Daffodil Magic, Legends, and Folklore

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Daffodils are associated with luck and unrequited love. Photo Credit: Nicolette Wells/Moment/Getty Images

Daffodils are bright sunny flowers which make their appearance right around the time of Ostara, the spring equinox, which falls around March 21 in the northern hemisphere. Its bright petals are typically found in shades of white, yellow or even pale orange. The daffodil is popular in spring flower magic because it is associated with love and fertility. Let’s take a look at some daffodil myths, magic, and folklore.

Lucky Daffodils

In some folklore, daffodils are considered lucky flowers. In particular, there’s a tradition that if you make the deliberate effort not to step on them and crush them, fortune will favor you with abundance.

If you give someone a gift of daffodils, they’ll have good luck – but make sure you give an entire bunch because a single flower will draw penury and ill fortune.

In parts of the British Isles, including Wales, if you’re the one in your neighborhood who spots the first daffodil of spring, it means that you’ll see far more gold than silver come to your home over the coming year.

Daffodils in Mythology

Daffodils are also known as the narcissus, after the legendary young Greek man of the same name. Narcissus was pretty full of himself because he had been given the gift of great beauty by the gods. One day, a sweet young wood nymph named Echo spotted Narcissus hanging out by a stream and instantly fell in love with him. However, he was so busy being completely self-absorbed that he ignored Echo, and she wasted away from loneliness until nothing was left of her but her voice. Thanks to this tragic story of unrequited love, daffodils are sometimes used to represent a love that is one-sided.

Later, the goddess Nemesis, although in some versions, it’s Venus, got wind of what had happened to Echo, so she decided it was time to teach Narcissus a lesson. She led him to a stream, where he happened to notice the most beautiful young man he had ever seen – it was his own reflection, and he was so vain that he fell in love with his own image, transfixed, and forgetting to eat and sleep. Some of the other gods were worried that Narcissus was going to starve to death, so they turned him into a flower, which now blooms every year in the spring.

Daffodils in Love

Despite the issues of Narcissus and Echo, daffodils still appear in some folklore as representative of holding a lover in high regard. They send the message that this person is the only one for you, and your feelings are constant.

In some Middle Eastern magic, daffodils are considered an aphrodisiac.

Spiritual Daffodils

One prominent legend of the daffodil features in Christianity. It is said that on the night of the Last Supper, the daffodil appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane to comfort Jesus, who was saddened to know of his betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

Anthony C. Dweck says in The Folklore of the Narcissus, “The occurrence of wild daffodils is sometimes said to indicate the former site of a religious foundation. At Frittlestoke, near Torrington, Devon, it was recorded in 1797 that the people of the village call daffodils by the name Gregories, a name that coincided with the order of a neighboring monastery - the Canons of St Gregory … In both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, it was generally said that wild daffodils indicated the site of a monastery. St Urian's Copse is well known for its primroses and daffodils. There is a tradition that daffodils grow in profusion on one side of a track running through the copse because a religious building once stood there.”

Using Daffodils in Magic

  • Cut fresh daffodils in a vase in your home to bring about abundance.
  • Place daffodils on your altar during workings related to love, especially if it's a new relationship and you're still trying to figure out how to navigate the waters.
  • Add potted daffodil bulbs, don't worry if they're blooming yet, to your altar for spring celebrations, along with other spring flowers such as forsythia, crocus, and snowdrops.
  • Wear this flower close to your heart to draw love, but be careful that your love is not one-sided.