Happy Beltane!

Happy Beltane!

On May 1, we celebrate Beltane, the festival of spring. Mother Earth is donning her lushest gown of flowers and blossoms, and birds are singing from the trees. The heart rejoices as the spirit soars! At Beltane, we celebrate the magical powers of creativity, fertility and abundance – the sheer miraculous beauty of life. The God and the Goddess who preside over the undying force of life are in love, turning the land green and lush wherever they go. Every fragrant flower – a kiss and a blessing of their adoration. Let’s share in their passion and celebrate life’s miracle! Beauty, love and merry-making are their rituals. Taste the zest of life! If you have a garden, you are witnessing and partaking in this magic as you nurture your young seedlings. Pouring energy into your budding projects produces a similar experience of participating in this magic of creating. The magic of manifestation lies in the nurture and love that nurtures the seed ideas. Take time to reflect on nature’s generosity and practice gratitude and mindfulness to attune to every nuance of this blessed time of the year.   Photo credit: Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay
Easter/ Oestara

Easter/ Oestara

Easter is a festival of sacrifice and resurrection. We commemorate Christ’s sacrifice on the day he died on the cross as Jesus, the man, only to be resurrected as Christ, the son of God and the redeemer of mankind. However, the cross, which in Christian mythology signifies the crucifixion, is a much older symbol.
In pre-Christian traditions, it symbolised the cosmic order: the four directions, the axis of time and space, and the surrender of the ego, which is bound to the material world.
In the symbolism of the ancient world, sacrifice was not a celebration of death, as it may seem, but of life. It was seen as a way of giving back, so life may continue. Death and rebirth were seen as two sides of the same door. Like the Ouroboros, life feeds on itself, thereby continuously regenerating itself.
For a sacrifice to be meaningful, it had to be of value. It had to be something special. Any old rat would not do! This was meant to be a gift to the Gods!
Originally, only the king himself was worthy of being sacrificed. But in time, Kings were not so keen on being sacrificed and instead of themselves, they offered up their first-born. But in time, that too was deemed too much. Animals now had to play the part. At Ostara, when the Earth renews itself, that sacrificial animal was an innocent lamb – which it still is to this day: a lamb roast serves as the centrepiece of the Easter feast. This is a distant echo of an age-old sacrificial tradition.
Easter is a movable feast – a clear indication that this festival pre-dates Christian times. The exact date changes every year. It always falls on the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox (Worm Moon). Originally, Easter, or Ostara, as it was known, was the festival of the Goddess Eostre, a Mother Goddess that is known by many names: Ishtar, Astarte, or the Great Mother Kali.
Her sacred ‘Moon Hare’ (a symbol of fertility) has become the ‘Easter Bunny’. The eggs symbolise life as unborn potential as well as the promise of rebirth. Traditionally, the eggs would have been dyed red, the colour of blood as a conduit of life. A gift of such dyed eggs is a symbolic blessing: A gift of life and abundance! May your potential unfold and blossom!

Source:

The Woman’s Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker, HaperCollins, 1983

Happy Spring Equinox, 2021

Happy Spring Equinox, 2021

Happy Spring Equinox!

A new cycle is beginning – but what a strange beginning it is, after a seemingly endless winter lockdown! Tentatively, the Earth is awakening from her winter’s sleep. Persephone is on her way, returning to the upper world. Buds are swollen, birds are busy building their nests, and life is ready to burst forth again.

At Spring Equinox, light and dark are hanging in the balance. But with every passing day, the sun is gathering strength, now. Mother Earth has donned her garment of early spring flowers and slowly turns the land verdant and lush, once again.

This is a joyful, busy time, full of expectation. We may not have our full freedom back to mingle, meet and make merry. But the garden is calling nonetheless, eager to receive the seeds as soon as the soil has warmed up enough.

It is time to prepare for the unfolding season, a time of spring cleaning and for purification, of painting and decorating, and sprucing up the home.  Locked down or not, these are things we can still do in anticipation of the coming spring. 

Physically, that means boosting our energy levels with the fresh vitamins and nutrients of early spring herbs. And we have never needed them more than this year. Boost your immune system and don’t give that virus half a chance!

Mentally, this is a time to focus on the things that matter most. Make sure that the pathway for your intentions is clear. The crisis will pass eventually and there will be a light on the other side. Good planning prepares the way to success.

Spiritually, the Spring Equinox stands for new beginnings. We can turn a page and make a new start. It is also a time to celebrate the eternal life-force and its miraculous powers of self-renewal. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s day! Time to spread some loving!

One of the nicest things about February is not just the fact that March is around the corner and therefore spring is on its way, but that the inner tide is turning, too. Just as the sap is rising in trees, the love juices are also flowing within. It is a time to indulge in courtship and romance, to lavish buckets of romantic gooeyness on your significant other, rekindle an old flame, or perhaps to make an impression on someone that only recently caught your eye.

Who is St. Valentine?

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, a somewhat questionable Saints Day, which has its origin in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a festival of licentiousness. At first, denounced as a lewd pagan rite, it proved too popular to be suppressed. Thus, the old festival of love was dressed in a thin cloak of Christian piety and became the saint’s day of St. Valentine.

This Valentine was a fictitious figure who was said to have been executed just as his beloved received his ‘billet of love’ (a kind of little love letter, which has its modern-day equivalent in the custom of sending Valentine’s cards). This custom was also associated with the Roman festival of Lupercalia.

February – the month of Juno Februata

Incidentally, the word ‘February’ is derived from the name of the Goddess ‘Juno Februata’, to whom this month is dedicated. Her name contains the word ‘febris’ – meaning ‘fever’, which does not refer to a kind of divine flu, but to her fiery passion – the fever of love.

To this day, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as ‘lover’s day’. Here is a look at some of those age-old customs and their underlying significance and some suggestions as to how to stoke the fire of love.

say it with flowers

Say it with flowers

Flowers are still THE most popular Valentine’s gift, but which ones should you choose? Maybe draw some inspiration from the Victorian flower language, a secret lovers’ code that could be used to express very specific kinds of messages, so long as both parties were ‘in’ on the symbolism. If they were not, the message would either be lost or interpreted entirely the wrong way. Seen in this light, even Roses are not a safe bet. It all depends on the specific variety and color you choose. Thus, instead of conveying a message of love, it could mean something like ‘you are a pretty ditz’, or ‘you might be charming, but proud’, and ‘your beauty will not last’. To learn more, see this long list of flowers and their specific meanings, before risking a disastrous mistake!

Chocolate – always desirable

chocolate loveIt might be safer to ‘say it with chocolates’ instead. Chocolate is the other most popular Valentine’s gift. Although perhaps a little less romantic, it might be more enticing and less ambiguous. After all, Cocoa’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back to the ancient Aztecs.

Montezuma, the last Aztec emperor, was a veritable cocoa fiend! He regularly downed his golden goblet full of foaming ‘xocoatl’ (=chocolate) brew, to invigorate himself before entering his harem.

Few of us today would find his recipe very tempting as it has little resemblance with our modern idea of what chocolate should taste like. But, it seems to have worked for him.

Incidentally, modern research confirms the ancient claim. Apparently, Cocoa contains a substance that has appropriately been called ‘Anandamide’ – alluding to the Sanskrit word ‘ananda’, which means ‘bliss’. Anandamide has anti-depressant properties that induce a sense of well-being and contentment. Cocoa is also rich in Phenylethylamine, which neurochemistry links to the feeling of euphoria so characteristic of the mental state of ‘being in love’. No wonder everybody LOVES chocolate!

A loving spoonful?

Peter's Chili‘Love goes through the stomach’, so they say. Those who find chocolates and flowers too ordinary might instead seek to impress their loved one with a particularly sexy dish, prepared with love, of course.

On scouring the literature one cannot help but be in awe at the amount of foodstuff deemed to have aphrodisiacs properties. Some of these appear to have gained that reputation on account of their appearance (who says placebos don’t work?), while others have a rather more direct, physiological effect.

In the category of visual aids are things like carrots, parsnips, asparagus, and bananas.

Things like piñon nuts, lady’s fingers, truffle mushrooms, oysters, and pufferfish, on the other hand, would hardly qualify if optics was the only criteria. Various spices, as well as certain herbs, have also long held on to their aphrodisiac reputation. Their volatile oil components are highly stimulating. Among these herbs are lovage, cardamom, saffron, and cinnamon. Garlic and chilies are in a category of their own. While not exactly seductive, they undoubtedly pack a punch. None fits both categories better than the gloriously endowed ‘Peter Chili’ – I mean, really, Mother Nature – was that meant to be a subtle hint?

Drinks

ChampaignContrary to popular belief, alcohol is not a suitable aphrodisiac. In fact, it is probably the worst thing you could drink if love is on your mind. While a little alcohol undoubtedly reduces inhibitions, too much of it has a desensitizing effect and is most likely to put you to sleep.

A non-alcoholic cocktail is a great, nutritious alternative that provides an energy boost and is very tasty, too.

Or, try a chai tea. This exquisite, richly flavored blend combines a whole range of warming aphrodisiac spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, and black pepper with black tea, milk, and honey.

Victorian Flower Language

Victorian Flower Language

The Victorian flower language, also known as ‘floriography’, was a secret floral code by means of which lovers could exchange messages without the embarrassment of having to indiscreetly ask or tell someone the nature of one’s true heart’s desire. For this purpose, Victorians carried little floral bouquets called ‘tussie-mussies’. But, the meaning of each flower was not universal, and thus, could be confusing at times. Floral dictionaries were published to facilitate this silent form of communication. The craze spread far beyond Victorian England and spread throughout Continental Europe and the US.

Reprinted from:

Collier’s Cyclopedia of Commercial and Social Information and Treasury of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge,

compiled by Nugent Robinson. P.F. Collier, 1882

Abatina

Fickleness

Acacia

Friendship

Acacia, Rose or White

Elegance

Acacia, Yellow

Secret love

Acanthus

The fine arts, Artifice

Acalia

Temperance

Achillea Millefolia

War

Aconite (Wolfsbane)

Misanthropy

Aconite, Crowfoot

Luster

Adonis, Flos

Painful recollections

African Marigold

Vulgar minds

Agnus Castus

Coldness, Indifference

Agrimony

Thankfulness, Gratitude

Almond (Common)

Stupidity, Indiscretion

Almond (Flowering)

Hope

Almond, Laurel

Perfidy

Allspice

Compassion

Aloe

Grief, Religious superstition

Althaea Frutex (Syrian Mallow)

Persuasion

Alyssum (Sweet)

Worth beyond beauty,

Amaranth (Globe)

Immortality, Unfading love,

Amaranth (Cockscomb)

Foppery, Affectation,

Amaryllis

Pride, Timidity, Splendid beauty

Ambrosia

Love returned

Cowslip

Divine beauty

Starwort

Welcome to a stranger, Cheerfulness in old age

Anemone (Garden)

Forsaken

Angelica

Inspiration

Apple

Temptation

Apple (Blossom)

Preference, Fame speaks him great and good

Apple, Thorn

Deceitful charms

Apocynum (Dog’s Vane)

Deceit

Arbor Vitae

Unchanging friendship, Live for me

Arum (Wake Robin)

Ardor

Ash-leaved Trumpet Flower

Separation

Ash Tree

Grandeur

Aspen Tree

Lamentation

Aster (China)

Variety, Afterthought

Asphodel

My regrets follow you to the grave

Auricula

Painting

Auricula, Scarlet

Avarice

Austurtium

Splendor

Azalea

Temperance

Bachelor’s Buttons

Celibacy

Balm

Sympathy

Balm, Gentle

Pleasantry

Balm of Gilead

Cure Relief

Balsam, Red

Touch me not, Impatient resolves

Balsam, Yellow

Impatience

Barberry

Sourness of temper

Barberry Tree

Sharpness

Basil

Hatred

Bay Leaf

I change but in death

Bay (Rose) Rhododendron

Danger Beware

Bay Tree

Glory

Bay Wreath

Reward of merit

Bearded Crepis

Protection

Beech Tree

Prosperity

Bee Orchis

Industry

Bee Ophrys

Error

Belladonna

Silence

Bell Flower, Pyramidal

Constancy

Bell Flower (small white)

Gratitude

Belvedere

I declare against you

Betony

Surprise

Bilberry

Treachery

Bindweed, Great

Insinuation

Bindweed, Small

Humility

Birch

Meekness

Birdsfoot, Trefoil

Revenge

Bittersweet; Nightshade

Truth

Black Poplar

Courage

Blackthorn

Difficulty

Bladder Nut Tree

Frivolity, Amusement

Bluebottle (Century)

Delicacy

Bluebell

Constancy

Blue-flowered Greek Valerian

Rupture

Bonus Henricus

Goodness

Borage

Bluntness

Box Tree

Stoicism

Bramble

Lowliness, Envy, Remorse

Branch of Currants

You please all

Branch of Thorns

Severity, Rigor

Bridal Rose

Happy love

Broom

Humility

Buckbean

Calm repose

Bud of White Rose

Heart ignorant of love

Bugloss

Falsehood

Bulrush

Indiscretion, Docility

Bundle of Reeds, with their Panicles

Music

Burdock

Importunity, Touch me not

Buttercup (Kingcup)

Ingratitude, Childishness

Butterfly Orchis

Gaiety

Butterfly Weed

Let me go

Cabbage

Profit

Cacalia

Adulation

Cactus

Warmth

Calla Aethiopica

Magnificent beauty

Calycanthus

Benevolence

Camellia Japonica, Red

Unpretending excellence

Camellia Japonica, White

Perfected loveliness

Camomile

Energy in adversity

Canary Grass

Perseverance

Candytuft

Indifference

Canterbury Bell

Acknowledgment

Cape Jasmine

I’m too happy

Cardamine

Paternal error

Carnation, Deep Red

Alas! for my poor heart

Carnation, Striped

Refusal

Carnation, Yellow

Disdain

Cardinal Flower

Distinction

Catchfly

Snare

Catchfly, Red

Youthful love

Catchfly, White

Betrayed

Cedar

Strength

Cedar of Lebanon

Incorruptible

Cedar Leaf

I live for thee

Celandine (Lesser)

Joys to come

Century

Delicacy

Cereus (Creeping)

Modest genius

Champignon

Suspicion

Chequered Fritillary

Persecution

Cherry Tree

Good education

Cherry Tree, White

Deception

Chestnut Tree

Do me justice, Luxury

Chickweed

Rendezvous

Chicory

Frugality

China Aster

Variety

China Aster, Double

I partake your sentiments

China Aster, Single

I will think of it

China or Indian Pink

Aversion

China Rose

Beauty always new

Chinese Chrysanthemum

Cheerfulness under adversity

Christmas Rose

Relieve my anxiety

Chrysanthemum, Red

I love

Chrysanthemum, White

Truth

Chrysanthemum, Yellow

Slighted love

Cinquefoil

Maternal affection

Circaea

Spell

Cistus, or Rock Rose

Popular favor

Cistus, Gum

I shall die tomorrow

Citron

Ill-natured beauty

Clematis

Mental beauty

Clematis, Evergreen

Poverty

Clotbur

Rudeness Pertinacity

Cloves

Dignity

Clover, Four-leaved

Be mine

Clover, Red

Industry

Clover, White

Think of me

Cobaea

Gossip

Cockscomb Amaranth

Foppery, Affectation, Singularity

Colchicum, or Meadow Saffron

My best days are past

Coltsfoot

Justice shall be done

Columbine

Folly

Columbine, Purple

Resolved to win

Columbine, Red

Anxious and trembling

Convolvulus

Bonds

Convolvulus, Blue (Minor)

Repose, Night

Convolvulus, Major

Extinguished hopes

Convolvulus, Pink

Worth sustained by judicious and tender affection

Corchorus

Impatient of absence

Coreopsis

Always cheerful

Coreopsis Arkansa

Love at first sight

Coriander

Hidden worth

Corn

Riches

Corn, Broken

Quarrel

Corn Straw

Agreement

Corn Bottle

Delicacy

Corn Cockle

Gentility

Cornel Tree

Duration

Coronella

Success crown your wishes

Cowslip

Pensiveness Winning grace

Cowslip, American

Divine beauty You are my divinity

Cranberry

Cure for heartache

Creeping Cereus

Horror

Cress

Stability, Power

Crocus

Abuse not

Crocus, Spring

Youthful, gladness

Crocus, Saffron

Mirth

Crown Imperial

Majesty, Power

Crowsbill

Envy

Crowfoot

Ingratitude

Crowfoot (Aconite-leaved)

Luster

Cocoa Plant

Ardor

Cudweed, American

Unceasing remembrance

Currant

Thy frown will kill me

Cuscuta

Meanness

Cyclamen

Diffidence

Cypress

Death, Mourning

Daffodil

Regard

Dahlia

Instability

Daisy

Innocence

Daisy, Garden

I share your sentiments

Daisy, Michaelmas

Farewell

Daisy, Party-colored

Beauty

Daisy, Wild

I will think of it

Damask Rose

Brilliant complexion

Dandelion

Rustic oracle

Daphne, Odora

Painting the lily

Darnel (Ray grass)

Vice

Dead Leaves

Sadness

Dew Plant

A serenade

Dittany of Crete

Birth

Dittany of Crete, White

Passion

Dock

Patience

Dodder of Thyme

Baseness

Dogsbane

Deceit, Falsehood

Dogwood

Durability

Dragon Plant

Snare

Dried Flax

Utility

Ebony Tree

Blackness

Eglantine (Sweetbrier)

Poetry, I wound to heal

Elder

Zealousness

Elm

Dignity

Enchanter’s Nightshade

Witchcraft, Sorcery

Endive

Frugality

Eupatorium

Delay

Everflowering Candytuft

Indifference

Evergreen Clematis

Poverty

Evergreen Thorn

Solace in adversity

Everlasting

Never-ceasing remembrance

Everlasting Pea

Lasting pleasure

Fennel

Worthy of all praise, Strength

Fern

Fascination

Ficoides, Ice Plant

Your looks freeze me

Fig

Argument

Fig Marigold

Idleness

Fig Tree

Prolific

Filbert

Reconciliation

Fir

Time

Fir Tree

Elevation

Flax

Domestic industry, Fate, I feel your kindness

Flax-leaved Goldy-locks

Tardyness

Fleur-de-Lis

Flame, I burn

Fleur-de-Luce

Fire

Flowering Fern

Reverie

Flowering Reed

Confidence in Heaven

Flower-of-an-Hour

Delicate beauty

Fly Orchis

Error

Flytrap

Deceit

Fool’s Parsley

Silliness

Forget Me Not

True love, Forget me not

Foxglove

Insincerity

Foxtail Grass

Sporting

French Honeysuckle

Rustic beauty

French Marigold

Jealousy

French Willow

Bravery and humanity

Frog Ophrys

Disgust

Fuller’s Teasel

Misanthropy

Fumitory

Spleen

Fuschia, Scarlet

Taste

Garden Anemone

Forsaken

Garden Chervil

Sincerity

Garden Daisy

I partake your sentiments

Garden Marigold

Uneasiness

Garden Ranunculus

You are rich in attractions

Garden Sage

Esteem

Garland of Roses

Reward of virtue

Germander Speedwell

Facility

Geranium, Dark

Melancholy

Geranium, Ivy

Bridal favor

Geranium, Lemon

Unexpected meeting

Geranium, Nutmeg

Expected meeting

Geranium, Oak-leaved

True friendship

Geranium, Penciled

Ingenuity

Geranium, Rose-scented

Preference

Geranium, Scarlet

Comforting stupidity

Geranium, Silver-leaved

Recall

Geranium, wild

Steadfast piety

Gilliflower

Bonds of affection

Glory Flower

Glorious beauty

Goat’s Rue

Reason

Golden Rod

Precaution

Gooseberry

Anticipation

Gourd

Extent, Bulk

Grape, Wild

Charity

Grass

Submission, Utility

Guelder Rose

Winter, Age

Hand Flower Tree

Warning

Harebell

Submission, Grief

Hawkweed

Quicksightedness

Hawthorn

Hope

Hazel

Reconciliation

Heath

Solitude

Helenium

Tears

Heliotrope

Devotion, Faithfulness

Hellebore

Scandal, Calumny

Helmet Flower (Monkshood)

Knight-errantry

Hemlock

You will be my death

Hemp

Fate

Henbane

Imperfection

Hepatica

Confidence

Hibiscus

Delicate beauty

Holly

Foresight

Holly Herb

Enchantment

Hollyhock

Ambition, Fecundity

Honesty

Honesty, Fascination

Honey Flower

Love, sweet and secret

Honeysuckle

Generous and devoted affection

Honeysuckle (Coral)

The color of my fate

Honeysuckle (French)

Rustic beauty

Hop

Injustice

Hornbean

Ornament

Horse Chestnut

Luxury

Hortensia

You are cold

Houseleek

Vivacity, Domestic industry

Houstonia

Content

Hoya

Sculpture

Humble Plant

Despondency

Hundred-leaved Rose

Dignity of mind

Hyacinth

Sport, Game, Play

Hyacinth, White

Unobtrusive loveliness

Hydrangea

A boaster, Heartlessness

Hyssop

Cleanliness

Iceland Moss

Health

Ice Plant

Your looks freeze me

Imperial Montague

Power

Indian Cress

Warlike trophy

Indian Jasmine (Ipomoea)

Attachment

Indian Pink (Double)

Always lovely

Indian Plum

Privation

Iris

Message

Iris German

Flame

Ivy

Fidelity, Marriage

Ivy, Sprig of, with tendrils

Assiduous to please

Jacob’s Ladder

Come down

Japan Rose

Beauty is your only attraction

Jasmine

Amiability

Jasmine, Cape

Transport of joy

Jasmine, Carolina

Separation

Jasmine, Indian

I attach myself to you

Jasmine, Spanish

Sensuality

Jasmine, Yellow

Grace and elegance

Jonquil

I desire a return of affection

Judas Tree

Unbelief, Betrayal

Juniper

Succor, Protection

Justicia

The perfection of female loveliness

Kennedia

Mental beauty

King-cups

Desire of riches

Laburnum

Forsaken, Pensive beauty

Lady’s Slipper

Capricious beauty, Win me and wear me

Lagerstraemia, Indian

Eloquence

Lantana

Rigor

Larch

Audacity, Boldness

Larkspur

Lightness, Levity

Larkspur, Pink

Fickleness

Larkspur, Purple

Haughtiness

Laurel

Glory

Laurel Common, in flower

Perfidy

Laurel, Ground

Perseverance

Laurel, Mountain

Ambition

Laurel-leaved Magnolia

Dignity

Laurestina

A token, I die if neglected

Lavender

Distrust

Leaves (dead)

Melancholy

Lemon

Zest

Lemon Blossoms

Fidelity in love

Lettuce

Cold-heartedness

Lichen

Dejection, Solitude

Lilac, Field

Humility

Lilac, Purple

First emotions of love

Lilac, White

Youthful innocence

Lily, Day

Coquetry

Lily, Imperial

Majesty

Lily, White

Youthful innocence

Lily, Yellow

Falsehood, Gaiety

Lily of the Valley

Return of happiness

Linden or Lime Trees

Conjugal love

Lint

I feel my obligation

Live Oak

Liberty

Liverwort

Confidence

Licorice, Wild

I declare against you

Lobelia

Malevolence

Locust Tree

Elegance

Locust Tree (green)

Affection beyond the grave

London Pride

Frivolity

Lote Tree

Concord

Lotus

Eloquence

Lotus Flower

Estranged love

Lotus Leaf

Recantation

Love in a Mist

Perplexity

Love lies Bleeding

Hopeless, not heartless

Lucern

Life

Lupine

Voraciousness, Imagination

Madder

Calumny

Magnolia

Love of nature

Magnolia, Swamp

Perseverance

Mallow

Mildness

Mallow, Marsh

Beneficence

Mallow, Syrian

Consumed by love

Mallow, Venetian

Delicate beauty

Manchineal Tree

Falsehood

Mandrake

Horror

Maple

Reserve

Marigold

Grief

Marigold, African

Vulgar minds

Marigold, French

Jealousy

Marigold, Prophetic

Prediction

Marigold and Cypress

Despair

Marjoram

Blushes

Marvel of Peru

Timidity

Meadow Lychnis

Wit

Meadow Saffron

My best days are past

Meadowsweet

Uselessness

Mercury

Goodness

Mesembryanthemum

Idleness

Mezereon

Desire to please

Michaelmas Daisy

Afterthought

Mignionette

Your qualities surpass your charms

Milfoil

War

Milkvetch

Your presence softens my pains

Milkwort

Hermitage

Mimosa (Sensitive Plant)

Sensitiveness

Mint

Virtue

Mistletoe

I surmount difficulties

Mock Orange

Counterfeit

Monkshood (Helmet Flower)

Chivalry Knight-errantry

Moonwort

Forgetfulness

Morning Glory

Affectation

Moschatel

Weakness

Moss

Maternal love

Mosses

Ennui

Mossy Saxifrage

Affection

Motherwort

Concealed love

Mountain Ash

Prudence

Mourning Bride

Unfortunate attachment, I have lost all

Mouse-eared Chickweed

Ingenuous simplicity

Mouse-eared Scorpion Grass

Forget me not

Moving Plant

Agitation

Mudwort

Tranquility

Mugwort

Happiness

Mulberry Tree (Black)

I shall not survive you

Mulberry Tree (White)

Wisdom

Mushroom

Suspicion

Musk Plant

Weakness

Mustard Seed

Indifference

Myrobalan

Privation

Myrrh

Gladness

Myrtle

Love

Narcissus

Egotism

Nasturtium

Patriotism

Nettle Burning

Slander

Nettle Tree

Concert

Night-blooming Cereus

Transient beauty

Night Convolvulus

Night

Nightshade

Truth

Oak Leaves

Bravery

Oak Tree

Hospitality

Oak (White)

Independence

Oats

The witching soul of music

Oleander

Beware

Olive

Peace

Orange Blossoms

Your purity equals your loveliness

Orange Tree

Generosity

Orchis

A Belle

Osier

Frankness

Osmunda

Dreams

Ox Eye

Patience

Palm

Victory

Pansy

Thoughts

Parsley

Festivity

Pasque Flower

You have no claims

Passion Flower

Religious superstition

Patience Dock

Patience

Pea, Everlasting

An appointed meeting, Lasting pleasure

Pea, Sweet

Departure

Peach

Your qualities, like your charms, are unequaled

Peach Blossom

I am your captive

Pear

Affection

Pear Tree

Comfort

Pennyroyal

Flee away

Peony

Shame, Bashfulness

Peppermint

Warmth of feeling

Periwinkle, Blue

Early friendship

Periwinkle, White

Pleasures of memory

Persicaria

Restoration

Persimon

Bury me amid nature’s beauties

Peruvian Heliotrope

Devotion

Pheasant’s Eye

Remembrance

Phlox

Unanimity

Pigeon Berry

Indifference

Pimpernell

Change, Assignation

Pine

Pity

Pine-apple

You are perfect

Pine, Pitch

Philosophy

Pine, Spruce

Hope in adversity

Pink

Boldness

Pink, Carnation

Woman’s love

Pink, Indian, Double

Always lovely

Pink, Indian, Single

Aversion

Pink, Mountain

Aspiring

Pink, Red, Double

Pure and ardent love

Pink, Single

Pure love

Pink, Variegated

Refusal

Pink, White

Ingeniousness, Talent

Plane Tree

Genius

Plum, Indian

Privation

Plum Tree

Fidelity

Plum, Wild

Independence

Polyanthus

Pride of riches

Polyanthus, Crimson

The heart’s mystery

Polyanthus, Lilac

Confidence

Pomegranate Flower

Mature elegance

Poplar, Black

Courage

Poplar, White

Time

Poppy, Red

Consolation

Poppy, Scarlet

Fantastic extravagance

Poppy, White

Sleep, My bane, My antidote

Potato

Benevolence

Prickly Pear

Satire

Pride of China

Dissension

Primrose

Early youth

Primrose, Evening

Inconstancy

Primrose, Red

Unpatronized merit

Privet

Prohibition

Purple, Clover

Provident

Pyrus Japonica

Fairies’ fire

Quaking-Grass

Agitation

Quamoclit

Busybody

Queen’s Rocket

You are the queen of coquettes, Fashion

Quince

Temptation

Ragged Robin

Wit

Ranunculus

You are radiant with charms

Ranunculus, Garden

You are rich in attractions

Ranunculus, Wild

Ingratitude

Raspberry

Remorse

Ray Grass

Vice

Red Catchfly

Youthful love

Reed

Complaisance Music

Reed, Split

Indiscretion

Rhododendron (Rosebay)

Danger Beware

Rhubarb

Advice

Rocket

Rivalry

Rose

Love

Rose, Austrian

Thou art all that is lovely

Rose, Bridal

Happy love

Rose, Burgundy

Unconscious beauty

Rose, Cabbage

Ambassador of love

Rose, Campion

Only deserve my love

Rose, Carolina

Love is dangerous

Rose, China

Beauty always new

Rose Christmas

Tranquilize my anxiety

Rose, Daily

Thy smile I aspire to

Rose, Damask

Brilliant complexion

Rose, Deep Red

Bashful shame

Rose, Dog

Pleasure and pain

Rose, Guelder

Winter, Age

Rose, Hundred-leaved

Pride

Rose, Japan

Beauty is your only attraction

Rose, Maiden Blush

If you love me, you will find it out

Rose, Multiflora

Grace

Rose, Mundi

Variety

Rose, Musk

Capricious beauty

Rose, Musk, Cluster

Charming

Rose, Single

Simplicity

Rose, Thornless

Early attachment

Rose, Unique

Call me not beautiful

Rose, White

I am worthy of you

Rose, White (withered)

Transient impressions

Rose, Yellow

Decrease of love, Jealousy

Rose, York and Lancaster

War

Rose, Full-blown, placed over two Buds

Secrecy

Roses, Crown of

Reward of virtue

Rosebud, Red

Pure and lovely

Rosebud, White

Girlhood

Rosebud, Moss

Confession of love

Rosebay (Rhododendron)

Beware, Danger

Rosemary

Remembrance

Rudbeckia

Justice

Rue

Disdain

Rush

Docility

Rye Grass

Changeable disposition

Saffron

Beware of excess

Saffron Crocus

Mirth

Saffron, Meadow

My happiest days are past

Sage

Domestic virtue

Sage, Garden

Esteem

Sainfoin

Agitation

St John’s Wort

Animosity, Superstition

Sardony

Irony

Saxifrage, Mossy

Affection

Scabious

Unfortunate love

Scabious, Sweet

Widowhood

Scarlet Lychnis

Sunbeaming eyes

Schinus

Religious enthusiasm

Scotch Fir

Elevation

Sensitive Plant

Sensibility, Delicate feelings

Senvy

Indifference

Shamrock

Light-heartedness

Snakesfoot

Horror

Snapdragon

Presumption

Snowball

Bound

Snowdrop

Hope

Sorrel

Affection

Sorrel, Wild

Wit ill-timed

Sorrel, Wood

Joy

Southernwood

Jest, Bantering

Spanish Jasmine

Sensuality

Spearmint

Warmth of sentiment

Speedwell

Female fidelity

Speedwell, Germander

Facility

Speedwell, Spiked

Semblance

Spider Ophrys

Adroitness

Spiderwort

Esteem, not love

Spiked Willow Herb

Pretension

Spindle Tree

Your charms are engraven on my heart

Star of Bethlehem

Purity

Starwort

Afterthought

Starwort, American

Cheerfulness in old age

Stock

Lasting beauty

Stock, Ten Week

Promptness

Stonecrop

Tranquility

Straw, Broken

Rupture of a contract

Straw, Whole

Union

Strawberry Tree

Esteem and love

Sumach, Venice

Splendor, Intellectual excellence

Sunflower, Dwarf

Adoration

Sunflower, Tall

Haughtiness

Swallow-wort

Cure for heartache

Sweet Basil

Good wishes

Sweetbrier, American

Simplicity

Sweetbrier, European

I wound to heal

Sweetbrier, Yellow

Decrease of love

Sweet Pea

Delicate pleasures

Sweet Sultan

Felicity

Sweet William

Gallantry

Sycamore

Curiosity

Syringa

Memory

Syringa, Carolina

Disappointment

Tamarisk

Crime

Tansy (Wild)

I declare war against you

Teasel

Misanthropy

Tendrils of Climbing Plants

Ties

Thistle, Common

Austerity

Thistle, Fuller’s

Misanthropy

Thistle, Scotch

Retaliation

Thorn, Apple

Deceitful charms

Thorn, Branch of

Severity

Thrift

Sympathy

Throatwort

Neglected beauty

Thyme

Activity

Tiger Flower

For once may pride befriend me

Traveler’s Joy

Safety

Tree of Life

Old age

Trefoil

Revenge

Tremella Nestoc

Resistance

Trillium Pictum

Modest beauty

Truffle

Surprise

Trumpet Flower

Fame

Tuberose

Dangerous pleasures

Tulip

Fame

Tulip, Red

Declaration of love

Tulip, Variegated

Beautiful eyes

Tulip, Yellow

Hopeless love

Turnip

Charity

Tussilage (Sweet-scented)

Justice shall be done

Valerian

An accommodating disposition

Valerian, Greek

Rupture

Venice Sumach

Intellectual excellence Splendor

Venus’s Car

Fly with me

Venus’s Looking-glass

Flattery

Venus’s Trap

Deceit

Vernal Grass

Poor, but happy

Veronica

Fidelity

Vervain

Enchantment

Vine

Intoxication

Violet, Blue

Faithfulness

Violet, Dane

Watchfulness

Violet, Sweet

Modesty

Violet, Yellow

Rural happiness

Virginian Spiderwort

Momentary happiness

Virgin’s Bower

Filial love

Volkamenia

May you be happy

Walnut

Intellect, Stratagem

Wall-flower

Fidelity in adversity

Water Lily

Purity of heart

Water Melon

Bulkiness

Wax Plant

Susceptibility

Wheat Stalk

Riches

Whin

Anger

White Jasmine

Amiableness

White Lily

Purity and modesty

White Mullein

Good nature

White Oak

Independence

White Pink

Talent

White Poplar

Time

White Rose (dried)

Death preferable to loss of innocence

Wortleberry

Treason

Willow, Creeping

Love forsaken

Willow, Water

Freedom

Willow, Weeping

Mourning

Willow-Herb

Pretension

Willow-French

Bravery and humanity

Winter Cherry

Deception

Witch Hazel

A spell

Woodbine

Brotherly love

Wood Sorrel

Motherly love

Wormwood

Absence

Xanthium

Rudeness, Pertinacity

Xeranthemum

Cheerfulness under difficulty

Yew

Sorrow

Zephyr Flower

Expectation

Zinnia

Thoughts of absent friends

Imbolc Awakenings

Imbolc Awakenings

Imbolc is the time of the light maiden Brighid, a virginal Goddess that appears as the returning light. Quite noticeably the days are getting longer, by a few minutes each day. It is still the midst of winter and yet, if you look carefully, the buds are swelling. Some precocious winter flowering plants defy the odds. Here and there some particularly perky wildflowers are peeking through the snow or old leaf litter:  snow drops, winter aconite or dwarf crested irises, perhaps. Deep within the Earth, the life-force is stirring, the seeds are soaking up the waters of the thawing snow and begin to germinate. The wheel of the year is turning. Slowly the sap begins to rise once more.

Imbolc, or Candlemass in Christian terminology, is the festival of growing light, of cleansing and  purification. It augurs the time of Lent, traditionally a time of abstinence and fasting to purify body and soul.

In the olden days, people would fast or restrict their diets in order to cleanse the body of all the residues of heavy winter foods. To practice a little self-care in this way is to prepare body and mind for the new season.

It is a also a time for scrying and divination, for visualising in your minds eye the possibilities that lay ahead. Take a little time out to prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities yet to unfold. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, on good and bad habits, and on making a commitment to your soul journey. What kind of nourishment do you need to feel fulfilled? What kind of meaning are you giving your life (or want to give your life)? Are you walking your talk?

Imbolc is a good time to charge the seeds that you want to flourish with intention and to foster your inner flame. Take care of that light through the dark of the night. Soon the sun will soon rise again.

 

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