©2007 by CJ Wright
Flowers have spoken to us always. Since the time that the very first flower was plucked and handed to a beloved, we have instinctually understood the meaning behind such a soulful offering. The Language of Flowers (called floriography) became haute couture in the Victorian era. Romantic gestures were accepted or rebuffed, marriages were agreed, and last goodbyes were spoken through flamboyant arrangements or a single stem.
Picture this scene in Spring, 1852 -- a parlor in the Wilson home in Victorian London. Lily, desperately in love with Edwin, is in tears because she has seen Edwin walking arm in arm with Beatrice. Her best friend, Iris, enters excitedly with a large bouquet of flowers.
Iris: Lilly, look! Roses from Edwin!
Lily: Roses?! He speaks of love? What does he know of love, he who would betray me?
Iris: Sixteen! Sixteen roses! One for each birthday. And sweet alyssum.
Lily: Oh, sweet alyssum? He thinks my worth "beyond beauty?" (She is enraged now.) Am I so horrid? Am I a hag?
Iris: Angelica, pure and white.
Lily: Inspiration!?! Did my hideous face inspire him to turn away? Is Beatrice so fair that the sun rises solely on her and I am cast aside -- a toad! -- warted and doomed to moonlight? (She raises the bouquet in the air, about to smash it to the floor.)
Send him cruel nettles in response. Add marigolds for more cruelty, and mush plant to remind him of his weakness. Let nightshade speak the bitter truth of his betrayal.
Iris: But, Lily, Beatrice is his sister.
Lily: His sister?
Iris: Yes. Home from abroad. She's to marry Albert Sunday week.
Lily: (Embracing the bouquet) Oh, sweet Iris, what lovely news you bring. Look! (going to the window) The peach tree blooms. (turning to Iris) Send him boughs and boughs of blossoms. Oh, dearest Edwin, my love, my peach, my heart is thine!
This poetic floral language was not confined to lovers, but was used as a way of sending greetings and regards to friends and relatives, as well as responses to floral messages received. The language extended to the meaning of trees, grasses, and herbs. List after list of flower meanings became available, with the meaning of each flower affected by the author's intentions.
How does a Study of the Language of Flowers
support The Bach Remedies?
Since The Language of Flowers reached full bloom in Dr. Bach's native England, it's not surprising to find many of his flower remedies in floriography lists. Researching their more common names led to the discovery of meanings for all of the original 37 flower remedies. Below are these original remedies, the root causes of discomfort Bach attributed to them, and their most common sentiments in the Language of Flowers.
Many of the meanings mesh nicely while others are opposite or seem disassociated completely. The root cause of discomfort associated with Heather is "self-centeredness and self concern." Is it any wonder that heather's sentiment of "solitude" is so appropriate? Self-centered people are completely focused on themselves, which ultimately leads to rejection or withdrawal, resulting in solitude whether it is desired or not. The remedy Beech is linked with intolerance, yet its sentiment is prosperity. The very nature of tolerance is allowance and equality, an end to frugality of the heart. Opening our hearts and minds to embrace the differences of all people will bring prosperity to our souls. Surely the thankfulness and gratitude associated with agrimony's sentiment will help bring relief from the torture of unauthentic cheer.
|Remedy||Root Cause of Discomfort||Language of Flowers|
|Agrimony||Mental torture behind a cheerful face||Thankfulness, gratitude|
|Aspen||Fear of unknown things||Lamentation|
|Centaury||The inability to say "no"||Felicity (great happiness)|
|Cerato||Lack of trust in one's own decisions||(Hardy Plumbago) Holy wishes|
|Cherry Plum||Fear of the mind giving way||Good education|
|Chestnut Bud||Failure to learn from mistakes||Do me justice|
|Chicory||Selfish, possessive love||Frugality|
|Clematis||Dreaming of the future without working in the present||Artifice, mental beauty|
|Crab Apple||The cleansing remedy, also for self-hatred||Ill nature|
|Elm||Overwhelmed by responsibility||Dignity|
|Gentian||Discouragement after a setback||Intrinsic worth: "you are unjust"|
|Gorse||Hopelessness and despair||Endearing affection|
|Heather||Self-centeredness and self-concern||Solitude|
|Holly||Hatred, envy and jealousy||Foresight|
|Honeysuckle||Living in the past||The bond of love, rustic beauty|
|Hornbeam||Procrastination, tiredness at the thought of doing something||Ornament|
|Larch||Lack of confidence||Boldness, audacity|
|Mimulus||Fear of known things (Chickweed) ||I cling to thee; rendezvous|
|Mustard||Deep gloom for no reason||Indifference|
|Oak||The plodder who keeps going past the point of exhaustion||Hospitality, bravery, independence|
|Olive||Exhaustion following mental or physical effort||Peace|
|Red Chestnut||Over concern for the welfare of loved ones||Luxury|
|Rock Rose||Terror and fright||(Cistus) Popular favor;
(Cistus gum) "I shall die tomorrow"|
|Scleranthus||Inability to choose between alternatives||(knawel, German moss) Maternal love, ennui (boredom, listlessness, dissatisfaction, lack of interest)|
|Star of Bethlehem||Shock||Reconciliation, purity|
|Sweet Chestnut||Extreme mental anguish, when everything has been tried and there is no light left||Do me justice |
|Vine||Dominance and inflexibility||Intoxication|
|Walnut||Protection from change and unwanted influences||Strategem, intellect|
|Water Violet||Pride and aloofness||(Featherfoil, Feverfew) Fire, warmth, protection, good health|
|White Chestnut||Unwanted thoughts and mental arguments||Luxury|
|Wild Oat||Uncertainty over one's direction in life||The witching soul of music|
|Wild Rose||Drifting, resignation, apathy||Simplicity|
|Willow||Self-pity and resentment||Forsaken|
Perhaps the Language of Flowers and the Bach Flower Remedies are not always perfectly attuned, but the essential meaning of each is to bring a focus to a particular character trait or emotional state that needs attention. Speaking them -- through the flowers -- is a way towards expressing our intentions, healing our wounds, and moving toward wholeness and fulfillment. Flowers speak to our very souls through their essence, their beauty, and their fragrance. They find the words when we cannot. As Bruce W. Currie once said, "When words escape, flowers speak."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CJ Wright is an astrologer and tarot reader, and the author of Year~Seer: The Nine Year Cycle of Life, a guide to using tarot and numerology to achieve your spiritual goals. Based on the Personal Years in your numerology profile, Year~Seer offers specific advice on how to navigate the spiral of cycles we encounter each nine years of our life. Year~Seer is illustrated with the minor arcana cards of the tarot and taps into the correspondences of numerology and tarot. Year~Seer is available from Sacred Oaks Publishing, www.sacredoakspublishing.com/books.jsp. CJ also leads an online astrology group for beginning students: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ChartTalkStudy. If you would like a consultation with CJ, contact her at email@example.com.
DESIGN CREDITS: This page was designed by Deborah Bier; photos are from Clipart.com.
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©2007 Vibration Magazine/The World Wide Essence Society
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