Last week, I blogged about a common plant that many consider a weed. This week is no better, I’m afraid since I’m tackling a plant from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) – Apparently today’s herb is too common to even get a mention in the illustrated version of Culpeper’s Herbal that I own.
The meadow buttercup is very common here in Teesdale, so I decided to get to know it better. After all, buttercup was one of the first plants I learned the name of growing up (smörblomma in Swedish) and I think it deserves better than to just be taken for granted, don’t you?
Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus Acris) is also known as tall buttercup, giant buttercup, crowfoot and common buttercup. It is toxic to animals and humans but the dried flower loses its toxicity. Meadow buttercup is one of the few ‘weeds’ that has developed resistance to herbicides. As much as we may like the look of this pretty yellow flower, to most farmers, it is considered a costly pasture weed.
Meadow buttercup is just one of several hundred species in the buttercup family. Other common types of buttercup is bulbous buttercup or St Anthony’s turnip (Ranunculous bulbosus) and creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens). The latter grows close to water and can be seen half immersed in the water. You can tell bulbous buttercup apart from meadow buttercup by how the sepals are arranged under the flower. In meadow buttercup they are pressed against the petals and in bulbous buttercup they hang down toward the stem.
Meadow buttercup grows wild along the walls of our garden. We choose to leave them there rather than getting the strimmer out because they add a bit of extra sunshine to the garden this time of year (June).
Wiki gives the following description for meadow buttercup:
This species is variable in appearance across the world. It is a somewhat hairy plant that has ascending, ungrooved flowing stems bearing glossy yellow flowers about 25 mm across. There are five overlapping petals borne above five green sepals that soon turn yellow as the flower matures. It has numerous stamens inserted below the ovary. The leaves are compound, with three lobed leaflets.
While the plant isn’t edible to humans or animals when it’s fresh, the dried flowers are safe to ingest for animals. The leaves can be boiled and eaten as greens since the heat destroys the toxins but it’s best to not experiment with this due to how toxic the plant is..
A poultice of the leaves can be used on the chest to treat symptoms of the common cold and elsewhere on the body for easing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. The fresh juice can cause blisters so make sure to get the preparation of the poultice right if you decide to experiment with this and do let me know if you find a recipe! Crushed up fresh leaves and flowers are said to alleviate headaches when sniffed.
Tarot, Angel & Chakra Correspondences
Once again, I have to rely on my own intuition for the correspondences other than the fact that all yellow flowers and weeds (meadow buttercup falls into both categories) belong to Archangel Raphael.
Because of the colour yellow being associated with the intellect and because sniffing the crushed-up plant has the ability to cure headaches, I’m going with the crown chakra and because of the ability to heal one’s sense of personal power, I’m also including the solar plexus chakra.
The corresponding Tarot card is The Magician for Mercury/Archangel Raphael. This means buttercup is suitable for Tarot magick involving The Lovers (Gemini) and The Hermit (Virgo) as well since both are ruled by Mercury/Archangel Raphael.
Tuning into this plant’s energy, what I hear is ‘I’m you but without the shame.’ This plant can be used as vibrational flower essence to help bolster our self-esteem, break down inhibitions and generate a greater sense of playfulness.
Use meadow buttercup in spells for a more positive thoughts about yourself and your ability to shine your light in the world. Buttercup can be used in a mojo bag with green aventurine and citrine for optimism and readiness to jump at opportunities when they present themselves.
Meadow buttercup can also be used in spells for friendship, safe travel and to help you deal with toxic people so that you aren’t affected by their negativity.
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
As I’m writing this, we are approaching the New Moon in Gemini on Wednesday. This might be a good time to experiment with buttercup magick since both Gemini and Wednesdays are ruled by Mercury/Archangel Raphael!
For the Virgo/Hermit energies, buttercup can be used to break isolation and a tendency to take life too seriously, as well as boosting the ability to focus on one’s work or studies. For the Gemini/Lovers energies, buttercup can be used in spells for improved communication between lovers as well as for bringing happiness and good fortune to any handfasting or marriage vows.
Unicorn Blissings ✨🦄✨
Lisa (aka Kallista)