Bay leaf is familiar to many of us magickal folk. It has a myriad of uses, including victory, strength, wisdom, purification, protection, and prophecy. And for many, it is a kitchen staple and usually on hand for ritual work. So, when I saw bay laurels last year at a nursey specializing in edible plants, the tree was one of the first in the cart.
The tree is still quite small, so we've been limiting use to what the tree drops naturally, which hasn't been a lot. But, like many plants in Florida, it's been prone to rust, a fungal disease. So, when I see afflicted leaves, I prune them to keep the plant healthy, and keep the leaves for spellwork!
Despite the rust, the tree has been thriving and growing well.
This year for Imbolc, I've collected quite a few leaves and we'll be burning them with a few Yule greens we've saved.
Imbolc is a wonderful time to clean your home and burning the last of that greenery can aid in cleansing a stagnant space. Bay leaves are also burned to cleanse a space. So the plan is to make a few bundles of pine and bay, and use the age-old trick of writing intentions on the leaves before burning.
And don't forget to gather and save some of the ashes after burning for future spells.