This post originally appeared in Sage Woman Blogs on Witches and Pagans.
In my part of Oregon, May is a month of flowers and sweetness. We are often rained on throughout the month, and the weather is usually cool (or downright cold), but oh the flowers–especially the roses. Portland is called the city of roses for a reason. It seems like every green space has at least one rosebush to offer.
Which means now is a wonderful time to work with the energy of rose in our healing magic.
There is a strong cultural precedent here in the U.S. for the association of roses with matters of the heart, as any florist can tell you around Valentine’s Day. But, magically speaking, the affect of rose on the heart goes beyond that of the pink and red bouquets typically associated with romance. I’ve worked with rose for several years now, and her gentle energy never fails to soothe my heartache and distress. Don’t think, however, that sweetness is all there is to rose.
We can’t forget the thorns. And while rose’s prickles can certainly serve as a metaphor for love’s potential to inflict pain, I look at them a bit differently.
One of the reasons I think Rose is such a perfect ally for healing a wounded heart is that she knows how to protect herself. She offers her blessings freely–so long as you are willing to approach her respectfully. On the other hand, if you reach out and grab thoughtlessly, she will cut you. Something we should all pay attention to.
As women, we are taught from a very young age to be sweet and giving and self-sacrificing (or at least I was). Unfortunately those lessons in generosity don’t usually come with advice about setting good boundaries, about self care, about saying “no” when someone’s expectations are unreasonable. Rose reminds us that we can be as giving as we like–but we have a right to protect ourselves and demand respect from those we care for.
And as we work with rose to heal our heartaches, we can also work with her to learn the lessons of self protection she offers. We can benefit as much from her thorns as from her flowers and fruit.
One of my favorite ways to engage this energy is by using rose in a Heart Healing Elixir.
I was originally given the inspiration for this elixir on behalf of a friend who was going through a divorce and struggling with her relationship with love. When the elixir was ready, we held ceremony in her home–casting a circle and incorporating a reiki session into the process. She took her first dose before we began the reiki, and throughout the course of the session she saw visions of all the people in her life–both the ones who brought her happiness and the ones who brought her grief–and felt love and gratitude for their presence in her life. After the ceremony we were both overflowing with laughter and happiness–I didn’t take any of the elixir, but I definitely benefitted from the healing energy flooding our circle.
The original formula didn’t have the thorns in it, and they might not be necessary for everyone–but recent events in my own life have convinced me I need the thorns, so I include them here. You can decide how much fierceness you want, and adjust the formula accordingly.
A Heart Healing Elixir
A small jar with a tight fitting lid
80 proof brandy or Scotch, or 100 proof vodka
Fresh pink or red rose petals
Three rose thorns or prickles
Raw Honey (local if you can find it)
A small piece of Rose Quartz (heart shaped is a nice added touch)
A small piece of Amethyst
Fill your jar about a third of the way with honey. Focus on its sweetness and soothing properties. Set the intention to experience that sweetness and comfort in your heart. Speak your intention aloud if you wish.
Add the piece of rose quartz. Focus on its affinity for the heart, and for love. Set the intention to heal your heart and learn to love yourself.
Add the piece of amethyst. Focus on its spiritual, loving energy. Set the intention to allow spirit to help you become whole.
Add the rose petals–if possible, enough to fill the jar almost to the top. Focus on the loving, comforting energy of roses, and feel it in your heart.
Add the thorns. Focus on their protective magic–magic that allows access to your heart, but demands care and respect. Set the intention to protect yourself.
Now pour your alcohol over the flowers, stones, thorns and honey until it reaches the top of your jar. Use a chopstick or skewer to gently stir the mixture.
Hold your hands over your potion and visualize love and healing energy pouring into it from the earth, from the plants, from the universe. If you practice reiki or other forms of energy healing, you can use those as well. When you feel that you are done with the visualization, cap the jar tightly and place it out of direct sunlight–preferably on an altar that you visit regularly. As it steeps, open it occasionally, poke out the air bubbles and give it a gentle stir. As you do so, hold your intention for the elixir in your mind, visualizing love and healing just as you did when you put the ingredients in the jar.
I feel it is best to start your elixir on the new moon and allow it to steep at least until the full moon. BUT, as always with healing magic, if the need is immediate, begin now.
If you are making the elixir with no urgent need, I recommend letting it steep for six weeks, decanting on a full moon.
When your elixir is ready, strain the liquid. Retrieve the stones and rinse them clean. Return the spent herbs to the earth with thanks for their sacrifice.
Take your elixir by the drop, or by the spoonful as needed–my friend took hers once a day for a few weeks with good effect. If alcohol is problematic, add the elixir to a hot cup of tea and wait a while for the alcohol to evaporate.
A few notes:
Be sure your rose petals are free of pesticide residue. Whatever you do, don’t use roses from a florist–they are very likely heavily sprayed.
When creating your own formulas for elixirs, be very cautious about adding stones to alcohol. Alcohol is a solvent, and some stones have poisonous substances which will end up in your preparation. I’ve used amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz in many elixirs with no ill effect. But if you aren’t positive of the safety of a stone, put it on top of the jar or beside the jar throughout the steeping time instead of inside. The energies of the stone will still infuse your preparation.
Want to learn more about making magic with plants? Contact me with your questions!
Was this post helpful to you? Consider becoming a patron.