“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Buttercups

When you were a child did you every hold a buttercup under your chin? I remember doing this. If the golden yellow of the flower reflected on your chin- it meant you liked butter!

I love buttercups. To me, almost nothing speaks more of summer than a field or lawn full of buttercups on a sunny day. Of course, they are considered to be weeds, and gardeners and farmers do what they can to eradicate them.

But I don't believe in weeds!
In my garden - Creeping Buttercup - Ranunclulus Repens

The yellow colour of these wild flowers was once believed to give butter its yellow colour (once it had been through a cow, obviously) but the fact is buttercups are bitter and poisonous and grazing animals avoid them, except when they have been dried in hay.

I cannot find much written about their magical properties. Much of the folkore is medieval in origin. To me they are a wonderful feature of early summer. To me they embody a childlike sun energy. Indeed, in the old language of flowers, buttercups mean childishness.  Like too much sun, though, buttercups can cause blisters! For this reason, Buttercup (Ranunculus) is used in homoeopathy to treat blistering conditions.

Golden Glories

The buttercup is like a golden cup,
  The marigold is like a golden frill,
The daisy with a golden eye looks up,
  And golden spreads the flag beside the rill,
  And gay and golden nods the daffodil,
The gorsey common swells a golden sea,
  The cowslip hangs a head of golden tips,
And golden drips the honey which the bee
  Sucks from sweet hearts of flowers and stores and sips.
Christina Rossetti

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