Sunday, 17 April 2011

Oxlips and Cowslips - magic for this week ......

   This is the perfect time to plant some magick - cowslips and oxlips. It wasn't so very long ago - perhaps half a century, certainly in the 1950's  - in the days before mass spraying and vast agricultural machines - (those same that killed off so many of the fae and elfin magicks) - that there would be meadows full of these flowers, and sometimes the scarcer oxlip too.
Really - fields of cowslips, full to bursting with deep, golden yellow.

Cowslips - bright in the spring sunshine

Oxlips - paler in colour, wider in flower and preferring partial shade

Cowslips included in a bunch of spring flowers say 'You are my heart's delight'. That is in the language of Victorian posies. Magickal faery flowers these, under the rule of the planet Venus and Goddess Freya.

  The flowers were gathered by the basket and barrow full, ready to be pressed and made into Cowslip Wine and Ale. The petals were also simmered with sugar and made into a syrup, to be stored in the medicine cupboard for any coughs and colds.
    Children were taught how to thread Cowslip Balls, and they were carried proudly on May Day, or hung outside cottage doors for good luck.

A Beatric Potter illustration here, of Cecily Parsley making her Cowslip Ale

"Cecily Parsley lived in a pen
And brewed good ale for gentlemen"

Now that the flowers are scarce, it would please the faere folk to see them growing in your garden, and you can buy 'wild' ones in many a good nursery right now.  They like a sunny spot, dappled shade would be fine, and naturalize easily into grass which is not cut too often.

Welcome more insects - and watch out for their activities after dusk - here, in the illustration below is an insect wedding - carried out under the cowslips, with a glow-worm carrying a glow to light the way. What more could you want for your garden? :-)

From 'A Wedding in the Forest' illustrated by Else Wenz-Vietor

1 comment:

The Dutchess said...

Very sweet post ..Thank you

Big hug from all of us...
T.D and Company.