Despite all the cold rain, I can feel springtime! Do you know what that means? An abundance of flower names, that's what!
Jasmine (pronounced "JAZ-min") is a tropical plant found . The word is derived from the Persian yasamin, meaning "gift from God." It is found in all tropical and temperate regions of the Old World. The Old World refers to Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia, while the New World is the Americas.
Jasmine is a very important plant, particularly in Asia. The flowers are commonly used for perfumes and oils. Jasmine tea is a favorite in China and Japan. In Thailand, the plant symbolizes the mother. In India, jasmine is cultivated for enjoyment in private gardens, and girls wear the flowers in their hair for beauty. The jasmine is the national flower of Thailand, Tunisia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The French are well known for their jasmine syrup, which they use to make marshmallows and scones. Although not indigenous to the area, jasmine is very popular in Hawaii. The Hawaiian word for jasmine is pikake, and they sing songs about the plant and use the flowers in leis.
Neo-Pagans associate jasmine with sleeping and dreams because the flowers blossom only at night. It is believed that burning jasmine flowers beside the bed will cause prophetic dreams. It is also associated with spiritual love, sexuality, and erotic energy. Jasmine tea and syrup can help sooth the nerves as well as coughing. Just don't use jasmine berries as they are very poisonous.
If you want a name to shoot up the popularity charts, just give it to a Disney princess. The name first appeared in the 1970s, but when Aladdin came out in the 1990s the name skyrocketed and settled at #25. Since then, Jasmine's star has been slowly but surly fading, it now ranks at #43. It's very popular globally as well. It ranks #22 in Australia, #32 in England, #37 in Canada, #59 in Sweden, #87 in Ireland, #106 in Scotland, and #482 in Norway.
It's interesting to note that in the original Aladdin fairy tale, the princess had no name, she was just "the princess." Then Disney gave her a name along with a (in my opinion) more assertive personality. I would suspect that Jasmine is especially popular in African American communities. For the longest time Jasmine was the closest thing Disney had to a Black princess.
If you want to use Jasmine you have a lot of variations to pick from: Jasmin, Jazmin, Jasmyn, Jessamine, Yasmin, Yasmine, Jazmine, or Jazmyn are all options. Jasmine is one of my favorites, and I think it's kind of a shame that there's so many girls with it. But it's a great Wicca-lite name that won't stick out in a crowd of non-Pagans but has an association with beauty.