Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tangible Witchcraft: Resurrection Plant

This past Friday at 9 AM, I put a resurrection plant in a bowl of water and left it near my door.

There are lots of traditions and rituals associated with The Rose of Jericho (or Resurrection Plant) that span several belief systems including Catholicism, Voudou, Hoodoo and Santeria. Fascinating stuff, and since so many attribute this plant with magickal workings, I say- where's there's smoke there's fire.

Background:
Known by many names (Mary's flower, Stone flower, Spike moss, Rosa Mariae, Rose of the Virgin, Dinosaur Plant, Holy Night Rose and Palestinian Tumbleweed are but a few), there are actually two plants that are called a Resurrection Plant (which is an attribute that they both share: actual resurrection). Anastatica hierochuntica is the true Rose of Jericho (growing in the Middle East and Africa) while the Selaginella Lepidophylla is known as the false Rose of Jericho (growing in North America). It is the more commonly available false Rose of Jericho is the one that is widely known and used in magickal workings and spells here in the United States.

Either Rose of Jericho (be the "true" or "false" one) has some amazing powers, whether you look at it from a scientific or a magickal point of view. I tend to look at both, since I am very animistic in my beliefs of how magick works (everything has a distinct energy field that hold certain properties that can be used to affect the worlds and create magickal effect.) The doctrine of signatures also, when extrapolated into a broad magickal world view, tells us that plants, minerals, animals, and beings not only have specific properties but that they can be identified if you are paying attention. This plant deserves some attention.

This is my plant before placing in water.
What properties does this plant have? It performs miracles! It can live in dormancy for up to 50 years, looking like a dried up, dead, old tumbleweed. As soon as it finds stable water, it comes back to life, greening up and even blooming! Is it any wonder so many belief systems have attributed it with power?

Catholics:
According to legends, it is said that the Virgin Mary blessed the eternal plant during her and Joseph's flight to Egypt. In Spain, it is traditionally connected to the Holy Trinity. And hey, it does and is reborn, just like Jesus- who wouldn't like that?

The true Rose of Jericho is sought for in the Holy Land by pilgrims as a holy relic. Some are actually kept in the family and is traditionally passed on, from generation to generation, as an important part of one's inheritance and it is brought out at Christmas or Easter time along with other decorations.

Catholic families sometimes keep a dried Rose of Jericho in a paper bag among their Christmas decorations, at Christmas they will place the rose in a shallow dish of water on the Christmas table allowing it to bloom. When used at Christmas, it is believed to symbolise the opening and closing of Marys womb. Other catholic families follow a similar tradition at Easter, the symbolism of death and resurrection being an obvious parallel with Jesus Christ.

Conjure:
I said a prayer over the plant before placing
in water. Depending on your religion,
you could invoke several powers here.
I called upon the ever-dying and reborn god
of my tradition to bless the plant and imbue
it with blessings, abundance, and prosperity.
In hoodoo, conjure, and obeah the plant is often used as a prosperity charm. It promotes good business (if placed in a place of work) and happiness and abundance in the home (when placed by the front entrance with a few coins added to the water). After you put the Resurrection plant in water, you simply place it near your door to draw in abundance. When you need a little prosperity, you asperge your house and/or yourself with the water in the bowl, or use the water as a floor or door wash. Since you need to replenish the water weekly for the plant (or it will moldy and get slimy), this means you can perform weekly prosperity spells with ease.

You can also "wash" a grave with this water in order to receive messages from them through divination or dream.

It is also thought if you wear the dried plant as an amulet it will promote a long and healthy life. I suspect a charm to help a very ill person that includes this plant could aid in a miraculous" recovery.

Voudou:
The Resurrection Plant is considered a rare magical commodity and is sought after for use in Voodoo and Cuban Santeria love and money spells. In Voodoo spells, it can also be used to conjuring spirits- sometimes causing possessions and then curing one of a possession.

Santeria:
In Santeria and other Yoruba-based traditions the plant is sometimes believed to be sacred to the Orisha Shango (the spirit of lightening), probably because of the story of Shango committing suicide and then coming back to life. The Ressurection Plant is sometimes placed on his altar by his devotees or used as an ingredient in powders, incenses, oils and baths that are made under the patronage of Shango.

Tips on growing:

What it looks like in the first few hours,
Do not swamp the plant with too much water, they can easily grow moldy, the rose should rest on top of a small amount of water, there should be no water on the top side of the plant.

For prosperity, add a few coins, but DO NOT add lodestones to the water, unless you desire a rusty dead mess. Hardly an auspicious spell for prosperity!

Some people recommend adding holy water (I've also seen people add water from sacred pagan sites, like the Chalice Well) to the plant. That is fine if you are sure the water is healthy for living things. Some waters are not.

Change the water at least once a week, don't allow the water to become stagnant.

Don't place them in direct sunlight but do place them somewhere warm.

Allow your plant to dry out occasionally if its just being kept in water. And benefit magickally from another resurrection!

False Rose of Jericho can be planted in soil. If you desire to do this, allow it to bloom in a dish of water for a few weeks until you see small roots appearing, then transplant to a large pot. Don't overwater!

1 comment:

  1. i have two of these that I use frequently, i also allow them to dry out and switch them so when one is blooming the other is drying out. i love these plant they are awesome!!

    also just a quick side note voodoo/obeah is a part of the Yoruba traditions, they all come from the African diaspora & they all call the Loa or spirits the "same" names.

    Loved the post thanks for sharing, now I'm going to go re~water my rose.
    Much prosperity blessings
    Aisha

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