It’s interesting that the fairy flowers all seem to be starting their bloom just before Beltane. I always think of Beltane as a “fairy fest”.
This gorgeous lady of a plant is what we always called Canterbury bells. It’s a form of campanula which alludes to the bell shaped flowers. The flower goes by other names as well, many of those names containing the words “bell” or “thimble”. Another name for campanula type blooms which probably refers to this flower:
There is a delightful story about a rabbit (or hare) who rescued some fairies from some onery pixies. The fairy queen, in gratitude, gifted the rabbit and all his decendants the harebell flowers to grow in his meadow to ring and warn him when a fox was near by. See? Fairies are nice! I’m not quite sure about pixies, though.
Goblin Gloves, Witches’ Gloves, Dead Men’s Bells, Fairy’s Glove, Gloves of Our Lady, Bloody Fingers, Virgin’s Glove, Fairy Caps, Folk’s Glove, Fairy Thimbles.
If you didn’t already know, digitalis is quite toxic. Let’s be honest and say deadly. That’s probably why some call it dead men’s bells. It’s true it is famous as a heart medication and has been used to treat other ailments, but it’s definitely not a DYI type of herbal ingredient. It has been said of digitalis, “It can raise the dead and can kill the living.” This may be the last year it grows in my back yard for awhile because of the grandkids.
Foxglove is one of the top fairy favorites. Witchipedia states:
“Scandinavian legend says that the faeries taught foxes to ring foxglove bells to warn each other of approaching hunters.”
Hmmm….now the foxes get bells. Sounds like the fairies don’t play favorites! At any rate, foxgloves have long been associated with witches and witchcraft.
And so, this brings us back to Beltane! This is a time when the elementals are very active. Yes, it’s a time when we celebrate and request fertility from the Lord and Lady. We hop over the Beltane fire to insure a prosperous year and likewise dance around the maypole.
Next Sunday we will celebrate this ancient sabbatt in our coven. We will participate in all the traditional rites and rituals. Today, however, I got an urge to make something to honor the fae. I decorated a candle for them to burn on our Beltane altar. It is dressed with blessing oil, lavender and roses and a 6 pointed fairy star. I chose what I felt were fairy colors and dripped colored wax over a white candle. Creating the candle felt very magickal and meditative.
At Beltane why not take a moment or two to honor the fairies, those elementals that nurture the natural world to which we are intimately connected?
I wish you all the magick and abundance that Beltane can bring!