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Rose: Folklore, Symbolism, Healing & Magick Uses

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Written by: Tina Caro

Rose is a special flower, but it isn’t used only as a present for a loved one. Let’s learn more about Rose Magical Properties.


The magical properties of roses include love, protection, and divination, making them a popular choice in spells and rituals.

Rose water, derived from roses, holds magical properties for cleansing and enhancing spells.

Cleansing rituals with roses can purify spaces and banish negative energies.

Roses have a deep history in love rituals, attracting love and enhancing relationships through their symbolism.

The term “Sub Rosa” refers to secrecy and discretion, with roses historically symbolizing confidentiality.

What is a Rose?

The first known uses of this flower reach back to the seventeenth century BC. of C.. The rose bushes had special importance on the island of Crete, in Egypt and Greece. In Babylon, Persia, and the entire Mediterranean, they were a symbol of beauty.

The Romans cultivated this beautiful plant in their gardens called rosetum (rosebush) since they used their petals in all celebrations.

In the Middle Ages, the usage of roses was restricted to monasteries, at least in the western world.

Its most exotic variants were introduced in Europe from the nineteenth century, such as the yellow rose bush.

CultureSymbolic Meaning
Ancient GreeceAphrodite (goddess of love) and beauty
ChristianVirgin Mary and the divine love of God
Victorian EraSentiments and hidden messages through the language of flowers
IslamicSpiritual beauty and paradise
ChineseLuck, abundance, and prosperity
JapaneseGrace, gratitude, and eternal love
Table 1: Rose Symbolism in Different Cultures

Magickal Symbolism and Powers

If we were to associate a flower with love, romanticism, and poetry, a rose would undoubtedly be the first to come to mind.

But I’m sure that if we knew a little more about its fantastic properties, we would take advantage of every one of its beautiful petals.

The wide variety of roses and their relationship with the different cultures throughout history make their origins somewhat uncertain. Still, without a doubt, there is some legend that I would like to tell you.

Magick UseDescription
Love spellsRoses are often used in spells and rituals to attract love, enhance relationships, and increase passion.
Protection and purificationThe petals of roses can be used in protective charms, and rosewater is believed to cleanse negative energies.
DivinationDried rose petals can be utilized in divination practices, such as scrying or creating herbal spell bags.
Psychic abilitiesBurning rose incense or using rose essential oil can aid in psychic work, dreams, and intuitive development.
Table 2: Magick Uses of Roses

It is about the essential oil of rose, which is said to have been discovered accidentally in Persia when hundreds of rose petals were thrown into the water because of a wedding.

Because of the heat and high temperatures, petals released an oily substance with a delicious smell. And that’s how they discovered rose essential oil.

But this didn’t create a booming business, because it takes 5000 roses to extract 2.2 pounds (around 1 kg) of essential oil.

Rose Glass Bloom Blossom Water Essential Oils

Far from the legends and confirmed by ancient manuscripts, it can be said that the Egyptians used roses in their funeral rites.

As we also know with certainty that the Romans used them to decorate doors and images of Gods like Bacchus, Cupid, or Venus.

The rose has always been used and considered in the magical world as a flower capable of attracting good luck, love, and health.

It’s the most famous icon of purity.

Rose Magical Properties and Uses

  1. It is used to enhance female intuition since it is a flower closely linked to female energy or Yin energy.
  2. Taking a bath with rose water or using its fragrance will develop this intuition and, not only that, but will attract love, health, and good luck.
  3. It is also used within the world of Wicca in spells to enhance love (NEVER voodoo or spells that work against another person’s will) or to request that our wishes be fulfilled.
  4. For this flower, there is a very beautiful ritual that is performed on Full Moon, in which you must take a bouquet of roses (it doesn’t matter how much roses, but if possible they should be an odd number of them and more than three) and request with all your best intentions something you desire.Then you need to boil it in a pot, let it stand and cool down, and pour that water over your body in a bath, or you can use it as a cream to massage your body with it. You should see results on the next New Moon.
  5. Roses are used when witches cast love spells. By removing the thorns before a ritual, will enhance it.
  6. Girls used to create special love necklaces with rose hips. They also left three leaves on it and chose a man for each leaf. The last leaf that stayed on a necklace meant that that was a man for her.
  7. To have prophetic dreams just make a soft infusion with rosebuds and drink it just before bedtime.
  8. Rose isn’t only used for love magic, but also for protection spells and in mixtures to attract good luck. If the petals are spread around the house, they relieve personal tensions and help to avoid conflicts.
  9. It is said that having a rose bush at home will attract fairies since they feel a tendency for these flowers.

Magical properties of rose water

When I think of rose water, the first thing that comes to my mind is my entire childhood and its memories! I remember my grandma teaching me how to make rose water and I remember how she was all about its magical properties.

She told me how rose water is an incredible way to attract beauty and love into our lives and how it can be used in many different witchy practices. The first thing to do is to create rose water.

It consists of putting the petals in some water and let them float under the rays of the full moon until the next morning. After that you can use this water for some love bath, you can add this water to other warm water and other fresh rose petals to help you relax, rebalance your energies, and have more self-confidence.

You can even spread the rose water to outline the magic circle in the love spells and rituals or you can spray it on your altar. It gives amazing energy and the smell…oh my!! It’s absolutely relaxing and soothing! Perfect for a love spell!

With the petals, you can make rose water, a potion to dress your candles, create perfumes, and even create essential oils for your practice.

Spells with Roses

Cleansing Ritual with Roses

This is a very gentle and enjoyable energy cleansing ritual.

Things you need

  • A glass or cup
  • A small amethyst crystal
  • A few dried roses

We add the amethyst and the flowers inside the cup and shake it gently.

We can then leave a cup on our altar or a shelf for a few days.

Ritual with Roses to Attract Love

If you want to have influence and control in your love life, try doing this ritual.

How it’s done

At dusk, look for the petals of five different roses.

Pour the water (about 0.5-1 l) into a pot.

When it starts to boil, put the rose petals in the water and mix with a spatula. This mixture will begin to thicken up.

Then add a cinnamon stick and some milk. Mix a little and wait until it settles. It shouldn’t be too sticky. It should be still in a liquid state.

Place this love potion in an empty jar, and when you shower in the morning, cover your body with it, from head to toe.

Then, in your mind, repeat the following phrase:

“These roses attract love to my life.”

Ritual for Attraction with Roses

Take a picture of the loved one and pick a rose up from a garden, which can be white, red, or blue.

Also, you will need some sugar.

When you have all the ingredients, you must put the picture on the rose (precisely on the petals), sprinkle it with sugar, and crush it thoroughly, inside a plastic bag.

As you’re crushing it, you need to say out loud:

“Your love will be sweet to me and it will bloom a little every day.”

Keep the bag in a safe place, not directly on the sun.

You will feel the attraction soon after.

Dawn’s Thoughts on a Rose

There are many varieties of roses (Rosa spp). The wild forms have five petals and are usually white to pink. They grow in a bushy habit and have thorns and oval-shaped serrated leaves.

Cultivated varieties usually have double blooms, may be bushy, sprawling or climbing.

It’s important to note when purchasing roses that not all roses have a strong smell.

Roses in the Garden

Roses like full sun and do not like to be crowded. They should be planted in well-drained, well-balanced soil. They should be watered every day that it doesn’t rain for the first two weeks after planting and then twice a week thereafter. They should be pruned in the early spring before blooms appear down to about one third. Cut flowers to keep the plant producing. Neem oil spray can help reduce problems with pests and fungus. Compost around the base of the plant in the fall.

Miniature roses can be grown indoors or out, but are more delicate than full-sized roses. When grown outdoors they need some sort of cover to protect them from the cold in the winter. Burying them with leaves or other mulch can help and adds nutrients to the soil. If you get very severe winters, you can dig them up and bring them inside for the winter.

Plant roses near chives, feverfew, garlic, geranium, marigold, onion or parsley for best yields.

Harvesting and Storage

Cut roses as they bloom to keep the plant producing. They are great in bouquets and lest awhile in a vase. You can hang the whole flower upside down to dry it and it will look great in dried arrangements. The petals and leaves can be pulled off the plant and spread on paper to dry and stored in a jar.

Be sure to allow several to mature into rose hips!

History and Folklore

Roses have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. There are 150 natural named species worldwide and thousands more cultivars. The Chinese were the first to cultivate roses and begin hybridizing them.

In the Iliad, Homer mentions that Hector’s body was anointed with rose oil after he was killed by Achilles. The Greek poet Anacreon says that the foam that dripped from the body of Aphrodite when she emerged from the sea turned into white roses, later, when she is mourning over the body of her lover Adonis, her tears turn a white rose red. Roses are also associated with Eros, another Greek love God. Sappho called the rose the Queen of the Flowers.

Roses were also important to the Romans. Large public rose gardens were established by the nobility. Both Horace and Pliny wrote advice on the proper growing of roses.

They were used as for medicine, fragrance and as confetti at celebrations. In Roman mythology, roses are associated with Flora, Bacchus, Vertumnus, Hymen, Venus and Cupid. Roman brides and grooms were crowned with roses and scattered at the victorious’ feet.

In Christian folklore, the red rose has symbolized the blood and suffering of Christ, the five petals representing his five wounds. Roses have also been used to represent Mary and the purity and motherhood associated with her.

In Muslim folklore, one of Muhammed’s wives was accused of adultery. He gave her a bouquet of red roses and told her to throw them into a pool. They turned yellow, indicating her guilt. Another story says that the first rose came a drop of sweat from Muhammed’s brow.

In Jewish folklore, a man once accused a woman of a crime in retribution for refusing his advances. She was to be burned at the stake. Miraculously, the fire does not kill her but killed him. From his ashes red roses grow, symbolizing his treachery. From the ashes at her feet grow white roses, symbolizing her innocence.

In England, if a petal falls as a rose is being cut, bad luck is sure to follow!

In Italy, only rosebuds, or partially closed roses may be given as gifts. To give a fully open rose to another marks them for death!

Sub Rosa

The Latin term Sub rosa, or “beneath the rose” references secrecy. A rose hung from a ceiling indicates that anything that takes place beneath it should be held in the utmost confidence. In Greek lore, Aphrodite gave the rose to Eros, who gave it to Harpocrates, the God of Silence, symbolizing the necessity for secrecy in certain amorous affairs- we don’t kiss and tell.

In Roman dining rooms, images of roses reminded diners that their conversations should remain confidential. This symbolism can be seen in Catholic tradition, as images of roses sometimes appear on confessionals.

The symbol of the rose can also be seen in the Rosicrucian emblem.

Magical Use

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.

White roses worn at weddings will bring happiness and security to the couple.

Roses are used traditionally in love spells. It is great in incense and potpourri. Thorns can be used to mark wax figures.

Rosehips can be carried for general good luck or strung like beads for luck in love.
Rose hips can also be used as offerings to encourage friendly spirits to take up residence.


  • Zodiac Sign: Taurus
  • Planet: Venus
  • Element: Water
  • Gender: feminine

Culinary Use

Rose petals can be eaten on salads, in sandwiches or made into tea or jam. Rose hips also make wonderful jellies and a delicious tea and are high in vitamin C. The leaves can also be made into tea.

Household Use

Roses look great in dried or fresh arrangements and they smell great. Excellent for potpourri. Dab a drop of rose oil on all your light bulbs to keep your house smelling sweet. Rose hips can be strung on a string and used as garland.

Medical Use

The best roses for medicinal use are fragrant and deep red or cabbage roses.

A tincture is used for a weak stomach and for hemorrhaging. 1 pint boiling water to 1 ounce of rose petals. Add 15 drops of oil of vitriol and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir till sugar is dissolved and the mixture is nice and red. Strain. Take three or four spoonfuls daily.

Rose flavored honey is good for coughs and sore throats. Rose honey can be made by pounding the fresh petals and boiling them with honey.

Rose vinegar is good for headaches caused by being out in the sun for too long. Steep the petals in the vinegar for several days, do not boil. Apply a cloth wetted with vinegar to the forehead.

Rosewater ointment is good for chapped skin and abrasions.

Rosehips, the fruit of the rose, are rich in vitamin C and can be added to healing teas and make a delicious syrup to help the body fight infection.

Skin healthRosewater and rose oil can help soothe and hydrate the skin, reduce redness, and promote a youthful complexion.
Emotional well-beingThe scent of roses is known to have a calming and uplifting effect on the mind, helping to reduce stress and improve mood.
Digestive supportRose tea or infused water may aid digestion, relieve bloating, and have a mild laxative effect.
Immune system boostRoses are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which can support the immune system and protect against cellular damage.
Anti-inflammatory propertiesRose extracts may have anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms in certain conditions.
Table 3: Healing and Health Benefits of Roses

Contemporary color meanings

  • Red – Love, respect
  • Deep pink – Gratitude, appreciation
  • Light pink – Admiration, sympathy, puppy love, maidenhood
  • White – Reverence, humility, innocence
  • Yellow – Joy, gladness, lifelong friendship
  • Orange – Enthusiasm, desire
  • Red & yellow blends – Gaiety, joviality
  • Pale blended tones – Sociability, friendship
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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