Scientific Name: Cosmos bipinnatus
Folk or Common Names: Mexican Aster
Numbers: 2 and 8
Parts Commonly Used: The flowers
Magickal Qualities: Harmony; Order; Balance; Simplicity; Confidence
The name Cosmos comes from the Greek kosmos, meaning order, harmony, or the world. The cosmos flower was said to have been named by Spanish mission priests in Mexico who grew them in their mission gardens. The priests felt that because of their symmetrically aligned petals these flowers should be named after the Greek word for “ordered universe.” However, when one closely observes the plant, it not only expresses order and harmony in the blossom’s symmetry, grace, and simplicity, but also in the symmetrically balanced, regularly-doubled production of leaf and blossom stems.
The “cup” of the Cosmos in full bloom is exactly the shape of a dish antenna, and is even “aimed,” at the sky at much the same angle as these wave receivers. The fully-open Cosmos blossom often turns this “dish antenna” somewhat towards the sun. When the wind blows, the blossoms turn their undersides to the direction of the wind so that the inner, fertile disc is sheltered behind a round “parasol” of ray florets.
The gestural shape of the blossom, a broadly opened cup turned towards the sun and the heavens indicates a character of openness and receptivity to messages from outside of the earthly realm.
Because the name Cosmos comes from the Greek word for harmony and order, and the cosmos flower is generally thought to be the symbol of order, harmony, peace and modesty.
- A gift of cosmos flowers will bring good luck.
- When given as a gift to a romantic partner, these flowers are commonly meant to represent the notion of walking together hand in hand, or to express the joys that love and life can bring.
- Plant them in your garden to attract fairies.
- Spend time in meditation with the flowering plants in the garden, and to attune your mind to messages from beyond.
It is said that Cosmos flowers will attract fairies, particularly if grown in a “wild” or uncultivated corner of the garden. This is also the environment where Cosmos is most at home, roadsides and waste places being the natural habitat of this freedom loving flower. It is interesting to reflect that “roadsides and waste places” are recognized in traditional cultures worldwide, as sites for spiritual epiphanies, encounters with spiritual beings in disguise, vision quests, walkabouts, and other metaphysical and transformative experiences of the . . . Cosmos.
The Cosmos has a form and gesture that is graceful, airy, and mobile. It is responsive to every breath of wind or touch by another living thing. It opens outwards in a generous gesture, expanding, trusting, and risking.
At the same time, it is protective of its innermost, female reproductive parts until they are fully ripe and ready to be released. It has an expansive signature in its bounty of blossoms and multitude of seeds that emerge from each blossom.
The blossom’s color signature shows a yellow center, symbolizing a strong solar plexus chakra, with a radiating aura of mauve or magenta, which seems to symbolize the sacralizing of the will by spiritual awareness. This suggests aid to those who feel afraid to assert their will in the world, because they are never quite sure whether their motives are informed enough by the highest possible consciousness.
Along with their harmonious symbolism, cosmos are also representative of October births and 2nd wedding anniversaries, and are frequently given as simple tokens of affection on these particular events. In 1999 the World Kindness Movement in Tokyo adopted the cosmos bipinnatus as the emblem for the organization.
Medicinal and Herbal Uses:
Some botanical sources state that cosmos has “no known uses” (or hazards) as food or medicine, others catagorize it as a weed. It seems extremely benign. Being both highly attractive to insects, and not causing any kind of allergies or skin irritation in humans, it is clearly lacking in irritants. Similarly, being scentless, it seems to lack any significant volatiles.