Wednesday 12 June 2013

Pagan Eye: Cuckoo-Pint, Wild Arum or Lords and Ladies

Cuckoo-pint - or wild arum - is a plant normally associated with Beltaine rather than Midsummer. It usually blooms at the start of May in the UK, but I photographed this growing in a hedgerow at a date closer to the Summer Solstice than to May Day. It just shows what a late spring we are having this year.

The wild flower is probably linked to the fertility festival of Beltaine as much because of its suggestive shape as the time it appears. The fact that it looks a bit like an erect male organ cupped inside feminine-shaped leaves is the inspiration for some of cuckoo-pint's other common names too: lords and ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, Adam and Eve.

It is one of the cards in The Druid Plant Oracle:"The Cuckoo Pint displays the chalice and the blade united. This symbolises at one level the union of man and woman, but at a deeper level the goal of the Druid and all spiritual seekers: the union of the masculine and feminine aspects of the psyche, sometimes termed the Mystical Marriage or Alchemical Wedding."

Picking this card indicates that you can look forward to a time of harmony with the person you love, or can make the most of the integration of the feminine and masculine aspects of your own nature, leading to greater creativity. It seemed the right card to be talking about the day after reviewing The Honeymoon Effect - a book about how to create long-term harmonious loving relationships.

It is worth noting that the spring flowers and the autumn berries of cuckoo-pint are poisonous, and the reversed meaning of the Druid Plant Oracle card is to beware of a relationship turning toxic.

On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture.

If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.

Links and previous related posts
The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth

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