bay tree (Laurus nobilis)

My Bay Tree

The Bay tree has a victorious energy that can be used to purify, increase vitality, encourage psychic development, and even break curses.

We made a dramatic transition, moving from the desserts of the southwest to the temperate rainforests of the Pasic Northwest. And while I love it here, there are things about my old home that I dearly miss, among these are the friends and family left behind, not just the people but also my plant and animal friends. (Instead of visits from coyote, lizard, quail, roadrunner, hawk, and owl, my visitors now are goose, eagle, crow, squirrel, skunk, raccoon, and possum.) I also had to accept that my cherished avocado that I grew from a pit, my Meyers lemon, ruby grapefruit, and lime with their perky, tart, uplifting energy, would not survive the cold in my new grow zone. I had to leave them and adjust, as I got to know occupants of my new yard: the fur trees, maple, hazelnuts, hawthorns, cherry, apple, pear, plum, and multitudes of berries. The only exception is my bay tree (Laurus nobilis). It is an aromatic evergreen that grows slow and never made it planted out in the ground but instead, like a hermit crab, just trades for larger and larger pots.

My bay has traveled to live in 3 different states with me. It lived on a hot, shaded patio, then on a balcony lit in dappled shade, and now it spends most of the year in my Oregon greenhouse. Though it is not hardy to my new grown zone and would die if left out in the winter's cold, it has adjusted and does well in the greenhouse, slowly growing leaves to replace the ones I harvest.

Its energy is supportive and victorious and easy to work with. I drop a leaf into soups to infuse the liquid with properties for healing and protection and add a pleasant flavor that is somewhere between spearmint and menthol. When I need inspiration I hold a match to a dried leaf and watch as it sputters into flame and quickly dies out in a puff of scented smoke that opens insight and grants clarity. The small tree is my companion. I talk to it. I cook with it. I write wishes on its leaves and use them for incense and spellcraft. My bay tree is an ally. It is supportive. It is useful. It is a positive, helpful companion and I have learned a great deal through its lessons.

The bay has an uplifting, supportive positive energy that can be used to draw luck and empower prosperity spells. Tuck 3 bay leaves into a small white or orange bag. Add three drops of bergamot oil and tuck into your left pocket to draw good luck to you throughout the day.

Crumble a dried bay leaf and burn with sandalwood to encourage abundance. Or practice some wish magick by writing a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it to manifest your desire.

The Bay tree holds to encourage psychic development. Make a dream pillow with 9 bay leaves, 5 star anise pods, a handful of crumbled althaea leaf, and piece of dried dandelion root. Keep it beneath the pillow to inspire prophetic dreams.

Bay also holds some serious banishing power, the kind that can break hexes. Brew an infusion of bay leaves and coltsfoot and add to washwater to clear away obstacles. Or make a protection incense by crumbling 3 bay leaves with dried basil, cloves, garlic skins, and rosemary. Burn to drive away malevolent energies.