Drying Flowers for Magic and Ritual

Drying Flowers for Magic and Ritual May 20, 2019
Red and purple flowers near a stairway
Flowers near the side entrance of Ohio University’s Bentley Hall Annex. Copyright Laurel Reufner, May 2019

I absolutely love flowers. I don’t care if they’re outside or inside, cut or potted. They are all beautiful. And if dried or pressed, they can be used in a variety of ways in ritual and magic.

When my husband brought home dozens of red roses from Ohio University’s graduation ceremonies a few weeks ago, my whole face lit up. These were flowers that would have been otherwise thrown away, since they hadn’t been able to sell them during undergraduate graduation. Instead they opted to give them away to others who had been working various spots at the event. *

Those flowers sat around in parts of our house for a week or so while we all enjoyed their beauty. And then I set about drying as many of those lovely petals as I could. Actually, I waited a little too long and had to toss out a couple of dozen – yes, it hurt!  However, at least two dozen have made it to the drying stage.

 

I’ve been doing this for years, each time carefully bagging and labelling where they came from so I’ve got some notion of how they might be used later on.  These uses can be very versatile. This batch of rose petals may very well wind in very small bits in fairy dust for our Midsummer.

Most flowers are fairly easy to dry with little effort, and they can bring additional energy to your magic and rituals.

Here are some tips and suggestions:

Individual flower petals are easy to dry and can be used in so many different ways. I have a special bowl from a dear friend that I like to use when drying my flower petals. It’s a pasta bowl, so it’s large, but shallow, and the inner decoration forms a bit of a spiral. However, you don’t need anything that fancy. Even a baking tray will work. You just need to be able to spread out the flowers for quicker, more even drying.

I like to put a clean cloth or a couple of paper towels under the petals to help absorb some of the moisture. Then spread out your petals on top and set in a place where they won’t be accidently knocked over or bothered by any pets.  At least once a day, try to give them a stir with your hand, bringing up petals from the bottom of the bowl to the top. This will help even out the drying, as well as speed up the process.

Whole flowers can also be dried and added to wreaths, dried potpourris, or other types of decorations. You can also use them in spell bottles and bags, perhaps as offerings to the Divine. Just makes sure they aren’t too thick. The more width to your flower, the longer it will take to dry out.

Once you are certain your botanicals are completely dry and that no moisture remains, simply pack them up in a bottle, paper bag, or plastic baggie and store as you would your dried herbs. As I said above, I like to label and date them with the occasion as well as the contents.

Single, sturdy flowers make can make for great wands. To dry them simply tie some thread around the end and hang upside down to dry. Hanging it upside down helps preserve the integrity of the flower. When my stepfather passed over, I used one of the roses from his service to make a wand that I had for several years. Such a wand would be good for use in remembrance rituals or on altars. Carnations or roses from a loved one work in love or family rituals.

Beautiful flowers in a glass vase.
My Mother’s Day flowers, created by the wonderful ladies at Family Tree Florist, which is owned by a friend and her family. Copyright Laurel Reufner, May 2019

When it comes to figuring out ways to use your new, dried botanicals, it’s really only a matter of imagination. I plan to dry my Mother’s Day bouquet and then keep it on hand for work aimed at love, relationships, confidence, self-esteem, family, etc… What I really love about doing this is how the flowers aren’t just imbued with the energies and correspondences of that particular botanical, but also with the energies from whatever occasion they were perhaps given to you. I can also easily add local wildflowers from my yard, such as violets or honeysuckle, or even poke berries, which can be hard to find even in the best of botanicas or herbal stores.

Extra hint – A good place to search for inexpensive, yet stylish, bottles is your local dollar store – I love Dollar Tree, or second hand shops. And keep an eye on those bottles you empty in your kitchen. Sometimes all they need is a good wash and they’re ready to reuse. Most lingering smells that bottle caps possess can often be dealt with by storing them in a sealed container with some baking soda.

*For the curious, my husband is part of Ohio University’s Classified Senate, who sell various keepsakes at the graduations in order to fund a scholarship the award each year.

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