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Larkspur: Folklore, Spiritual & Magical Uses

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis and Consolida ambigua) is an annual member of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae (of which all members, to my knowledge, are toxic). It is native to Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean region but has naturalized throughout the civilized world due to its popularity as a garden plant.

It grows to 2-4 feet tall with loose spikes of blue, purple, pink or white flowers that appear in the summer but fade in excessive heat.

The flowers are particularly interesting. They have 1 pistil and several stamens, four petals, two of which are fused at the top and 5 sepals. Four of the sepals look like petals and the fifth looks like a spur extending from the back of the flower, thus the common name. The finely cut, fern-like leaves are also very attractive.

There are about 40 species of larkspur and hundreds of cultivars created for and by horticulturists.

Some folk names for larkspur: lark’s heel, lark’s toe, lark’s claw, knight’s spur, staggerweed.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Larkspur, with its elegant blooms, carries a nuanced symbolism in folklore, spirituality, and magick:

Folklore: In folklore, Larkspur is often associated with themes of love, protection, and celebration. Its vibrant flowers were historically used in rituals and ceremonies to commemorate significant events like weddings and festivals. Additionally, it was believed to possess protective qualities, warding off negative energies and evil spirits.

Spirituality: Larkspur’s delicate beauty and association with love and celebration make it a favored choice for spiritual practices aimed at fostering joy, harmony, and emotional well-being. It is sometimes used in rituals or ceremonies to invoke feelings of happiness, gratitude, and connection to the divine.

Magickal Uses: Larkspur’s graceful presence lends itself to magickal rituals and spells focused on love, happiness, and protection. It can be incorporated into charms, sachets, or spells designed to attract love, enhance romance, and create a sense of positivity and harmony in one’s life.

Some Larkspur History and Folklore

The name Consolida is from the Latin “to consolidate”.

Greek mythology- Ajax slew himself after he dishonored himself in a temper when he did not receive the armor of Achilles and larkspur sprang from his blood. It is said that AI can be seen the petals of the larkspur, the Greek cry of mourning.

Folklore AspectDescription
Symbolic MeaningLarkspur symbolizes love, lightness, and swiftness in folklore traditions.
Mythological SignificanceIn Greek mythology, larkspur was believed to have grown from the tears of the goddess Aphrodite.
Flower LanguageLarkspur represents an open heart, happiness, and positive energy in the Victorian language of flowers.
Folk BeliefsLarkspur flowers were often used in rituals and ceremonies to attract love, enhance relationships, and bring joy.
SuperstitionsIt was believed that placing larkspur flowers under one’s pillow could bring about prophetic dreams of true love.
Table 1: Larkspur Folklore

Larkspur may have had a traditional use among soldiers to help control body lice.

Larkspur is one of the birth flowers for the month of July.

Magical Uses for Larkspur

Larkspur carries feminine and resonates with the planet Venus and the Water element.

Because of its association with Ajax, a hero of the Trojan war, as well as healing wounds on the battlefield and helping to fight lice infestations among the troops, larkspur is a suitable addition to any spell related to the protection, comfort and care of soldiers and other hero types. (police officers, firefighters, aid volunteers, etc.). It is also particularly appropriate for rituals to honor the heroic dead.

Magical AspectDescription
Love SpellsLarkspur flowers can be used in love spells or rituals to attract love, enhance romantic relationships, or find a soulmate.
Ritual DecorationsLarkspur is commonly used in ritual or altar decorations, symbolizing love, purity, and positive energy.
Divination ToolLarkspur petals can be incorporated into divination practices, such as scrying or dream interpretation.
Ritual CleansingLarkspur can be used in purification rituals to cleanse and uplift the energy of a space or individual.
Ritual BlessingsLarkspur can be used to invoke blessings, bring joy, and set intentions for positive outcomes.
Table 2: Magical Uses of Larkspur

According to Cunningham’s Encycolopedia of Magical Herbs, Larkspur helps keep away ghosts, scorpions and other venomous creatures. Plant around your home to keep away dangerous creatures and unfriendly spirits. Or wear larkspur to protect yourself from them.

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Larkspur has been used throughout Europe in various protection spells. Bunches may be hung in the stable to prevent the animals from theft or predation (just keep it out of the animals’ reach as larkspur is toxic).

Either the dried or fresh flowers may be used.

In the language of flowers, larkspur means gaiety, levity, and purity of heart.

Healing Uses for Larkspur

Historically been used to treat hemorrhoids, colic in children and wounds. Internal use is not recommended due to toxicity.

Healing AspectDescription
Emotional Well-beingLarkspur is believed to have a calming effect on emotions and can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and sadness.
Sleep AidLarkspur is sometimes used to promote restful sleep and combat insomnia.
Skin HealthTopical applications of larkspur may help soothe skin irritations and promote healthier-looking skin.
Energetic ClearingLarkspur is thought to have energetic cleansing properties, aiding in the release of negative energies.
Relaxation and BalanceLarkspur is associated with promoting relaxation, balance, and overall well-being.
Table 3: Healing Properties of Larkspur

Growing Larkspur in the Garden

Larkspur is very easy to grow in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. They are easily started from seed and do not transplant well, so sow them right in your garden as soon as the danger of frost has passed. They enjoy cool weather and will begin to fade in the summer heat. You can deadhead them at this point or let them seed out so they return the following year.

Larkspur is toxic so it will not be bothered by rabbits or deer. It is enjoyed by butterflies and bumblebees, however.

A tincture of the seeds is insecticidal and traditionally used for head lice and body lice.

Larkspur’s Toxicity

The leaves and seeds contain the toxin delphinine, which is toxic and has been known to poison grazing livestock. Some people experience contact dermatitis after handling larkspur.

Footnotes
About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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