Also known at Mary's flower, Stone flower, Spike moss, Rosa Mariae, Rose of the Virgin, Dinosaur Plant, Holy Night Rose and Palestinian tumbleweed. This plant grows in the Negev and Sahara Desert, North Africa, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and even in some areas of South and North America. It's commonly known as the Resurrection Plant.
This plant has been known through-out many centuries especially in the desert areas of the world. Living in the desert and dealing with long droughts this plant has adapted well. When there is no water around, it curls it's stems into a tight ball and seems dead. This method defends the seed and does not allow them from being broken up prematurely. The seeds are extremely hardy and are capable to be dormant for a long period time. When there is water or it rains, the ball uncurls and turns green again. It has cells that causes rejuvenation and it turns green again, producing tiny white-colored blooms.
According to legends it is said that the Virgin Mary blessed the eternal plant during her and Joseph's flight to Egypt. In Spain, it is traditionally connected to the Holy Trinity.
There is two species that is considered a resurrection plant, which basically means any plant that can rejuvenate itself. Anastatica hierochuntica is known as the true Rose of Jericho and the Selaginella Lepidophylla which is known as the false Rose of Jericho. The false Rose of Jericho is the one that is widely known and used in many magickal workings and spells.
The Rose of Jericho rather it be the true or false one it is said to erase negative influences, bring peace, harmony and abundance.. It represents new beginnings, hope, re-birth, bringing a resurgence in energy, happiness and prosperity in one's life.
The true Rose of Jericho is sought for in the Holy Land by pilgrims as a holy relic. Some are kept in the family and is traditionally passed on to the next generations as an important part of one's inheritance and it is brought out at Christmas time along with other decorations.
In Santeria and other Yoruba, the plant is said to be sacred to the Orisha Shango, the spirit of lightening. It is placed on the altar dedicated to Orisha and it is used as an ingredient in powders, incense, oils and baths.
The Resurrection plant can serve as a living symbol of one's faith and confidence in the nature's power to resurrect and bring life to that seems dead and lifeless. If a piece of it is carried on a person it is thought to absorb negative energy. Also thought if you wore it as an amulet it will promote a long and healthy life.
If the plant or a piece of it is kept in the home in a bowl of water, it is said that you will have all the blessings that life can bring. Most people who uses the resurrection plant by placing it in a bowl of water. A person usually purchases the plant in it's dry state. To see it's magic at work, place the plant in a bowl of water and within a couple of hours the plant comes back to life.
Over the years I have seen a lot of my pagan friends who have the resurrection plant submerged in a large bowl of water but upon doing the research for this post I have found out that you're not suppose to submerge it because after a week the plant starts getting mold and eventually the plant will be destroyed permanently. I'm not saying that you shouldn't submerge it for that's not my point. Who am I to tell you how to use a magical item? Just sharing the information that I found.
According to my research you are only to submerge the roots in the water. Now another idea that I found out was that since the plant itself suppose to take in the negativity around itself and then into the water, it isn't wise to use the water in any spells. I have found out that in some traditions that the water is used in blessing doorways and windows in homes, anointing candles or ritual tools. Some traditions state that you can take the water and pour in on your steps to keep negativity from entering your home. In some cultures especially in Voodoo traditions, you can take the water and wash gravestones to receive messages from the spirits by divination and dreams.
When you place the resurrection plant in a bowl of water, after a week the plant should be allowed to dry up again and then re-used when you need it.
Another usage for it, which was given to me by a pagan friend while I was doing my research, was to place anything small that you wish to bless, for example stone or cystal in the middle of the plant before it closes during the drying process. Therefore the stems will close around the object blessing it or cleansing it. I thought that was an awesome idea.
If you purchase a resurrection plant it should be treated with respect and honor in your home because according to some traditions especially in the Iraq and Iran area, the plant contains a desert spirit which if not respected could cause harm to the owner. If the plant is respected then the spirit will bless the home and be helpful to the owner.