Archive for the ‘The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd’ Category


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Oak

April 21, 2011

Image Credit:

The Oak

by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Live thy life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;
Then; and then
Soberer hued
Gold again.
All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough,
Naked strength
knock knock

Image Credit: Walk this Way


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]

Pretty Picture

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

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

Image credit: Eve Astrid Andersson


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Corncockle

April 20, 2011

Little Brown Jug and Corncockles

Image Credit: At Home in the Huddle

Great Lakes Sacred Essences: Corncockle

This plant is an energetic giver…..
restores pranic energy (life breath) to ease tired, depleted, worn-out conditions due to overwork or lack of play and rest
Corncockle aids in the absorption of prana or the sacred life giving breath that imparts spirit into matter.
It is an alien introduced from Europe and considered a weed by farmers
as it grows in meadows, along road sides, and into crops.
It is five-petaled, with five linear sepals that extend from the petals
like small swords in five directions.
Its color ranges from light pink to deep magenta.
The center of the flower is colored a high vibratory white.

Cockle-shell critters

This plant is an energetic giver that helps to breathe new life into soil that has been overworked and drained of its natural vitality.
It chooses to grow in disturbed areas to revitalize Nature’s womb with high frequency giving.
This pranic energy allows the etheric body of the soil to be rejuvenated by the spiritual life-giving forces of creative energy.
This flower essence is a gift to those who have lost their inherent vitality and joy to overwork and prolonged struggle.


Life on the physical plane can take its toll as responsibility becomes a burden and sacred rejuvenation, rest, prayer, and play are not honored.
Like the commercially grown cornfield that continues to produce year after year a lifeless harvest fed on petrochemicals, unhonored, leaving the soil bereft of energy or life, we will find our bodies and spirit depleted by continuous unending production.

The Norwegian name for common cockle is "heart shell".

Image Credit: A fish blog

Corncockle essence is a defender of the spirit.
It helps us reclaim a space for rest and nurturance in our busy days.
It is a giver that oxygenates our aura with life force inviting us to breathe in a slower and stronger manner receiving the pranic breath in all of our bodies
and restoring joy and pleasure.
Probably introduced to the U.S. with imported European wheat, Corncockle goes by many names in Europe.

Stanley Tucci as Puck, A Midsummers Night Dream

It is ‘Puck Needles’ in Sussex, England, ‘Crown of the Field’ in Somerset, England, and ‘Popple’ in Scotland, a name dating from the Middle Ages.

[Sourced Merri Walters of Great Lakes Sacred Essences]

High Tea for Six VIPs ~ Wedgewood 'Corncockle' tea set

Image Credit: Cake-Stand-Heaven


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Chestnut

April 20, 2011

Red Chestnut ~ aesculus carnea

Image Credit: Flower Essence Society

Awen Essences: Red Chestnut

The teaching of red chestnut is about learning free oneself from distraction by external influences: Learning that one’s own unique ‘Way’ cannot be disturbed by another. We choose what is right for us. This tree seems to bring an understanding of the eternal universal flow of energy and the spiralling nature of all things. (Like many of the essences which I have made, red chestnut brings a new understanding that how we choose to perceive things can directly change how we experience what is happening.) 

 Red chestnut essence is a good essence for those who are easily influenced, or thrown of balance by external influences, such as what others say or do, worrying about them or about what will happen next. When we judge and label things in our minds we create barriers, both within ourselves, and between us and everyone else.

 Red Chestnut helps to restore a sense of acceptance and openness, and helps one learn to be calm within when looking out. Also for those who are usually capable but may have become ‘bogged down’ in some way by the stresses of their lives. Red chestnut helps to restore a much-needed sense of perspective and balance.

Red Chestnut ~ "walk your talk"

Red Chestnut people live their lives as a process of abandonment, as if their spirit, suffering through the passage into incarnation, had abandoned its primordial condition. They experience inner disconnection as suffering unaccompanied by maturation and they project it onto others in the guise of obsessive love. [Source Daniele Lo Rito, Bach Flower Massage]

White Chestnut ~ aesculus hippocastanum

Awen Essences: White Chestnut

This tree takes our awareness beyond mind, beyond thought: A blank canvass. Only from this place of true stillness can we perceive the universe as it truly is; perceiving not with one or two of the senses at a time but with the whole being, directly. The energy of the white chestnut feels a bit like floating on a large body of water; so large that the perspective of oneself is unequivocally altered. An essential tree essence for learning to become aware of the silence underlying all form; for stilling the raging torrents of thoughts and worries; for realising and contemplating the nature of inner peace. These attributes also make white chestnut essence an important essence for those who are seeking to tune or broaden their perception, for only from a point of inner stillness can we ever hope to perceive clearly beyond the veil.

Chestnut Bud-in-sphere

Image Credit: Callum McKenzie-Milne

Bach Flower: Chestnut Bud

Indicated for those who cannot manage to coordinate their inner worlds with reality and its flow. Unable to assess the relationship between these two worlds, the inner self cannot learn from lived experience. They seem not to want to conclude a cycle in order to begin a new one, and instead spin like tops, prey to the next glamorous fantasy about the future. They keep tripping over the same mistakes, as they are unaware of having made them already, and, rather than realizing the actual moment, they live in projections of the future, where they need not carry any experiential baggage. [Source Daniele Lo Rito, M.D. Bach Flower Massage]

Sweet Chestnut ~ castanea sativa

Bach Flower: Sweet Chestnut

People who need Sweet Chestnut are absolutely despondent. An unexpected blow or a seemingly hopeless situation has brought them to the limit of their emotional endurance. They do not know what to do anymore because they have already tried everything. In this way they experience the total pointlessness of their former actions. This total hopelessness leads to a state of deepest despair and inner void, in which they even feel deserted by God and no longer know hope. They can neither pray nor cry, and they fear that their fate is breaking down. [Source Dietmar Krämer, New Bach Flower Therapies]

Black Squirrel and Chestnuts

Image Credit: Alan Drapal

Further Resources:

Treating the Symptoms of Panic Attacks with Flower Essences ~ Dr Marina Angeli, Flower Essence Society

Tonya Harding: A ‘roller-coaster life’ ~ TODAY People

Chestnuts Australia Inc.


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Blackthorn

April 19, 2011


Moon Month for St-Straith runs from 15 April ~ 12 May

Drawing a Blackthorn stave or card indicates the actions of fate in your life, something that cannot be avoided but must be faced and dealt with. Blackthorn gives you the strength to accept and persevere in the face of adversity. The Sloe berry sweetens after the first trial of winter, the frost. Accepting fate and adversity as a challenge, and making it work for you, results in an unexpected sweetness in your life.

“Straif also offers initiation into the mysteries of self-conquest and transcendence.”


 A Mote from the Muse:

There is some conjecture over which thorn went into the forming of Blodeuwedd: hawthorn or blackthorn.  As we are in the Ogham month of Straith: Blackthorn, I feel that it might be best just to go with the Awen here…..

Image credit:

Blodeuwedd’s tale is very deep. She is by no means the dippy faithless-wife character usually portrayed but a shapeshifting goddess and one of the many faces of Sovereignty, the goddess who is the Earth. Sovereignty is how the Celts think of the Lady, the spirit, the planetary energy, that which lives and moves and holds our being. This concept is similar to how the Dineh people of New Mexico, the Navajo, speak of it; they say Dammas, that which moves. [Words by Elen Sentier, Celtic Shaman]

Blossoms of the Blackthorn

Image credit: Penny D photography

Blackthorn Flower Essence

 Survival in adversity.When feeling panic or in times of crisis…

Blackthorn helps us to cope, so that we instinctively know how to proceed. Heightens our ability to make choices. Awakens the survival instinct. Resilience. [Sourced Wild Medicine ~ Wild Flower Essences of Avalon and Iona]

Blackthorn berries and She Who Squeaks

Image Credit: bibliocook

If you’re a ‘sloe gin virgin’, you might be surprised to learn that this oft-home brewed beverage tastes nothing like ‘straight’ gin at all. In fact, it makes for a rounded, fruity refreshing drink – just the thing to help ease yourself into a evening of relaxation!


8 oz. ripe sloes

4 – 6 oz. sugar

14 fl oz. gin

Remove any stalks and ash the fruit. Prick the sloes at both ends to release their juice and put them into a screw top container which should be no more than half full. Add the sugar and top up with gin. Seal the container and shake vigorously. Repeat the shaking process for two to four weeks after which time the sloes will have turned the liquid a rich red colour. The liqueur should now be left to mature, although it can be drunk after a few weeks the flavour is much improved if left for twelve months. If required the liquid may be strained after three months and bottled before being left to finish maturing. [Sourced Mercian Gathering]

Typical growth habit ~ Hawthorn(L) Blackthorn (R) - messier


How to tell Hawthorn from Blackthorn

  • Hawthorn has lobed leaves, Blackthorn has elliptical leaves tapering at the base.
  • Blackthorn thorns are generally longer.
  •  Hawthorn has leaves before flowers, Blackthorn has flowers before leaves.
  • Hawthorn fruit, haws, have a single stone in a hollow red-crimson cup. Blackthorn fruit, sloes, are round and blue-black often with grey bloom. Both fruits start green. [Sourced SkillsforWildlife]

It was believed that the thorny crown for Christ was made from the Blackthorn

 Blackthorn in bloom is considered an emblem of life and death together as the flowers appear when the tree has no leaves, just black bark and thorns. It is considered wise not to grow three trees closely together. It is said that a Hawthorn will destroy any Blackthorn near it. On the Isle of Man it is believed that if the Blackthorn and the Hawthorn have many berries then the ensuing winter will be severe. [Sourced Hedgerowmobile]


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Meadowsweet

April 18, 2011

Meadowsweet, Garsdale Viaduct, The Dales, UK

Image Credit:

Common names: Bridewort, Meadow Queen, Meadow-wort, Mead-wort, Pride of the Meadow, Queen of the Meadow, Lady of the Meadow, Dollof, Meadsweet, Quaker Lady, Courtship and Matrimony.

Meadowsweet is known as Bridewort because it used to be strewn on the ground at Handfastings and Weddings for the Bride to walk on (‘wort’ is an Old English word meaning root or herb). The name ‘Ulmaria’ comes from the Latin “ulmus” (elm) due to the shape of the plant’s leaves. Its Gaelic name (Ius Cuchulainn, and Rios Cuchulainn) associates the plant with the legendary warrior, Cuchulainn, who was treated with Meadowsweet baths to cure uncontrollable rage and fevers. The plant’s name ‘Filidendula’ may come from the Latin “filum” meaning thread, and “pendulus”, meaning drooping – referring to the root tubers which hang together by threads.

A peculiarity of Meadowsweet is that the scent of the leaves is quite different from that of the flowers. The latter possess an almond-like fragrance, and it was one of the fragrant herbs used to strew the floors of chambers in Medieval and Tudor times to provide fragrance and keep out insects. In allusion to this use, Gerard writes: ‘The leaves and floures of Meadowsweet farre excelle all other strowing herbs for to decke up houses, to strawe in chambers, halls and banqueting-houses in the summer-time, for the smell thereof makes the heart merrie and joyful and delighteth the senses.’

The ‘Courtship and Matrimony’ name came about because the heady smell of the flowers represented courtship, whilst the sharper smell of the foliage represented the reality of marriage.

An important food plant for hoverflies, butterflies and bees, it is also the main food plant for caterpillars of the following moths – Brown Spot Pinion, Hebrew Character, Powdered Quaker, Emperor, Lesser Cream Wave and Satyr Pug. Roots produce a black dye and the leaves a blue pigment both of which were widely used by the Celts. The seeds provide food for birds.

Skater girl

Meadowsweet is know to have been used for at least 4,000 years as traces of it have been found in the remains of a Neolithic drink in the Hebrides and a bunch of Meadowsweet was also found in a Neolithic burial near Perth. Held by Druids as one of the most sacred herbs (along with Watermint and Vervain), Northern European pagan cultures seem to have used meadowsweet primarily for medicine, and as a perfume and odor-fighter, rather than for religious ritual. However, the plant does play a small role in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths and folklore, where meadowsweet was one of the plants, along with broom and flowers of the oak used by the wizards Math and Gwydion to create the woman Blodeuwedd.

It was also one of the fifty ingredients in a drink called ‘Save,’ mentioned in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, in the fourteenth century when it is referred to as Medwort, or Meadwort, (i.e. the mead or honey-wine herb), and the flowers were often put into wine and beer. It is still incorporated in many herb beers. [Sourced from The Isle of Wight Druid Grove]


The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Bean

April 18, 2011



Coral Bean Flower Essence

Flower color: scarlet
Essence type: Individual

Flower Essence Description

Coral Bean helps overcome a drug-like dulling of the survival instinct. It stimulates focus and will in facing or recovering from dangerous situations.

Harmonizing Qualities

  • brings us in touch with inner, self-protective wisdom;
  • clarity about how to handle the same type of situation so it is no longer dangerous, but a stepping stone to owning our own power and taking care of ourself;
  • clarity about situations that in the past had been “dangerous” to ourself and our processes;
  • helps us contact and realign our will, focus and concentration;

 Patterns of Imbalance

  • “I can’t, I can’t!” attitude;
  • expecting things to be hard and go wrong;
  • feeling drugged, spacey, detached, loss of will, loss of concentration, stumbling around;
  • self-destructive;

Sourced at Desert Alchemy Flower Essence

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