Rosemary was well known to ancient practitioners. It was an herb known for strengthening the memory and helping the brain. Eventually, it also became associated with the fidelity of lovers, and was presented to wedding guests as a gift. In 1607, Roger Hacket said, "Speaking of the powers of rosemary, it overtoppeth all the flowers in the garden, boasting man's rule. It helpeth the brain, strengtheneth the memorie, and is very medicinable for the head. Another property of the rosemary is, it affects the heart."
Rosemary was often cultivated in kitchen gardens, and was said to represent the dominance of the lady of the house. One would assume that more than one "master" sabotaged his wife's garden to assert his own authority! This woody plant was also known to provide delicious flavoring for game and poultry. Later, it was used in wine and cordials, and even as a Christmas decoration.
Roman priests used rosemary as incense in religious ceremonies, and many cultures considered it a herb to use as protection from evil spirits and witches. In England, it was burned in the homes of those who had died from illness, and placed on coffins before the grave was filled with dirt.
For magical use, burn rosemary to rid a home of negative energy, or as an incense while you meditate. Hang bundles on your front door to keep harmful people, like burglars, from entering. Stuff a healing poppet with dried rosemary to take advantage of its medicinal properties, or mix with juniper berries and burn in a sickroom to promote healthy recovery. In spellwork, rosemary can be used as a substitute for other herbs such as frankincense.
Other Names: Compass weed, Polar plant
Planetary Connection: The sun