From Ancient times through today the Bay Leaf is celebrated for it sweet and spicy aroma and flavoring. However, the historic importance of the Bay Leaf goes far beyond its pleasant seasoning abilities. The Bay leaf is revered for its potent magical attributes and it’s uses are considerable. Throughout the centuries, Bay has been used for a number of magical and divinatory rituals. It’s can target an array of intentions and goals including attraction, power, love, road opening, hex removal, protection, and psychic development.
FOLKLORE & HISTORY
According to Greek Mythology, the Bay Leaf was named after the river nymph Daphne. She was relentlessly pursued by the young and bold Apollo. Daphne wanted nothing to do with Apollo and desired to maintain her freedom and virginity. When Apollo could not be dissuaded, Daphne took flight with Apollo hot on her heels. Daphne fled through rivers, valleys, and mountains. No matter how fast she ran, Apollo would not cease his pursuit. Alas. in total exhaustion, Daphne cried out to Gaia to draw her down into the earth and begged her father, the river, to change her rather than let Apollo have her. As Daphne stood on solid ground, her legs took root into the earth, her body became of the trunk, her limbs the branches and her head the leaves. Dismayed, Apollo cried out and proclaimed his love would never die. For his sacred crown, Apollo would forever wear the Laurel Wreath. From that moment forward Bay has been used in crowning ceremonies. The Greek Oracles of Delphi also held the bay leaf in high regard. In order to induce prophetic visions, the Delphi nymphs would chew on Bay leaves.
The Ancient Greeks crowned scholars and poets with Wreaths of Laurel and the Ancient Romans crowned their Generals, Emperors and war heroes with Laurel Wreaths. In Europe, as a source of general protection, the Bay leaf was believed to prevent the plague, It was also widely believed to cast out evil, be a source of protection from lightning and storms and divert the evil eye. In love matters, young girls used Bay to discover their future husbands by placing a Bay leaf under their pillow before they went to sleep.
We use Bay in a number of our most beloved products. For Intuition related magic, we use Bay in our Vision Oil and incense. For success related magic bay is used in both our Crown of Success Oil and Fame & Fortune Oil. We also use bay in many of our protection and defense blends such as Fiery Wall of Protection Spray and oil.
Below, we list a number of bay related spells and recipes that aren't complicated and produce very good results. Feel free to get creative and trust your intuition!
From the famous Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, we recognize Bay's use in love magick. It can be added to love sachets, mojo bags, potpourris and infused into a carrier oil for love potions. You can also write the name of your love interest on a whole Bay leaf and place it under your pillow or mattress. To create a powerful love drawing blend, mix Bay leaf with myrrh, rose buds and apple leaves. Add this to a base of olive oil and anoint a red or pink candle. Place a few drops in your shoe or put a few drops in your bath. Anoint some on your wrists and neck while attending social gatherings. You can also anoint a vanilla bean and photograph of your love interest and place it on your altar with some honey.
For a classic road opener blend, mix Bay leaf, lemon peel, and pine needles. If Pine needles are unavailable, you can use rosemary. Burn the mixture over a charcoal disc near your front door. You can also blend the herbs into olive oil and anoint an orange or yellow candle.
Simmer some of this mixture in water then add to a gallon of cool water with 2 tablespoons of mild soap and use as a floor wash or add to a warm bath.
Combine crushed Bay leaves, dragons blood resin, cloves, and tobacco. Add this to your favorite carrier oil and anoint it on your wrists and neck when you wish to influence others. For candle magick anoint a purple candle with this blend. Dab a few drops into your shoe or anoint a High John root and carry it in your pocket. Make a mojo bag out of 1 dried Bay leaf, 1 High John root, and 9 cloves and carry it on you. Make sure you “feed” the bag once a week with a bit of whiskey.
To create a protection toby (amulet) simply wrap a fresh Bay leave around a silver dime and tie it with white string. Carry this on you to avoid witchcraft or the evil eye. To perform a protection bath, place Bay and hazel leaves in your bath water and read Psalm 23. One European belief is to chew on 1 Bay leaf upon awakening to cast out evil spirits. Sprinkle crushed Bay leaves and kosher salt on your floors and then sweep them out your front door. Combine dried Bay leaves, sage, rosemary, and rue and burn over charcoal. The smoke can be used to cleanse the home or fumigate the body.
If you wish to discover a “yes” or “no” answer to a worrisome question, get a dry Bay leaf and write out your question. Place the Bay leaf in a flame and if the answer is yes, the Bay leaf will crackle in the flame. If it is no, it will burn without a sound. To induce intuitive visions, mix Bay leaves, mugwort, anise, and sandalwood and burn over charcoal.
Blackthorn, Amy. Blackthorn's Botanical Magic: the Green Witch's Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual, and Healing. Weiser Books, 2018.
Cunningham, Scott. Magical Aromatherapy: the Power of Scent. Llewellyn Pub., 2006.
Jim, Papa. Papa Jim's Herbal Magic Workbook: How to Use Herbs for Magical Purposes an A-Z Guide. Original Publications, 2001.
Beyerl, Paul V. Master Book of Herbalism, Pheonix Publishing Inc, 1996.