Friday, January 24, 2014
Bay Laurel Leaves
A friend and I were talking about cooking spices the other day, and I mentioned how much I love Bay Leaves. Bay is also known as Bay Laurel, Daphne, Grecian Laurel, and Apollo's Laurel. I love Bay not just for cooking, but as an herb to use in magick and spells. Also, I have recently begun a connection to and have started working with Apollo. Bay is important to Apollo, and he is often seen wearing a Bay Laurel crown upon his head.
Apollo was in love with the nymph Daphne, daughter of the river god Peneus. As the story goes Apollo poked fun at Cupid for using a man's weapon, the bow and arrow. In return Cupid shot Apollo with a golden arrow that caused him to fall in love with Daphne. Cupid then shot Daphne with a leaden arrow, that caused her to see and be repulsed by Apollo.
Apollo continued to chase Daphne, against her wishes. Wishing to remain a virgin and avoid Apollo's advances, Daphne begs her father for help. Peneus turns Daphne into the laurel tree. Apollo plucks a few leaves and wears them as a crown to always have Daphne near him.
The priestess of the Delphic Oracle, which was Apollo's oracle, used to burn the leaves in order to help open her communication to the other world, where she would have prophetic visons that she would relay to Apollo. So it is said that burning bay leaves can increase your psychic abilities, and help you with meditation and trance states.
Other magical uses for Bay include using the leaves in spells for protection particularly for travel and of the home. I've used bay as a protective herb in protection mojo bags. Another great use for bay is to write your wishes on the leaves during a waxing moon, then burn the leaves during the full moon to bring your wishes into fruition.