tea causing early contractions.

Jasmine Fun Fact: Jasmine Revolutions

  • The “Jasmine Revolutions” is the name given to both a change in the presidency that occurred in Tunisia in 1987 and the Tunisian Revolution in 2011.
A spread of jasmine focus, with some in focus and some out of focus.

Aromatherapy with Jasmine

Jasmine is the perfect aromatherapy! For instance, studies have shown that some people have a natural affinity for the scent of jasmine, and for those people, the scent of jasmine is a stress reliever and mood booster. However, those that don’t enjoy the scent of jasmine can be made more anxious by its fragrance.

Jasmine Tea Side Effects

Try to avoid drinking jasmine tea on an empty stomach as it is quite acidic and can cause intestinal discomfort. Likewise, take note that jasmine tea often contains caffeine, which while a welcome ingredient for some, but not everyone.

Jasmine Fun Fact: The Olive Family

►Watch the Video: The Magic of Jasmine

*FDA Disclaimer

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information provided through this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Links on this website are provided only as an informational resource, and it should not be implied that we recommend, endorse or approve of any of the content at the linked sites, nor are we responsible for their availability, accuracy or content.

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A picture of jasmine flowers, with text in the foreground that reads: "Moonlight on the Grove - Jasmine"
A picture of jasmine flowers, with text in the foreground that reads: "The Care and Feeding of Jasmine."

Understanding the Secret Power of Jasmine

How to Care for Jasmine

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The Care and Feeding of Jasmine • Caring for Jasmine

A close-up on white jessamine flowers.

Caring for Jasmine

In caring for Jasmine, it is important to remember that Jasmine enjoys warmer climates. You will usually find her growing happily in tropical and subtropical areas. You’ll want to protect your jasmine plant from the cold, and pick a nice sheltered location for her to grow. Make sure your jasmine plant has access to plenty of sunlight or is placed in a lightly shaded area.

Can You Grow Jasmine Indoors?

If your penchant is for growing jasmine indoors, you can certainly do that. We would recommend the jasmine polyanthum variety which is the assortment most commonly grown indoors. Jasmine polyanthum, with its sweet aroma, is especially fragrant at night, which you may find is a welcoming and relaxing scent to invite into your home.

Training Jasmine to Climb

If you prefer a vining variety of jasmine, you’ll want to use a support structure for your plant. Caring for jasmine vines involves “training” the jasmine vines early by use of plant ties or weaving them throughout the trellising in whatever fashion you wish for them to grow.

Jasmine Fun Fact: Moonlight on the Grove

  • Jasmine has earned the nicknames “Moonlight on the Grove” and “Queen of the Night” due to its tendency to bloom at night.
Jasminum flowers hanging on a wooden fence.

Caring for Jasmine: When to Fertilize

Fertilize your baby Jasmine plant just before Spring blossoms start to appear, or during the Fall if you live in a milder climate. Make sure to place her in fertile, well-draining soil. Keep a careful eye on the bottom of your jasmine plant to make sure that pests or water are not pooling there, as it can lead to spotting on your plant’s leaves.

When do Jasmine Flowers Bloom?

Look forward to your jasmine plant’s lovely flowers blooming in the late spring and lasting well into the fall. In your jasmine plant’s second year, you may want to start pinching off the tips of the vines to encourage her to grow fuller and thicker.

Jasmine Fun Fact: City of Jasmine

A spread of jasmine focus, with some in focus and some out of focus.

Propagating Jasmine

Don’t forget that tip cuttings can also be replanted to propagate your jasmine plant if you so desire. Use a soilless medium such as peat moss and add rooting hormone to propagate strong, healthy plants and keep them lightly watered. For best success, plant your jasmine cuttings sometime between June to October.

Can Jasmine Survive the Winter?

Being a tropical plant, Jasmine performs best in balmy climates. As such, your Jasmine plant can perish if left exposed to freezing temperatures. Protect your beautiful vining Jasmine plant from the Winter cold by bringing her inside till the season passes. Take note that the vining variety of jasmine plants is vulnerable to spider mites. You can counter this by treating it with neem or horticultural oil.

Jasmine Fun Fact: The Language of Flowers

►Watch the Video: The Magic of Jasmine

*FDA Disclaimer

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Links on this website are provided only as an informational resource, and it should not be implied that we recommend, endorse or approve of any of the content at the linked sites, nor are we responsible for their availability, accuracy or content.

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Understanding Calendula Symbolism and Meaning

A Calendula flower with water droplets on it cropped in half.

The Spirit of Calendula

Calendula doesn’t just glow – it smolders. Like the sun, Calendula burns with a vibrant, piercing intensity. And though it might be tempting to disarm yourself in the graceful elegance of the flower’s dazzling beauty, take heed – Calendula is no shrinking violet. On the contrary, the flower embodies the essence of fire, and as such, it represents a searing, burning truth that burns both ways.

To provoke you is Calendula’s intention. The flower wants to entice and beckon you to the light of truth and hopes that you do not recoil as you get closer. Within Calendula’s luminous and passionate intensity, it is hard to hide the reality of your emotions, intentions, and desires. The flower aims to expose you to the rawness and realness of the light within you.

The truth can be painful, but Calendula also provides warmth and comfort once we’re ready to face it. Calendula shines a light and lights a fire so that we’re not left alone in the overwhelming cold of the darkness within. Because ultimately, it is the truth within you that protects you from the frigid dark of uncertainty and illusion.

Close-up of the center of a Calendula flower.

It is also the truth within you that will help you understand the heart of those surrounding you. Calendula wants you to glimpse that same fire in others. This is the fire that roars like an inferno when we are happy and in love. Likewise, that same fire wanes and cools when we are grieving and in despair.

But it is essential to see it, know it, and feel its warmth pierce your skin and enter your soul. Through this understanding, Calendula teaches you the essence of empathy. Only then can you comprehend others’ emotions and provide meaningful comfort and compassion.

Close-up of a Calendula flower in a field of other Calendula flowers.

Calendula as the “Bride of the Sun”

The Sun’s light can be blindingly brilliant, scorching, and harshly illuminating, yet Calendula does not demure. Its petals follow the Sun devotedly, facing its blistering light without withering away. As the “Bride of the Sun,” this bold flower is one with the Sun and its majestic cycle.

Calendula’s imagery is so inextricable from the Sun that it informs the flower’s symbolism. The flower is an emblem of all that we attribute to the luminary — happiness, joy, vitality, warmth, and illumination.

A close-up of a bright, fiery orange calendula flower.

The light and warmth that the Sun provides are the bedrock upon which joy, happiness, and abundance emerge. The absence of the star would enshroud the world in eternal, somber darkness. This cold, obscuring darkness would dampen the spirit and passion of life on this planet – if life even exists.

There are no seasons without the Sun, so all of the beautiful flowers in the Spring and bountiful crops in the field frankly would not be. Our happiest, most halcyon memories are backlit by sunlight, as the Sun and the vitality it emanates is truly the font of our warmth, satisfaction, and existence.

A yellow-orange calendula flower, photographed slightly askew.

Consequently, we paint all of these attributes of the Sun onto Calendula, which evokes the daystar’s imagery. In India, it’s customary to gift Calendula flowers to newlyweds in hopes of bestowing these blessings on the union.

Hinduism reveres Calendula as a source of illumination and aid in revelation as well as spiritual insight. As nothing can hide from the light of the Sun, so too is the hope that Calendula shines its light on truth and dispels obscuring illusion.

A yellow Calendula flower.

October Birth Flower: Calendula

October is a time of pumpkins and candy corn. We watch in awe as leaves turn various shades of gold and amber, and fireplaces roar back to life. And what do all these things have one thing in common? Bright orange color.

Candy corn and its iconic orange, yellow and white bands; the bright orange pop of pumpkins at the pumpkin patch find no difficulty grabbing your children’s attention. The leaves in autumn alight the skyline with a tangerine glow, and fireplaces crackle and burst confetti of tiny glowing embers.

With its famous orange blooms, Calendula joins the aforementioned as a symbol of October. Furthermore, it is one of the month’s birth flowers, along with Cosmos. Its fluorescence is known to last well into the Fall season, as other plants start to wither from the cold.

An orange and yellow Calendula flower.

Europeans and early American settlers depended on this “pot marigold” for their nutrition and to protect themselves from the doldrums of the darkest seasons. The sight of such a bright, radiant flower against the din of the winter was uplifting and helped dispel the approaching chill’s dreariness.

When the Sun is making its retreat and we’re entering the Winter court, Calendula acts as a second sun. The flowers provide a beacon to remind us that though dark, cold days are ahead. The Sun and its warmth will come back once more. The flowers symbolize hope and peering past the darkness that surrounds you to glimpse the promise of comfort and light that will certainly return.

Bright orange and yellow Calendula flower.

Calendula and the Victorian Language of Flowers

In the Victorian Language of Flowers, Calendula represents the sentiment “my thoughts are with you”. Calendula provides a way to express genuine sympathy and not just idle regard. This is because Calendula helps to illuminate our understanding of the pain another is going through.

Too often, “my thoughts are with you” is something we say without meaning. These words are the basic equivalent of “thoughts and prayers” – empty words without sincerity when we employ them. We unconsciously utter it when a friend or loved one goes through something unimaginable without being willing to place ourselves in their shoes and embrace their pain alongside them.

A watercolor illustration of a Calendula flower from the Victorian era.

Calendula provides a delicate, nuanced way of saying: I see your pain and feel it too. I am with you at this moment. The flowers communicate authentic, thoughtful sympathies to someone you care about during their difficult time. As a result, Calendula is a regular and poignant inclusion in funeral floral arrangements.

According to the Victorian Language of Flowers, Calendula also represents “disarming gracefulness.” The flowers symbolize a delicacy and gentle touch need that melts any inclinations toward hostility. It is a way to convey that your intentions come from a place of warmth and well-meaning, without ruse or guile underneath.

A hand holding a handful of dried Calendula flowers over a bowl.

Victorian Flower Oracle: Calendula as Sympathy

Calendula appears in the Victorian Flower Oracle as the Sympathy card as its alter ego, marigold. The card depicts the marigold flower – artistically personified as a woman – looking downcast and sullen. Before her stands someone holding the hands of two children – their hair and garb all fashioned from the scabious flower.

It would seem that the marigold is in mourning and her visage communicates an overwhelming sadness. The scabious appears to be there to offer comfort to the grieving marigold. In contrast, the younger scabious flowers provide a focal point for the hope that comes in the future, after the sadness.

A scabious flower and marigold flower are depicted with human features. The Marigold looks to be in mourning while the Scabious flower is comforting her.

The scabious as a vehicle of comfort to the mourning marigold is a curious choice by the artist. Immediately, we notice the dark blue-violet of the scabious is a stark contrast to the luminous yellow marigold. We typically associate darker colors with brooding, woe, and melancholy. Meanwhile, brighter colors and flowers such as marigolds usually represent happiness and joy. But here, the roles are reversed.

Another juxtaposition: Calendula represents sunlight, warmth, and happiness. Meanwhile, in the Language of Flowers, scabious’ dark flowers are an emblem of widowhood and death. An additional role reversal, as in this Flower Oracle Card, the marigold is in mourning, while the scabious brings the warmth.

The scabious gives comfort to the marigold because she feels her pain and knows her pain. The essence of sympathy is to empathize with the pain that others feel because you, too, will most certainly understand that pain one day – if not already.

A butterfly perched on a calendula flower during the daytime.

To Dream of Calendula

The dreamscape and Calendula are intimately connected. Calendula serves as both a vehicle to realize prophetic dreams and a powerful symbol in your reveries. For dreamers and prophets alike, Calendula is a potent tool for unlocking the mysteries of the dream world.

Some Calendula flowers springled under your bed can help unleash oracular dreams while you sleep. Namely, this results in visions that will portend future events. Likewise, Calendula helps to facilitate lucid dreaming, assisting you in retaining your waking awareness while you sleep. Consequently, being more alert and conscious during your dream state helps you recall your dreams easier once you wake up.

Dreaming of Calendula is usually a sign of good things to come. As Calendula has a traditional use in finding one’s true match, a dream where you spot the flower may be signaling that you will meet someone who will become a meaningful partner in some form. This partner could be a business or work associate who truly compliments your work ethic and career goals or love that blooms into a happy marriage.

►VIDEO: The Prophetic Power of Calendula

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Bride of the Sun: Calendula Flower Spiritual Meaning

Bride of the Sun: The Magic of Calendula

If a flower could embody the essence of the Sun, that flower would be Calendula. Calendula’s petals burn with a deep, fiery fervency that almost startles the vision. The flaming intensity of its stunning orange petals informs our understanding of the magic of Calendula and its spiritual use.

When we think of the Sun, the planet that rules Calendula, and fire, the element that expresses its energy, we can’t ignore the one thing these both have in common – light. Without the Sun’s light, we would cease to exist, as the Sun nourishes all life on Earth.

As for fire, it is the bottled magic of the gods that has revolutionized life on this planet. Through fire, we purify our food, burning away any contamination that might cause us illness. Before the arrival of lightbulbs and flashlights, we read by candlelight, traveled by torchlight, and illuminated our home with lanterns.

With its vibrant color, Even Calendula seems to glow from within incandescently. Understanding the power of light and what it means, does, and exposes is crucial to understanding Calendula’s inherent power.

There is much in this world that remains in the dark. A though we have boundless knowledge at our fingertips thanks to the internet, that only seems to complicate matters. Because of too much information, we live in a post-truth world, where we trust false realities and treat lies as fact.

Calendula, like a lantern, reveals what is shrouded in the obscuring darkness and confusion. It carries an understanding of the essence of divine wisdom. Within this flower is a fire that burns away all the falsehoods and deception that veil your vision once you trust its magic.

Calendula Flower Spiritual Meaning

Calendula’s brilliant, fiery petals follow the Sun dotingly as it makes its burning trek across the sky. It is the “Bride of the Sun” and married to the warmth of the Sun’s beams. Calendula is the “Summer’s Bride” – wedded to the season where the Daystar displays the full glory of its smoldering power. 

In the Shakespearean classic The Winter’s Tale, Perdita takes care to note the devotion of Calendula to the Sun:

“The marigold, that goes to bed wi’th’ the Sun, and with him rises, weeping.”

Marigold, of course, is another name for Calendula.

Perdita describes Calendula’s heliotropic habit of following the Sun, from its triumphant rise into the sky onto its somber descent beyond the horizon. For instance, on a dewy morning, you most likely will find dewdrops on Calendula’s petals. These little drops poetically demonstrate that perhaps the flower mourns the separation from its beloved Helios throughout the night.

Would you be able to handle the full heat of the Sun as Calendula does? Could you stand in the blazing light without shame without its scorching radiance incinerating you? Or would the shadow you cast overwhelm you as the light exposes your truth?

Calendula wants to remind you that to live your truth is to shine bravely – defiantly – like the Sun, just as the flower does. Thus, seek out and follow that dazzling Light, and keep devotion to it even through the darkness. The Light is Truth and Life, and anything that scuffs your natural glow and prevents your shine is but kindling to burn away once you discover illumination.

Calendula Fun Fact: The Calends’ Blooms

Calendula’s name comes from the Roman word calends, the first day of the month as per the Roman calendar. You might also notice that the word “calendar” shares this same root.

The calends marked the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and the Romans believed that flowers bloomed on the calends. It was also the day by which debtors had to repay their debts.

Divination, Prophecy, and Calendula Flower Spiritual Meaning

Like a candle that irradiates a dark room, Calendula’s power is illuminating and clarifying. Those who would seek divine answers often turn to Calendula to reveal hidden truths and inspire spiritual insights. The flower has the unique talents of unveiling concealed mystery and igniting the prophetic mind.

There’s an air of holiness and sacredness attributed to Calendula. Spiritual adherents offer Calendula flowers to widely worshipped holy figures, such as the Virgin Mary and the Hindu gods Lakshmi and Vishnu. Thus, there is an imbued reverence in the Calendula flower, and in turn, it seems the flower returns the spiritual favor.

The color of its petals inspires much of Calendula’s spiritual power and significance. In Hinduism, the saffron color of the petals is the color of renunciation. Monks wear this color to symbolize that they’ve uncoupled themselves from worldly attachment, and they hope to reap more profound insight and further spiritual progress in doing so.

Calendula’s petals’ bright, orange color is akin in intensity to fire, and fire is divinely clarifying. Fire has a way of burning away fluff and excess to reveal true purity. Truth itself is a lot like fire – there is comfort in its warmth, but it will quickly burn you if you lack the requisite respect.

Likewise, Calendula emanates a clarifying and illuminating aura. Simply looking at the bright flower is enough to open your sight and brighten your vision. With Calendula flowers strewn under your bed, you can actualize prophetic dreams steeped in profound meaning and divine wisdom.

Deeply ingrained into Calendula’s very essence are the arts of divination and prophecy. The genus in which Calendula resides, tages, also happens to be the name of the sagely Etruscan god who looked like a child and who taught humankind the gift of divination.

Calendula Fun Fact: “Pot Marigold”

Calendula’s English common name, “pot marigold” comes from the fact that the flower was a standard part of English cuisine during the 16th century. Dishes that included Calendula ran the gamut from dumplings and oatmeal to wine, pudding, and soups.

The leaves of the Calendula plant are on the bitter side. However, including the leaves in a leafy salad or drizzling them with honey helps to mask the sharp flavor. On the other hand, Calendula’s bright, vibrant petals lend themselves well to food coloring and garnishing. Fromagers use the petals to provide the characteristic yellow color we see in cheese and as a substitute for saffron.

Calendula for Protection

Calendula’s brilliant and dazzling golden glow deters the darkness. Likewise, it is hard for threatening elements to trespass onto a space graced by Calendula’s sun-kissed radiance. Like a lantern in the din, Calendula shines a light on that which would rob you of your security. As such, the flower has uses in protective magic.

The spread of ravaging plagues that threaten life and wellness is nothing new. However, during the Middle Ages, the Plague was an especially pernicious variety of illnesses. The dreadful disease spread so rapaciously and caused a great deal of suffering and fear. But even then, Calendula was called upon to provide protection.

Perhaps the clerics of the time saw the flower with its petals that jut out with the intensity of the burning sun, akin to fire that purifies by burning harmful pathogens. Regardless, healers utilized the Calendula flower as a talisman to protect them from their invisible enemy.

Typically, when we envision our protection, one of the first and foremost things that come to mind is protecting our abode. After all, our home is where our heart is. We shelter ourselves, our children, and prized possessions under a roof and four walls to protect us from the elements. Moreover, we lock and even deadbolt our doors to keep invaders from stealing our peace and security.

Calendula provides added steps you can undertake to protect your domicile from would-be intruders. A garland of Calendula flowers hung about the door is like setting a firewall that no evil may enter. Sprinkle a couple of Calendula petals under your bed for protection when you’re most vulnerable — while you sleep. It helps illuminate the cover of darkness that a thief might use to their advantage.

Calendula’s Protection from the Elements

Known for blooming in the early Spring, with flowers that remain in fall and winter, Calendula is the winter’s fire. Its explosion of orange petals provides warmth and protection from the cold and counters the bleakness. The flowers burn like a bright, orange flame and warm the soul as the frost settles in.

Early settlers received a cold reception in a strange new continent they would later call “America”. The wintry months and weather patterns, in general, were alien to them in this foreign land and unforgiving. But the sight of Calendula during the bitter cold was a blazing light against the din. Thus, they entrusted the flower to protect them from the encroaching icy darkness and threats unknown.

Just like the American colonists, Europeans sought out the protective powers of Calendula during the winter months. Not only did they rely on Calendula’s emanating warmth for comfort, but they appreciated its ability to strengthen the immune system.

After all, disease and illness have a much easier time spreading under cover of the damp cold. The bright and uplifting resonance that Calendula emanates alone can lift spirits. Likewise, a positive outlook goes a long way in fighting disease.

Similarly, do not discount Calendula’s inherent healing power. The plant is very much edible and replete with the vitamins and minerals that help the body mount a defense against illness.

Protection Through Illumination

Revealing and exposing any threats you might not be immediately aware of is in Calendula’s nature. After all, what you don’t know can hurt you. By shining a light on hazards unseen with Calendula, you can protect yourself appropriately. The flower is exceptionally perceptive at unveiling gossip, betrayal, and lies – perils that can snowball into ruin if left unchecked.

Moreover, if the unthinkable happens and you are the victim of a theft, Calendula can help you track down the culprit to stop their cycle of violence. Calendula flower petals under the bed help uncover these mysteries through prophetic dreams.

Facing Legal Matters with Calendula

When dealing with legal matters, Calendula shines a light of truth in the courtroom, advocating for you if you are innocent. When you seek a favorable judicial outcome, carry Calendula on your person, whether in your pocket or pocketbook.

Let’s be frank – dealing with the legal system can be an opaque, byzantine nightmare. When you find yourself caught in the law’s calloused grasp, it’s a terrifying experience, especially when you know you’re innocent. But as they say, it’s not what you know – it’s what you can prove in court.

Calendula is an advocate when you need assistance making your case before the towering judicial system. A resonance within the plant shines a light on the truth of things, revealing them without bias or filter. Perhaps with Calendula flowers in your pocket, you can sway the courtroom by making the truth plain, clear, and evident.

Calendula Fun Fact: October Birth Flower

Calendula, along with Cosmos, is one of the birth flowers of October. The flower blooms well into the fall – a peculiar sight for a season not known for its blooms. Not to mention, October is a month we typically associate with the color orange. Pumpkins, autumn leaves, and the warmth of fireplaces sparking back up at the return of the cold are all symbols of October.

October is also a month marked with reflection and remembrance. On Halloween, we light carved pumpkins not only for festive décor, but there’s a belief that the light will help guide the departed along their way. Similarly, with its bright, sun-like blooms, Calendula provides a beacon for the dead to light their path.

Likewise, just like the Sun sets and yet returns, resurrecting every day, Calendula represents the hope of rebirth, and perhaps one day being reunited with those we’ve lost. Just as flowers bloom in Spring, wither in the fall, only to return in the Spring, we also hope that nothing dies forever but is reborn one day anew.

The Healing Power of Calendula

Just like the Sun, Calendula radiates intense healing energy and vitality. That very same shimmering luminescence has engineered some of its medicinal uses. For instance, Calendula is a popular ingredient in skincare products, part of the intent being to produce that sun-kissed glow for your skin.

It’s almost as if Calendula is Nature’s bronzer. Sunlit speckles glitter out of every pigment within its petals, translating to a touch of golden Sun on the skin. Its saffron hue is the color of vibrancy, fire, and incandescence. To glimmer with the blazing intensity of the Sun is a magic that many skincare companies would love to provide, but only Nature delivers.

Calendula’s rejuvenating powers go even further because the flower has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, Calendula is a popular remedy for skin blemishes and acne while protecting the skin’s natural collagen and elastin. Providing this protection allows your skin to remain supple, youthful, and glow.

There are aches, pains, and discomforts under the skin that Calendula can also help relieve. Calendula is also a remedy for relieving abdominal cramping and constipation. What’s fascinating is that there’s evidence to support this. Research shows that Calendula has spasmolytic tendencies, meaning it can relieve smooth muscle. Calendula is also spasmogenic, being able to induce muscle spasms, which helps relieve constipation.

But expectant mothers beware; many skincare products are marketed specifically to pregnant women because of stretch marks. While stretch marks are an unwelcome side effect of pregnancy, you should avoid you ingesting or using Calendula while pregnant – not even topically. Calendula has properties that can interfere with conceiving a child and cause miscarriage or stimulate contractions that lead to labor.

Calendula Fun Fact: Mary’s Gold

Marigold, Calendula’s other name, comes from a melding of the words “Mary’s gold”. The nickname comes from the tradition of gifting Calendula flowers to the Virgin Mary during the Feast of Annunciation. The Feast of Annunciation is a Christian observance occurring on March 25 – nine months before Christmas. The day commemorates the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary, letting her know she was pregnant with Christ.

According to the lore, “Mary’s gold” was marigold flowers – the currency on her journey to Egypt. However, misfortune befell her, and thieves stole her bag. Even so, the thieves were scantly rewarded for their efforts, finding nothing more than lovely marigold petals in her sack.

There is a tradition spanning centuries of planting herbs and flowers that have connections to the Virgin Mary in a “Marian Garden.” Calendula is a part of that ensemble, as is Lily of the Valley (Mary’s tears), Lavender (Mary’s Drying Plant), and Sage (Mary’s Shawl).

►VIDEO: The Prophetic Power of Calendula

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From Specular to Rainbow: The Many Magical Types of Hematite

The Many Magical Types of Hematite

Blood. That was the picture that came to mind when the ancients first glimpsed sight of the Hematite stone. Deep, vermillion red. Similar to the crimson flush that flows through our bodies that proves that we are alive.

A rounded, lustrous gray-black kidney ore hematite specimen.

It is what inspired the name. Haima. The ancient Greek word for blood, which became Haematite and more popularly Hematite. The association with our life-sustaining scarlet flow informs its magical and spiritual use.

For example, a midwife might employ Hematite to protect a laboring mother from bleeding out. Similarly, it has been used in yonder times to keep warriors from exsanguinating on the battlefield.

But not all Hematite looks like blood. For example, specularite glitters and twinkles like the night sky. Martite is a form of Hematite that shimmers with its mirror-like facets and looks suspiciously similar to magnetite.

Consider Iron Rose Hematite that visually stuns as it appears like roses crafted from metal. And Kidney Ore Hematite does its part to mimic the all-essential organ that bears its name – size, shape, and all.

Mother Nature is nothing if not creative. The same stone can take on many distinctly beautiful forms that evoke different emotions, showing her range.

What is Specularite?

To look upon Specular Hematite is like looking up into the night sky at the endless sea of stars. It sparkles luminously with glimmering, burnished flecks contrasted against an inky backdrop. These tiny speckles are little bits of Hematite and mica dispersed throughout the stone.

A specular hematite specimen, with large shimmering clusters.

The many types of Hematite tend to resonate reliably with the Root Chakra as a standard. However, just one look at the brilliant spectacle of Specularite, and you might be able to intuit why it has the particular distinction of echoing with both the Root and Crown Chakras.

The very appearance of Specularite looks as if glimpsing a vision of the heavens. It is a befitting medium to enable your Crown Chakra to align with the majesty of the ethereal realm. The sparkles, like the stars, prime your mind for meditation on higher things and higher realms.

From Sweden to Brasil, Canada to Switzerland, England, and even the United States, you can find specularite almost everywhere. But perhaps because of its stunning beauty, it is in relatively short supply. Specular Hematite is also sometimes referred to as Micaceous Hematite, likely due to the spattering of mica speckles found within the stone.

►Video: The Grounding Stone Hematite

What is Martite?

Even the most learned of crystal observers might not be able to tell the difference between Martite and magnetite, and there’s a reason for that. Martite, a type of Hematite, is magnetite transformed.

A pseudomorph of magnetite that has been replaced by hematite.

The magic required to perform this metamorphosis requires deep fathoms and intense pressure. Completely changing one thing to another is only possible within the Earthen crucible and through the power of Nature’s alchemy.

In these conditions and with the slight touch of mystery, the magnetite crystal’s chemical bonds will transform into the alchemical equivalent of hematite. Though the shape of the original magnetite stone remains perfectly intact, it has become a hematite stone in the fibers of its being.

But yet, this new stone is neither magnetite nor simply hematite as it has an identity all its own. It is Martite, a crystal with the quintessential sheen and luster we’ve come to expect from a hematite stone. However, visually it is strikingly similar in appearance to magnetite. Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference without using a magnet.

Like the name would imply, magnetite is, well, magnetic. It is ferrimagnetic, to be exact, while Martite is paramagnetic. For example on paramagnetism, when you expose Martite to a magnetic force, the response is relatively feeble, and chances are you would need particular instruments to even detect it. Interestingly enough, ferrimagnetic minerals will become paramagnetic when introduced to a certain amount of heat, giving us a little insight into how magnetic eventually becomes Martite.

Types of Hematite: Kidney Ore

A lustrous, bulbous coral colored kidney ore hematite stone.

The reason Kidney Ore Hematite is named so should be rather obvious. This variety of Hematite has a kidney-like shape and shares the organ’s blood-red color. However, the similarities don’t just end there, as Kidney Ore Hematite is often surprisingly similar in size as well.

Perhaps Mother Nature is much more intentional than we give her credit for, as Hematite’s mystical power executes a similar function spiritually as the kidney does physically. The kidneys are known to be an organ that helps maintain the body’s overall balance and also assists in removing contaminants from the body.

On a metaphysical level, Kidney Ore Hematite performs the same function. Many appreciate Hematite for its ability to draw out energies that are spiritually toxic to you. It also goes a step further, helping to ground and balance you with Earth’s stabilizing rhythm.

Sometimes form predicts function, and Kidney Ore Hematite is no exception. If you come across a specimen by chance, take the time to appreciate its ability to balance and cleanse your spirit.

What is Iron Rose Hematite?

Slate-colored Iron Rose Hematite, embedded in a quartz-like stone.

As the name suggests, Iron Rose Hematite appears like rosettes fashioned from steel. Some specimens are so similar to the actual flower that they seem like monochrome roses, frozen in ice. Visually breathtaking, they inspire awe for the forces of Nature that can create such art armed with the paintbrush of a crystal lattice.

Types of Hematite: Oolitic Hematite

Along the lakeshore, underneath highly agitated currents, magic takes place with the rise and fall of the tide. A small kernel accumulates layer upon layer of mineral sediment under the mighty ebb and flow of the water. Some time afterward, tiny pearls form, like little eggs nesting together.

These pearls are called oolites or “egg stones” and are the basis of Oolitic Hematite’s name. The little oolites of Hematite appear as if they are “bubbling” or “sweating” out from a weathered, porous-looking stone.

Of all the types of Hematite to tumble, oolitic Hematite is probably not the best candidate. It simply isn’t a show stopper like show stoppers such as specularite or martite within the Hematite family. As a consequence, oolitic Hematite might not find much use in jewelry.

In terms of using the oolitic Hematite to forge iron – a customary use of hematite stone – there are some complications. Because the oolite grains are so delicate – no bigger than 2 millimeters – they can be hard to extract from the larger stone matrix. Additionally, the hematite oolites are almost indistinguishable among the low-quality gangue that fills out the stone.

Nevertheless, we live in a world that has a voracious appetite for iron. We use iron to build our towering skyscrapers, and it is the metal that is crucial to the structural integrity of our vehicles. We fashion the appliances we rely on for modern convenience from iron, as are the utensils we use while eating.

However much iron we have available, it is not enough to meet the demand. As such, even the difficulty of harvesting iron from oolitic Hematite isn’t a deterrent. Consequently, there are many creative and innovative processes for extracting hematite ore, some conspicuously bordering on basic metallurgy.

Types of Hematite: Rainbow Hematite

Like a butterfly’s wings, Rainbow Hematite reflects light in a display of multicolor majesty. There is something that entrances us when we glimpse the prismatic effect, as Rainbow Hematite exhibits. Whether it be an opalescent opal or a rainbow after the rain, the chromatic wonder casts a captivating spell.

Using delicate imaging and spectroscopy, we can understand how Rainbow Hematite, also known as Iridescent Hematite, accomplishes this magic. When you perceive the crystal on a nanoscale, you find that Rainbow Hematite’s nanocrystals form in spindles. Furthermore, these spindles are stacked one on top of the other. These spindles lie at 120-degree angles, almost like the lean of a lawn chair or your car’s windshield.

These nanocrystals at their reclined angle work in chorus to split up and scatter rays of light. Rainbow Hematite’s impressive iridescent sheen is what we witness as a result. Interestingly enough, this phenomenon comes to be due to the stone’s impurities.

The presence of aluminum, phosphorus, iron, and oxygen typically found within Rainbow Hematite cause the nanoparticles to take on these spindle-like shapes. And in understanding the creation of this phenomenon, perhaps Nature is teaching us how we can adapt this wonder in our everyday world.

Related: Crystal Magic

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The Witches Ride: Besom Symbolism and Magic • Besom Witchcraft

The Magic of the Besom

A collection of besoms leaning up against a wall.

Through the power of the besom, we learn that there is freedom through magic. The besom is an ordinary household tool found in nearly every home, yet many have bred much spiritual significance into it over time. Perhaps this is because when it’s hard to find magic nearby, besoms are often readily available.

For women, trapped in a menial existence that didn’t stimulate them, the besom gave their spirit flight. As for the Romani people, whose chains were oppression and persecution, the besom was a pathway to a new life and a chance at happiness. And for those in literal chains – the Africans enslaved in America – the besom provided an opportunity to celebrate love amid unbearable heartache.

Freedom is something all seek but very few find. Our habits and circumstances trap us; even our mind ensnares us when it falls prey to destructive thoughts and emotions. Desperation to break our chains often doesn’t seem to translate into whether or not we succeed in finding liberation.

But perhaps our grasp on freedom is closer than we realize. Maybe it’s that soft tune you hum to yourself that helps your escape the monotony at work. Or perhaps it’s the scent of lilac perfume lingering on the letters your love sends you that allow you to escape your prison cell and fly to their side.

Freedom is being able to fly among the clouds with your feet planted firmly on the ground. The limits of your vision dictate what will bind you. Likewise, the unopen doors in your mind are what will keep you in shackles. Therefore, always strive for the openness of thought and clarity of vision, and you will always be free. And if these clues are still not enough to help you find it, well, grab your broom.

Besoms hanging on a brick wall. A sign above the besoms reads: "Broom Parking."

The Flying Witch

A besom leaning against a hedge surrounded by pumpkins.

The famous depiction of witches flying on broomsticks isn’t just a Halloween fabrication. It is a symbol arising from the Middle Ages. Back then witches, equipped with their besoms and aided by a powerful “flying ointment,” would prance around open fields at night. Through their flight, they hoped to “teach the crops how high to grow.”

Or at least they envisioned themselves doing as much. The truth, however, might prove otherwise.

But for starters, what was this powerful flying ointment that enabled them to defy the laws of gravity and turn a household object into a levitation device? It was a tincture including herbs such as mandragora, belladonna, henbane, thornapple, and sometimes even wolfsbane.

You may recognize these herbs to be members of the highly toxic, potently hallucinogenic Nightshade family. Additionally, wolfsbane and henbane create a sensation that feels like flying once introduced into the body.

So were these witches literally flying over fields of grain or simply experiencing a flight of fancy? Most likely the latter. Due to these herbs’ potency, it’s likely that witches envisioned themselves flying over fields on their besoms under cover of night. Meanwhile, their body lay wholly immobilized in a death-like trance induced by the herbs that incubated their visions.

Besoms on display at an open-air market.

The Besom and Spiritual Flight

Spiritual flight is an essential part of a witch’s toolkit. It is how you glimpse the mysteries of the universe, access true magic, and commune with entities and energies that do not reside in the temporal realm.

In this regard, the besom is uniquely accordant with this type of travel. This is because it acts as a portal between realms, worlds, and lives. It is a means to escape the monotony of the material world.

Flight of the Housewife

In the Middle Ages, the besom was the ticket out of the monotony of everyday life that women experienced. During that time, a woman’s day subsisted of waiting on her husband, taking care of the household chores, and doing yard work.

However, the besom, a tool that no doubt every woman had in her home and was well acquainted with, was her means of escaping the drudgery. Some speculate that women would use the besom to apply the psychotropics to sensitive areas and “get high.”

However, evidence of such a claim may come from biased sources. Much of the anecdotes that would support these claims come from clergy and inquisitors. Similarly, these are the very same people who would torture suspected witches, coercing them to confess to magical “crimes” they did not commit.

Regardless, the besom has connections to how women would apply the hallucinogens that granted them flight. Besides, can you blame them? The quest for freedom has been central to women’s struggle for eons. If through their besom, they found a magic that released them from their oppressive bonds, all the power to them.

An assortment of besoms decoratively placed in an outdoor sitting area. A sign to the left reads: "Broom Parking Only."

A besom and a walking cane lying on a worn wooden floor.

The Besom and Fertility

The witches’ flight over their crops wasn’t done simply as a pastime. In actuality, the goal was to encourage a fertile crop and bountiful harvest. They performed this act to inspire the crop to grow high enough to touch the sky.

In this way, and many others, besoms have become linked to the magic of fertility. The besom’s handle typically consists of birch wood, frequently used to furnish babies’ cradles. The type of wood is more than just a functional choice, as birch wood provides protective energies that extend to the young babe.

Ancient Roman midwives would also use the besom to sweep away negative energies threatening a newborn child. Many see these wise women, ever mindful of how unseen influences can work to corrupt the environment of a vulnerable child, as the antecedent to witches.

“Besom” derives from the Old English word besema, which means woman. Likewise, if you notice that it sounds quite like the word “bosom,” that is because they share the same root. The connection evokes the imagery of a woman comforting a young child in her warm bosom—the culmination of fertility magic.

Video: How to Make a Floral Besom

A besom leaning against a red brick wall on a mossy floor.

The Besom and the God and Goddess

Traditionally, besoms are composed of a hazel handle and brush fashioned from birch twig. Respectively, these two materials align with masculine and feminine energies. The handle itself evokes rather phallic imagery, while the bristles call to mind the hair that protects a woman’s vagina.

With the myriad connections to the masculine and the feminine, it is standard to abstract the besom’s symbolism to the God and Goddess. And while this archetype has long existed in Pagan religions, the Wiccan tradition has further solidified the concept in the modern day.

The interplay between God and Goddess begets all life and creation. The fertility of the land relies on the delicate balance between the divine masculine and feminine. Theirs is a dance of opposites that weave together seamlessly. Their waltz is the rubric upon which the magic of reality springs forth.

Without the Sun God, the seeds within the Earth Goddess’ womb will not grow. The Goddess conceives all life, but not without the spark of inspiration from the Horned God. The Moon Goddess rises so that the Sun can rest, and likewise, without the Sun’s light, the Moon cannot glow. The power of their divine interactions is what makes the universe become, function, and unfurl.

Similarly, the facets of the besom rely on each other to become a functioning whole. The stave without its strands is no more than a stick, and the brush without its stave has no mooring or fortitude. Together, they become a unified whole that cleanses both the spiritual plane and the terrestrial realm.

A besom brush tied with white, blue, yellow and purple ribbons and decorated with a pentacle.

A besom brush with yellow fall leaves.

How to Cleanse with the Besom

We ritually use the besom in spiritual practice to cleanse an area of unwanted energy. Unlike a household broom that you use to sweep and clean the floors of your abode physically, the besom is strictly for spiritual cleansing. It is typical to perform this ritual before the arrival of spring and summer or to cleanse a space you use for magical practice.

When you employ the besom in this regard, hold it a couple of inches off the ground, avoiding contact with the floor. According to Scottish folklore, it is tradition to sweep in a clockwise direction, or deasil – considered the “prosperous course.” In doing so, you are sweeping out all the old, stagnant energies and making way for enjoyable, uplifting energy.

Sweeping counterclockwise, or widdershins is seen as unfavorable by that same folklore. However, in the Wiccan tradition, moving counterclockwise has the functional application of banishing negative spirits that may plague your abode. It’s important to note that cleansing effectively “resets” the energies of an area. On the other hand, banishing intends to remove negative entities, and malicious spirits you sense are corrupting the space.

Afterward, consider placing a besom above your door, bristles pointing up to further protect your home and your hard work. Moreover, once you’ve broken in the besom, don’t forget to make a wish. There’s a good chance your wish might just come true.

A Simple Besom Chant by The Friendly Witch

A couple jumping over a besom.

Jumping the Besom

You will find the besom at the threshold between the old life and the new. It is a demarcation line that ends the life of solitude and begins a life of companionship. The besom is the brush that “sweeps away” all the markings and stagnation of living in loneliness. And in its stead, the besom helps usher in the refreshing winds of love and togetherness.

The custom of “jumping the broom” is a prominent part of Wiccan handfasting ceremonies in the modern era. Wiccans perform this as a tribute to the British Isles, the origin of the custom. Conceived by the Romani people of Wales in the 18th century, the tradition was born out of a necessity to signify the momentous occasion of starting a new life through marriage.

Unfortunately, the law did not recognize the validity of a Romani marriage. Therefore, the Romani would “jump the broom” together to create a way for the world to acknowledge their nuptials. And curiously enough, if there were need for a divorce, the couple would jump the besom backward to annul the marriage.

As irony would have it, the people of the British Isles used the practice to protect against the very people paying homage to the tradition now. They considered witchcraft an active threat to espousal, and there was a belief that a union of two hearts would be prey for maligned witches. Whether or not this was true, a newlywed Romani couple would jump the broom to defy the “evil” of witchcraft.

Likewise, the besom would be placed at the door of the bride and groom’s marital chambers. Furthermore, they deemed anyone who could not cross the broom a witch. Nowadays, the tradition is practically dissociated from its former symbolism.

Jumping the Broom in the African American Community

The act of jumping the broom at marriage isn’t only a tradition of the Romani people and the Wiccan community. The African American community partakes in this custom as well. During slavery, the law did not legally recognize slave marriages. As a result, slaves would jump the broom as part of their marriage ceremony.

However, there is controversy surrounding the practice, as some see it reclaiming African American heritage. In contrast, others see it as a relic of slavery that should remain in the past.

Some African-Americans include the tradition in their wedding out of respect for their less fortunate ancestors. While for others, the practice carries a painful stigma and reminder of a tragic period in African-American history.

A pentacle lying flat with five stones laying atop it. A red and a blue candle are in the background. Witchcraft is a theory of magic and a discipline that teaches you how to harness and direct universal energies. • Beginner Witch Essentials

How Do Ouija Boards Work? The Secret Magic of Ouija

A Ouija Board and planchette.

How Do Ouija Boards Work? Understanding the Secret Magic Behind the Ouija Board

Medium Using Ouija Board

Divinatory instruments that are as forthright as Ouija are pretty rare. Mystical iconography and opaque omen tend to obscure your typical agents of augury. These are further clouded by the user’s subjectivity. But not Ouija.

With the whole alphabet displayed prominently on the board, whatever should choose to communicate can clearly spell out their message. The words “Yes” and “No” hang in the balance about the top right and left corners, making further interrogation of the “visitor” easier.

There is a numeric system at the bottom of the board, in case needed. And when it’s time to formally dismiss the spectral guest, the Ouija allows for a straightforward and unambiguous “Goodbye.”

And then there is the planchette – a spade-shaped, narrow plank with a conspicuous “eye” strategically placed in the center. The eye is the nexus between enigma and clarity. It is the crucible that refines the message – bit by bit, letter by letter.

By what force the planchette moves is shrouded in mystery. Some would posit that it moves by the will of subconscious impulses that betray our control. Still, others would offer that possession is at play – and hopefully beneficial possession at that.

What seems indisputable is that the planchette moves — of what appears to be its own volition. The board comes alive under our fingertips, revealing secrets that no one should know.

The magic that empowers Ouija flies in the face of all we presume to be possible. It can divine things beyond the scope of our knowledge – deep-rooted secrets that no one should know. Ouija allows us to reach out to the all-knowing unknown. And to our astonishment, we get a response…

A close-up of a Ouija Board, lit by candlelight.

How do Ouija Boards Work? Understanding the Ideomotor Effect and The Science That Makes Ouija Move

A Ouija board molded into metal.

Ask a trivia expert what empowers the mysterious movements of the Ouija, and they might answer glibly: “Oh! It’s the ideomotor effect.” They wouldn’t be wrong, but they might not be being entirely precise.

To put it simply, the ideomotor effect is a proven scientific phenomenon that describes the involuntary, physical reaction to sensory input. For instance, when cold, you’re body shivers. Furthermore, when you tell a lie, your fingers will betray you and twitch. These are both automatic, involuntary movements your body makes that demonstrate the ideomotor effect.

Research has shown that the ideomotor effect impacts Ouija, much like the swing of a pendulum. When you ask the board a question, the planchette will move under your hands without conscious effort. Furthermore, it has a likely chance of arriving at the correct answer because your subconscious is covertly directing it to do so.

However, there is little room for the ephemeral and therefore unprovable spirit world in the realm of science. There is no empirical proof of the spirit world—yet. Thus, science generally regards it as irrelevant.

But the ideomotor effect being the phenomenon at play when one interacts with Ouija ought not to be mutually exclusive to the influence of the spirit world. Spirits can interact with the subconscious and provide sensory input—for instance, the smell of perfume. Or a slight chill that makes the hair on your arms stand on end.

Ouija, in truth, provides a nexus by which the spirit world can interact with the material world to dramatic effect. You’ll often hear of people feeling like they were “haunted” shortly after interacting with Ouija. The Ouija board provides an opening by which a spirit can interact with the physical world. And in the presence of a strong enough entity, expect to experience ideomotor phenomena.

• Ouija Fun Fact: What’s in a Name?

If you’re wondering who came up with the name “Ouija,” it was the board itself. When Helen Peters, known for being a strong medium, asked to board its name, “Ouija” was what came through. When Peters asked the board what Ouija meant, it responded: “Good luck.”

Ouija and Possession: Does Possession Empower the Ouija Board?

Some might assert that to engage in Ouija is to temporarily (ideally) allow a spirit to take control of your body – possession, essentially. Using you as a medium and your body as a conduit, the entity takes control to communicate its message using you to move the planchette.

However, suppose a spiritual presence needs to take control of your body to relay a message. In that case, there are far more direct means of communication than Ouija. For instance, they could employ automatic writing or psychography.

Psychography allows them to bypass your conscious mind altogether. As a result, the message that the spirit desires to send can be much less prone to the biases and filters inherent in the body channeling it.

Additionally, if a spirit is possessing you, they have direct access to your mouth and voice. They could speak their message through you. Speaking through you is far more unmediated and practical than using you to move the planchette. It’s unlikely that possession engineers the Ouija planchette’s movements in most cases.

However, spiritual entities can still seize control of you while you engage with Ouija. Ouija has, in fact, been connected to numerous cases of this phenomenon. The occurrence has become so prevalent that many psychologists study cases involving Ouija-induced possession. The aim is usually to explain these supernatural events as hysteria or some fugue state of mind.

Even so, there are many cases of Ouija-induced possession that defy even scientific explanation. If tampering with Ouija leads to a spirit appropriating your body, it’s because something went wrong, not right. You usually take proper precautions to protect yourself when using any other tool. The same is true with Ouija.

• Ouija Fun Fact: Patented Technology

Ouija has a patent because it has been demonstrated to work. When attorney Elijah Bond went to retrieve a patent for the oracle board, the chief patent officer demanded a demonstration. If the board could accurately predict the patent officer’s name, the patent would be rewarded.

The Ouija board did so successfully, and on February 10, 1891, Elijah Bond was given a patent for his “toy or game.”

The Haunted Ouija Board: How the Spirit World Works its Magic on the Ouija Board

A quaint looking Ouija Board and planchette.

When a spirit involves itself in your Ouija practice, it will likely do so by haunting the actual board and planchette. “Haunting” can be a scary word, but there is no reason it should be.

When we interact with an object, as living beings, we do so physically because we reside in the physical world. Likewise, spiritual beings interact with an object spiritually, animating and haunting it with their energy.

Ouija provides quite the powerful nexus between the spirit world and the physical plane. It borrows from the querent’s energy and the spiritual entity’s resonance to create an arena that suspends the limits of the temporal realm momentarily.

So not only is Ouija haunted by the spirit seeking to communicate, but by your energies as well. This magical interplay animates the board, bringing it to life and making it much easier for communication to occur unmuddied.

It’s important to note that Ouija working by way of haunting doesn’t negate the ideomotor effect being at play. Instead, it almost confirms it. Unless you are sensitive to the influence of the spirit world, chances are you won’t sense the presence of a spirit nearby. At least not consciously.

But subconsciously, your body will react. Your body might shiver as an undetectable chill graces it. Your fingers might start to twitch. And the planchette underhand will be guided by these subtle movements until the whole picture unfolds – a message from the spirit.

• Ouija Fun Fact: The Benign Pastime

The stigma of Ouija being a portal to hell is a recent phenomenon, as Ouija was once a pleasant pastime. The sitcom I Love Lucy famously had an episode where Lucy and Ricky perform a seance using Ouija as comic relief. Norman Rockwell even painted a picture of a couple playing Ouija on their knees published in the Saturday Evening Post.

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