Flower Wisdom insights into
the Myth and Legends of flowers
According to legends, the carnation
was the first seen at Christ's birth
in Bethlehem. They became associated
with Mother's Day in the U.S, which
started in 1908 when Anna Jarvis of
West Virginia instigated the first Mother's
Day service, carrying carnations, her
Chrysanthemums have been cultivated
in the East for over two millennia.
On the 9th day of the 9th moon, the
Chinese drink chrysanthemum wine to
ensure long life. An old Chinese superstition
states that eating the flowers would
ensure long life, and giving these flowers
to a sick friend is considered a thoughtful
The Japanese celebrate a Chrysanthemum
festival since ancient times. The Shogun
met up with his feudal lords during
then; nowadays its is a flower decorating
festival. The original Japanese flag
actually depicts a chrysanthemum with
16 petals around a disc. It has been
claimed that theses flowers were a meeting
place for the wee folk - the Faerie.
The daisy was said to spring from
the tears of Mary Magdalene. It was
known as 'God's smile' and 'Day's eye'
, an Angle Saxon name which had morphed
to the current word daisy. This is because
the flower opened and closed with the
sun's rays. In magick, it would be used
in any fair weather spells or rites
to honour the Sun. The daisy was associated
with Venus, commonly used as a lovers'
divination, plucking the petals whilst
chanting s/he loves me, s/he loves me
not. Medieval knights wore daisy chains
made for them by their Ladies when they
rode into battle or tournaments, as
a sign of their affection and defence
of their Ladies' honour.
Dandelions are associated with ancient
oracles, in the language of flowers,
if you blow on a dandelion seed clock,
you would divine according to which
quantity of seeds go in whichever direction.
I personally use the juice of dandelions
to cure warts. Simply rub the juice
on a wart at morning and night, for
the 3 days leading to the full moon.
This is the symbol of undying love
and eternal friendship. An Austrian
legend is the source of this flower's
name. A man and his betrothed were walking
along the banks of the Danube on the
night before their wedding. A small
blue flower was being swept past them
by the river's currents, and the woman
cried that such a lovely flower should
be lost. The man leapt in to fetch it
out, but was swept away. His final act
was to throw the flower on the river
bank with the shout ' forget me not,
my love!'. Perhaps this also led to
the tradition of bride and groom not
seeing eat other on the eve of their
This is the flower of the Faerie,
legend says when the foxglove bows its
head, it is the Faerie folk walking
by. Thus it is considered lucky to have
foxglove growing from seed in your garden.
It must not be transplanted as it may
mask a faerie gate/home and only pick
with express permission from the wee
Ancient legend tells us that the geranium
first grew when the Prophet Mohammed's
shirt was hung on a mallow plant to
dry in the sun. Im magaick, this flower
is used for solar spells and for transformation.
The white heather is considered lucky,
due to it's rarity. Heather is associated
with Celtic magic and divination. In
Celtic legend when Oscar, the son of
Ossian (the renowned Irish Bard and
warrior of the 3rd C) lay dying on a
battlefield at Ulster, he sent his Lady,
Malvina, a sprig of purple heather.
As she heard the message of love on
receiving the heather, her tears fell
on the flower, turning it white; Since
then the white heather has also symbolised
Named after Hyacinthus, son of Amyclas,
the King of Sparta. He was loved by
Apollo, however Zephyr, the West Wind,
grew jealous of their friendship and
happiness. As they were playing quoits,
Zephyr blew Apllo's quoit off course
and it struck Hyacinthus, killing him.
His blood fell on a pink hyacinth, and
has since symbolised sorrow and lost
Sacred in ancient Egypt, India and
the Orient. In Hindu tradition, a golden
lotus brought forth the God Brahma.
In the Orient, it is sacred to the Goddess
Lakshmi, of beauty and luck. It is the
symbol of Buddha in both India and China.
In Japan, it is the symbol of paradise.
It was regarded as a symbol of fertility
in ancient Egypt, and was used for wreaths
which decorated the brow of the Goddess
Lilies are dedicated to maiden Goddesses
generally, especially Diana. A symbol
of Purity. In catholic countries it
is the Madonna flower.
LILY OF THE VALLEY
Created by Eve's tears as she was expelled
from the garden of Eden. In Irish tradition,
they form ladders for the Faerie to
climb and reach the reeds from which
they plait their cradles. One legend
tells that the first Lily of the valley
loved the Nightingale, but because she
was so shy, she hid in the long grass
to listen to his song. The Nightingale
became lonely, and said he would no
longer sing unless the lily of the valley
bloomed every May for all too see.
Flowers of the Sun, for they bloom
all year, opening their petals in the
morning sun and closing at dusk. Marigolds
or Mary's gold, is named after the Virgin
Mary who wore them as her favourite
From an ancient Greek legend, Narcissus
the son of Cephisus, so admired his
own beauty that he gazed constantly
at his reflection in a pool and ignored
the nymphs of the pool calling for his
attention, not the least of them was
Echo. One day he reached out to embrace
his own image, fell in and drowned.
A single white Narcissus, tinged red
at the centre for Echo's pierced heart,
was found floating nearby.
The most magickal of flowers called
by Druids 'the enchanter of the wood'
In Christian tradition it is said to
have first appeared in Bethlehem near
the stable where Jesus was born. During
the Centuries after the resurrection,
a young Christian was sentenced to burn
at the stake. She prayed to God and
the flames turned to yellow and red
rose petals. It is believed that all
roses were white, until some were stained
by Athena's blood when she caught her
foot in the thorns. In Greece on June
4th is the festival of Rosalia, who
honoured the rose.
Clytie a water nymph was so sad there
her love Helios, the Greek sun God,
had not returned, that she sat on the
ground day and night watching Helios
riding his chariot across the sky. She
watched for so long that her limbs took
root in the earth and she transformed
into a Sunflower, a symbol of constancy.
A Roman myth tells how Jupiter fell
in love with Io, the priestess of Juno.
He turned her into a white heifer to
escape the wrath of Juno. Jupiter created
fields of white violets for her to eat
while she wandered the earth.
Various Classical texts.
Ancient Wisdom - Cassandra Eason.
The Magick of Folk Wisdom - Patricia