Phoebe Hildegard Finch 2024


LECTURE: The Resurrection Plant – A Magico-Medicinal Overview of the “Rose of Jericho”

The Rose of Jericho is an emblematic magical herb with highly unusual properties. Lying somewhere between the plant and animal kingdoms (at least in popular understanding) this ancient desert plant “resurrects” its greenery even after years of total dormancy and has been observed to “travel” over vast distances before springing back to life.

Many are familiar with the magical uses of this classic Hoodoo curio. Others know the Rose of Jericho from its inclusion in a variety of Germanic Christmas traditions and other folk Christian rituals invoking the savior’s resurrection. The long history of its medicinal use, including as a topical agent to restore and extend youth, is less commonly discussed. The findings of contemporary scientific researchers add a fascinating angle to studies of the “Rose”. Recent findings suggest that the Rose of Jericho possesses both anti-aging and neuroprotective properties – fascinating in light of its long cross-cultural association with immortality.

This presentation traces the Rose of Jericho through history, folklore, and folk medicine. The beguiling Resurrection Rose will be examined through the lens of Southern Conjure, within folk Christianity, and in German-American Folk Magics. Both the “true” and the “false” Roses of Jericho will be discussed in this study. Several applications will be offered for present-day practitioners, from the magical, to the cosmetic, to the folk medicinal.

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