Oregano Illustration by Quinn K Dyer

Origanum vulgare & Origanum majorana

protection, happiness & luck
Venus, air & Femininity
Taurus & Libra
Oregano Leaves
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Oregano is often confused with marjoram; historically & linguistically. Sometimes oregano is touted as ‘wild marjoram’. And in many historical texts simply label them both as marjoram. Both have similar attributes; they can both be used for protection, love, or happiness spells.

Because of the plant's tendency to cross-pollinate, the oregano family is a tangled web of hybrids & varieties.

It’s easiest to distinguish by its taste. Carvacrol, the chemical responsible for the distinctive taste is contained in both marjoram & oregano. 

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There are many varieties of oregano; some are only ornamental.

The Greek variety is the best for cooking. Marjoram is typically a taller, bushier plant than true oregano. Oregano tends to creep closer to the ground. 


Younger plants provide better tasting greens; under 4 years.

Harvest before or during bloom. Use leaves & flowers, but not the stems.

It likes the sun & well-draining soil; it does not like wet roots. It does great in pots; it’s long tendrils spill beautifully over the edges. The long trailing growth also makes a good ground cover. Trimming back these tendrils encourages growth.

It will grow all year in mild climates, but will die in cold weather.

Oregano is self-seeding & should come back in the spring as long as you leave flowers. Seeds need sunlight to sprout.

Oregano can also be started from cuttings. To start a plant from a cutting simply, cut a stem a few inches long from the established plant. Strip the leaves, leaving only the top four.

Put the stem in a container of water; making sure the leaves stay dry. Leave the container in a sunny spot and in a few days you should see the new roots beginning to grow. In a week or so, these roots will be a few inches long and ready to be planted in dirt!

Grow it near your home for protection; it’s a good companion plant for nearly any vegetable in your garden.

Sliced Pizza
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Historically oregano & marjoram were used for bathing & cleaning.

Natural antifungal & antibacterial properties account for some of oregano’s protective capabilities. Add oregano to a smudge stick for protection or to help purify the room after an illness.

In fact, an herbal bath with sprigs of oregano or essential oils has beneficial magical & medicinal effects. A steamy bath with thyme & oregano is wonderful for colds & respiratory infections.

Use in a bath to attract love along with rosemary, lavender, or catnip.

Oregano can be used in wreaths, garlands, or crowns for altar decorations or offerings. Use along with rosemary in handfasting rituals to grant fidelity and joy to the couple.

It also has associations with spirits; it’s said to help the dead sleep peacefully. And letting oregano grow on a grave will ensure that the deceased is happy in the afterlife.

Oregano’s money drawing aspects can be harnessed by placing a spring in a change jar or a few leaves in your wallet. The money drawing aspects can be amplified by using it with thyme, mint, or other money drawing herbs; especially during a waxing moon.

Oregano makes for some potent kitchen magic. It’s used in many Greek & Italian dishes including pizza, pasta sauce & lamb. You can use it fresh or dried.

It dries easily for storage. Oregano is one of the few herbs whose taste improves after being dried. Just bake at a low setting (170 F) for about an hour, or until leaves are crumbly. Store in an airtight container for year round use.

The smell is also supposed to help you forget past lovers; so do yourself a favor & order a pizza.