The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the
Chinese, Greeks and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional
cooking, medicine, and magick.
Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor
and a little magickal whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others
are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising. Flower petals can be
used in salads and as garnish for desserts, but they also inspire magickal
creative uses as well. Use them to make floral spirit water for rituals, as a
medicinal tea, or add to a healing spell or love potion…. the possibilities are endless.
TIPS FOR SAFE AND TASTY DINING:
Not all flowers are edible (those listed below are safe for consumption) - As lovely
as eating flowers can be, some can also be a little … deadly, so only
you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on
edible flowers and plants. (Always refer to the botanical name when verifying whether a flower is
safe to eat.)
because a flower is edible doesn’t mean it will taste good. Some will be more to
your liking than others – it’s all a matter of taste. Keep in mind that the
stamen, pistil and sepal of some blossoms are bitter and can contain pollen
that may detract from the true flavor of the flower. Consuming only the
petals will further heighten the appeal factor.
Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for
consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated
with pesticides or other chemicals.
not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or
herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
only the petals, and remove pistils and
stamens before eating.
you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight
container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks,
chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful. Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to
robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible. Garlic is masculine in nature and associated with the planet Mars, the element fire and the sign Aries. It is sacred to Hecate and is a suitable offering to her left at a crossroads. Garlic has antibiotic properties, but should
not be used directly on wounds or in poultices or salves because it can be
irritating to the skin and may inhibit blood clotting.
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose
and have a licorice-like flavor. Believed to have
originated in Syria, angelica is now found just about everywhere. In ancient
times it was used to ward off the plague and evil and as a cure for poison and…
well, just about everything else.
Angelica is associated with the angels Michael and Gabriel.
It is aligned with the sun and the element of fire and sacred to Venus. Angelica tea is useful for colic, gas,
indigestion, hepatitis, heartburn, nausea, ulcers and various other digestive
3. Anise Hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor. Anise
is one of the oldest known plants that were grown for both culinary and
medicinal use. Anise is associated with the element of air, the God Apollo, the planets Mercury and Jupiter, and the astrological sign Gemini. Anise is also considered masculine.
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is
similar to the leaves, but milder. The word Basil comes from the Greeks, meaning
“King”. Basil is sacred to Vishnu, Tulasi and Erzulie, masculine in nature, and
associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars.
Basil helps steady the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money
and protects against insanity.
5. Calendula / Marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy —
and their vibrant golden color adds a dash of magick to any dish. The
ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all loved calendula and used it for
culinary and healing purposes. During the medieval period it was considered a
cure for just about everything. Marigold is associated
with the Sun. Calendula
symbolizes love and constancy. It is great for wedding bouquets and
decorations. It is the traditional “he loves me, he loves me not”
flower and is useful for love potions. Dried
petals can be strewn to consecrate an area or burned in consecration incense.
They are also a good addition to dream pillows.
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like
their sweet, perfumed aroma. In ancient Rome,
carnations were known as “Jove’s Flower” as a tribute to their beloved king of
the gods, Jupiter. Carnations are
masculine, associated with the Sun and Jupiter, and with the element fire. Those things that fall
under the rule of Jupiter are ideal for use in magickal applications related to
luck, money, good fortune, status, legal matters, fertility, friendship,
ambition, career, success and protection. The
flowers can be used to lend strength in healing applications. The practitioner
can also use carnation essential oils to increase health and vigor.
Small and daisy like, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are
often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile. The Romans used Chamomile for incense. Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt for
fevers and was dedicated to their Sun God Ra. Chamomile is associated with the sun, Leo and the element of water. It helps cleanse and invigorate
the throat chakra (5th). It is associated with
various Sun Gods, including Cernunnos,
Lugh and others. It is used
in spells for money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.
8. Chrysanthemum / Mum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range
of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals. In Celtic folklore, chrysanthemums in the garden were considered a
meeting place for the faeries. Chrysanthemum
is masculine in nature and resonates with the
energy of the Sun and the element of fire. Chrysanthemum has been used
for burial rituals and is a suitable decoration for Samhain and for ancestral altars. The dried flower heads of
chrysanthemum can be burned during house blessings ceremonies.
The bright yellow
flowers should be gathered as soon as they open. Remove the green bits from the
base of the flower before using. These can be added to wines, vinegar or
jellies. The name dandelion comes from the French, “dent de lion” which
means “tooth of the lion”. The dandelion is
masculine in action and associated with the planet Jupiter, the element of air and both Pisces and Sagittarius.
It is also associated with any solar deity, Hecate, Brigid and Belenos. A tea of the flowers and leaves may be consumed to increase psychic ability, while pouring boiling water over a bowlful of roots
will aid in calling spirits. You can also make a
wish and blow the seeds off a dandelion head.
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition
to both savory and sweet dishes. Some of the earliest
recorded uses of lavender are by the Roman soldiers who used the wild-growing
plant to perfume their bathwater and wash their clothes. Lavender is
masculine in action and associated with Mercury. It is also associated with the element of air and the astrological sign Virgo. It may be used as an asperging herb (to sprinkle water for purification purposes) and dried lavender sticks or wands can be burnt
like incense. It is also useful in spells to sharpen the mind, to
encourage or strengthen pure love and to encourage fertility. The scent of lavender is
relaxing and uplifting all at once making it a great aromatherapy for stressed
out or depressed individuals. Try adding some lavender oil to your bath or add
it to mild oil for a relaxing massage at the end of a hard day. Stuffing a
pillow with lavender buds may help insomniacs relax and fall asleep and soothes
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf. Oregano is ruled by Venus and the element of air and
associated with Aphrodite. It is
used in spells for happiness, tranquility, luck, health, protection and letting
go of a loved one. It can also be used in spells to deepen existing love. When
worn on the head during sleep, it is said to promote psychic dreams. Oregano symbolizes
joy. Use it for rituals celebrating joyful occasions, or in spells to bring joy
into one’s life.
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a
strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across
desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced
in darker varieties. From the time of Solomon, the rose has been the
flower most closely linked with love. The rose was sacred to Venus, the Roman
goddess of love, and was connected to her messenger, Cupid. Roses have
been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Roses are associated with Aphrodite, Adonis and Eros.
Rosewater is a protective agent worn on clothes. Rose petals can be added to
charms against the evil eye.
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as
a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary. The word Rosmarinus is from the Latin meaning “dew of
the sea”. Rosemary is also associated
with Aphrodite and appears in many ancient images of
Her. Rosemary was used to ward off evil spirits and nightmares. The wood was
used to make musical instruments. Rosemary is male in nature and ruled by Leo, the element fire and
the sun (or Moon,
depending who you ask). It’s sacred to Hebe, Aphrodite and the Virgin Mary. Rosemary can be used in spells
for fidelity and remembrance as well as to dispel jealousy. Rosemary is useful
for ritual baths, and for making
sacred herbal water for ritual cleansing, blessing and purification. Bathing in
rosemary will enhance your memory.
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves. Sage is
a hardy perennial of the mint family. The
Romans regarded sage quite highly and much sacrifice and ceremony was
associated with its harvest. They believed it stimulated the brain and memory
and used it to clean their teeth. Sage is masculine in nature and associated the element of air and
the planet Jupiter. Sage is
sacred to the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter. It is also a symbol of the
Virgin Mary. Sage is used in
magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the
granting of wishes. Sage is also believed to help alleviate sorrow of the death
of a loved one.
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an
artichoke. Sunflower is associated with the sun and
all solar deities. Its essence helps balance the first chakra and also helps
with confidence in leadership roles. Sunflower
oil can be used as carrier oil for healing oils used in massages and ointments.
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and
beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and
drinks. In Roman mythology, violets were said to be
lesser goddesses who once dared to rival the beauty of Aphrodite, goddess of
love and beauty. Violets are affiliated
with the planet Venus or Pluto and are associated with the nymphs of ancient Greek myths. Violets are also
associated with death and rebirth through the story of Attis.
Violets are useful in love spells and may be carried as an amulet to increase one’s luck in love. Try
combining them with lavender for an enhanced effect.
Sources: HerbalRiot, Cheralyndarcey, Witches of the Craft, Inspirationforthespirit,
When I was a nipper, the Baz Sherlock Holmes films were always on the telly, and so my first - and lasting - sense of him is as that honourable man, clever and a little cutting, but cerebral and on the side of the good guys. It’s the role of his that looms largest of course, but it’s quite an anomaly in his career of dastardly plotters, evil swashbucklers, obsessive scientists, snobby, urbane, gleefully cruel villains. It’s the physique and the profile that made him so right for Holmes that also makes him perfect for the villains; taller, haughtier, more nose to look down.
And he is a fabulous villain (and I’m not just talking about Guy of Gisborne’s amazing outfits) because he is a great actor, and he plays the roles with relish as well as enough restraint to never be over the top. What’s particularly endearing about him is his willingness - later in his career - to spoof himself and his earlier roles with huge abandon: his outrageous turn in Comedy of Terrors, his joyful sending up of both Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro in The Court Jester - a pisstake and homage both of (possibly) the two greatest swordfights in classic Hollywood.
In the middle ground between these two extremes, there are some really good roles and great performances - it’s hard not to get typecast as either a villain or a hero, and it happened to Baz at times, but there’s enough interesting other stuff in his career to give you a glimpse of how varied an actor he could be.
Favourite Role: well I guess it has to be Guy of Gisborne in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) because he is fucking fabulous, everyone is fucking fabulous, he gets to buckle Errol’s swash (always a great thing), it’s glorious colour, it’s just one of the most entertaining films around.
Another good place to start: The Dawn Patrol (1938) where he gives an excellent performance as a CO cracking under the strain of sending men out to die, two of whom are Errol Flynn and David Niven. It’s a bloody great film about the hopelessness of war, and all three of them are amazing in it (it’s the film that Flynned me for good. Also slashtastic). Also The Mark of Zorro (1940) because I do love a good swordfight, Baz this time cheating on Errol with Tyrone Power; it’s fun, it’s fast paced, it has ridiculously tight trousers. Baz comes out the loser of course, because he’s the villain, but he’s super ace in it.