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Bay is the dried leaves from an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean. It thrives in the heat and prefers and more humid climate than what we think of the Mediterranean region today. A camphoraceous herb with a sharp, cool, green scent, bay is a common culinary spice used sparingly to flavor soups, stews, sauces, and rice.
Other common names include bay laurel, sweet bay, or simply laurel. The ancient Greeks crowned those who excel at art, poetry, sport, or learning with a wreath of bay laurel, such as those who won the Pythian games, sacred to Apollo and second only to the Olympics. English retains reference to this use of bay in the word â€˜laureateâ€™, such as in a baccalaureate degree or for the winners of the Nobel prize. Hoodoo usage calls back to this tradition by employing bay in Crown of Success spells.
The nature of bay is to sharpen the mind bringing clarity. It can be burned during divinations, as it once was in the cave temple at the famed Oracle of Delphi, to bring the oracular sight into focus. It can be added to potions, spells, and incenses to aid the mind in studying, writing, and gaining mastery in the arts. Additionally, the clarity provided by bay is useful for potions to see through illusions and magic to dispel falsehoods.
Another use of bay, evidenced in many old spells, employs the principles of sympathetic magic. As bay crowned victors and the successful, wrapping, crowning, or surrounding other magical works â€“ such as an amulet, candle spells, or statue â€“ reinforces their virtue and ensures their success. In this way, bay is used in all manner of spells, such as famously wrapping an opal to gain the power of invisibility. But this is just its power to declare the object crowned virtuous and strong â€“ the power of invisibility comes from the opal, not the bay itself.