Thistle is a flowering plant that you don’t see a lot of in magickal workings, maybe because its not as flashy as the rose, or as straightforward as some of the well-known herbs.

But, if you think about it, the thistle is the perfect element for protection, love, and strength spells.

This prickly flower, its leaves and stalk covered in biting spines, is topped with a beautiful bloom beloved by bees and butterflies, as well as Aphrodite herself, and even attributed to the love of the Virgin Mary.

In some earlier Christian mythology of Europe, the thistle was seen as a ‘gift of the devil’ due to its thorns and its general recognition as a weed by many farmers. Despite its difficulty in removing from crop or pasture-land, thistle is also the national flower of Scotland.

However, its symbolism is as a flower that is barbed or prickly, but underneath all that has a soft, kind heart. I don’t know about you, but that speaks to me. What it says really is ‘If you can withstand my outer armor, you can experience my inner warmth and love.’ That’s the most Cancer thing I’ve ever heard lol.

Thistles are also considered protective and cleansing, so consider using them in your spells or workings that involve those, as well.

Here is a summary of thistle’s correspondences:

  • Element: Fire
  • Zodiac: Sagittarius (I would, however, argue that it has many properties of Cancer, and you would not be wrong in using it in this way if you intuitively sense this)
  • protection, love, cleansing, banishing, passion, romance, strength
  • healing ancestral trauma or working with ancestors, particularly the roots
  • plant them in a bee/butterfly garden (just beware, they can quickly take it over and are difficult to control as well as painful to try to remove)

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