Carnations, also called Dianthus caryophyllus, are the birth flower for the month of January. According to Dr. Leonard Perry from the Department of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont Extension, Carnations are blooms that are “native to Eurasia” and the name of the flower literally means, “Flower of the gods.” The blooms are offered in popular hues like pink, white and red, but they are also available in black, blue, purple and green as well as multicolor blooms. The many colors of the carnation make the flower a highly adaptable choice when it comes to magickal applications.
Ancient uses and magickal associations
In “Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics,” Richard Folkard writes that it was once thought that Carnations were named by the coloring of the flowers, but that the original spelling of the flower’s name was actually “Coronation” since the flower was used in crowns and hair garlands; Folkard also explains that carnations were cultivated during the reign of King Edward III; They were called Clove Gilliflowers (also spelled Gilofre or Gyllofer). Carnations were used as spices in ale, wine, liquors and dishes, thereby earning the flower the moniker of Sop-in-wine and they were also used as a replacement for Indian spices.
The spicy nature of carnations associates this flower with the element of fire; Folkard writes that the flower is ruled by the planet Jupiter. In “The Plant-lore & Garden-craft of Shakespeare,” Henry Nicholson Ellacombe writes that the flower was called “Dianthus, the Flower of Jove," an alternative name for the Roman god Jupiter. Jove is associated with the concepts of nobility, mercy, compassion, self-assurance, self-discipline, principles, convention, faith, kindness, generosity, ambition and growth; He is a god identified as “The Expander”; Through the link to the god Jupiter, carnations are also linked to such concepts.
In Korea, carnations are used for the purposes of foretelling the future; A young woman places three of the blooms in her hair to divine the future quality of her life. According to this practice, if the uppermost carnation is the first to die, it indicates that the final years of the woman’s life will be filled with hardships; If the second carnation dies before the others, then the woman’s youthful years will be troubled. If the third, bottommost carnation dies before the others, the girl is destined to have a life riddled with hardships.
Magickal properties and uses
Carnations are associated with the masculine gender, they are projective and are associated with the Sun and the fire element. 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. To work with the energies of this flower, a practitioner can place carnation bouquets around the home or on the altar. The flowers can be used to lend strength in healing applications. The practitioner can also use carnation essential oils to increase health and vigor.
The color of the carnation one chooses will play a role in the appropriate use of this bloom in magickal applications. Red carnations are ideal for matters involving strength, vigor, love and healing since red is the color of the “life-blood.” Pink carnations are suitable for spell workings involving compassion and friendship; White carnations are good for spells involving protection and purification; Purple carnations are suitable for applications involving ambition, divination, career, business, healing and success; Orange carnations work well in spells involving attraction, vitality, adaptability, concentration and energy. Green blooms are ideal for spells or rituals involving fertility, prosperity, money, success, career and abundance.
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