Image Source: VSCO/Image by eiramesorarnaiz

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.” – Chinese Proverb

Breathing in the scent of rose, I am transported back to my Grandad’s garden; a 3-year-old girl eagerly smashing up delicate rose petals from his rambling bush to make perfume for my Nanna. He sits with me and tells me how my great-grandfather grew this bush from one tiny seed, and how precious the rose is to our family.

From learning to make herbal tinctures and antiseptic balms, to eating the petals of the flower, my Grandad transported me into a whole new world, and I came to realized how potent this flower was to my family. It seems quite apt too that my Nan’s maiden name was Rose, and whenever she walked past me, her heady perfume took me on a unique journey; beauty and aroma radiated from her every pore.

As I grow older, I’m in my thirty-sixth year now; I smile each time the rose comes up for me in my daily rituals. Every morning and evening I use rose oil as part of my daily skincare routine, many of my perfumes have a rose undertone, and the spells I put out into the world often have rose in them.

The rose has become a trigger smell for me too. It can create a feeling of complete exuberance or utter sadness, depending on the circumstances, but I feel safe in the knowledge that whatever it brings up for me is meant to be something I must learn at that moment. The reminder to be present, slow down, and to take a step back has been the ever-nurturing lesson this perennial has taught me.

Just before Grandad passed, the rose in the back garden took on a life of her own, spreading across the whole garden (as a rambler does), and blooming for what seemed like a million times. Keen to make sure this part of my family history is kept, I used what Grandad had taught me and carefully took cuttings. I’m happy to report they’ve now bloomed to be mini shoots which I’m sure Grandad has had some role to play as he watches over us with Nan. I was extremely close to her, and we spoke every day. I still haven’t fully gotten over her passing, but whenever I need her, she shows up. I can smell the roses following me round nurturing my soul, letting me know everything is going to be ok.

A Sunday Bath Ritual

Magical hamper of provisions:

Palo Santo smudge sticks/Sage/whatever herb you like to use to cleanse

A white candle

Your favorite incense and music

A couple of handfuls of bath salts

Rose petals (preferably fresh not dried) and rose oil

Rose quartz, quartz and amethyst crystals—the amethyst I use for anxiety but use whatever feels right for you and make sure it is water safe!

Your favorite body lotion

Ritual steps:

1) Start by cleansing your space and yourself with whatever herb you have chosen making sure to take a few deep breaths, concentrating on grounding yourself.

2) Light the candle and incense, and put on some music to create a feeling of calm while you start to run your bath.

3) While the tub is running, mindfully add your salts, crystals, rose oil and petals giving thanks for whatever has come up for you this week, for the lessons you have learned.

4) Get into the bath and take a moment to see how you are feeling. Close your eyes, acknowledging anything that comes up, and then watch it pass by like clouds in the sky.

5) Enjoy your bath time! When I do this ritual, I like to repeat a mantra to myself or listen to a meditation that I feel I may need at that moment; do whatever works for you to help you relax and be. Let whatever you have put in your bath work its magic.

6) Once you are finished, drain the water and feel it wash away the trials and tribulations of the week. I like to air dry myself and then put on my rose body lotion, again giving thanks. Don’t forget to blow out your candle (health and safety).

7) Lastly, I take the rose petals used in my bath out into nature to give back to the earth.

Jolanda Baldwinson is a support worker and carer living in Dorset, South-West England. She identifies as a Pagan Eclectic Witch with a passion for Reiki, crystals, and nature. Her passions include her dog Lulu, cat Jogi, mindfulness, meditation, mental health, as well as anything that involves getting out and about experiencing the new. Oh, and getting her hands very dirty. @messyjojo