What Are The Magical Properties Of Bay Leaves?

Magical Properties of Bay Leaves

By Mark Piatt

Updated on November 8 2023

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The magical properties of bay leaves (sometimes referred to as laurel), from the bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis), have been cherished for millennia in witchcraft and other magickal practices.  Traditionally used for protection, bay leaves are believed to ward off negative energy. 

 As a general rule, the 5 main magical properties of bay leaves are: 

  • Protection
  • Manifestation (Wish Fulfillment)
  • Divination
  • Success and Victory
  • Purification

I will be discussing in detail each of these magickal properties and will include various rituals and spells you can use for each one.

But these are not the only magickal properties associated with bay leaves. 

 10 other important magickal properties and rituals associated with bay leaves include: 

  • Healing
  • Enhancing Intuition
  • Love and Relationships
  • Prosperity
  • Courage and Strength

  • Fertility
  • Banishing
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Dream Magick
  • Mental Clarity

I will briefly discuss these other magickal properties of bay leaves.

This article contains a collection of modern magickal spells and rituals but is grounded in those who created the magick in ancient times.

To cover this subject matter, this blog article is fairly lengthy.  Feel free to use the table of contents to get to your area of interest.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only.  Occult properties of herbs and essential oils are provided for historical interest only.  For possible treatments of physical or mental diseases, please seek a trained and licensed health professional.  Enchanted Aromatics is not responsible for any adverse side effects resulting from the use of any suggestions, products, preparations, or procedures mentioned or from the following historical uses of herbs and essential oils.

Can the magical properties of bay leaves be used for protection?

Bay leaves hold a revered place in witchcraft and various other magickal and spiritual traditions for their protective properties.  The belief in the magickal protective properties of bay leaves stems from a combination of historical, cultural, and symbolic factors:

The strong scent of bay leaves is thought to have a cleansing and purifying effect, which in spiritual practices is often associated with clearing negative energy.

In European folklore, bay leaves were believed to ward off evil and were used in various rituals. They were used in witchcraft and folk magick practices for protection against negative forces.

Bay leaves have been used in traditional medicine for their potential health benefits. They contain compounds that have been claimed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, which could metaphorically translate into protective qualities in a spiritual sense.

When looking at our following examples, keep in mind that different individuals and cultures may have varying interpretations and beliefs regarding the power and use of bay leaves.

 Here are 7 examples of how bay leaves can be used for magickal protection 

1. Smoke Cleansing:

  • Burn bay leaves to cleanse a space of negative energies, with the smoke believed to purify the area.

2. Amulets:

  • Carry a bay leaf in a pouch or locket as a protective amulet against negative forces.

3. Doorway Guardians:

  • Place bay leaves at the entrances of your home to guard against unwanted energies or entities.

4. Protection Baths:

  • Add bay leaves to ritual baths to cleanse and shield oneself from negativity.

5. Protective Circles:

  • Use bay leaves to create a protective circle during rituals or meditations, placing them at cardinal points.

6. Warding Jars:

  • Create protection jars filled with bay leaves, salt, and other protective herbs to shield a space.

7. Inscribed Shields:

  • Write protective symbols or runes on a bay leaf and carry it with you or place it in a specific spot for protection.

Remember, the effectiveness of spells and rituals often depends on the practitioner’s belief, intention, and connection to the materials used.

If you are interested in learning about the 16 most common herbs and essential oils used in protection rituals, check out my article “16 Essential Oils For Protection“.

Can the magical properties of bay leaves be used for manifestation?

Bay leaves are esteemed in magickal traditions for aiding manifestation.  There are many ways to use bay leaves to manifest your desires, but the most common way is by inscribing your desires or intentions directly onto the leaf.

By burning the inscribed leaf, it’s believed that the smoke carries these intentions upwards, signaling the universe to act.

The aromatic scent released during this process serves as a potent reminder of one’s goals, reinforcing the mental and spiritual energy directed toward manifesting those desires.

This simple yet symbolic act merges intention with action, amplifying the power of one’s wishes in the realm of manifestation.

 Here are 7 examples of how bay leaves can be used to manifest your wishes and desires 

1. Simple Burning:

  • Write a wish on a bay leaf and burn it, releasing the intention into the universe with the rising smoke.

2. Moon Rituals:

  • During a new moon, which is ideal for setting intentions, inscribe your wish on a bay leaf and leave it under the moonlight overnight.

3. Wish Jar:

  • Place inscribed bay leaves in a jar with other manifestation-enhancing items like crystals or herbs.  Seal and keep it in a sacred space.

4. Dream Pillows:

  • Place a bay leaf inscribed with a wish under your pillow to manifest the intention through dreamwork.

5. Anointing:

  • Anoint a bay leaf with manifestation or attraction oil before burning or carrying it.

6. Altar Offerings:

  • Place inscribed bay leaves on your altar as an offering to deities or the universe, asking for their assistance in manifesting your wishes.

7. Candle Magic:

  • Place a wish-inscribed bay leaf beneath a candle.   As the candle burns, it energizes the intention on the leaf.

If you need to purchase crystals or herbs for manifestation rituals, or any other rituals, you will find the following kits very helpful since they already have many of the items you will need.

Set of 45 Different Crystal Gemstones in Glass BottlesEach Bottle Size: Height 30mm, Width 22mm, Weight: Total of About 780 Grams.

Set of 40 Herbs For MagickThis set includes forty (40) Witchcraft Herbs, containing dried herbs, roots, powders, and flowers for spell work, potion making, and rituals.  Make some magic with the help of these herbs.  All kits are hand-packed with care and love.

When working with crystals and herbs, it’s essential to set clear intentions and, if possible, cleanse or charge them (like placing crystals in moonlight) to enhance their natural energies.

Always ensure that if you’re using herbs in any way that involves ingestion or skin contact, be sure they are safe and free from harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Remember, the effectiveness of these manifestation practices is deeply personal and can vary based on individual beliefs, intentions, and the specific traditions you may follow.

Can the magical properties of bay leaves be used for divination?

Bay leaves, historically linked to prophecy and insight, play a significant role in magickal divination practices.  In ancient times, priestesses of the Delphic Oracle in Greece chewed bay leaves or inhaled their fumes to induce prophetic visions.

Today, some practitioners use bay leaves for dream divination by placing them under pillows, seeking guidance or answers in dreams.

Others inscribe questions on the leaves, then burn them, interpreting the patterns left behind or meditating on the rising smoke for insights.

The aromatic nature of bay leaves, combined with their historical significance, makes them a potent tool in divinatory rituals.

 Here are 7 examples of how bay leaves can be used in divination rituals 

1. Smoke Scrying:

  • Burn a bay leaf and gaze into the smoke, seeking patterns or visions that might offer insights or answers.

2. Dream Divination:

  • Place a bay leaf inscribed with a question under your pillow before sleep, seeking answers in your dreams.

3. Ash Interpretation:

  • Write a question on a bay leaf, burn it, and then interpret the patterns or symbols found in the ashes.

4. Bay Leaf Tea Reading:

  • Brew tea with bay leaves, drink, and then interpret the leaf patterns left at the bottom of the cup, similar to traditional tea leaf reading.

5. Oracle Pouch:

  • Fill a pouch with bay leaves and other divination herbs.  When seeking guidance, draw a leaf and interpret its significance based on its position, shape, or any markings.

6. Bay Leaf and Candle Flame:

  • Inscribe a bay leaf with symbols or runes.  Hold it to a candle flame and observe how it burns, seeking messages in the flame’s behavior.

7. Water Scrying with Bay Leaves:

  • Fill a dark bowl with water and float bay leaves on the surface.  Gaze into the water, using the leaves as a focal point, to induce visions.

The key is to approach each ritual with an open heart and mind.

Engaging in divination can bring up unexpected or intense emotions, especially if the insights or messages are challenging. 

It’s crucial to approach divination with a grounded mindset and have support systems in place if needed.

Relying too heavily on divination for decision-making can hinder personal growth and autonomy.

It’s essential to use divination as a tool among others, not as the sole determinant for life choices.

Can the magical properties of bay leaves be used for success and victory rituals and spells?

Bay leaves have long been associated with success and victory, stemming from ancient Greek traditions where victors in the Pythian Games were crowned with laurel wreaths.  In modern magickal practices, bay leaves are used to manifest success in various endeavors.

The association with Apollo, the god of music, arts, and knowledge, further emphasized the leaf’s connection to victory and success.

The Romans also crowned victors and distinguished individuals with laurel wreaths.

Emperors, poets, and other notable figures were often depicted with laurel crowns, symbolizing their achievements and status.

In modern magickal practices, bay leaves are used in various spells and rituals to attract success, victory, and prosperity.

The leaves might be burned, carried as amulets, or used in sachets to invoke their beneficial properties.

Others place inscribed leaves in charm bags or under their pillow, seeking to imbue their sleep with victorious energy.

In some Hoodoo and folk magick traditions, bay leaves are considered powerful ingredients in spells for protection, success, and good fortune.

The aromatic essence of bay leaves, combined with their historical significance, amplifies rituals aimed at achieving triumph and prosperity.

 Here are 7 examples of how bay leaves can be used in success and victory rituals 

1. Goal Burning:

  • Write a specific goal or desire on a bay leaf and burn it, visualizing your success as the smoke rises.

2. Victory Crown:

  • Craft a small crown or wreath using bay leaves to wear during rituals or meditations focused on success.

3. Success Sachet:

  • Place bay leaves in a sachet along with other success-attracting items (like citrine or pyrite) and carry it with you.

4. Anointing for Success:

  • Infuse bay leaves in oil, strain, and use this oil to anoint candles, talismans, or yourself before important events.

5. Bay Leaf Bath:

  • For a pre-event boost, take a bath infused with bay leaves and visualize emerging victorious in your endeavors.

6. Dreamwork:

  • Place a bay leaf inscribed with symbols of success under your pillow to inspire dreams that provide guidance or foresight about your goals.

7. Success Jar:

  • Create a spell jar filled with bay leaves, gold coins, and other symbols of success.  Seal it and place it in a prominent place to attract victory.

Before performing a success or victory spell, it’s essential to have a clear and specific intention. 

What exactly do you want to achieve?  The more specific you are, the more directed the energy will be.

After your spell, show gratitude to the bay leaf and any energies, deities, or spirits you’ve worked with.

This can be through a simple thank you, an offering, or another gesture of appreciation.

While magick can help set the stage for success, it’s essential to pair it with real-world actions.

If you cast a spell for job success, for example, you still need to send out applications, prepare for interviews, and put in the effort.

Can the magical properties of bay leaves be used in purification rituals?

Bay leaves have been revered in various cultures for their purifying properties.  In magickal practices, they’re often used to cleanse spaces, objects, and individuals of negative energies.

By burning bay leaves, the resulting smoke is believed to neutralize negativity, turning it into positive energy.

This aromatic smoke can be wafted around a space, object, or person to perform a purification.

Additionally, bay leaves can be added to purification bath blends or used to craft protective amulets.

Their strong, cleansing scent, combined with their historical significance, makes bay leaves a potent tool in purification rituals.

 Here are 7 examples of how bay leaves can be used in purification rituals 

1. Smudging:

  • Burn a bay leaf or a bundle of them, using the smoke to cleanse a space, object, or person by wafting it around the area or item in need of purification.

2. Purification Bath:

  • Add bay leaves to a ritual bath, allowing their cleansing properties to purify your aura and energy as you soak.

3. Purifing Amulet:

  • Carry a bay leaf inscribed with protective symbols or phrases as an amulet to purify and shield against negative energies.

4. House Cleansing:

  • Place bay leaves in the corners of a room or the corners of your house to ward off negativity and purify the space.

5. Bay Leaf Water:

  • Steep bay leaves in water (preferably moon or sun-charged), and use this water to sprinkle or anoint spaces, objects, or yourself for purification.

6. Dream Protection:

  • Place bay leaves under your pillow or mattress to ward off negative energies or nightmares, ensuring restful, protected sleep.

7. Bay Leaf and Crystals:

  • Combine bay leaves with purifying crystals like selenite or black tourmaline.  Place them together on an altar, in a pouch, or around a space to amplify their cleansing properties.

When using bay leaves for purification, it’s essential to set clear intentions and visualize the negative energies being drawn away and replaced with pure, positive energies.

10 other important magickal properties and rituals associated with bay leaves.

Note:  Most of these properties are related to manifestation.  The power of your magick is directly related to your beliefs and intentions.  The more energy you put into your manifestation ritual, the more likely your wish will come true.

 1. Healing 

Bay leaves are cherished in magickal traditions for their healing attributes.  Often burned in rituals, their smoke is believed to transmute ailments into wellness.

Healers might place bay leaves directly on the body or create sachets for focused healing.

Infusions in oils or baths draw out the therapeutic essence of bay leaves.

In magick, bay leaves are potent tools for holistic well-being.

 2. Enhancing Intuition 

Bay leaves are esteemed in magickal circles for boosting intuition.  Traditionally burned in rituals, the ascending smoke is thought to open psychic channels.

When placed under a pillow, bay leaves may induce prophetic dreams.

Infusing bay leaves in oils or baths can help attune one’s intuitive senses.

Some inscribe a personal symbol or intention on a bay leaf, then burn it, seeking to amplify inner clarity and foresight.

 3. Love and Relationships 

Bay leaves are valued in magickal traditions for fostering love and strengthening relationships.  In rituals, they’re often inscribed with lovers’ names or specific intentions, then burned to ignite passion or mend bonds.

Infused in love potions or baths, bay leaves can attract romantic energies.

In magick, bay leaves serve as potent symbols of enduring love and connection.

For a look at 21 herbs that can be used in love rituals, check out my article “Top 21 Herbs Used For Love Magic and Rituals“.

 4. Prosperity 

Bay leaves are esteemed in esoteric traditions for attracting prosperity.  Often inscribed with symbols of wealth or specific financial intentions, they’re burned to manifest abundance.

Carried in wallets or sachets, bay leaves are believed to draw monetary luck.

In magickal practices, bay leaves are potent tools for invoking financial growth and abundance.

 5. Courage and Strength 

Bay leaves are revered in magickal realms for bolstering courage and strength.  Traditionally burned in rituals, their smoke is believed to empower and embolden the spirit.

When carried as amulets or talismans, bay leaves offer protection and fortitude.

By inscribing personal affirmations on the leaves and then burning them, practitioners harness their energy to face challenges head-on.

In magick, bay leaves are symbols of unwavering bravery.

 6. Fertility 

Bay leaves are cherished in magickal traditions for enhancing fertility.  Often incorporated into rituals, they’re placed around the home or altar to attract fertile energies.

When inscribed with symbols of fertility and burned, bay leaves are believed to amplify reproductive intentions.

Infused in oils or added to baths, bay leaves are used to prepare the body for conception.

Carried as amulets, bay leaves offer blessings for those seeking to expand their families.

 7. Banishing 

Bay leaves are esteemed in magickal traditions for their banishing capabilities.  When burned, bay leaves smoke is believed to dispel negative energies and unwanted influences.

Inscribed with the names of adversaries or negative traits, and then burned, bay leaves symbolize the removal of those elements.

Placed at entrances, bay leaves deter malevolent forces.

In magick, bay leaves are powerful tools for creating protective barriers and driving away undesired energies.

 8. Spiritual Growth 

Bay leaves are revered in esoteric traditions for fostering spiritual growth. Burned during meditation, their smoke is believed to elevate consciousness and deepen your connection to the divine.

Placed on altars, bay leaves enhance sacred spaces.

When inscribed with symbols or intentions and burned, bay leaves help manifest spiritual aspirations.

In magical practices, bay leaves are catalysts for spiritual evolution and enlightenment.

 9. Dream Magick 

Bay leaves are treasured in magickal traditions for dream magick.  Placed under pillows, they’re believed to induce prophetic or lucid dreams.

Burned before bedtime, the smoke from bay leaves is thought to promote dream clarity and recall.

Inscribed with symbols or questions and kept nearby during sleep, bay leaves can guide dream journeys or provide answers.

Infused in dream sachets or teas, bay leaves enhance dreamwork practices.

 10. Mental Clarity 

Bay leaves are prized in esoteric traditions for promoting mental clarity.  Burned during meditation or study, their aromatic smoke is believed to sharpen focus and dispel confusion.

Placed in or on a workspace, they can enhance concentration.

Infused in teas or oils, bay leaves aid in clearing mental fog.

In magickal practices, bay leaves are tools for illuminating the mind and banishing mental distractions.

 Are you interested in getting started in magick or witchcraft but don’t know what to purchase? 

The following kit has 112 supplies and tools to get you started or can even be used by the more advanced practitioner:

Complete kit of 112 supplies including 60 herbs, crystals, stones, crystal ball, pendulum, candles, chalice, small altar table, scrying mirror, black salt, oils, mortar and pestle, witch bell, wind chime, altar cloth, book of shadows and more.

Magickal Correspondence For Bay Leaves

  • Bay leaves are most often associated with masculine energy.
    • Bay leaves are considered masculine because they are linked to the Sun and Fire.  These are considered masculine energies.  Also, the properties often attributed to bay leaves, such as protection, success, and purification, are active and outward-facing, qualities that are traditionally labeled as masculine in many esoteric systems.
  • The vibration of bay leaves is associated with the Fire elements
    • This association is based on the properties and uses of bay leaves in magickal practices, such as their role in purification, protection, and enhancing psychic abilities, as well as their physical characteristics, like their aromatic and invigorating scent when burned.

  • Bay leaves are most often associated with the Sun.
    • This connection to the Sun is based on the properties and uses of bay leaves in magickal practices, such as their role in success, victory, and purification.  The Sun, in various esoteric traditions, symbolizes illumination, growth, vitality, and success, which aligns with many of the attributes of bay leaves.

  • The astrological sign that bay leaves are most often associated with is Leo. 
    • Leo’s energy is characterized by vitality, leadership, and a radiant presence, which aligns with the properties of bay leaves, such as success, protection, and purification.  

  • Bay Leaves are associated with the following 5 deities:
    • Apollo:  In ancient Greek mythology, the bay laurel is closely associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy, music, and healing. The story goes that Daphne, a nymph, was transformed into a laurel tree to escape Apollo’s advances, and thereafter, the tree became sacred to him.
    • Daphne:  While not a deity in the traditional sense, Daphne is a significant figure in the myth involving Apollo and the bay laurel. As a nymph transformed into the laurel tree, she represents chastity and purity.
    • Aesculapius:  The ancient Greek god of medicine and healing is sometimes associated with the bay laurel due to the tree’s medicinal properties.
    • Cerridwen:  In some Celtic traditions, the bay tree is associated with Cerridwen, the goddess of transformation and rebirth.
    • Delphic Oracle:  While not a deity, the priestesses of the Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece, known as the Pythia, would chew bay leaves or inhale their fumes to induce prophetic visions.  The temple at Delphi was dedicated to Apollo, further cementing the connection between the god and the bay laurel.
  • Bay leaves are most often associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura), Third Eye Chakra (Ajna), and the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara).
    • Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura):  Due to bay leaves’ associations with success, victory, and personal power, they can be linked to the solar plexus chakra, which relates to personal power, confidence, and willpower.
    • Third Eye Chakra (Ajna):  Given bay leaves’ use in enhancing psychic abilities, intuition, and prophetic dreams, they are often associated with the third eye chakra, which governs intuition, foresight, and spiritual insight.
    • Crown Chakra (Sahasrara):  Some practitioners might also associate bay leaves with the crown chakra because of their use in spiritual growth and connecting with higher realms.

What do bay leaves smell like?

Bay leaves emanate a distinct and aromatic scent that is both earthy and slightly floral.  When crushed or burned, their fragrance intensifies, releasing a complex bouquet of compounds.

The aroma of bay leaves is reminiscent of eucalyptus with hints of pine and a touch of spiciness, akin to mild black pepper or clove.

There’s also a subtle undertone of camphor, giving it a cooling, almost menthol-like quality.

When used in cooking, this unique scent infuses dishes, adding a depth of flavor that’s both warm and slightly bitter.

The overall olfactory experience of bay leaves is refreshing, grounding, and invigorating.

Magical resources

There are many resources I have used to learn about magick and to compile these articles.

If you are interested in plant magick (or magick in general), here are 4 books that should be in your collection: (but there are many more).

  1. Plant Magic for the Beginner Witch: An Herbalist’s Guide to Heal, Protect, and Manifest
  2. Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic
  3. The Witch’s Book of Spellcraft:  A Practical Guide to Connecting with the Magick of Candles, Crystals, Plants & Herbs
  4. Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation

I highly suggest you keep a magickal diary of your work.  Your diary is your most essential and powerful tool.  Document all your successes and any factors that led to those successes.

I personally use this diary Moonster Leather Journal Refillable Notebook.

I like this journal because it has a leather cover, and pen, and is refillable.  I prefer unlined paper, because I tend to draw a lot in my journals, and don’t like lines interfering.

Plus, the leather and high-quality paper give my journal a more “magickal” feel.


In a world that often feels disconnected from nature, using natural elements like bay leaves helps ground practices, connecting the practitioner to the earth and ancient traditions.

The reasons for continuing to use bay leaves in magickal practices are manifold.  Their rich historical and cultural significance adds a layer of ancestral power to rituals.

The aromatic compounds released when they’re burned can alter consciousness, aiding in meditation and visualization.

In essence, bay leaves serve as a bridge, linking modern practitioners to the wisdom of the past, while their inherent properties amplify intentions, making them a valuable tool in contemporary magickal workings.

If you are interested in learning about some general magickal properties of other essential oils and herbs, check out my article “15 Magical Properties of Essential Oils“.  

If you know of other magickal properties of bay leaves or different ways in which you use bay leaves on your spiritual journey, I would love to hear from you so I may incorporate what you share in this article.

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