Dandelion Magic and Folklore

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Dandelion Magic, Legend and Folklore

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Dandelions are also known as pig snouts, and are associated with divination and transformation. Image by Tim Graham/Getty Images

Every spring, we often see our yards suddenly blanketed with dots of bright sunny yellow flowers. Although many suburban homeowners see dandelions as the bane of their existence, and spend significant amounts of money trying to eradicate them from sight, the fact is that dandelions have a long and rich folkloric history, both from a magical and medicinal perspective. Let’s look at some of the ways people have utilized dandelions throughout the ages.

Many dandelion superstitions have evolved into childhood tales – ask any seven year old, and they’ll tell you that if you blow on a dandelion puff, the tiny seeds will carry a wish for you. Also, hold a dandelion bloom under your chin – if your skin appears yellow, you’ll be rich some day. This particular legend dates back to medieval times.

According to Maud Grieve’s A Modern Herbal, the dandelion has a number of medicinal properties. The sap from the stems can be used to cure warts, and the leaves can be dried and made into a tea to aid in digestion. A tincture brewed from the bright yellow flowers is believed to help with complaints related to the liver, and the root can be dried and brewed into a tea as well.

Some people use dandelions to enhance psychic abilities. In his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, author Scott Cunningham recommends the use of dandelion roots in a tea to aid in divination and prophetic dreaming.

In some magical belief systems, the dandelion is associated with growth and transformation – after all, a few dandelion flowers soon turn into hundreds of seeds waiting to travel around the neighborhood, repopulating other yards. There’s also a connection to moving on – if you’ve got a bad habit you want to get rid of, associate it with a dandelion puff, and then blow it out away from you.

These hardy yellow flowers will grow just about anywhere, adapting to a variety of soil conditions. Take advantage of their resilience and use dandelions to represent strength and your ability to overcome adversity. In some magical traditions, dandelions are associated with the goddess Aphrodite because of her connection to bees. In others, this plant is connected to the underworld, by way of its association to the goddess Hecate.

If you’ve got dandelions popping up everywhere, sure – you could try to get rid of them. But wouldn’t it be far more useful to embrace them and reap the benefits of the magic they have to offer you?