History and Uses of Sunflowers
Sunflowers are bold, attention-grabbing flowers. Originating in North America, they have been harvested for more than 4000 years. Native peoples made a dye out of the petals for yellow clothes and body paint. An important crop to Native American tribes, it was domesticated prior to corn. In the 1500s, the Spanish brought this magical flower back to Europe.
Sunflowers are attractive to bees, birds, and butterflies, so plant them to bring wildlife into your yard. Coming into bloom around Lughnasadh—which marks the beginning of the harvest season—they also make a great decoration for your feast table. Additionally, you can use them to make a floral crown to wear for a Litha or Lughnasadh ritual. This heliotropic flower follows the movement of the Sun, making it a solar herb. It can be used in spells to build a healthy ego, develop self-confidence, and promote health and vitality.
Sunflowers are easy to grow, and there are many varieties to choose from. You don't have to stick with the well-known yellow variety. Start by selecting a variety that appeals to you. They grow best in a sunny location. Since sunflower seeds are attractive to all kinds of animals, it is important to protect them if you want to harvest the seeds. Wrapping the flower heads in a mesh would be one solution to keep them safe.
Magickal Uses for Sunflowers
Confidence and courage
Magick for Finding Happiness
Sunflowers can be used in spell workings for happiness. This flower is aligned with the Sun, which gives us life. It has the capacity to activate feelings of joy, just like a bright summer day. Let the energy of this vibrant plant steer your thoughts in a positive direction. Grow sunflowers to take on this vital energy and activate joy in your life. Once you harvest these flowers, you can take a ritual bath with the petals. If you are in a phase of grief or depression, you can also use the petals to brew a tea that can be used to cleanse the floors of your space.
Sunflowers can be used in a birthday spell to increase happiness throughout the year. Our birthday marks our solar return. This is when the Sun returns to the same position in the zodiac that it was at our birth. A sunflower makes a brilliant reminder of the life-giving potential of the Sun.
Use sunflower oil as a base oil in your spells if you want to be happy with your results. You can also create a sunflower oil for happiness by macerating the oil and petals together. Leave the mixture of sunflower oil out to absorb the energy of the Sun to give it a potent boost.
Using Sunflowers in Fertility Magick
Are you looking to conceive a baby? Fertility rituals are another popular use for this plant. Some who wish to conceive will eat sunflower seeds on a waxing Moon.
You can also use fertility magick when you want to conceive of anything—whether it be a dream vacation or a creative project (otherwise known as a brainchild). Adding the petals to your bath, or the essence to your drinking water, can help you pull in more of that procreative energy. Put seeds in a mojo bag with other fertility tokens to have a handy lucky charm. The seeds can also be placed under your bed to give your fertility a boost. Wear a crown or necklace of dried sunflowers at Litha for an added oomph to your fertility magick.
Incorporate Sunflowers to Promote Health
Sunflowers are known for being resilient, life-giving flowers. Give them to a sick friend in the hospital, and it will serve a double purpose. Not only is this flower associated with health, but it can also strengthen friendships. Sunflowers are robust plants, and they can survive being planted in toxic soil. In fact, they heal the Earth by pulling out toxic elements. They also survive as a cut flower for quite a long time! This hardy survivor can last in a vase for a couple of weeks. Its longevity gives it another magick link to overall health. You can use it if you want to strengthen your energy field. Improve your well-being by using sunflower oil as a base in a healing massage.
Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!"
— William Blake
Symbols of Confidence and Courage
As a flower, the sunflower is quite the opposite of a shrinking violet. It has the confidence to boldly stand out. If you don't want to be a wallflower, you can use this flower to get past shyness and increase your comfortability with putting yourself out there. Use a sunflower in conjunction with the strength card in tarot when you need some courage to take charge of your life. Put both the flower and the card on your altar in front of you as you meditate.
The sunflower invigorates us and invites us to be bolder. Its brash outwardly appearance inspires us to become stronger. You can become a fierce ecological warrior by planting sunflowers because they cleanse harmful elements from the soil. In fact, sunflowers have been used to detoxify soil that has been exposed to radiation at nuclear disaster sites like Chernobyl and Hiroshima. This has allowed them to also become a symbol for peace and humankind.
Using Sunflowers to Invite Recognition and Prosperity
Do you want to be known and seen in the world? Finding the right kind of popularity is what will bring success and prosperity into our lives. These two things go hand in hand. After all, what would fame be without fortune? You can use sunflowers in magick to prepare for success and get comfortable with your own authentic talents. The Sun gives of itself as a potent creative force. In order to step into your true self, you want to be just that creative.
Use sunflowers in your magick if you wish to shine like the Sun. This towering giant of a plant is not just a pretty face—it is also a practical flower. After all, they are not just grown for their aesthetic beauty; they are also grown for the nutritional value of their seeds. Use this strength in sympathetic magick to make yourself indispensable.
Sunflowers are great lucky charms for a new career path, so gift someone with a bouquet when they start a new job. Or plant them in your own garden to hasten your own career advancement. The confidence and courage this plant has may rub off on you. How are you going to sell yourself if you don't possess the traits so exemplified by these beautiful flowers? Sunflowers know how to hold their heads high and live in the limelight.
By their very nature, sunflowers seem to be like perky, cheerful, morning people who are ready to jump out of bed at the first rays of the Sun. Is your career suffering because you bitterly hate pulling yourself out of bed in the morning? Use sunflowers as an emblem and visual reminder to get yourself attuned to the Sun. If you want to have an active life in daylight hours, solar magick is the way to go. Use lunar magick for moonlighting. Solar magick is the one you want when aiming for a sunny career.
Planet: The Sun
Astrological Sign: Leo
More Sunflower Information
- Sunflower Magic, Legends, and Folklore
Sunflowers have been growing in North America for ages. Let's look at some of the magic and customs surrounding these sunny summer flowers.
- Sunflower Seeds: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More
Find out what nutrients are in sunflower seeds and learn how they can help everything from inflammation to cardiovascular health.
- Sunflowers to the Rescue! - Farmers' Almanac
Did you know this bright, cheerful flower can make lead-contaminated soil safe for gardening? Learn more!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Lydia Workman
New Guestbook Comments
Snakesmum on March 26, 2014:
Love sunflowers, and even use sunflower spread instead of margarine. No cholesterol in it. :-)