I photographed these purple crocuses peeping through the fallen leaves of autumn in my local park. The sight felt like a sign of hope, of a fresh start, and the promise of spring to come.
As well as representing hope and new beginnings, crocuses can be used in spells for love and happiness, according to Rachel Patterson in her book A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Plants and Herbs. She writes that if crocuses grow beside your home they will help bring happiness and optimism to all who dwell there. She adds that they're also associated with visionary work. If you have a pot of crocuses, you could place them near you if you are scrying or doing other forms of divination.
Crocuses are a flower I feel particularly fond of, ever since I learnt that Croydon - a town not far from where I live in south London - means "valley of the crocuses". It's more shops and high-rise buildings than wildflowers these days, but I like to think of what the area would have looked like in springtime back in ancient times.
There's more about seasonal magic and plantlore in my book Pagan Portals - Rounding the Wheel of the Year.
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