Oftentimes, the first sign of spring we see are flowers fighting their way through frozen winter ground. Flowers represent the earth bursting to life in springtime and ourselves coming into our fullness during our own metaphorical spring of our lives. Though they may look delicate, flowers have long been symbols of hope and resistance. If you’ve only been working with herbs in your witchcraft practice, you’ve been missing out, because flowers have just as many uses.
We most often think of flowers as symbols of love and fertility because of their association with spring. Flowers bloom at the time of year we see nature fertile and multiplying. This can mean a literal romantic relationship and pregnancy with a child, or it can signify the beginning of new projects and being full with creativity.
Flowers in Mythology
Ever wondered why flowers are left for the dead? In many Greek myths, the dead transform into a flower, therefore flowers are a symbol of reincarnation and rebirth. Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis, bled out in her arms and her tears mingled with his blood fell to the ground and sprouted a red anemone flower. The nymph Clytie was obsessed with the sun god Apollo even after he had taken a lover. She wasted away waiting for him and upon her death, transformed into a sunflower so she could watch him rise and set every day for eternity.
Hyacinth flowers are named after the spartan Hyacinthus who was also a lover of Apollo. When he died, Apollo turned Hyacinthus into a flower so Hades could not take his soul to the underworld. We also know daffodils by the name narcissus, named after the handsome man from the Greek myth who fell in love with his own reflection and the obsession drove him to death. In his place, the daffodil sprung up.
The ever famous symbol of Buddhism, the lotus flower, grows clean from mud, representing enlightenment and purity of mind. Many deities from the Hindu pantheon are depicted sitting atop a lotus flower. The love god and goddess from Greek mythology were depicted with roses, and poppies are associated with the god of sleep and the god of dreams (remember that scene from The Wizard of Oz?). And I couldn’t mention flower deities without mentioning the Roman goddess Flora, who is literally the goddess of flowers!
The Language of Flowers
In the 19th century, floriography — the language of love — became a popular way to communicate your feelings through a simple bouquet. Each flower had its own meaning and colors conveyed additional messages, even the way they were delivered was added to the code! The language of flowers was so widespread it can even be found in classic literature. According to The Farmer’s Almanac, examples of some of the meanings include bluebells for kindness or humility, gardenia for a secret admirer, peonies for bashfulness or shame, tulips for passion, and zinnia for lasting affection. One we still are familiar with today is a dozen red roses to say “I love you.”
In the late 1960’s in the midst of the Vietnam War, a counterculture movement called Flower Power arose. This was for nonviolence and peaceful resistance in opposition to the war popularized by poet Allen Ginsberg. The people participating in this movement are now known as hippies and wore flowers as symbols of hope and beauty in a war-torn world. The now famous photograph from 1967 is an icon of the movement which shows George Harris placing a carnation into the barrel of a soldier’s gun.
Meanings of Flowers in Witchcraft
Just like herbs, every flower has its own magickal properties that you can work with in spells and rituals. There are approximately 400,000 species of flowering plants on earth! Take a look at this list of just a few:
- Bluebell: truth and luck
- Buttercup: love and marriage
- Carnation: protection, strength, healing
- Crocus: love and visions
- Daffodil: love, fertility, luck
- Daisy: love, innocence, hope
- Dandelion: divination, dreams, wishes
- Foxglove: protection, love, fertility
- Gardenia: love, peace, healing
- Geranium: fertility, love, protection
- Honeysuckle: prosperity and luck
- Hyacinth: love, protection, happiness
- Hydrangea: breaking curses, friendship
- Iris: love, peace, purification
- Lilac: love, purification, protection
- Lily: breaking love spells, protection, happiness
- Marigold: healing, protection, dreams
- Orchid: love, psychic powers
- Pansy: divination, love, happiness
- Passion Flower: peace, sleep, friendship
- Peony: protection, purification
- Poppy: prosperity, fertility, luck
- Rose: love, healing, protection
- Snapdragon: protection, breaking curses
- Sunflower: fertility, happiness, wishes
- Tulip: prosperity, love, protection
- Violet: protection, love, luck
- Zinnia: friendship, courage, strength
—> Visit the Green Witch Living Shop for herbs, flowers, and curios.
Sources: Garden Witchery by Ellen Dugan and Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Fresh Flower Spells and Rituals
The simplest and most beautiful way to incorporate flowers into your witchcraft practice is to decorate your altar with them. If you work with any deities, look into what flowers they prefer. In Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, he says, “Place a vase of fresh snapdragons on the altar while performing protective rituals. If someone has sent negative energy to you, place some snapdragons on the altar with a mirror behind them. This will send the curses back.”
You can also place a vase of any of the flowers associated with love while performing a love spell. To cleanse a room, place a vase of any of the flowers associated with purification in the middle of the room. A vase of any flowers associated with healing can go in a sickroom, and any associated with fertility in the bedroom if trying to conceive.
A spell you can do with fresh sunflowers is a positive affirmation spell, repeating a mantra while plucking off each petal in a sort of meditation. The entire spell can be found here: Sunflower Affirmation Spell for Litha
Plant bulbs of the flowers of whose properties you would like to invoke in an outdoor garden or flower bed. To protect your home, for example, plant protective flowers around the perimeter. It is said that if you plant pansy bulbs in the shape of a heart and they flourish, so will your love life.
If you live in a place where you don’t have to treat your yard (save the bees, we wouldn’t have flowers without them!), you can let your dandelions go to seed and collect them in a glass jar at the new moon. As you pull the seeds from each dandelion, make a wish as you add it to the jar. You can keep the seeds in the jar for as long as you feel your intentions need to simmer, and then release them at the next full moon by blowing them from your hand, symbolizing your life force energy releasing your wishes to the Universe.
Green Witchcraft: Edible Flowers
Check out the Green Witch Living TikTok channel and watch the video, Edible Flowers for more ways to use flowers in your green witchcraft.
Saving this article for later? Pin It.