Marigold is a hardy, annual herb native to central and southern Europe and Asia. Use it in incense dedicated to the sun, the element of fire, the star sign of Leo and to invoke sun gods. A herb of healing and protection, and can also be added to incenses for prophetic dreams, love, divination and used to consecrate divinatory tools such as crystal balls. In ancient Egypt it was used as a rejuvenating herb, while the Persians and Greeks used it for cooking, and the Hindus to decorate their altars and temples. At Midsummer garlands of marigold flowers hung on doors prevent evil from entering. Marigold petals were also scattered on the floor under the bed to offer protection to sleepers.
In slavic folklore Marigolds (chornobryvtsi) symbolize young beauty, paternal home, native land. The flower was brought to Ukraine in nineteenth century and quickly became so popular that could be seen in every Ukrainian yard. It is thought to be Ukrainian national flower. In Ukrainian folklore chornobryvtsy are children that reach out for their mother. Old legend says that once upon a time in one Ukrainian village lived a family with three gay and pretty sons. Enemies came to the village and kidnapped children. The mother tried to find children but couldn’t. She often cried near the window where the children used to play. Where her tears dropped, their chornobryvtsi grew.
The marigold is an important flower in certain religious ceremonies in Nepal and is used to decorate Hindu temples in India. Marigold is considered the flower of the dead in Mexico where it is used to decorate ancestral altars for Day of the Dead celebrations. After the Spanish invasion, the Aztecs viewed the marigold flower as a symbol of the Spanish invasion and the massacre of their people and destruction of their way of life.
Has a psychoactive action and has been smoked ceremonially in combination with Nicotiana rustica when peyote was eaten and it may be drunk as a tea to promote visions.
All types of marigolds can be used as offerings to the dead and as decoration for ancestor altars.