All bell shaped flowers are sacred to the Fairy Folk. Mortals had to approach and cultivate these flowers with care so that they would not incur the wrath of the Good Neighbors. These necklaces were created to bring some of the magic and healing of fairy gardens into your life.
A few bell flowers that were especially sacred to the Folk are foxgloves, bluebells, and cowslips.
The cowslip, a member of the primrose family, was a plant especially sacred to the fairies. Fairies were said to love the little yellow flowers so much they protected them at any cost. If you trampled on one carelessly you might find yourself under a fairy spell forever. Probably my favorite cowslip reference comes from SHakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire.
I do wander everywhere
Swifter than the moon’s sphere.
And I serve the fairy queen
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be.
In their gold coats spots you see.
Those be rubies, fairy favors.
In those freckles live their savors.
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits. I’ll be gone.
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
Foxgloves, or “folk’s gloves” have a rich mythic past. The foxglove contains a deadly poison called digitalis, which in small doses is medicinal. Like the cowslip whose ruby red spots Shakespeare spoke of, the spots on the foxglove come from little fairy fingers touching the plant. The Folk wore the fox glove as actual gloves and hats. It was bad luck indeed for a mortal to harm the plant.
I love the tale from Norway of the bad fairies giving the fox so that is footsteps would be utterly silent. With silent step the fox can raid the henhouse undetected. In Norway the plant is known as Revbielde, or “fox bell”.
Perhaps of all the bell shaped flowers the bluebell (or harebell) is the most quintessential of the fairy flowers. The Folk ring these flowers to summon all to the midnight revels. At times they ring them to summon humans who tend to dance themselves to death, thus explaining an alternate name for the flower: Dead Man’s Bells. If the folk wanted to abduct a child, they would also ring them, for children can hear the sound of these flowers and are quite enchanted by them. In other tales, clasping a handful of these flowers was reputed to give a mortal the fairy sight. Fields of bluebells were said to make the veil between the worlds thinner and create a gateway to Faery.
The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.
There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath,
But fragrance will not cheer,
The trees are bare, the sun is cold,
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold,
And earth her robe of green.
And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade;
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed.
The Bluebell cannot charm me now,
The heath has lost its bloom;
The violets in the glen below,
They yield no sweet perfume.
But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell,
‘Tis better far away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile to-day.
For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall
Adown that dreary sky,
And gild yon dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy;
How do I weep, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine,
To mourn the fields of home! – Emily Bronte
So if you would like to own some of the magic of these mythic flowers yourself you can find some here! in my Blomming store.