Ingredient Spotlight: Bay Leaves

K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher
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Bay leaf has a variety of uses in magic and herbal medicine.  It is extremely helpful in sparking prophetic visions, lucid dreaming, and contemplation for the purpose of finding the reality of a situation or solving a dilemma.  It is an excellent addition to a potpourri or incense for divination.

There is already a lot written about the medicinal and magical properties of bay leaf, and again I’d like to avoid rewriting what has already been written on the subject.  Instead, I would like to offer some of my observations and speculations on why bay leaf works the way it does.

I believe that the reason bay leaf works so well for visions and divination on the one hand, and protection and warding on the other, is more because of its protective properties.  Its energy seems to make a safe “space” for the soul/mind to “stretch out”.  It is difficult to articulate exactly what happens during trance, but whatever is happening, bay leaf helps it to happen mainly by clearing the way.

For this reason, it may also be helpful in situations where there is a need for bonding between people, as well as to stretch or shrink perceived time.  It can also be a good prelude to the ceremonial use of other psychoactive herbs, enhance the experience, or help the “coming down”.  I found a nice recipe for Bay Leaf Pound Cake at 101 Cookbooks, that may be useful in this.

Bay leaves make great quick amulets and talismans.  Because of their very nature, if you wish someone luck in the way of protection or shrewdness or creativity on the fly, hold the bay leaf in your giving hand or between both hands, and give your wish to it, then give it to the person.  You can also write or paint your wish or a symbol of it on the leaf itself, and then when it is fulfilled, burn the leaf as an offering to the Spirits who aided you.

To make a safe place for a gathering of spiritual people, it is helpful to spray an infusion of bay leaves in water around the place, or sprinkle crushed, dried bay leaves around.

Bay leaves can be painted with essential oils, infusions, or other liquids to specify their purpose.  A bay leaf painted with neroli oil may be helpful to help someone see the truth about someone they intend to marry.  Painted with rose absolute, they can help someone to feel more confident about their appearance.  Painted with blue lotus, they can help someone to relax even in stressful times.  Be creative, but careful with this.  Not everything needs as much amplification or depth as bay leaf may give it.

Chastity/Loyalty Charm

Because it can make one very sensitive and shrewd at the same time, it is great for a certain charm to help someone maintain their chastity while on vacation or in another situation where temptation to make sexual mistakes may be great.  For this you will need:

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut into 3 pieces
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a sprig of fresh rosemary
  • the pit of a peach that you gave them and they have eaten and enjoyed
  • either a raccoon atlas bone (to protect a friend or family member) or a raccoon baculum (to protect a lover)
  • a red string or thin ribbon (if you are their lover, this can be red because it is stained with your blood)
  • rosewater
  • prepared “mojo” wrapping cloth
  • a dedicated needle and white thread
  • wax
  • sacred pen or paint or “palo” burnt at one end for writing, preferably from an orange or lemon tree


Call to your Gatekeeper to open the way for your charm to work, and to protect the person for whom you are making the charm.

Prepare your cloth by marking it with Gatekeeper and protection and appropriate loyalty or chastity symbols.

Soak your string or ribbon in a little rosewater.

With intent, starting with the vanilla bean, place the ingredients in the wrapper.

Tightly sew the wrapper shut around the ingredients, imagining the person keeping their legs closed tightly despite whatever is going on around them.

Wrap the bundle with the string or ribbon seven times, and then tie it with seven knots.

Seal the seams of the bundle with the wax, and while it is still warm, squeeze it gently with your fingertips so that the prints are in it.

Give this charm to the person with your wishes that they be morally strong on their journey.

K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher

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