Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a short-lived perennial plant that is most likely native to parts of southern Europe. This beautiful orange flower has been cultivated around the world for hundreds of years so a specific point of origin is hard to pin down. It goes by many other names across the world, and some of these may be familiar to you. These common names include pot marigold, common marigold, Mary’s gold, and Scotch marigold. The flowers of the calendula plant tend to be of orange, red, and yellow hues.
Calendula is easy to cultivate. It thrives in many different types of soils and enjoys sunny locations. However, it does not do well in places with severe winters or very hot summers. Many gardeners agree that calendula is one of the easiest flowers to grow in a garden. They also have benefits such as possibly keeping away pests!
Using Calendula in Practice
Calendula has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal, practical, and magickal purposes. In this section, we will go over the practical uses of calendula as well as different magickal properties. We will also explore different folklore pertaining to this beautiful orange flower and how that can lend to the magickal correspondences.
Practical Uses of Calendula
Please note that any information given in this post is for educational purposes only. Nothing written here is meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or ailment. Always speak to your medical team before starting a new treatment or ingesting any new herbs.
Did you know that calendula is entirely edible? The flower petals of calendula are edible and are often added to salads for a pop of color. The leaves of the calendula plant are also edible though they do not taste very good. Calendula flowers are also used to make a tea. Of course, never ingest any herb or flower without knowing exactly what it is. You can get calendula at many herbal stores and possibly even your grocery store!
Calendula can also be used to dye fabric and other objects. The vibrant color of the flower petals can be used to stain fabric, food, and cosmetics. An easy way to dye fabric with calendula involves simmering the calendula flowers for 30 minutes, removing the flowers, and simmering the fabric in the dye bath for 30 more minutes. Experiment with this technique or search the internet for more ideas!
The calendula plant has also been used for a wide variety of medicinal reasons as well. According to WebMD, calendula has been used to treat wounds because it may enhance cell regeneration. It has also been used to treat inflammation of the skin, mouth, and throat. Calendula belongs to the same family as the chamomile plant. Therefore, it has been said that calendula may also help treat anxiety and sleep disorders. However, more research is needed to determine the safety and efficiency of these treatments.
Folklore and Calendula
There is a book titled Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics written in 1884 by Richard Folkard details many folkloric stories about calendula and the common marigold. This book is available for free through Project Gutenberg and you can read it in full by clicking here. In this book, calendula and marigold are sometimes used interchangeably so please do not let that confuse you.
There are a few different legends that can give context to the magickal uses of calendula that will be discussed in a moment. There are also a few practical and medicinal uses of calendula that lend themselves to the magickal uses, too.
“To dream of Marigolds appears to be of happy augury, denoting prosperity, riches, success, and a happy and wealthy marriage.”
“The Marigold is deemed by astrologers a Solar herb, under the sign Leo.”
These two quotes from Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics give the marigold a connection to the sun, happiness, success, and wealth. It is also thought that calendula point their faces toward the sun to capture as much of the sun’s rays as possible. As a vibrant orange flower that actively seeks out the sunlight, calendula is heavily connected to solar energy and sunlight.
There are also some stories that say calendula is connected to the Greek God Apollo. The story goes that a woman named Caltha loved Apollo so much that she stood in his light, burned up from the radiance, and died. In her place grew a single calendula flower. While the story shows connections to the sun, Apollo, and death, this story cannot be found in source lore and may be a regional tale, a modern tale, or a complete fabrication.
Calendula in Witchcraft
Because of the vibrant and warm colors, the calendula flower is heavily connected to the sun and solar power. This makes calendula a wonderful herb for working with solar energy, warmth, joy, and sun deities. It is also said that sprinkling calendula under your bed, either flower petals or powdered herb, can help protect you from negative energies.
Another option to protect the home is to create a garland of calendula to string above all doors to your home. This echoes the protective nature in the folk stories of sprinkling calendula under the bed. It is also said that adding calendula flowers to your bath may help you maintain confidence and win the respect and admiration of everyone you meet.
Here is a general breakdown of the magickal correspondences and connections of calendula.
Folk Names: Bride of the Sun, Goldes, Holigolde, Marybud, Mary’s Gold, Ruddles, and Summer’s Bride
Correspondences: Protection, Warmth, Joy, Dreams, Death, Prosperity, Love, Confidence, Healing, Soothing, and Success
To use calendula in a spell, consider dressing candles with the flower petals, adding it to your bath, or burning it as an incense. For example, if you want to perform a glamour spell with calendula to make you appear more confident, sprinkle some calendula flowers in your bath while reciting an affirmation or chant. If you need some help, try this one!
Calendula I call on you,
Join me for this spell.
I ask for joy and confidence
Help me to speak well.
Whether you choose to use calendula as offerings on an ancestor altar or added to your bath for joy, calendula can be a powerful plant ally to work with in your practice.
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