African daisy has a bold, graphic look that’s hard to find in more common daisies. Flowers are big, up to 4 inches across, often with interesting, eyelike markings around the flower’s center.
This cool-season plant hails from South Africa. In areas where summers aren’t hot, such as the Northern regions of the U.S. and the Pacific Northwest, it will bloom constantly until frost. In warm-summer areas, it often takes a break during the peak of summer, but reblooms in fall. .
It is a tender herbaceous perennial, native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water.
Papyrus sedge (and its close relatives) has a very long history of use by humans, notably by the Ancient Egyptians it is the source of papyrus paper, parts of it can be eaten, and the highly buoyant stems can be made into boats. It is now often cultivated as an ornamental plant.
Throughout history people have been aware of the effects plants have on their bodies, minds, and emotions. These effects were discovered not only by eating the plants but also by smelling the plants and remembering the different effects each plant had. Some plants were worn or sniffed to promote healing or to add power to a magical spell. The rarest aromatic plants were offered to the gods and goddesses to gain favor.
Life, immortality, and platonic love. The red and white flowers represent life and death, and death and rebirth. The blossoms are a symbol of secret love. Its thorns symbolize the crescent Moon. Smoke from the bark is thought to keep demons and ghosts away and to put the gods in a good mood.
- Christian: Immortality. The Romans crowned Jesus with acacia thorns to mock the sacredness of the wood and because the leaves resembled the ivy leaves which were used by the Romans to crown kings.
- Egyptian: The Sun, initiation, rebirth, and innocence. Sacred to Horus. Emblem of Neith
- Judaic: Immortality, innocence, and mourning . Acacia was the Shittah tree, the sacred wood of the tabernacle and the ark of covenant. Because it was sacred it could not be used in to build homes or for any secular purposes.
- Masonic: Purity, endurance of the soul, resurrection, and immortality.
Life and immortality.
- Christian: The thorns are a Christian symbol of pain, and sin and its punishment.
- Greco-Roman: Immortality, life, and the arts.
Plenty, prosperity, good luck, birth, patience, and fruitfulness.
- Celtic-Nordic: Life, androgyny, and immortality. Sacred to Thor.
- Christian: Hidden strength.
- Norwegian: Thor sought protection from a thunderstorm under an oak tree and this has developed into the belief that placing an acorn in a windowsill will protect the house from lightning storms.
Masculine, associated with Neptune and water.
- Celtic: Resurrection, divination, the blacksmiths’ fire, and death. A fairy tree. Because it grows well by streams it was believed to protect against the evil aspects of water. Corresponds to the letter F, fearn, in the tree alphabet.
- Greek: Associated with spring and fire festivals. Sacred to Pan.
- Tyrolean: Often used by sorcerer’s. One legend tells of a small boy who climbed up a large tree, and when he looked down he saw a number of sorcerers at the foot of the tree. As he watched they cut up a dead woman’s body and threw the pieces high into the air…so high that the boy caught one of the pieces. As the pieces fell back down the sorcerers began to count them and found one was missing. They replaced the piece with wood from the alder tree, and the woman came back to life. Ever since the tree has been associated with the dead, and their resurrection back to life.
Virginity, the union of heaven and earth, love, fruitfulness, yoni, charm, the rebirth of spring, tenderness, hope, watchfulness, sweetness, pleasure, enchantment, and subtlety. In the past people believed that if a virgin ate an almond it would make her pregnant. Almonds symbolize a hidden treasure that must be discovered to nourish a person’s spiritual growth. The husks symbolize doors, gates, and walls. Associated with Mercury and the air element.
- Chinese: Feminine beauty, mindfulness, perseverance, and enduring sadness.
- Christian: Divine favor. The purity of the Virgin Mary. The Pope’s staff is made of almond wood.
- Greek: True love.
- Hindu: The vulva and all that is female in nature.
- Judaic: Watchfulness and promise. Almond trees are a symbol of new life. The Hebrew name, shaked, means industrious or vigilant. The almond is one of the first trees to flower in Israel, usually in early February, coinciding with Tu Bishvat, the Jewish arbor day. The rod of Aaron was made from an almond branch.
- Persian: The ancient Persian tree of life.
Compassion, and good luck.
- Aromatherapy: warming, comforting, cheering, and nurturing. The oil has a warm, spicy-sweet aroma.
Integrity, wisdom, the feminine principle, water, beauty, peace, protection, success and bitterness. Associated with the Moon.
- Egyptian: Referred to aloe as “the plant of immortality”.
- Greco-Roman: Considered the universal panacea. Sacred to Zeus and Jupiter.
- Native American: Some tribes called it “the wand of heaven”.
Its everlasting flower symbolizes immortality, faith, and devotion. Because it is associated with immortality it was often used to decorate images of gods and goddesses. Woven into a wreath, it is said to render the wearer invisible. Also used in pagan burial ceremonies.
- Greek: Amarantos, unwithering. Sacred to the Artemis.
Pride, poetry, and nature.
Sincerity and sorrow.
- Christian: The passion of Christ. The triple leaves represent the Trinity.
- Greek: Symbol of Adonis, who died in a field of anemones. Attribute of Hermes and Venus.
Protection, inspiration, and long life. One ancient name for angelica was Root of the Holy Ghost. Associated with the Sun, the planet Venus and the element of fire. The root is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil. All parts of the plant were believed to be protective against evil spirits and spells.
Air, purification, awareness, joy, and protection. Associated with the Moon, the planet Jupiter, and the element of air. Anise can be used in a potpourri in a house to ward off evil and in your pillow at night to keep nightmares away. It is believed that hanging an anise seed on your bedpost will restore lost youth.
- Aromatherapy: sense enhancing, mildly euphoric, and cheering. Has a clean sweet top note, with a strong anise (licorice-like) middle note.
Love, fertility, divination, luxury, knowledge, deceit, and death. The apple has been associated with sexuality in most cultures.
- Celtic: Fruit of knowledge, prophecy, and magic. The Silver Bough. The ancient Celts believed the apple had strong magic powers. Samhain is an ancient apple festival. Apples were eaten on Samhain for good luck. As with all sacred trees, cutting down an apple tree was punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. It is also associated with the Otherworld. In many Celtic myths, people who travel to the Isles of Women and enter the Land of promise are met by a beautiful woman who carries an apple branch and promises to grant them their heart’s desire. The apple was used to symbolize the goal of a quest.
- Chinese: Beauty, harmony, and peace.
- Christian: Knowledge, immortality, and temptation. The forbidden fruit. When shown with the Virgin Mary or Christ it is a symbol of salvation.
- Greek: Love, wisdom, peace of mind, and relaxation. Sacred to Venus, as love and desire. Apple branches are an attribute of Nemesis and Artemis, and are used in the rites of Diana. Sacred to Apollo. Hera was given an apple, as a symbol of fertility, on her wedding day to Zeus.
- Chinese: Love, education, medicine, and the female sex organs.
The Moon, the feminine principle, bitterness, and night.
- Chinese: Dignity. One of the Eight Precious Things.
- Greek: Sacred to Artemis from whom it got its name.
- Russian: Bitter truth.
A tree of protection. Brooms and healing wands were made of ash wood. Ash leaves are considered lucky, especially even leaves, leaves with equal divisions on either side.
- Celtic: Individuality and personal strength. Associated with warriors because their weapons were made of ash wood.
- Greek: Stability. The Meliae or Meliai were nymphs of the ash tree. Many species of fraxinus, the ash tree, exude a sugary substance, which the ancient Greeks called méli, “honey”. The Meliae were nurses of the infant Zeus and they fed him honey. The ancient Greeks believed that the first man and woman were created from an ash tree. Achilles spears were made of ash wood.
- Nordic: The Nordic Cosmic Tree of Life, Yggdrasil. The first man, Ask, was created from an ash tree.
- Roman: Sacred to Mars. His warriors used spears of made of ash.
The ephemeral and temperance.
- Chinese: Feminine grace and a person of many talents.
Constancy, gracefulness, enduring strength, everlasting friendships, and longevity because it is always green.
- Buddhist: Emblem of the Buddha. Shown with a crane it symbolizes long life, happiness, and graceful strength.
- Chinese: Winter, longevity, and the feminine principle. One of the Chinese Three Friends of Winter.
- Hindu: Friendship.
- Japanese: Truth, grace, and loyalty. A bamboo forest sometimes surrounds Shinto shrines as sacred barriers of protection from evil.
- Malaysian: While he slept a man dreamt of a beautiful woman. When he awoke he split a bamboo stalk and found a woman.
- Philippine: A bamboo that sprouted on an island created after the battle between the Sky and Ocean split open and the first man and the first woman emerged from it.
- Vietnamese: The Vietnamese soul…manners and breeding, straightforwardness, hard work, unity, optimism, and adaptability.
- Buddhist: The generosity of the earth.
- Christian: When Christian missionaries in the Middle Ages first saw bananas, they were fascinated. One wrote back to his bishop that the banana was the perfect fruit because when you sliced each piece contained a reminder of Christ…a cross.
Sacrifice, calm, eternal life, and wisdom.
- Hindu: The tree represents eternal life because it supports its expanding canopy by growing special roots from its branches. These roots then hang down and act as props over an ever widening circle as the tree continues to grow, reflecting the Sanskrit name bahupada, meaning ‘one with many feet’. Called “Ashwath Vriksha“…”I am Banyan tree among trees” – Bhagavad Gita. In mythology also called kalpavriksha meaning ‘wish fulfilling divine tree’. Women visit this tree and pray for the long lives of the husbands.
Along with all grains, barley symbolizes the renewal of life, fertility, and resurrection.
Protection, the masculine principle, fire, courage, wealth, and fertility. Associated with the planet Mars, and with the element of fire. Has varied meanings…sometimes considered evil and others times used in sacred worship. Basil has long been used in spells and amulets for protection from evil, and attracting and keeping love. Carrying a basil leaf in your pocket will draw money to them.
- Aromatherapy: cheers the mind and heart…helping relieve sorrow and melancholy. Has an intense, spicy-sweet, aroma and a slight anise-like undertone.
- Greco-Roman: Malice and insanity. The ancients believed that to successfully grow basil, a person had to yell and curse angrily while sowing the seeds. In French, semer le basilic, “sowing basil,” means “raving”.
- Greek: Bad luck and hatred. Was named for the basilisk, a dragon-like creature, said to cause the death of anyone who looked at it. The Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed basil for headache.
- Greek Orthodox: Used in the preparation of holy water.
- Hindu: Pots of basil are grown in temples in India where it is believed to have great protective powers. Sacred to the Vishnu and Krishna. Religious Hindus pray to the herb to bring them protection, good health, and fertility. Basil leaves are placed on the bodies of the dead to insure they will reach paradise.
- Italian: Love.
- Judaic: Strength.
- Italian: Love.
- Romanian: If a bachelor accepted a sprig of basil from a maiden he was considered to be engaged.
- Sicilian: In the past, young men in Sicily would wear a sprig of basil behind their ear to show they were of marriageable age and looking for a wife.
Bay and Laurel
Renewal, honor, courage, victory, protection, and immortality. Carried to bring protection, energy, and joy. The leaves were burned in graveyards to summon the spirits of the dead. Associated with the Sun.
- Aromatherapy: relaxing and warming. It has a powerful, spicy, sweet aroma with a distinctive clove note.
- Chinese: Victory.
- Christian: Prosperity, fame, and reward.
- Greco-Roman: Truce, victory, glory, immortality, honor, wisdom, and peace. Sacred to Apollo, god of prophecy, whose priestesses would eat bay leaves before giving their prophecies. Also sacred to Dionysus, Juno, Diana, and Silvanus. The nymph Daphne, an attendant of Athena, was pursued by Apollo and as she fled from him she prayed to the gods that the Earth would swallow her up or change her to another form so he would quit pursuing her, Athena answered her prayers, and just as Apollo was about to overtake her changed her into a laurel tree, Apollo then chose the laurel tree as his favorite. The Roman Emperor Tiberius always wore a crown of bay leaves during a thunder storm because it was believed to protect the wearer from lightning strikes.
Luck, wealth, and fate.
Immortality, protection, and magic. A phallic symbol. In almost every culture in the world beans have symbolized the life force and been the food of gods.
- Chinese: Kidney beans are associated with death and the spirits of the dead.
- Egyptian: Because the seeds of the kidney bean resembled male testicles and were considered sacred people were forbidden to eat them.
- Germanic: Eroticism.
- Roman: Sacred to Silvanus. Beans were offered as gifts to the dead and eaten at funerals.
Prosperity, divination, health, and wisdom.
- Greek: Sacred to Zeus and Hercules.
- Aromatherapy: uplifting, confidence-building, and inspiring. The aroma of bergamot oil is fresh, lively, fruity and sweet
Awakening, new life, fertility and light. Used for protection against witches and evil spirits.
- Celtic: Self-sacrifice, beginnings, growth, life, love, and knowledge. Beth, the first tree of the Celtic tree alphabet, corresponding with the letter b. The month associated with birch, beth, started on December 24 and ended January 20. Associated with white, white cows, and the fly agaric mushroom. Ogham staves, yule logs, and broomsticks were made of birch wood. Birch twigs and branches were used to drive out the spirit of the old year to make room for the new. This “birching” was also used to exorcise evil spirits from criminals and the insane. Young lovers gave birch wreaths as tokens of love. Associated with the waxing Moon. Maypoles were made of birch wood and Beltane fires were kindled with birch twigs. On Midsummer’s Eve, birch boughs were hung over doors and windows to bring good luck.
- Nordic: Fertility. Sacred to the Nordic Thor, Donar, and Frigga. The last battle in the world will be fought next to a birch tree.
- Siberian: Most sacred tree of many Siberian peoples. Symbol of the axis mundi.
- Buddhism: It is the tree under which the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
Courage, gladness, and the planet Jupiter. Considered to bestow well-being and used as an anti-depressant since ancient Roman times.
- Celtic: Warriors drank wine flavored with borage to give them courage.
- Middle Eastern: Courage and strength
Bough and Branch
Chastity and the rebirth of spring. A green bough with flames symbolizes the endurance of true love. The tree of life and fertility is sometimes symbolized by a branch.
- Celtic-Druid: Renewal. The Golden Bough links this world and the next, it is a symbol of initiation, was used as a magic wand, and it allowed a person to travel through the Underworld and survive. The Silver Bough links this world and the fairy world. To the ancient Druids, the Golden Bough was mistletoe and the Silver Bough was the apple tree.
Power and wealth.
- Aztec: The Aztecs believed that drinking chocolate would bring great wisdom, understanding and energy.
- Mayan: The cacao pod was a symbol of fertility and life. Believed it was a gift from god to men and was given in offerings to the gods.
- Mesoamerican: Cacao was the ultimate status symbol in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures. The beans were used as currency and people wealthy enough to have excess of beans made a chili and spice laced, chocolate drink to give them “wisdom and power.”
- Native American: Endurance and bravery.
- Mexican: Agave, a milk-yielding cactus, was the Cosmic World Tree.
- Aromatherapy: energizing and purifying. Has a powerful, fresh, eucalyptus-like aroma.
Perfection, admiration, and good luck for a man.
- African: Peace, friendship, and life.
- Alchemic: Paracelsus placed cannabis at the head of his list of spiritually effective herbs.
- Buddhist: Some Buddhists have used cannabis, since before the time of Christ, in rituals, initiations, and other mystical rites. Many Tibetan Buddhists consider cannabis their most holy plant. Some Buddhist traditions state Siddhartha used and ate nothing but hemp and its seeds for the six years prior to achieving enlightenment and becoming the Buddha. One legend says the Buddha survived for years by eating one cannabis seed a day.
- Christian: Before the Dark Ages people considered the cannabis plant a gift from god and a way to commune with the spiritual world. The oil used by Christians contained a cannabis extract called kaneh-bosem. Members of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church believe marijuana is a creation of God. It is known as the “weed of wisdom”, the tree of life, angel’s food and even the “Wicked Old Ganja Tree”. Some sects of Coptic Christians believe the sacred “green herb of the field” in the Bible…”I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more” (Ezekiel 34:29)…and the Biblical references to secret incenses, sweet incenses, and anointing oils are referring to cannabis.
- Hindu: The “joy-giver” and “soother of grief”. In the Artharvaveda, cannabis is described as one of several herbs that ‘release us from anxiety’. There are many stories of the creation of cannabis. When Amrita, the drink of the gods, dropped down from heaven a cannabis sprouted from it. Another story tells that when the gods churned the milk ocean, helped by demons, to obtain Amrita, one of the resulting nectars was cannabis. The demons later tried to gain control of the Amrita, but the gods were able to prevent them and gave cannabis the name Vijaya (“victory”) to commemorate their success. Consecrated to Shiva, who is said to have brought it from the Himalayas for the enjoyment and enlightenment of mankind. Devotees of Shiva sometimes meditate by drinking a mixture of milk and cannabis, bhang, prepared by priests. Bhang is considered a sister the Ganges, the holy river and a goddess. Many songs which begin with…”Gang Bhang Dono Bhen Hai, Rehti Shivji Ki Sang. Charan Karne KI Gang Hai, Bhajan Karne Ki Bhang,” translated roughly it means ‘the Ganges and Bhang are sisters and both live in Shiva’s head’. Indra’s favorite drink.
- Japanese: Purity.
- Judaic: Early Jews, as part of their Sabbat services in the Temple of Solomon, ritually passed around and inhaled incense burners filled with kaneh bosm(cannabis), before returning home for their evening meal. The Greek word cannabis may derive from the Hebrew kannehbosm, literally “sweet cane”, given in the Bible as an ingredient of God’s “holy anointing oil”. In some synagogues in Israel, people smoke cannabis before the sabbath to explore a “higher” spiritual learning. The Theraputea of Egypt, Jewish ascetics that lived near Alexandria, used cannabis in their religious rites, and lived a life devoted to contemplation and meditation .
- Scythian: Cannabis seeds were left as offerings in royal tombs.
- Semitic: Royalty and priests who worshiped Baal, partook of holy qunubu (cannabis) during their sacred rites which was also used to achieve enlightenment and ecstasy. Those who partook of the holy plant partook of the god himself.
- Shinto: Cannabis was used to bind together of married couples, to drive away evil spirits, and thought to create laughter and happiness in marriage.
- Sufi: Sufi priests have taught, used, and extolled cannabis for divine revelation, insight, and oneness with Allah, for at least the last 1,000 years.
- Taoism: Recommended adding cannabis to incense to help achieve immortality.
- Zoroastrian: Used cannabis to communicate with god, for mystical consciousness, and personal enlightenment. Zoroaster taught a technique of shamanistic ecstasy which centered around the consumption of a potent preparation of marijuana. In the Zend-Avesta hemp is in first place on a list of 10,000 medicinal plants.
Passion. Associated with the planet Mercury, and the element of air. The seeds are carried in amulets for protection, and baked into cakes, breads, and cookies to be used in love magic. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to keep lover’s faithful and was an ingredient in love potions.
Fascination, remembrance, and love. White carnations symbolize pure love and bring a woman good luck if given to her as a gift. Red carnations symbolize admiration. Pink carnations are an emblem of Mother’s Day. Yellow carnations symbolize rejection.
- Christian: Carnations sprang from the tears of the Virgin Mary as she walked to Calvary.
The feminine principle, transformation, friendship, love, and happiness. Associated with the planet Venus and the element of water. Witches have long used their leaves to mark pages in their books of shadows and other magical books. The plants are grown near homes to attract good luck and good spirits. Catnip leaves were often dried and pressed and used as bookmarks in magical and sacred texts.
- Egyptian: Sacred to Bast.
Strength, nobility, and chastity. The Tree of Immortality.
- Aromatherapy: stabilizing, centering, and strengthening. Oil has a woody aroma.
- Christian: Beauty, strength, and Christ.
- Egyptian: The ancient Egyptians used cedar for magical perfumes and cosmetics, incense, and to embalm mummies.
- Native American: In some tribes, cedar boughs were burned and waved through the homes of the dead and their families to keep the home safe from evil spirits and the unhappy spirits of the dead.
- Sumerian: The Tree of Life, sacred to the god Tammuz, and used as incense it was said to protect and bring confidence.
Peace. As an incense it is used for meditation, healing, and protection. Chamomile is also used in charms to bring prosperity and attract money. Chamomile is also sprinkled around a homes and property to remove curses and keep away evil. Associated the Sun or Venus, and the element of water.
- Aromatherapy: calming and soothing. The odor is sweet and fruity, apple-like
Because it bears its flowers before its leaves the cherry tree symbolizes the birth of man, born naked into the world without possessions, and his return to the Earth in the same state. A cherry still on a tree symbolizes chastity and purity. A cherry that has been picked represents a loss of innocence.
- Chinese: Cherry blossoms are the symbol of hope, youth, springtime, beauty, and the feminine principle.
- Japanese: Wealth and prosperity.
- Christian: Victory, justice, and chastity.
- Chinese: Wealth, autumn, the harvest, and knowledge.
- Japanese: Happiness and long life.
The masculine principle, power, love, spirituality, success, wealth, and healing. Associated with the Sun, and the element of fire. Used in spells and amulets, and burned as incense to cleanse and for protection. As an incense it enhances concentration and focus, and aids healing.
- Aromatherapy: comforting and warming.
- Hebrew: Cinnamon oil was used as a holy anointing oil by the early Hebrews.
Strength, courage, and protection. Associated with Jupiter and Uranus, and the element of fire. Used in magical works for cleansing, protection, to bring prosperity, and to keep away negative forces.
- Aromatherapy: sense-enhancing, warming and comforting. Clove oil has a powerful, spicy-fruity, warm, sweet aroma.
Clover is a symbol of all divine triads, fertility, luck, prosperity, and health. Carrying a three-leaf clover gives protection. Worn over the right breast it will bring a person success in all endeavors.
Feminine, health, and safety. Associated with the planet Saturn, and the element of water.
The home, peace, love, security, and long life. Associated with the planet Mars, and the element of fire.
- Aromatherapy: nurturing and supportive. Spicy, aromatic, and pleasantly sweet aroma.
- Chinese: The early Chinese believed eating coriander would make a person immortal.
The fertility of the Earth, life, growth, abundance, and the Sun. The ears and sheaves of corn are attributes of all corn gods and goddesses. Golden ears of corn symbolized the union of the Sun and the Earth. Corn also is a symbol of abundance in the next life.
- Egyptian: Ears of corn are an attribute of Isis.
- Greco-Roman: Creation, fertility, and abundance. It was sacred to Demeter, Ceres, and Gaia. Used as an offering to Artemis.
- Mayan: The Mayans believed that maize had the greatest life force of any plant. They used the dried seeds for divination and wore them as amulets for protection, strength, and to ward off evil spirits.
- Native American: Corn was the staple of life and therefore a symbol of life, prosperity, and happiness. In many Native American tribes an ear of corn and all its seeds is a symbol of all the people and creatures in the universe.
Happiness, tranquility, and ecstasy.
- Greek: Named for the beautiful Greek youth Crocus, who was so in love with a young shepherdess named Smilax, that he pined away until he died. The gods rewarded his love by changing him into a flower, the crocus.
- Roman: The ancient Romans loved this plant so much that they strew the blossoms throughout their banquet halls, in small streams, fountains, and court yards.
Sacred to underworld gods and goddesses. When shown with the Sun and the Moon it is a symbol of androgyny.
- Aromatherapy: balancing and purifying. The oil has a refreshing, spicy, juniper and pine needle-like aroma.
- Chinese: Beauty, mercy, kindness, and death.
- Christian: Perseverance.
- Greco-Roman: Life. Sacred to Hades and Pluto, Zeus and Jupiter, Apollo, Hermes, and Venus.
Innocence, gentleness, love, and purity. Associated with Moon gods and goddesses. Protects against thunder and lightning.
- Christian: The innocence of the Christ child.
Welcome. Associated with the planet Jupiter, and the element of air. Blowing the seeds from the head carries a person’s thought to a loved one. It was considered a sign of rain when the seeds feel from the head but no wind was blowing.
Long life, protection, ecstasy, celebration, righteousness, fame, blessings, abundance, endurance, triumph, victory, Androgyny, and success. The Tree of Life in many cultures. Associated with the Sun.
- Chinese: Honor.
- Christian: A palm leaf is a symbol of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and a symbol of martyrs. Palm Sunday is celebrated today in commemoration of this visit. One legend says that when Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with the Christ child they did not have time to pack any food. When they entered Egypt they came to a grove of date palms and one of the trees bent down and offered them its fruits while cherubs sat on its leaves and sang, wishing them peace.
- Egyptian: Ancient Egyptian tree of the year because it produces a new branch each month. Cultivated in the gardens of the pharaohs and nobles. Leaves were a symbol of long life. Emblem of Amon Ra, Thoth, and Hathor.
- Miscellaneous: The date palm was the Babylonian, Phoenician, and Chaldean Tree of Life.
Every part of the dogwood is considered protective and can be used in protective charms and amulets.
Scattering the leaves to the four winds will bring protection. The leaves, flowers, and berries were strewn on people, places, and things to bless them. Grown near your home, elder will protect. It is used at weddings to bring good luck to the newlyweds.
- Christian: Devotion.
- Danish: In Denmark, it is believed to be unlucky to have furniture made of elder wood.
Used as an incense eucalyptus promotes all kinds of—emotional, physical, and spiritual.
- Aromatherapy: purifying and energizing.
Magic, fascination, grace, blessing, devotion, tenderness. It was believed that anyone who carried the seeds of ferns would be rendered invisible.
Feverfew is carried for protection against illnesses and to prevent accidents.
Life, peace, fertility, and abundance. Sometimes a tree of knowledge. The fig tree combines the masculine and feminine principles. The fig leaf is masculine and the fig is feminine.
- Christian: Fruitfulness.
- Greco-Roman: Sacred to Dionysus and Bacchus. Many ancient Greek athletes ate only figs, in the belief that they were the perfect food and would increase a person’s strength and speed.
- Islamic: The Islamic Tree of Heaven, sacred because Mohammed swore by it. It was considered the most intelligent tree, only one step away from the animal kingdom.
- Judaic: Peace and abundance.
- Polynesian: Tree of life.
- Roman: Considered a sacred tree by the ancient Romans. Associated with Bacchus and Saturn, who was believed to have created the fruit. On the first day of the year figs were given as gifts.
The feminine principle, tenderness, love, dawn, birth, fragility, and beauty. Flowers are also used to symbolize the birth of a god or goddess. All flowers are attributes of Mother Goddesses. The bud of a flower is possibility. Flower gardens are associated with paradise. Red flowers symbolize the dawn, passion, and the Sun. White flowers are a symbol of innocence. Blue flowers symbolize the unattainable. Five-petalled flowers are a symbol of the microcosm and six-petalled flowers the macrocosm.
- Alchemic: A white flower is a symbol of silver, a red flower a symbol of gold, and a blue flower is the flower of wisdom which grows from the cosmic egg.
- Celtic: The Sun, and spiritual growth.
- Chinese: In China all flowers symbolize the feminine principle.
- Roman: Funerary symbols.
Spiritual blessing, protection, and purification. Used as an incense it is said to clear and calm the mind.
- Aromatherapy: calming, good oil for visualizing and meditation. The oil is spicy, balsamic, green-lemon-like and peppery.
- Egyptian: Sacred to Ra.
Immortality. Fruit represents the end of one cycle and its seeds represent the beginning of another. First fruits symbolize the best of the harvest, that is why they were and are used as offering’s in sacrifices and in other religious rites.
Paradise. In the garden grows the life-giving tree, fruit, or flower. Enclosed gardens a symbol of protection, virginity, and the feminine principle.
- Islamic: The four gardens of paradise are the gardens of the soul, heart, spirit, and essence, symbols of the mystical journey of life.
- Roman: The ancient Romans enclosed their funerary gardens and considered them symbols of Elysium. These gardens were frequently planted with vines as a symbol of life and immortality, and roses were also planted as symbols of eternal spring.
Strength and courage. Garlic is hung in new homes to dispel negativity and evil. It has always been believed to have strong protective powers and cured a cure-all in many cultures. Masculine.
- Egyptian: Buried it with their dead to help sustain them in the afterlife.
- Greek: Known as Hectate’s Supper, garlic was eaten and laid at crossroads to honor Hecate, goddess of the underworld. The offering was made in the middle of the night, on the eve of the full moon. The garlic was placed on a pile of stones, and the person who made the offering was to walk away and not look back. People who had eaten garlic were forbidden to enter the Temple of Cybele because the smell on the breath of her worshipped was considered offensive to her.
- Hindu: Protection from evil spirits. The Sanskrit name for garlic means “slayer of monsters“.
- Islamic: Muhammad wrote that garlic grew from the ground where Satan placed his left foot as he walked out of the Garden of Eden.
Power, love, and prosperity. Associated with the planet Mars, and the element of fire.
- Aromatherapy: cheering and refreshing. It has a fresh, sweet, bitter, citrus aroma.
Love, beauty, and desire. Associated with the Sun, and the element of Fire.
- Chinese: Strength, longevity, and energy.
Possibility, fertility, beginnings, and conception.
Wisdom, youth, elation, intoxication, welcome, abandon, immortality, and sacrifice. Grapes are an attribute of agricultural and fertility gods and goddesses.
- Greco-Roman: Associated with Dionysus and Bacchus.
Hawthorn branches and leaves are used in spells and rituals for fertility and protection. Hawthorn trees were often planted near holy wells and were said to stand at the threshold of the Otherworld.
- Christian: Many Christians believe Christ’s crown was made of hawthorn thorns.
- Roman: The Romans used hawthorn as a charm against witchcraft and sorcery.
Wisdom, love, fertility, luck, and peace. Associated with Mother Goddesses, and fire gods and goddesses.
- Celtic: Wisdom and inspiration. The Tree of Life which grew in Avalon was a hazel tree. Hazelnuts were believed to contain all wisdom and inspiration and anyone who ate them would also possess this wisdom.
- Greek: Connection, compromise, and truce. The rod of Hermes was made of hazel wood.
- Nordic: Sacred to Thor.
Solitude, protection, and admiration.
Eternal love and devotion.
- Greek: Phoebus Apollo, god of the Sun, was the lover of the water-nymph Clytie. When he abandoned her she suffered such grief that she sat on the bank of a river for nine days and nine nights, without food, water, or sleep, watching his Chariot from dawn to dusk, waiting at night for the Sun to rise again. The gods finally took pity on her and changed her into the flower heliotrope, which means “the flower which follows the Sun”, from the Greekhelios, meaning “Sun”, and tropos, meaning “turn”.
Good will, health, happiness, joy, and defense. Attribute of Sun gods and goddesses.
- Druid: The Druid’s took it into their homes during winter because it symbolized a willingness to share their home with nature spirit’s during the harsh season.
- Roman: Sacred to Saturn.
Caution. A blue hyacinth is a symbol of sincerity. In the Victorian language of flowers it meant sport or play.
- Greek: This flower sprung from the blood of Hyacinthus. Apollo was in love with Hyacinthus, which made Zephyr, god of the wind, very jealous. One day while Apollo was playing quoits, a game similar to horseshoes, with Hyacinthus, Zephyr blew one of the rings Apollo threw into Hyacinthus and killing him. Apollo, believing he had killed Hyacinthus, was overcome with grief. Apollo created the hyacinth out of his dead loves blood. The Greeks believed the petals look like the Greek syllables “ai, ai“, meaning “woe”. The flower springing from blood is a symbol of resurrection. The emblem of Cronos and Ceres.
Purification. Known through history as a holy herb, used for cleansing sacred places.
- Aromatherapy: refreshing, cleansing, and purifying. The scent of the oil is spicy, sweet, woody and strong.
- Egypt: It was used in Egypt to cleanse lepers.
- Judeo-Christian: King David used hyssop to symbolize the cleansing of the body, soul, and mind from sin. “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)
Hope, faith, wisdom, communication, power, light, and valor. Associated with the Moon. The three large petals symbolize faith, wisdom, and valor. Iris’ were used anciently to cure fevers, coughs, epilepsy, headaches, snake bites, and loose teeth.
- Chinese: Grace, tenderness, friendship, and solitude.
- Christian: The Virgin Mary.
- Greek: Symbol of Iris and named for her because of its many colors, like the rainbow of which she is the goddess. The Greek planted irises on the graves of women because one of the jobs of the goddess was to lead the souls of dead women to the Elysian Fields.
- Japanese: Emblem of a warrior.
- Miscellaneous: The Romans, Spaniards, and Egyptians all grew iris for its medicinal values and used it to treat loose teeth, epilepsy, fevers, headaches, and snake bites.
Immortality, revelry, clinging, attachment, and eternal friendship.
- Christian: Everlasting life and faithfulness.
- Egyptian: Immortality. Sacred to Osiris.
- Greek: Fidelity. Greek priests gave an ivy wreath to newly married couples. Sacred to Dionysus whose crown is made of ivy and whose cup is the ‘ivy cup’ and his thrysus is entwined with ivy. One of his emblems is a post sprouting ivy leaves. In ancient Greece it was called cissos because according to myths it was named after the nymph Cissos, who at a feast of the gods, danced with such joy and abandon before Dionysus that she fell dead from exhaustion at his feet, and he was so moved by her performance and untimely death, that he turned her into ivy, a plant which gracefully and joyfully entwines and embraces everything near it.
- Roman: Sacred to Bacchus who wore a crown of ivy. People wore ivy in their hair to prevent intoxication.
Creativity and love. Red jasmine symbolizes glee, folly, intoxication; white symbolizes cheerfulness and sweetness; and yellow symbolizes modesty, and chastity.
- Aromatherapy: relaxing, romantic, and sensual.
- Christian: Hope.
Courage, protection, purity, and confidence. When burned as an incense it protects, purifies, attracts love, and enhances psychic powers. Associated with the planet Mercury.
- Aromatherapy: restoring and supportive. Juniper berry oil has a fresh, warm, balsamic, woody-pine needle odor.
- Greco-Roman: Protection, trust, hope, and beginning. Sacred to Hermes and Mercury.
- Scottish: Burned on Ney Year’s day in homes and barns to purify the buildings and those living in them.
- Welsh: It was once believed if someone cut down a juniper tree they would die within a year.
Loyalty, undying love, tenderness, and kindness. Lavender is used in love spells and its scent is said to protect men, and bring peace and healing. Associated with the planet Mercury.
- Aromatherapy: balancing, healing, purifying, and balancing. The oil has a fresh, warm, balsamic, woody-pine needle odor.
- Roman: Name derived from the Latin lavare, meaning “to wash”, because of the Romans used the flowers and leaves to scent their bathwater and fountains.
Fertility, resurrection, renewal, growth, and change. Green leaves symbolize hope. Dead or dying leaves symbolize sadness and death. A crown of leaves represents victory and immortality.
- Chinese: The leaves of the cosmic tree symbolize all life in the universe.
Harvest, passion, discretion, luck, and pride. Associated with the Sun. Said to bring protective spirits.
- Aromatherapy: uplifting, cheering, and refreshing.
Beauty, gentleness, and innocence.
Innocence, peace, humility, resurrection, fertility, virginity, sincerity, motherhood, and royalty. Sacred to Earth gods and goddesses, and sky gods and goddess. Considered the flower of motherhood. In western cultures the lily shares the same symbolism as the lotus in eastern cultures. Lilies were used as protection from witches and planted in gardens to keep ghosts away.
- Alchemic: In Alchemy a white lily symbolizes the feminine principle.
- British: It was believed if you offered a pregnant woman a rose and a lily, that if she chose the rose the baby would be a girl, and if she chose the lily the baby would be a boy.
- Christian: Innocence. It is said that lilies sprang from the tears of Eve when she and Adam were cast out of the Garden of Eden. The lily also symbolizes the Virgin Mary, the straight stalk symbolizes her godly mind, the leaves her humility, the white color her virginity, and the fragrance her divinity. A symbol of the second coming of Christ. The flower of Saint Anthony, patron saint of marriage.
- Egyptian: Abundance and fertility.
- Greco-Roman: Innocence and morality. A white lily is an attribute of Hera and Juno. Sacred to Venus. In Rome lilies were known as rosa junonsis, Juno’s rose.
- Judaic: The ancient Hebrews used the lily to symbolize their trust in God.
Lily of the valley
Humility, purity, renewal, and happiness. The flower was used extensively in medicine to cure headaches, give a person common sense, cure eye diseases, and to strengthen the memory. The medicines made from it were considered so strong and precious that they were kept in bottles made of gold or silver.
- Christian: A symbol of Christ’s second coming. The lily of the valley was created when St. Leonard, went to live in the forest as a hermit. The dragon, Temptation, was angry that St. Leonard had moved into his forest and told him to live. St. Leonard refused and the two fought for three days, with St. Leonard prevailing. Where the dragon’s blood fell a weed grew and where the blood of St. Leonard fell a lily of the valley grew. Another story of the says that everywhere Mary’s tears fell at the cross, a lily of the valley grew. AKA…Jacob’s Ladder, and Ladder of Heaven.
- Germanic-Scandinavian: Good luck. Sometimes considered the fifth thing a bride should carry.
Creation, beginning, the union of fire and water, rebirth, birth and death, enlightenment, and a symbol of a divine birth. As a combination of the Sun and water it symbolizes spirit and matter, and fire and water. The lotus is both solar and lunar. The lotus flower is associated with the wheel as a solar symbol, the flower forms a rosette, the endless cycles of existence, it also forms a cup, feminine principle. The lotus represents spiritual unfolding, starting with its roots in the slime and growing up through the water, and ending with its flower in the Sun. Its roots symbolize the umbilical cord that binds man to his origin, its bud is possibility, and its bloom is growth.
- Buddhist: The lotus is the Buddhist symbol of Nirvana, life, purity, spontaneous generation, divine birth, immortality, the feminine principle, beauty, love, kindness, peace, harmony, union, and was worshipped as the androgynous symbol of self-creation. In Nepal the Buddha is always represented by a lotus flower. In Tibet, the lotus is a symbol of mystery. The sacred mantra of Tibetan Buddhism is Om mani padme hum, “Oh the jewel of the lotus, Amen.” A person’s heart is like an unopened lotus and when the virtues of the Buddha develop the lotus blossoms within it.
- Chinese: Innocence, perfection, beauty, peace, the feminine principle, summer, and past and present and future since the same plant produces buds, flowers, and seeds at the same time.
- Christian: The Trinity. Called the Lily of the Virgin.
- Egyptian: Wisdom, creation, fertility, resurrection, immortality, and sovereign power. Sacred to Horus and Osiris. A blue lotus is associated with the Nile River and fertility. In Egyptian myth and art, a lotus floating on the water represented the newly created Earth.
- Greco-Roman: Associated with Aphrodite and Venus.
- Hindu: Self-creation, eternity, beauty, and faith. The lotus is revered because Brahma was born in the sacred bosom of the flower.
- Mayan: The Earth.
- Middle Eastern: Associated with Sun gods and Earth goddesses.
- Persian: The Sun.
- Tantric:” The feminine principle.
A symbol of man and life because its root is shaped like a human body. It is said that when the root is pulled it shrieks, and anyone hearing this shriek will die. Associated with the Sun. Used to induce trances and cause sleep, in the past, due to its narcotic properties. From the earliest times it has been believed that mandrake root can make a barren woman fertile and that it is a powerful aphrodisiac.
- Christian: Said to be god’s first attempt at making man.
- Greek: Sacred to Circe.
Prophecy and movement. Marigolds were hung on doorposts and scattered under beds as protection from evil and to aid in prophetic dreaming. European folklore held that if a young girl touched the petals with her feet she would be able to talk to birds. Associated with the Sun and the element of fire.
Kindness, comfort, consolation, and cheerfulness. Used as a charm against witchcraft. Associated with the planet Mercury.
- Aromatherapy: purifying, warming. and balancing. The aroma of the oil is warm and spicy, with a hint of nutmeg.
- Greek: Love, beauty, and fragility. Dedicated to Venus, because it was said that she had touched it and its perfume would always linger to remind people of her beauty. Marjoram was created when carrying. He was so afraid the king would be angry that he died of fright. His body fell on the floor and was covered with the perfume. A beautiful plant grew on his grave and it was named sweet marjoram.
Purification. and hospitality.
- Greek: Mint was created when Pluto fell in love with a beautiful nymph named Mintho. Persephone became jealous, and changed Mintho into the fragrant plant.
The essence of life, immortality, love, devotion, fertility, passion and good health. Sacred to all Sun gods and goddesses. Mistletoe is not a tree or plant so it symbolizes freedom. Associated with the Sun.
- Christian: According to one legend, Jesus’ cross was made of its wood, but it was cursed after that and never allowed to put it’s roots in soil again.
- Druid: The golden bough of the Druids, mistletoe represents the feminine principle, new life and rebirth. After sacrificing a white bull to the good spirits they passed out branches of mistletoe to the worshippers who took them home and hung them from their ceilings to keep away evil spirits. The Druids also considered the berries food for the body and the soul. The union between the oak tree and mistletoe was symbolic of the sexual union between a man and a woman. Mistletoe gathered during Winter Solstice was used in fertility rites and that gathered during Summer Solstice was believed to have great protective and healing powers.
- Norse: Balder was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe.
Joy, peace, tranquility, happiness, constancy, victory, and the feminine principle.
- Chinese: Fame and success.
- Christian: Virginity.
- Greco-Roman: Love and marriage. Sacred to Poseidon, Neptune, Aphrodite, Venus, and Artemis.
Vanity, purity, chivalry, respect, and promise. . A daffodil is a narcissus with a trumpet as long or longer than the surrounding petals.
- Chinese: Good fortune. Emblem of the winter. Narcissus are the sacred lily of the Orient.
- Greek: The name comes from the Greek word narkeo, meaning “to be stupefied”, which alludes to the plants medicinal properties to numb the nervous system. Echo, a mountain nymph, fell madly in love with Narcissus, a beautiful young man. Narcissus was very vain spending all his time looking at his reflection in a pool of water and rejecting her advances until she faded away, leaving only her voice behind. The gods were angered by this and changed him into a flower, destined to sit by a pool of water, nodding at his own reflection forever . There are similar versions of this myth in the Middle East, Rome, Spain, and Egypt. Venus rules all narcissus except the yellow ones, which are governed by Mars.
- Islamic: Mohammed said, “Let him who hat two loaves sell one, and buy the flower of narcissus: for bread is but food for the body, whereas narcissus is food for the soul.”
- Japanese: Happiness and joy.
Strength, abundance, protection, fertility, durability, courage, truth, man, and the human body. Sacred to thunder, sky, and fertility god and goddesses. All parts of the tree are powerful protective amulets. Associated with the Sun.
- Celtic: Endurance, triumph, power, sacrifice, and the masculine principle.
- Chinese: The masculine principle.
- Christian: Symbol of Jesus Christ and his strength in adversity. Legend says that Abraham lived and met with angels under a tree which was known as the Oak of Mamre.
- Druid: The most sacred tree. Associated with the Sun. They used oak leaves in all their religious rites.
- German: Sacred to Donar.
- Greco-Roman: The marriage of the oak god, Zeus or Jupiter, and the oak goddess, Hera or Juno, was celebrated every year.
- Slavic: Sacred to Perun. A fire of oak wood was kept burning in his honor and those who attended it paid with their lives if it ever went out.
Peace, happiness, immortality, renewal, abundance, and fertility. Associated with the Moon. An olive branch, shown with or without a dove, has long been a symbol of peace.
- Chinese: Perseverance, serenity, elegance, and mercy.
- Christian: Peace, charity, prosperity, healing, purity, honesty, and faith.
- Greco-Roman: Victory and peace. Attribute of Jupiter, Juno, Apollo, Cybele, Athena, and Minerva. The victors in the Olympic games were crowned with it’s leaves.
Generosity, fertility, virginity, eternal love, and abundance.
- Chinese: Immortality, happiness, prosperity, and good fortune.
- Christian: Morality and virginity.
- Greek: The golden apples given by Gaia to Hera on her wedding day to Zeus were oranges, as were the Golden Apples of the Hesperides.
- Japan: Orange blossoms symbolize pure love and chastity.
- Greek: It was planted on graves so the dead would rest in peace. Also associated with weddings, young couples were crowned with it because it was believed that Venus created and grew it. Name means “Joy of the Mountain”.
Love and beauty.
- Chinese: Many children.
| “The juice of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid,
Will make a man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.”
A Midsummer’s Night Dream, William Shakespeare
Memory, contemplation, love, and joy. Name comes from the French pense, which means though. The three original colors of the pansy were purple, white, and yellow, symbolizing memories, loving thoughts, and celebration. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, a pansy’s heart shape indicates it is a good cure for a broken heart. A bad luck gift if given to a man.
- British: To pick a pansy still wet with dew will cause the death of a loved one. The Knights of the Round Table used pansies for divination. They would pull a petal from a pansy and look at them for secret signs. A petal with four lines meant hope, thick lines leaning to the left meant a life of trouble, lines leaning toward the right meant prosperity, seven lines meant faithfulness and if the middle line was longest the person would be married on a Sunday, eight lines meant an unstable person, nine lines meant changing love, eleven lines meant a disappointing love and early death.
- Celtic: The Celts made a tea from its leaves and used it for a love potion.
- Christian: Humility.
- Greek: Greek legends say that all pansies were white, until one was pierced by one of Cupid’s arrows. It was after this that they became symbols of love and were used in love potions and spells.
- Miscellaneous: The three petals symbolize the Trinity of many religions, and it is sometimes called Herb Trinity.
- Scottish-Germanic: In Scottish and German folklore, pansies are known as stepmother. The large lower petal is the stepmother, the two petals on either side of it are the spoiled daughters, and the two smaller upper petals are the poor stepdaughters.
- Greek: Dedicated to Persephone, as queen of the Underworld. Was a sacred herd used during funeral services and at burials.
Joy, passion, and friendship. Associated with the heart chakra.
- Buddhist: One of the Three Blessed Fruits.
- Chinese: Long life, spring, beauty, and good fortune. Tree of Life.
- Japanese: Tree of Immortality. The blossoms are a symbol of the feminine principle and beauty.
Justice and hope.
- Chinese: The blossom is a Chinese symbol of innocence, beauty, simplicity, and longevity.
Safety, protection, and power. Used by shepherds to protect their flocks; to ward off demons, storms, and nightmares; and to protect crops and ensure a good harvest . One of the reasons the peony was believed to have great magical and medicinal powers was because of its phosphorescent quality, some of the plants glow in the dark. Once used medicinally to cure insanity, seizures, and soothe the gums of teething infants. Legend says that woodpeckers protect the peony and if you try to gather it to use in medicine while a woodpecker is present your patient will die.
- Chinese: Prosperity. The Chinese name for peony is sho-yo, meaning “Beautiful”.
- European : Mother’s used to hang strings of peony seeds around their children’s necks to protect them from the evil eye. The seeds were also soaked in rainwater, dried, and then worn as protection against witches and the devil.
- Greek: Healing. Named after Paeon, the physician to the gods and student of Asclepius. Leto told Paeon where to find a root on Mount Olympus that would ease a woman’s pain during childbirth. Asclepius jealous and vowed to kill Paeon. Leto begged Zeus for help and he saved Paeon by turning him into a flower.
- Japanese: Strength and a happy marriage. Flower of the month of June.
Honesty, strength, fertility, generosity, silence, hope, solitude, and immortality. Pines cones were carried to increase fertility and for longevity. Pine needles have been burned as an incense to purify and cleanse. Branches were placed over beds to keep sickness away. Associated with the planet Mars and the element of air.
- Chinese: One of the Chinese three friends of winter, the fruit of eternal life, and symbol of long life, courage, and devotion.
- Greco-Roman: Virginity. An emblem of Zeus, Jupiter, Venus, Dionysus and Diana.
- Iroquois: Tree of Peace.
- Japanese: It was customary to place a pine bough over the door of a house to guarantee continual happiness and prosperity.
- Middle Eastern: The pine cone is a symbol of life.
- Mithraic: The Mithraic Tree of Life.
- Chinese: Long life, winter, beauty, and innocence. Since it flowers in the winter it is also a symbol of strength, perseverance, and victory. One of the Chinese three friends of winter.
- Japanese: Plum blossoms are a symbol of springs triumph over winter, happiness, and marriage. An emblem of the Samurai.
- Taoism: Taoist Tree of Longevity.
Immortality, fertility, and abundance.
- Buddhist: One of the Three Blessed Fruits.
- Chinese: Good fortune and fertility.
- Christian: Eternal life, royalty, hope, unity, and the resurrection of Christ.
- Greco-Roman: Spring, immortality, and fertility. Emblem of Hera, Juno, Ceres, and Persephone. The pomegranate grew from the blood of Dionysus.
- Japanese: Love and female reproduction.
- Chinese: Because its leaves are a different colors on each side it symbolizes the yin-yang. Sacred to Zeus and Jupiter.
- Greco-Roman: A white poplar symbolizes the Elysian Fields or the Isle of the Blessed, and a black poplar Hades.
Night, love, beauty, magic, eternal life, and imagination. Poppies have been used in magic and for medicine for centuries. Symbol of the Great Mother. Sacred to all Moon gods and goddesses.
- Chinese: Solitude, calm, beauty, success, sleep, and rest. Opium is a symbol of evil.
- Egyptian: The ancient Egyptians believed their use in funeral rites was essential for assuring life after death.
- European: In Europe, country girls played fortune-telling games with poppy flowers. They placed a poppy petal in their lover’s hand and then would hit it with the edge of their own hand. If the petal made a popping noise it meant her lover had been true to her, if it broke silently it meant he had been unfaithful to her.
- Germanic: Fields of poppies were known as Odainsackr , “field of the living.” They believed that just by laying in these fields they would be healed of any disease or illness.
- Greco-Roman: Sleep. Associated with Ceres, Persephone, Demeter, Venus, and Hypnos.
- Greek: Poppies were a symbol of fertility and they placed garlands of poppy blossoms at the shrines of Demeter, goddess of fertility, and Diana, goddess of the hunt. They also carried poppy seeds as love charms. The seeds were baked into breads and put into drinks in the belief that they would give strength and ensure good health.
Youth. To “walk down the primrose path” meant to lead a life of pleasure and self-indulgence. Known as Fairy Flower because it was believed that fairies took shelter under its leaves during rainstorms.
- Roman: Name is derived from the Latin primus, meaning “first”, because primroses are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring.
Love. Associated with the planet Venus and the element of water.
Abundance, spiritual nourishment, victory, knowledge, and happiness. Associated with the Sun.
Both a symbol of spiritual perfection and earthly passion, and life and death. Perfection, fulfillment, the mystery of life, the unknown, mercy, kindness, happiness, sensuality, fertility, and virginity, creation, and beauty. The thorns of the rose symbolize pain, blood, and martyrdom. A golden rose is a symbol of perfection; a red rose a symbol hope, passion, joy, beauty, realization, love, the blood of Adonis and Christ and all savior-gods who were killed, and is the flower of Venus; a white rose is a symbol of light, innocence, simplicity, virtue, and spiritual unfolding; a blue rose a symbol of the impossible; a yellow rose a symbol of infidelity and jealousy; a rosebud is a symbol of beauty and youth; a rose garden a symbol of paradise; and a withered rose a symbol of ephemeral beauty.
- Alchemic: Wisdom, and the rebirth of the spiritual after the death of the earthly.
- Chinese: Prosperity, abundance, and tenderness.
- Christian: A white rose symbolizes the Virgin Mary, innocence, and chastity; and a red rose is a symbol of Christ’s blood, charity and martyrdom. Early rosaries were made of rose petal beads. It is said a rose sprung from each drop of Christ’s blood. The ancient Romans used roses everywhere in their lives, and they became a symbol of the extravagant, indulgent life Roman’s loved to lead. Because of this, early Christian’s would not allow roses inside their churches. The rose is said to have been thornless until Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. St. Dorothy received roses from paradise from an angel while she was in prison.
- Greco-Roman: Unconditional love, happiness, beauty, harmony, tranquility, hope, and pleasure. An emblem of Aphrodite, Venus, Aurora, Dionysus, and the Muses. The white rose was sacred to Diana and the red rose to Jupiter. Roses were grown in Roman funerary gardens as symbols of resurrection and eternal life. In ancient Rome a rose was attached to the ceiling of council chambers to indicate the everyone present was sworn to secrecy, sub rosa—under the rose. According to Greek myth, all roses were thornless until one day Aphrodite’s young son Cupid was looking at one and got stung by a bee, he ran crying to his mother and to pacify him, she strung his bow with bees, first removing their stingers and placing them on the stem of the rose. The rose was created when Chloris, the Greek goddess of flowers, was walking and found the body of a beautiful nymph. She was saddened to see such a beautiful creature lying dead and decided to give the nymph new life by transforming her into a beautiful flower that would surpass all other flowers in beauty. She asked the other gods to help her create this flower. Aphrodite gave the rose beauty; the Three Graces gave the rose brilliance, joy, and charm; Chloris’ husband Zephyrus, the god of the West, blew away the clouds so Apollo, the Sun, could send his life-giving rays to the rose; and Dionysus gave the rose fragrance and nectar.
- Islamic: Masculine beauty. White roses are associated with Mohammed.
- Persian: Love. The rose is originally from Persia, where it was once considered the most sacred blossom.
Memory, fidelity, devotion, and everlasting love. Wherever rosemary grows well in a garden a woman will be the master of the house.
- British: About 1370 the Countess of Hainault sent her daughter Queen Philippa, the wife of Edward III, a letter with the virtues of rosemary outlined, “…The leves layde under the heade whanne a man slepes, it doth away evell spirites and suffereth not to dreame fowle dremes ne to be afeade. But he must be out of deadly synne for it is an holy tree…and with ffolke that been just and Rightfulle gladlye it groweth and thryveth.” Brides wore garlands of rosemary as a sign they brought loving memories from their old home to their new home.
- Christian: Known as the Rose of Mary. It’s flowers turned from white to blue when the Virgin Mary placed her cloak on it to dry while she was fleeing from Herod with Joseph and Jesus.
- Greek: Students braided rosemary in their hair when studying for examinations.
- Celtic: Nurturing, youth, intuition, and fertility . Second letter of the ogham, luis, associated with the letter l. Associated with gray, yarrow, and bears. It is the tree of protection.
Purification, virginity, mercy, and morality. Associated with the Sun, the planet Mars, and the element of fire. Rue was once eaten by people who did not want to talk in their sleep.
- Christian: At one time holy water was sprinkled from brushes made of rue as the ceremony was once eaten by those who did not want to talk in their sleep preceding the Sunday celebration of High Mass, so it was known as the ‘herb of repentance’, and ‘herb of grace’.
- Greek: The ancient Greeks were extremely uncomfortable when they had to eat at the table of strangers and would suffer terrible bouts of indigestion from the stress. According to Aristotle, they attributed this to witchcraft and rue would alleviate their symptoms so they believed it had strong protective powers against witchcraft.
- Roman: The Romans ate rue to protect them from the evil eye.
Esteem, longevity, and good health. Associated with the planet Jupiter. Sage grows best for the wise, and withers when the master of the house is ailing. Strewn on graves as a sign of remembrance. Throughout time sage has been used as a medicine to cure almost every disease.
- Arabic: Believed to make men immortal. An old Arabic proverb says, “How shall a man die who has sage in his garden?”
- European: Many older people in Europe attribute their long lives and good health to the consistent use of sage in their diets.
- Greco-Roman: Sacred to Zeus and Jupiter.
- Roman: Its name is derived from the Latin salvus meaning “safe” or salvere, meaning “I am well” or “to be in good health,” because it was believed to be able to cure almost any illness.
Perseverance. The plant of lover’s. Associated with the planet Mercury.
Delight, intoxication, perfection, and completeness.
Devotion, respect, and pride. Because of the way it follows the Sun, the sunflower is also a symbol of infatuation, passion, and desire.
- Chinese: Long life. Believed to have magic powers.
- Incan: The Incans worshipped sunflowers as the sacred image of their Sun god.
- Egyptian: Two trees called the “sycamores of turquoise” stood at the eastern gate of heaven where the sun emerged each morning. These sycamores were associated with the Nut, Hathor and Isis, each of whom were called “Lady of the Sycamore”. Nut and Hathor were often shown reaching out from the tree offering the deceased food and water.
Thorned plants symbolize the crescent Moon.
Courage. The name is derived from a Greek word meaning “to make a burnt offering” and it was much used as incense in Greek temples.
- European: Medieval women embroidered thyme on the scarves of their knights before a tournament to give them courage and strength.
The joining of Heaven and Earth, the feminine principle, protection, support, sacred knowledge, regeneration, and nourishment. The cosmic axis…the navel of the world…which stood at the center of the universe where it passed through the middle and united the underworld, earth, and sky…the three cosmic domains. Trees are objects of admiration, reverence, fear, romance, mysticism, and worship in every culture in the world. Evergreen trees symbolize immortality because they retain their foliage and green color in the winter when other trees appear dead. Deciduous trees symbolize the cycles of rebirth, renewal, and regeneration. The Paradise tree, an evergreen, was decorated with apples as a symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve held on December 24th during the middle ages. Associated with Mother Goddesses.
- Alchemic: The prima materia, both the origin and the fruit of the work is symbolized by various trees in alchemy.
- Buddhist: Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under a fig, pipal, or bodhi tree.
- Celtic: T he Celts had a written alphabet with letters named for different sacred trees. The Druids, Celtic magicians, whose name means “tree,” practiced their magic and held sacred rituals in oak groves.
- Chinese: Conquering armies would cut down holy forests rather than tearing down temples, as the supreme act of conquest. Many weapons were made of wood from special trees in the hope that the strength of the tree would reside in them.
- Germanic: In Germany it was customary to plant a tree at every wedding. As each child was born, an apple tree was planted when a boy was born and a pear tree planted when a girl was born. The life and fruitfulness of the trees were believed to give strength to the marriage and the children.
- Hindu: The Bhagavad Gita tells of a tree that grows upside down, with its roots in heaven and its branches on the earth.
Trees of Life, World Trees, Trees of Knowledge,
Ect… Mystical Trees
The Tree of Life or World Tree is the axis mundi, the mystical point of connection between the earth and the sky…heaven and the underworld; it is a living cosmic axis with its roots in the Underworld, linking with the trunk, the Earth, and its branches in the air, heaven.
- Armenian: The Armenian Tree of Life was called Urartu. From around the 13th to 6th century B.C, the Tree of Life was a religious symbol in Armenian culture. The tree had one stem, and on the stem were branches. The branches were equally divided on the right and left sides. Every branch had one leaf, and there was also a leaf on top of the tree. Two servants stood on each side of the tree, holding one of their hands up as if they were caring for it.
- Assyrian: The Tree of Life is represented by a series of criss-crossing lines.
- Bahia: The Sidrat al-Muntahā (Tree of Life), a lotus tree, is usually shown asSadratu’l-Muntahá, is a metaphor for the manifestation of God.
- Celtic: The Tree of Life which grew in Avalon was a hazel tree.
- Christian: The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is connected to the doctrine of original sin. In the Book of Revelation, a Greek phrase xylon zoës(ξύλον ζωής) is mentioned 3 times. The phrase, meaning literally “wood of life” is translated in nearly every English bible as the “tree of life” (Revelation 2:7, 22:2, and 22:19). The Tree of the Cross, which Christ was crucified on, was said in Medieval legends to be made from wood of the Tree of Life.
- Egyptian: Isis & Osiris were said to have emerged from the acacia tree of Saosis, considered the Tree of Life by the ancient Egyptians who referred to it as the “tree in which life and death are enclosed”. The sycamore tree, which connected the worlds of the living and dead, stood at the threshold between life and death.
- Finnish: The Sami believe a person can send their hugr (‘soul’, ‘mindforce’, or ‘consciousness’) to travel by way of the World Tree from one world to another.
- Greek: Folk traditions said the tree that holds the Earth is constantly being sawed by Kallikantzaroi, translated as goblins.
- Hindu: The Tree of the Sun and the Moon told the future. Two parts of the tree trunk spoke, and depending on the time of day of the question the tree answered as a male or a female. In the daytime the tree spoke as a male and at night it spoke as a female. Alexander the Great and Marco Polo are said to have visited the tree.
- Hungarian: The World Tree, világfa…Égig érő fa , “the tree reaching into the sky” tetejetlen fa, “the tree without a top” and életfa, “the life tree”. The world tree often grows out of a reindeer or a horse. The sun and the moon are often found in its branches. It’s top is in the sky and its roots reach into hell.
- Islamic: The Sidrat al-Muntahā (Arabic: سدرة المنتهى ) is a lotus tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, a boundary where none can pass. The fig tree is the Tree of Heaven, sacred because Mohammed swore by it. Zakkum grows in the hell. The fruit from this tree is food for the damned.
- Japanese: The peach tree is the Tree of Immortality.
- Judaic: When God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil it was his way of giving them free choice and the chance to earn, rather than receive, immortality. They would have earned this by resisting the temptation to eat from the tree.
- Judeo-Christian: The Tree of Life (Hebrew עץ החיים, Etz haChayim), in the Book of Genesis, was planted by God in middle of the Garden of Eden, its fruit giving everlasting life…immortality.
- Mayan: The Yaxche, the Tree of Life, was represented by a ceiba tree, and was known as wacah chan or yax imix che. This tree was represented by a cross in Mayan art.
- Mesopotamian: The Epic of Gilgamesh is a similar quest for immortality. In Mesopotamian mythology, Etana searches for a ‘plant of birth’ to provide him with a son.
- Mexican: Agave, a milk-yielding cactus, was the Cosmic World Tree.
- Miscellaneous: The date palm was the Babylonian, Phoenician, and Chaldean Tree of Life.
- Mithraic: The pine was the Mithraic Tree of Life.
- Native American: In many tribes an ear of corn and all its seeds is a symbol of all the people and creatures in the universe.
- Norse and Germanic: Yggdrasil (ygg “terrible” and drasil “steed”), the World Tree, was seen ash tree located at the center of the universe which supported the nine worlds. It provides a magical spring water of knowledge. The maypole, besom and staff all represented Yggdrasil and proper use of them enabled travel between the worlds. Also known as Mjötviðr, Yggdrasil was still a seedling ‘before the ground below existed’. Mjöt-viðr means “wood of proper measure”, representing the harmony of the universe, where everything is in its proper proportion. The three roots of the tree grow in three separate directions…the first into Hel, the second among the frost giants, and the third among humans or Midgard.
“I know that an ash-tree stands called Yggdrasil,
a high tree, soaked with shining loam;
from there come the dews which fall in the valley,
ever green, it stands over the well of fate.”
Völuspá, the first poem of the Poetic Edda, stanza 19, Larrington translation
- Polynesian: The fig is the Tree of life in many Polynesian cultures.
- Samoyed: The World Tree connects different realities…underworld, this world, upper world. The World Tree is also the symbol of Mother Earth, who gave the shaman his drum and helps him travel from one world to another.
- Saxon: Irminsul, an oak, connected heaven and earth
- Siberian: The birch is the most sacred tree of many Siberian tribes. Symbol of the axis mundi.
- Sumerian: The Cedar was the Tree of Life, sacred to the god Tammuz, and was used as incense, also said to protect and bring confidence.
- Taoism: There is a peach tree that produces one peach every three thousand years. Whoever eats the fruit becomes immortal. The plum tree is the Tree of Longevity.
Fertility and passion.
- Christian: Peace, abundance, and Christ.
- Egyptian: Sacred to Osiris.
- Greco-Roman: Sacred to Dionysus, Bacchus, and Apollo.
Goodness, chastity, justice, humility, faithfulness, beauty, lasting love, and temperance.
- Christian: Emblem of the Virgin Mary. Medieval priest’s planted violet’s in their gardens to keep away evil spirits.
- Greek: Violet’s are purple because Venus, jealous of Cupid’s love for white violets, turned them purple. The Greeks used violets to cure headaches and insomnia.
Sacred to Moon gods and goddesses.
- Buddhist: Obedience and gentleness.
- Chinese: Spring, the feminine principle, softness, grace, charm, and caution. An attribute of Kwan Yin who sprinkles the waters of life with a willow branch. Associated with the Moon.
- Egyptian: Osiris’ soul rested in willow groves.
- Japanese: Patience and serenity.
- Taoism: Inner strength.
|Reed – The Inquisitor
October 28 – November 24
Reed signs among the Celtic tree astrology signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core. You love a good story, and can be easily drawn in by gossip, scandals, legend and lore. These tendencies also make you an excellent historian, journalist, detective or archeologist. You love people because they represent a diversity of meanings for you to interpret. You are adept at coaxing people to talking to you, and sometimes you can be a bit manipulative. However, you have a strong sense of truth and honor so most of your scheming is harmless. Reed people join well with other Reeds, Ash or Oak signs.
Excellent when presented as a gift to someone, the Chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Buddhists are fond of using this flower as offerings on alters. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home.Citron:
Also known as the Buddha’s hand, the finger-shaped Citron stand for luck and happiness. It is known as the Buddha’s hand because the upturned petals of the Citron are reminiscent of the upturned fingers of the Buddha’s meditative position.Hydrangea:
A symbol expressing love, gratitude, and enlightenment. It is said that the observer can easily get lost in it’s abundance of beautiful petals, and thus gets lost in one’s own thoughts – propitiating higher thought and reaching enlightenment. Due to it’s versatility, and beauty, the hydrangea makes an excellent thank you gift to an unsung hero in our lives.Meaning of Lotus:
Buddhist’s all over the world recognize this Lotus as signifying the holy seat of the Buddha. To the Chinese it symbolizes ultimate purity and perfection because it rises untainted and beautiful from the mud. Every part of the plant, from roots to petals can be put to good use and has medicinal properties. As such, the plant as a whole, conveys deep significance. Esoterically, it represents inward emptying and outward splendor and this conveys the true nature of reality according to the Buddhist philosophy.
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