What could be more descriptive of sunflower’s solar correspondence than the absurdly simple name “sunflower” or even his botanical name Helianthus, derived from the name of the Greek sun god Helios? Not only is his magical signature specific and strong, it also appears to be instantly, universally recognized. Undoubtedly, this is due not only to the sunflower’s sunlike appearance but also to the way his countenance worshipfully tracks the sun across the sky.
What’s more, this American native has been so influential that many believe—as the University of Florida anthropologist Mary Pohl does—when the Spanish arrived in Central America and discovered that the sunflower was a potent symbol of the native solar deity, “the Spanish priests probably felt that the sunflower represented pagan worship and native political power and tried to wipe out its use” (Beckman 2008). Indeed, authors Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field point out that “in the Inca cultures of the Andes…the flower’s image was hammered into gold and placed in the temple.”
Sunflower’s alignment with the sun and solar energy can help activate feelings of happiness, expansion, energy, vitality, and joy. As a result, he can be an excellent ally for alleviating depression or seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD), or for simply increasing happiness in general. For this purpose, cultivate sunflowers, eat sunflower seeds, add sunflower petals to a bath, or add sunflower essence to your drinking water or bath water. You can also incorporate sunflower blossoms, petals, or essence into rituals or spells designed for the purpose, or create the following solar mist.
SOLAR MIST FOR HAPPINESS AND JOY
On a Sunday during the waxing moon (and ideally when the moon is in Leo), place a clear glass bowl of water in bright sunlight. Surround it with four clear quartz crystal points, all pointing in toward the center of the bowl at the four compass points. Float one sunflower blossom (that has been lovingly gathered) on top of the water. Let it sit, undisturbed and with no shadows passing over it, for one hour. Then fill a mister with the water. Pour the remaining water around the base of a tree, or use it to water the sunflower plant from which you gathered the blossom. Add five drops tangerine essential oil and four drops neroli essential oil to the mister. Close and shake. Mist your space to activate positive energy and happiness. (Please be careful not to get the mist on yourself, especially if you have sensitive skin, as the tangerine can be irritating.)
Health and Vitality
The light of the sun is invigorating, nourishing, and sustaining. Similarly, sunflower’s vibration can help strengthen our energy field and boost our overall well-being; perhaps this why the sunflower is a symbol of longevity in China. To receive these benefits, incorporate sunflower essence, petals, blossoms, oil, or seeds into magical workings performed for the purpose of health and vitality. You might also like to cultivate sunflowers in your garden to absorb his vibrant, vitalizing energy through simple proximity.
Sunflower’s energy is nothing if not potent, and perhaps this is why women have traditionally consumed sunflower seeds to help with conception. In fact, sunflower essence, blossoms, petals, or oil, or simply the plant itself (in your garden or yard), can assist with this magical intention for both males and females. By the same token, if you want to conceive of something other than a human, such as a business or an art project, sunflower also can help with this.
Personal potency (whether it involves conception or not)—i.e., strength, focus, determination, and personal power—can be increased by working with the energy of sunflower.
It’s said that Roman emperors wore crowns containing sunflower blossoms to invoke the power of the sun to magically ensure that their power would endure. This aspect of sunflower’s magic can be helpful when we would like to:
✵ make a harmonious and sustainable transition into a role of increased authority
✵ exert authority (at work, at home, or in another group setting) in a peaceful and effective way
✵ step into our power so that we can more consistently effect positive change in our lives and in all our endeavors
✵ be assertive and stand up for ourselves
✵ positively shift the balance of power in any group or situation
For this purpose, take five drops sunflower essence under the tongue first thing in the morning for at least one moon cycle or as desired. You might also incorporate sunflower essence, blossom, petals, seeds, or oil into any form of magic performed for the purpose.
Radiance is more than just beauty. It’s also shining our light out into the world for others to see and enjoy. And it’s being known and seen in the world in the ways we would most like to be known and seen. In other words, it’s all the best connotations of the words fame and popularity.
Even though shining our light in this way and fully embodying our radiance is a natural, beautiful, healthy thing, we can tend to have baggage attached to it, which can sometimes take the form of being afraid of “showing off” or of simply being shy, denying or suppressing our talents, or being worried about what others think. Since sunflower is radiance made manifest in the physical world, it can be a wonderful magical ingredient to help us shine our light in the most nourishing, satisfying, life-affirming way.
Although they are quite lovely to behold, sunflowers are more often grown for their nutritional value than they are for their beauty. Indeed, the abundant sunflower seeds found at the center of the flower’s large blossom are high in protein and possess wonderful health benefits. On the energetic side, this is mirrored by sunflower’s prosperous, nourishing vibration. Incorporate sunflower essence, seeds, oil, petals, or blossoms into rituals or charms designed for the purpose of prosperity, nourishment, stamina, inspiration, or any other form of physical or spiritual sustenance—or simply plant him in your yard or display him in a vase on your altar or elsewhere in your home.
Not to be redundant—after all, I’ve already discussed the benefits of health and vitality, power, and potency—but sunflower is a natural choice for any sort of strength-related magical intention, whether the desired strength is mental, physical, or spiritual.
In The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, author Judika Illes recommends sleeping with three sunflowers under your pillow to reveal the identity of a thief, and a traditional ritual involves sleeping with a sunflower under the bed to reveal the truth in any situation. Perhaps this is because, just as the sun chases away shadows, sunflowers can help bring closeted or secreted things out of the unknown and into the revealing light of day. Similarly, you might like to incorporate sunflower into magic performed for the purpose of revealing the truth in any situation.
“THE TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL” SUNFLOWER CHARM
On a bright, sunny, cloudless day, when the sun is high in the sky and the moon is waxing, visit a sunflower. Relax and get in touch with the wisdom and energy of the blossom. Let the sunflower know exactly what you would like help with and why. Tell him the truth of the situation and request (from a feeling place, not a thinking one) that he shed light on the truth and bring a swift and successful resolution that is for the ultimate good of everyone concerned. When you feel that this is complete, ask if he will help with this situation and if it is okay to gather his blossom. When you get the okay, lovingly remove the blossom from the plant and gather it in a small green cotton cloth. Then, with a grateful heart, take a moment to pour a twelve-ounce bottle of beer or ale around the base of the plant as an offering of thanks.
Bring the blossom and fabric to an outdoor area where you will not be disturbed (such as a yard or secluded natural setting). Spread the fabric out and rest the blossom on top, allowing it to be in full sunlight. Gaze at the blossom, holding your palms near it so that you can direct energy into it without allowing shade to pass over it as you say:
The truth is heard. The truth is seen.
The truth is spoken. The truth cannot be denied.
The truth surrounds, the truth abounds,
the truth abides. In all ways, the truth is known.
Every shadow disappears into the light.
Every knot is unwound, every secret is unbound,
and all is now resolved.
In perfect harmony, and for the truest good of all concerned,
the truth prevails. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Blessed be. And so it is.
Tie the blossom into the fabric with hemp twine, and keep it with you until the issue is resolved.