The last month of summer has arrived, and with these summer endings the last flowers of the season in my woods. A bittersweet time for me, where I look forward to the beauty of fall in theses woods, but am also saddened by summer’s demise. Summer may be near it’s end, but the magick and beauty these last flowers bring makes for an easier transition.
Lilum tigerinum, or more commonly known as the Tiger lily, bursts into bloom in my woods every August. Those curled bright orange blooms stand out so majestically against the forest greenery. The Tiger lily was first brought into light by the well known Swedish botanist Carl von Linne back in 1753, and it’s folklore is abundant.
From Asia is the tale of a hermit who came across a wounded tiger, helping him by removing an arrow. The tiger was grateful, and wished for their friendship to go on in this life, and many after. When the tiger died, his body was transformed into the tiger lily, but not long after his friend the hermit drowned, his body washed away to the sea. Legend has it the Tiger lily spread everywhere, in search of his fallen friend…
Magickally speaking the tiger lily is a flower of money. The color orange being associated with obtaining goals and wealth, and the little black dots on it’s petals are considered to be coins. As a flower essence the tiger lily gives aid in suppressing aggressive tendencies.
Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium has been called the Devil’s Nettle, and has associations with the witch as well, a witch being tried in the 17th century for using yarrow in fact. A plant of Venus and the element of Water, yarrow has a long history in love spells, as well as the art of divination. Yarrow has associations with the deity Aphrodite, the Horned One, and Hermes, and the Victorians sighting yarrow as a representative of both healing and war. As a flower essence yarrow sets boundaries, tells us to protect our vulnerable places, and allows energy to the healing process.
And finally the woods turn to gold with Goldenrod…
“I know the lands are lit with all the blaze of
Goldenrod.”… Helen Hunt Jackson
There is the enchanting tale of the old woman who found herself within the wood. As she traveled in this forest she asked the trees if she might have a walking stick, but the trees refused her. In it’s stead the old woman came upon a stick, asking it for help. The stick agreed. and lean upon it she did to get through the rest of the forest. When she reached the woods end, she transformed into one of the fae. She fluttered up one of the nearby trees, and in gratitude sprinkled gold upon the stick… turning it into goldenrod.
The Latin name for goldenrod is Solidago meaning “whole,” referring to it’s abilities in healing, which are many. You can use the flowers and leaves for a delightful aniseed flavored tea, or it can be made into oil and tincture for aches, and inflammation. I love to use them in my early fall divinations, as the blooms make for a bewitching pendulum.
It is also said when one see’s the first goldenrod blooms, to expect frost six weeks later. So the Wheel of the Year turns, and another season begins…