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Flower Wisdom

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Flower Wisdom Myths and Legends

Flower Wisdom

Part Two

Myths and Legends

Flower Wisdom insights into the Myth and Legends of flowers

CARNATION

According to legends, the carnation was the first seen at Christ's birth in Bethlehem. They became associated with Mother's Day in the U.S, which started in 1908 when Anna Jarvis of West Virginia instigated the first Mother's Day service, carrying carnations, her mother's favourites.

CHRYSANTHEMUM

Chrysanthemums have been cultivated in the East for over two millennia. On the 9th day of the 9th moon, the Chinese drink chrysanthemum wine to ensure long life. An old Chinese superstition states that eating the flowers would ensure long life, and giving these flowers to a sick friend is considered a thoughtful gesture.
The Japanese celebrate a Chrysanthemum festival since ancient times. The Shogun met up with his feudal lords during then; nowadays its is a flower decorating festival. The original Japanese flag actually depicts a chrysanthemum with 16 petals around a disc. It has been claimed that theses flowers were a meeting place for the wee folk - the Faerie.

DAISY

The daisy was said to spring from the tears of Mary Magdalene. It was known as 'God's smile' and 'Day's eye' , an Angle Saxon name which had morphed to the current word daisy. This is because the flower opened and closed with the sun's rays. In magick, it would be used in any fair weather spells or rites to honour the Sun. The daisy was associated with Venus, commonly used as a lovers' divination, plucking the petals whilst chanting s/he loves me, s/he loves me not. Medieval knights wore daisy chains made for them by their Ladies when they rode into battle or tournaments, as a sign of their affection and defence of their Ladies' honour.

DANDELION

Dandelions are associated with ancient oracles, in the language of flowers, if you blow on a dandelion seed clock, you would divine according to which quantity of seeds go in whichever direction. I personally use the juice of dandelions to cure warts. Simply rub the juice on a wart at morning and night, for the 3 days leading to the full moon.

FORGET-ME-NOT

This is the symbol of undying love and eternal friendship. An Austrian legend is the source of this flower's name. A man and his betrothed were walking along the banks of the Danube on the night before their wedding. A small blue flower was being swept past them by the river's currents, and the woman cried that such a lovely flower should be lost. The man leapt in to fetch it out, but was swept away. His final act was to throw the flower on the river bank with the shout ' forget me not, my love!'. Perhaps this also led to the tradition of bride and groom not seeing eat other on the eve of their wedding.

FOXGLOVE

This is the flower of the Faerie, legend says when the foxglove bows its head, it is the Faerie folk walking by. Thus it is considered lucky to have foxglove growing from seed in your garden. It must not be transplanted as it may mask a faerie gate/home and only pick with express permission from the wee folk.

GERANIUM

Ancient legend tells us that the geranium first grew when the Prophet Mohammed's shirt was hung on a mallow plant to dry in the sun. Im magaick, this flower is used for solar spells and for transformation.

HEATHER

The white heather is considered lucky, due to it's rarity. Heather is associated with Celtic magic and divination. In Celtic legend when Oscar, the son of Ossian (the renowned Irish Bard and warrior of the 3rd C) lay dying on a battlefield at Ulster, he sent his Lady, Malvina, a sprig of purple heather. As she heard the message of love on receiving the heather, her tears fell on the flower, turning it white; Since then the white heather has also symbolised eternal love.

HYACINTH

Named after Hyacinthus, son of Amyclas, the King of Sparta. He was loved by Apollo, however Zephyr, the West Wind, grew jealous of their friendship and happiness. As they were playing quoits, Zephyr blew Apllo's quoit off course and it struck Hyacinthus, killing him. His blood fell on a pink hyacinth, and has since symbolised sorrow and lost friends.

LOTUS

Sacred in ancient Egypt, India and the Orient. In Hindu tradition, a golden lotus brought forth the God Brahma. In the Orient, it is sacred to the Goddess Lakshmi, of beauty and luck. It is the symbol of Buddha in both India and China. In Japan, it is the symbol of paradise. It was regarded as a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, and was used for wreaths which decorated the brow of the Goddess Isis.

LILY

Lilies are dedicated to maiden Goddesses generally, especially Diana. A symbol of Purity. In catholic countries it is the Madonna flower.

LILY OF THE VALLEY

Created by Eve's tears as she was expelled from the garden of Eden. In Irish tradition, they form ladders for the Faerie to climb and reach the reeds from which they plait their cradles. One legend tells that the first Lily of the valley loved the Nightingale, but because she was so shy, she hid in the long grass to listen to his song. The Nightingale became lonely, and said he would no longer sing unless the lily of the valley bloomed every May for all too see.

MARIGOLD

Flowers of the Sun, for they bloom all year, opening their petals in the morning sun and closing at dusk. Marigolds or Mary's gold, is named after the Virgin Mary who wore them as her favourite flower.

NARCISSUS

From an ancient Greek legend, Narcissus the son of Cephisus, so admired his own beauty that he gazed constantly at his reflection in a pool and ignored the nymphs of the pool calling for his attention, not the least of them was Echo. One day he reached out to embrace his own image, fell in and drowned. A single white Narcissus, tinged red at the centre for Echo's pierced heart, was found floating nearby.

ROSE

The most magickal of flowers called by Druids 'the enchanter of the wood' In Christian tradition it is said to have first appeared in Bethlehem near the stable where Jesus was born. During the Centuries after the resurrection, a young Christian was sentenced to burn at the stake. She prayed to God and the flames turned to yellow and red rose petals. It is believed that all roses were white, until some were stained by Athena's blood when she caught her foot in the thorns. In Greece on June 4th is the festival of Rosalia, who honoured the rose.

SUNFLOWER

Clytie a water nymph was so sad there her love Helios, the Greek sun God, had not returned, that she sat on the ground day and night watching Helios riding his chariot across the sky. She watched for so long that her limbs took root in the earth and she transformed into a Sunflower, a symbol of constancy.

VIOLET

A Roman myth tells how Jupiter fell in love with Io, the priestess of Juno. He turned her into a white heifer to escape the wrath of Juno. Jupiter created fields of white violets for her to eat while she wandered the earth.

Source:
Various Classical texts.
Ancient Wisdom - Cassandra Eason.
The Magick of Folk Wisdom - Patricia Telesco.

Written by Tali, Edited and Designed by Sol © Mystic Familiar 2004
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