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Narcissus Meaning & Symbolism

Narcissus, better known as daffodil or Jonquil, is the December birth flower. Being among the first of flower spirits emerging from Earth’s slumber, this blossom heralds the end of winter’s reign. Upon finding the first Narcissus of spring a person would count themselves lucky and regard it as an omen of prosperity. The Japanese call it a flower of mirth and the French language adds the additional positive meaning of hopefulness to the equation.

While the mythology of this Flower Spirit is far less pleasant, the aroma and colors of the flower give us pause. The story of Narcissus (see below) is also one of transformation. We may see ourselves or a situation in only one way until something jostles our focus. At that point a whole new world comes into view – one that banishes cold heartedness and selfishness for the warmth of kindness and joy.

Crystal Connections for Narcissus:
Citrine, honey calcite, milk quartz, Howlite.

Narcissus Meaning Table of Contents

Narcissus Color Meanings

The predominant colors for Narcissus are white and yellow both of which have very strong, positive associations. White represents youthful innocence, goodness, understanding, faith, new beginnings, honesty and nearly all things good (good guys always wear white!). Yellow brings all the vibrations of the sun, filling the world with cheerfulness, mental clarity, positive thoughts and energy. Mixed together on one flower and you have a beautiful blend symbolizing those things for which all humans yearn – laughter, love and LIGHT.

Narcissus Dreams

Dream interpretation takes a cue from the Greek story of Narcissus. This flower reminds you that you need to see beyond your own backyard to the connections around you. Are you under-valuing someone in your life? Look to the other images in your dream and review them in our Dream Dictionary for more specific ideas as to the meaning.

Narcissus In The Victorian Language of Flowers

In the Victorian Language of Flowers Narcissus implied respect, decorum and devotion. Between lovers it conveyed the message to a fortunate recipient that, “You are the only one.”

Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine

The Arabs were among the first to distill Narcissus oil using it as an anointing oil in their temples. The word takes its origin from a Greek word that translates as “numb.” To this day aromatherapists use it for helping ground and center people, particularly those prone to panic and anxiety. Place a dab on your feet before ritual.

Narcissus Spiritual Meanings & Metaphysical Correspondences

Narcissus appears as the Page of Cups in the Mythic Tarot as his former self gazing into a lake surrounded by the flowers of which he is soon to become a part. There are several meanings here on which to meditate. First, we must always be mindful that even when we have reflective moods there are always other souls in our circle, some of whom may need our help. Being in touch with Self does not mean doing so at a cost to others on the Path.

Narcissus also reminds us that there is value in self-love and self-appreciation. This gift need not come with an over-active ego. Be like the daffodil, content with the beauty of the meadow as a whole and what you bring to it.

Narcissus Superstitions:

  • Hens will not lay or hatch eggs with Narcissus flowers nearby the farm
  • Pointing at a daffodil with your index finger keeps it from blossoming
  • Feng Shui says you will have 12 months of luck if this flower blossoms at New Years

Narcissus Numerology

In numerology Narcissus shares the Rose’s number 6 but expresses it somewhat differently. It seems the once self-centered soul of this Spirit was truly transformed when it became a flower. Ego went the way of love and generosity with a heaping helping of humility tossed in for good measure. When working with nature spirits, the Narcissus teaches contentiousness and compassion toward others.

Folk beliefs tell us that receiving only one daffodil foretells of trouble ahead. More than one, however, means bliss. Go out and start giving daffodil bouquets and watch smiles emerge.

Narcissus History

Ovid wrote about Narcissus in Metamorphosis, but he certainly wasn’t alone among the Romans to utilize this symbol. Renaissance art including pieces by da Vinci and Raphael included the flower as a symbol of “fallen” or wasted youth. The Romanticist liked this connotation too. Thankfully Narcissus flowers were redeemed in the bible in Isaiah speaks of the flower blossoming with song. Throughout the Old Testament this flower conveyed the Feminine aspect and fertility. Later that transferred over to daffodils becoming a common part of Easter celebrations as an emblem of resurrection and new life.

(Bear in mind that this story has several variations but the end remains the same)

Narcissus was a beautiful youth whose visage was so stunning that he was not supposed to look on it or he would lose not only his good looks but his eternal youth. A nymph named Echo fell in love with Narcissus. Sadly Narcissus was too self-involved to even notice the girl, whose love so consumed her that she faded to nothing more than a voice. The Goddess Nemesis was furious and purposefully led Narcissus to a lake where he could see his face. He became enthralled but realized he could never have what he now loved. In a moment of despair, he plunged a knife into his heart. From his blood the Narcissus bloomed.

Overall the lesson from Narcissus is to be careful with our heart – realizing that just because we desire something or someone doesn’t make it GOOD for us.