Lucky Lily of the Valley: Meaning and Hidden Messages

Lily of the valley is a very popular flower that many of us love to grow in our gardens.

This plant is beautiful, smells good and above all carries prominent spiritual thoughts.

Yes, offering a lucky sprig of lily of the valley is not only a beautiful gift, it is above all a message that we send to those we love.

Present in religious ceremonies since the dawn of time, lily of the valley is linked to ancient beliefs, but also to others that are still very current, particularly through the Christian faith which gives it a special place.

In short, between purity, chastity, luck, unity or even sweetness, let's now discover together the meaning of the lucky lily of the valley.

Contents :

Botanical description of lily of the valley

And so, why offer lily of the valley on May 1?

Lucky lily of the valley: a Christian flower

The esoteric meaning of lily of the valley

A lucky flower typical of European folklore

Lily of the valley in the language of flowers

Discover this article in video format

Close-up of a bouquet of wild lily of the valley.

Botanical description of lily of the valley

Before being a lucky charm, lily of the valley is above all a magnificent plant.

We could therefore only begin this article with a few words of botany on the particularities which make up the charms of our famous flower… but also its dangers.

You should know that lucky lily of the valley is an ancient plant, known to many peoples since the dawn of time.

With such a long history, it has been able to cover very different names, of which here is a small list (non-exhaustive):

  • Lily of the valley
  • Musguet
  • Amourette
  • Wood bell
  • Mayflower
  • May Convallar
  • May lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Tears of the Madonna, Our Lady or the Virgin
  • Lillium convallium
  • Convallaria majalis

Yes, lucky lily of the valley is known by many names.

The last two may seem somewhat more "complex", and this is normal: the first corresponds to the name given to our plant by apothecaries of past centuries, while the second refers to its official scientific name.

In short, with its light and soft stems, at the end of which delicate white bells made up of a few petals hang in a certain serenity, you should not trust the appearance of lily of the valley: in certain aspects this plant can be dangerous, even downright dangerous. deadly.

Behind this apparent innocence, lily of the valley actually turns out to be extremely toxic, from the stem to the bells, including even the water in the vases where it grows. These include vomiting and heart problems.

It just goes to show that it is sometimes beneath the greatest beauty that nature likes to hide danger...

In any case, no worries for you, with these sprigs of artificial lily of the valley, you will benefit from their symbolic power, without any risk of poisoning (and without requiring any maintenance).

Flower pot containing lily of the valley offered on May 1st.

And so, why offer lily of the valley on May 1?

Let’s focus for a moment on the scientific name of the lucky lily of the valley: “majalis” literally means “ which comes from the month of May ”.

Already when it was necessary to find a name for it, our plant was associated with this month of spring…

In reality, we have all already heard of this custom of offering a sprig of lily of the valley on May 1, and generally to our mother.

But actually, where does this custom come from?

There are two main theories on this subject, which we will now look at together.

The love of the kings of France for lily of the valley

History has it that one day in the year 1560, the king of France at the time, King Charles IX, and his mother, Catherine de Medici, went to Drôme for an administrative visit.

There, they met a man known as Louis de Girard who, wanting to ingratiate himself with the monarch, offered him a sprig of lily of the valley freshly cut from his garden.

Charles IX loved its smell so much that he decided to bring it back to his palace, and asked his gardens to cultivate it in turn.

Since then, it would be customary in the royal household to offer a lucky sprig of lily of the valley to the ladies of the court on May 1, to celebrate beauty and spring.

Little by little, this tradition spread to all countries which, even today, continue it assiduously.

A source of income for farmers

Another theory, much less poetic, describes lily of the valley as a way... of evading taxes!

Indeed, it seems that at the beginning of the last century, a legal particularity allowed farmers not to pay tax on the money they earned from selling flowers on the public highway (unlike their other productions).

So, all over France, people began selling sprigs of lily of the valley in towns and villages. Without being a florist, everyone went with their own arrangement or their own style.

Gradually, the tradition settled on May 1, which became the official date on which lily of the valley was exchanged. The May 1st lily of the valley festival was born!

As this date also coincided with the height of spring, where the fields grow and where the quality of the crops is decided for the future year, lily of the valley was associated with a lucky character of luck, prosperity and prosperity. abundance.

To explore this further, here are a few additional words of explanation on the link between thrush and work in France.

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Lucky lily of the valley: a Christian flower

If we want to understand the meaning of lily of the valley, we cannot ignore its Christian meaning.

Christianity indeed offers a very important place to lily of the valley, which is cited 15 times in the Bible. (Few plants are as much so!)

With messages linked to Christ and the Virgin, but also to certain important holidays in the calendar or even to Christian virtues, the lucky lily of the valley definitely has an assumed religious meaning.

That said in passing, if you too are not afraid to show your faith in front of the world, this collection of Christian jewelry and lucky charms will allow you to do so with a certain style.

The Tears of Our Lady

In the “botany” section of our article, we cited it as one of the names for lily of the valley and, in fact, some like to call it “tears of Notre-Dame”.

This name comes from an ancient legend according to which the tears that the Virgin Mary cried when her son Jesus Christ was crucified, saw sprigs of lily of the valley grow where they had fallen to the ground.

Having grown, these strands later flew towards the sky, the little hands of the angels carrying them high.

Tears of another Lady of the Bible

If the story of Mary's tears brings a meaning to lily of the valley that is poetic to say the least, that of Eve's tears is just as poetic.

According to legend, when God expelled Adam and Eve from the eternal garden, the latter wept and, again, her tears meeting the ground turned into lily of the valley.

When she fell to earth, she then took the plant with her to offer it to the world in which we live.

Coming of Christ and redemption

Another strong Christian message that lily of the valley carries is that of the coming of Christ.

According to tradition, this plant could represent the promise of the return of the Messiah at the end of time who, after the Apocalypse, will return to found his kingdom on earth.

So, just as the lily of the valley blooms in spring, Christ's kingdom will be reborn in its glory.

When we also see the lucky lily of the valley as a plant coming from Paradise (through the story of Eve), it can clearly represent a confirmation that heaven, God, and everything that the Christian religion teaches us does exist..

A symbol of Pentecost

In the same vein of idea, the meaning of lily of the valley could be linked to Pentecost. This is why many churches and monasteries have a small lily of the valley plantation.

This Christian holiday aims to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit among the apostles on the fifth day following Easter.

Here again we can find ideas of redemption, renewal, and promises of truth.

Some biblical extracts

We told you, the Bible mentions lily of the valley a total of 15 times.

Here are four examples:

  • I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (Song of Solomon 2:1)
  • Like the lily of the valley among the thorns, Such is my friend among the young girls. (Song of Solomon 2:2)
  • My beloved went down to his garden, to the herb beds, to graze in the gardens and to pick lily of the valley. (Song of Solomon 6:2)
  • And why worry about clothing? Consider how the lily of the valley grows: it neither works nor spins; yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

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The esoteric meaning of lily of the valley

Many believe in the magical powers of the lucky lily of the valley and, if you ask us, they may not be wrong... Or at least, their point of view is based on tangible information.

Whether you grow it in your garden to attract magical creatures, give it to your loved ones to protect them and bring them luck, or connect lily of the valley to ancient deities, all of this could well have a deep esoteric meaning.

In a completely different register than the previous point, if you are interested in the occult arts in general, our collection dedicated to the secrets of magic should please you.

1st divinity linked to lily of the valley: Ostara, Germanic goddess of spring

For some, the tradition of offering lily of the valley in May stems from ancient pagan beliefs of the Germanic peoples.

In particular, our plant is believed to be linked to an ancient goddess known as Ostara. Goddess of the Celts, Germans and Gauls, she was once very revered.

Among his many areas, Ostara was notably in charge of spring and the return of light to which this season is linked.

According to certain archaeological sources, it seems that lily of the valley plants (whole, with their foliage) could sometimes be thrown into the fire during religious ceremonies aimed at honoring this divinity.

In this way, the Germanic tribes thought they would attract the favors of Ostara, and therefore a lenient season and harvests.

2nd divinity linked to lily of the valley: Maia, Greek goddess of the earth

In the same vein, the Greeks worshiped a divinity known as Maia.

Part of the titans (a family of entities even more powerful than the gods), Maia was linked to the earth, fertility, growth and much of what concerns nature.

In short, it was customary to offer him various plants, including lily of the valley, in order to pay homage to him.

Some linguists even link its name, Maia, to that of the month in which lily of the valley is offered, May, which apparently derives directly from it.

Anyone capable of making analogies sees directly the obvious connection between these two terms.

3rd divinity linked to lily of the valley: Apollo, Greek god of the sun

Another major figure in Greek mythology, Apollo is the god of the arts, beauty, light and the sun.

It is therefore not surprising that so many flowers (including lily of the valley) are associated with it. The blooming of a spring flower is like the creation of an artist, joyful and fragrant.

In particular, certain myths tell us how the god was capable of making lily of the valley grow where he walked, or how his muses (the deities linked to the nine arts) liked to walk on them afterwards, the delicacy of the flowers protecting that of their feet.

The plant of fairies and elves

European folk traditions are numerous and sometimes very different.

However, all people recognize the existence of small magical creatures inhabiting our forests and countryside.

Leprechauns, goblins, leprechauns, domovoi: their names can be very varied but they all refer to more or even the same type of creature.

These creatures, in fact, certain customs teach us that they are attracted by… the lucky lily of the valley!

It is even said that, when the wind blows gently at night, the flowers of the lily of the valley ring to the rhythm where the fairies sing, and that their stems are transformed and small ladders that the magical creatures then use to get closer to the source of this music.

Allegorical and more mystical than it seems, this kind of story tells us a lot about the meaning of lily of the valley...

Spring lily of the valley in front of a garden gnome statue.

A lucky flower typical of European folklore

The meaning of lily of the valley is important to the Christian religion, and others even older.

Besides that, there are a whole bunch of lighter ideas about it, arguably more fun too.

Protection against evil spirits or witches, happy marriages or protection of soldiers: here are some appearances of the lucky lily of the valley in traditional European folklore.

The sign of injustice

It is customary to say that a sprig of lily of the valley will grow from the grave of people sentenced to death for a crime they did not commit.

This sign was supposed to show everyone that the person previously judged was innocent, and thus clear his honor.

Various political currents also tried to appropriate the meaning of this flower of the Lily of the Valley festival, such as for example the government of Marshal Pétain and the socialist international

Protection of our home against bad luck

Some people believe that lily of the valley can protect our gardens from evil spirits.

In the past, it was even one of the main reasons which pushed the common people to cultivate it, so strong was the belief.

The custom evolved during the Middle Ages, and made the lucky lily of the valley a supposedly formidable weapon against witches and the demons they control.

Myth or reality, growing a few sprigs of lily of the valley in your garden could well protect you from dangers of which you have no idea...

If you like the idea, here are some maintenance tips that will allow you to grow a healthy lily of the valley.

The secret to happy marriages…

Symbol of chastity, purity, and simplicity, the meaning of lily of the valley is ideal for making it the plant of successful marriages.

This idea is so present in certain cultures that brides sometimes decorate their hair with it or, more simply, incorporate a little lily of the valley into the bouquets of their ceremonies.

There is even a story according to which the scent of lily of the valley would be able to attract the singing nightingale which, in turn, through its music, could create unions between men and women.

In any case, it brings joy to florists and great fashion designers who find wonderful ideas to celebrate the love of young people.

…and in particular that of a famous princess

The relationship between lily of the valley and marriage is not just the people's business, far from it.

Princess Diana, symbol of the English royal family if need be, decided to incorporate lily of the valley into her wedding floral arrangements.

Since then, it has become a real institution, and most royal weddings (and more generally those of the nobility or aristocracy) feature lucky lily of the valley.

A remedy for military gas

Less romantic, lily of the valley has certain active ingredients which, when used correctly, allowed soldiers of the First World War to protect themselves from gas poisoning.

Repairing even severe burns, soothing the heart, calming the nerves... The virtues that some scientists have found in lily of the valley are also numerous.

Be careful though: as said previously, lily of the valley is a toxic plant. Only after long modifications can this plant possess the power to heal.

Even the water in the vase in which it grows is toxic when ingested.

Bouquet of flowers made of crocuses and lily of the valley.

Lily of the valley in the language of flowers

Over the centuries, a popular belief has developed that each flower sends a unique message. Some are exchanged for May Day (lily of the valley), while others will be used for Labor Day, the first day of a season or simply the return of sunny days.

Thus, offering a red rose is synonymous with love while a chrysanthemum will be offered to the deceased at funerals or a wild rose will express poetry.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject, here is an article from the interflora site which summarizes the main message of the most widespread floral species in our gardens.

Regarding the meaning of lily of the valley, it will rather be a question of simple happiness, purity in actions and feelings or even luck in love.

Here is a list of some virtues attributed to lucky lily of the valley in the language of flowers:

  • Purity rediscovered
  • A sweet and tender love
  • Compassion and kindness
  • The unity of the person who gives it and the person who receives
  • A certain preservation of virtue
  • Healthy relationships
  • Purification of the mind and soul
  • Rebirth, whatever form it takes
  • Humility and modesty
  • Recognition to the mother (as for the 1ᵉʳ may)

Here we clearly see the full scope of the meaning of wild lily of the valley... and what value one of its sprigs, even artificial ones, has to bring us!

It will bring us luck and will be the flowery emblem of sweet thoughts.

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.