The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Primrose

April 21, 2011

Primrose English Cowslip

Image Credit: A Lovely Garden

Primula veris (Cowslip; syn. Primula officinalis Hill) is a flowering plant in the genus Primula. The species is found throughout most of temperate Europe and Asia, and although absent from more northerly areas including much of northwest Scotland, it reappears in northernmost Sutherland and Orkney.


Planet: Venus

Element: Earth

Deity: Freya

Power: Protection, Love

The common name “cowslip” derives from the Old English cūslyppe meaning “cow dung”, probably because the plant was often found growing amongst the manure in cow pastures.

Folk names

Cuy lippe, Herb Peter, Paigle, Peggle, Key Flower, Key of Heaven, Fairy Cups, Petty Mulleins, Crewel, Buckles, Palsywort, Plumrocks, Mayflower, Password, Artetyke, Drelip, Our Lady’s Keys, Freya’s Keys, Arthritica, Cuy, Frauenchlussel, Lady’s Key, Lippe, Paralysio.

Because the flowers are thought to look like a bunch of keys hanging down, this plant is sometimes connected with unlocking secrets or finding hidden things. ~ Alchemy-works

Traditional uses

Cowslip flowers were traditionally used for making cowslip wine, cowslip mead and salads; the 19th century English botanist and illustrator, Anne Pratt, wrote of it:

In the midland and southern counties of England, a sweet and pleasant wine resembling the muscadel is made from the cowslip flower, and it is one of the most wholesome and pleasant of home-made wines, and slightly narcotic in its effects. In times when English wines were more used, every housewife in Warwickshire could produce her clear cowslip wine…the cowslip is still sold in many markets for this purpose, and little cottage girls still ramble the meadows during April and May in search of it…country people use it as a salad or boil it for the table.

Other Old English names for the plant were “paigle” and “drelip”. Cowslips were used in England as a garland on maypoles.

The cowslip is the County flower of three counties of England; Northamptonshire, Surrey, and Worcestershire.


Sun rules over prosperity and general protection. Choose Sun plants when you are looking for centering, doing money magic, or honoring aspects of the divine that are sun-associated. Sun plants often have sun-shaped flowers (daisies, for instance) or when ingested give a feeling of calm warmth (unlike the heating of Mars, which can lead to violent action).

Primrose English Cowslip, Hops, Marigold, Mistletoe, Sunflower, Pericon

Birds in Kaun formation

Image Credit: ulryka/RedBubble, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Sixth rune Kaun:

Primrose English Cowslip is connected to Kaun. The traditional meaning of Kaun is a torch, and that aspect, Kaun in a reading indicates knowledge revealed. As a torch lights a pathway, so does Kaun shed light on hidden reasons, underlying causes, unknown or unacknowledged aspects of the self, and hidden motives belonging either to the querent or another person who may be involved in the reading. Kaun’s element is fire, the fire of creation, the fire of inspiration, the spark of enthusiasm that gets a project going. [Adapted from Bewitching Ways.com]

Pretty Picture

“Kaun Rune”, original acrylic painting by Artist Raymond Bartlett

Vatican "coat-of-arms" garden ~ a wink

Image credit: Eve Astrid Andersson


One comment

  1. Are primroses the same as cowslips? Wow, who knew?

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