What is the flower for people born in May? According to the current custom, it is Lily of the Valley. There is one ancient German legend about the goddess Ostara (Ēostre). She was a deity of the sunrise and served as a harbinger of Spring. The ancient Kelts believed that Lily of the Valley is the favorite flower of the goddess. The German transcription of her name means Easter. During the celebration of Easter, young boys and girls danced around the flame of a bonfire.
They adorned their heads with wreaths made of the flowers of Lily of the Valley. So, this celebration symbolized love and happiness. The event continued while the flowers were capable of preserving their freshness, and the festival was coming to an end when they began to fade. Afterward, the young people sacrificed these flowers to the goddess Ostara, by throwing them into a bonfire. Before this event, young girls were washing their faces in the spring water, in an attempt to preserve their youthfulness. This medieval custom still exists in some regions of Saxony. After the appearance of the Christian Religion, the goddess Ostara turned into the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Today, there is a belief that during the bright moonlit night, when all the people sleep, Virgin Mary, holding a flower of Lily of the Valley in her hand, descends to Earth, to appear before the righteous.
There is another myth revealing the story of the mysterious “White Lady,” who appears in the moonlit night, holding a bouquet of the flowers of Lily of the Valley. She can point to the spot where one can find fabulous treasures. There is the evidence that some people witnessed this mysterious lady close to one castle in Hesse every seven years.
The locals believed that they must pay tribute to this White Lady in the form of the bouquets of Lily of the Valley, to use these lands, according to the contract. Most likely, the origin of the myth corresponds with the real story when the landowner once hid the incredible treasure in the nearby forest. In an attempt to find them, people populated this area.
Healing and Magical Properties
It is worth noting that the ancients applied the medicinal properties to the herbs and flowers given their form. As a result, Lily of the Valley has been especially valuable for them as its shape resembles a droplet. This flower deemed to be a cure for paralysis. There was a belief, to create a remedy made of this flower, the healer had to pick up a bouquet of Lily of the Valley before the sunrise while they still covered with the dew. After, he had to make a mixture using Lily of the Valley dissolved in the wine. This remedy bore the name “Aqua apoplectica Hartmanni” (Franz Hartmann, “Hartmann’s Theory of Chronic Diseases and Their Homœopathic Treatment”).
Medieval doctors discovered an excellent remedy to cure the problems with a heart disorder. We know this medication as “tincture of digitalis.” The British created the Elixir, using the flowers of Lily of the Valley. This mixture is well-known under the name “golden water,” since the healers preferred to store this tincture in gold and gold-plated bottles. Golden water strengthens the nervous system and cures headaches. They used this elixir as a prophylactic against various diseases as well.
Finely divided dried flowers and the shoots of Lily of the Valley also used as a snuff, treating rhinitis and headache. Combined with the chestnut seeds it is a base of the “Schneeberger” snuff.