Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rubus Fruticosus Rhumba

My blossoms summon bees
to do my bidding
My wine dark drupelet fruit
tempts every feathered messenger
Lures B'rer Rabbit,
Bear, Fox, Deer
from their sheltered nooks
Even you may find yourself
standing guilty before me
Fingers & mouth incriminated
by the stain of my ink
More than 2000 years
No stranger to Witches, Doctors, Cooks

Brigid's star, Bride's blessing
Sacred bramble
Beloved by expectant mothers
children, Fair Folk and
the poet smith Goddess
We encourage you to think
the hungry
the worn & frail
the sick
Protect the innocent
with bladed cane
and daggered bodice
Tis our duty to Provide
Our right to Defend
Our pleasure to Inspire
as we all ramble
round this Wheel

For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those that listen. Can you guess who is singing today?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Summer Wine & Wishes

Prides of cadmium yellows, salad greens
Roaring across sun streaked fields
Lion's Tooth, Urban Survivor
just over a week or two
Shaking bare our snowy manes
Casting wishes, beginnings, seeds of Illumination
upon the Winds
eluding your destructive disdain

Irrepressible Taraxacum
Beltane's dancing floor
Bitter tonic, Apollo's clock
with healing water brewed
useful from petal tips to roots
toxins flushed
Oracles cast
and illnesses subdued

For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant, etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Cathy, Layla and Alan for naming this Teacher!

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” Joseph Addison

“No vision and you perish; No ideal, and you’re lost. Your heart must ever cherish some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, some rainbow in the sky. Some melody to sing to, some sevice that is high.” Harriet Du Autermont

“But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not Nature’s.” Anonymous

Persistant Dandelion has been known by many names over the years: blowball, cankerwort, lion’s tooth, fairy clock, wild endive, priest’s crown, piss-a-bed and Irish daisy to name a few. Unlike many other plants, considering Dandelion a weed is nothing new. However, this little Teacher has many lessons for us and many uses. There are about a 100 different species of Dandelion, and the name is a corruption of the French “dents de lion” or “teeth of the lion”, so called for its saw-toothed jaw-like leaves.

Dandelion has been used as a treatment for fevers, boils, eye problems, diarrhea, fluid retention, liver congestion and diseases, heartburn, as a laxitive and natural diuretic, breast cancer and inflammation, lack of milk in breastfeeding mothers, appendicitis, digestive ailments, and is one of the best detoxants available to us. Its roots enhance bile flow, which is what makes it useful in combatting liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones and jaundice. It causes the liver to increase bile production, betters the flow to the gallbladder, causes the gallbladder to contract and release stored bile. Its high choline content is what makes it effective against hepatitic tonic, and it cleans the blood of toxins most effectively.

“Many things love to come and live off your plants, including bacteria, bugs, birds, and bunnies. If you don’t control them, entire crops can be ruined. The result of your careful cultivation, in your garden and in your life, can be lost to predators in a short time. … Take a look at your life, what toxic relationships, substances and emotions are feeding on your energy and taking away from what you have to give to others. Eliminate them.” Vivian Elisabeth Glyck, 1997

Dandelion leaf is also a good natural source of potassium. The fact that it will replenish any potassium that may be lost due to the herb’s diuretc action on the kidneys makes it safe to use in cases of water retention due to heart problems, and is gentle enough for children or the elderly. Also useful in cases of anemia, it may lower elevated blood pressure. Dandelion also provides relief for rheumatism and arthritis. Doses of dandelion preparations taken over time, have helped reduce stiffness and increase mobility in situations of chronic DJD (degenerative joint disease).

A 1938 Italian study involved 12 patients with severe liver imbalances, and after receiving one 5ml injection of dandelion extract per day for 20 days, 11 of the 12 showed a considerable drop in blood cholesterol! In another study, dandelion was used successfully to treat hepatitis, swelling of the liver, jaundice and dyspepsia. Certain PMS symptoms are believed to be caused by decreased hepatic clearance of estrogen and other hormones. Since dandelion can deoxify these hormones, it would make an effective treatment in those cases.

“You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity.” Hal Borland

Sturdy Dandelion has been beloved by children for generations. Every child I have ever known cannot resist tossing their wishes upon the winds by blowing Dandelion puffballs. Being a common meadow herb so closely associated with youth and wish fufillment gives Dandelion a link to the Faerie realm and its inhabitants. Dandelion wine, once popular across Europe, was regarded as a magical drink that the Fae lent a hand in making! Families would get together to collect all the best Dandelions during late spring or early summer. The wine would be aged til around the end of autumn or beginning of winter, and the goal was to make enough to see everyone through until next Spring. This sweet wine is still made today.

Dandelion roots, like chicory which is it’s close relative, make a decent coffee substitute, and young leaves are a wonderful addition to salads. It was believed to be good luck to carry a few dandelions in your wedding bouquet, as it would bring prosperity to the marriage, many children, and good health. They made necklaces of good fortune for young maids who chained them for themselves, but not if they were given to them by someone else. While it is alright to place Dandelions on someone’s grave, it is ill advised to pick them in any graveyard! In Ireland, Dandelions were used to treat faerie shot and heart ailments. Folk beliefs revolving around this tiny flower are nearly as plentiful as Dandelions themselves!

It’s yellow color links it to Solar energy and the Sun. People used to rub the flower’s yellow color onto their hands and then onto whatever part of the body was in need of aid. This link to the healing Sun and Dandelion’s amazing tenacity mark it as a vigorous Healer. Being a lover’s oracle, Dandelion is associated with Coquetry in the language of flowers, and can also represent Happiness or Faithfulness. There are Dandelion cook-offs, recipes, and even festivals!

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

The fleshy roots should be gathered in the fall, washed, split and dried out of the sun before being stored in sealed jars. Dried, of course, is not as potent as fresh, but this handy Healer is good to have around the house. A simple infusion can be made by taking 2 ounces of fresh leaves (less if dried) and adding 2.5 cups of (non-chlorinated) boiling water in a glass container. Cover and steep for about 15-20 minutes, strain and drink hot or cold. Don’t exceed three cups in a day! This mixture will last about two days in the refridgerator.

Likewise, Dandelions should never be used by someone with blocked biliary ducts or other biliary ailments. Also, Dandelion stems contain a liquid latex substance that may be irritating to the skin of sensitive persons. Being one of the first flowers in Spring, Dandelion helps Bees and other nectar and pollen eaters to survive before everything else is available. Their transformative nature reminds us of the need to accept change in our own lives, and shows us how to transform ourselves or our lives with grace.

Dandelion asks us to be mindful of the seeds of thought we plant both within the fertile darkness of our minds, and in conversation with others.  If you are constantly spewing negativity, even "just" internally, your body and environment will react to that signal you are sending out. All things begin within and if you are filling up your inner spaces with negativity, this will reflect elsewhere in your life. This Teacher prefers Illuminating moments and conversations; bringing to light things hidden. Especially helpful when we find ourselves drained from too much time spent surrounded by concrete and steel, or simply feel overwhelmed by a situation, this humble plant is a clever tenacious survivor that will help you find a way around whatever is blocking you! Redemption and Resurrection are key words for those drawn to this Teacher.

Dandelion people tend to be cheerful, resilient, tenacious and youthful. Those with unbalanced Dandelion energy might be “mood-killers” turning bright situations bleak with their bitter attitudes. This Teacher challenges us to re-examine how we look at our lives. Perhaps those “weeds” in our lives were only our perception of them, and have been there all along to help us! Dandelion might be telling you to weed out the toxins in your life, or warning you that something you viewed as a weed would be better left alone! Recall the happiness of an innocent heart, and Dandelion will surely be there! With all that Dandelion gives to us, isn’t it amazing how many consider it only to be a bothersome weed?! How do Dandelions appear in your life?

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh

“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” Andrew V. Mason

Little Dandelion
Bright little Dandelion
Lights up the meads,
Swings on her slender foot,
Telleth her beads,
Lists to the robin’s note
Poured from above;
Wise little Dandelion
Asks not for love.

Cold lie the daisy banks
Clothed but in green,
Where, in the days agone,
Bright hues were seen.
Wild pinks are slumbering,
Violets delay;
True little Dandelion
Greeteth the May.

Brave little Dandelion!
Fast falls the snow,
Bending the daffodil’s
Haughty head low.
Under that fleecy tent,
Careless of cold,
Blithe little Dandelion
Counteth her gold.

Meek little Dandelion
Groweth more fair,
Till dies the amber dew
Out from her hair.
High rides the thirsty sun,
Fiercely and high;
Faint little Dandelion
Closeth her eye.

Pale little Dandelion,
In her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze
Call from the cloud;
Tiny plumes fluttering
Make no delay;
Little winged Dandelion
Soareth away.

Helen Barron Bostwick

Potential Balancing Energies:
Rabbit, horse, cattle (cow, sheep, goat, etc), bison/buffalo, deer, birds like Redtail hawk, Eagle, Crow/Raven, sparrow, chickadee, robin, or canary, stones like opal, Lions, insects like lepidoptera, ants, bees, and grasshoppers/crickets, other plants like grasses, daisies, plantain, violets, or asclepias, the Sun

Associated with: Hecate, Belenus, Brigid, Dagda, Lugh Lamfada, Apollo, Hera, Taranis, Green Man/Woman, Cernunnos, Pan, Osiris, Ra, Jupiter, Zeus, Ceres/Demeter, Epona, Asclepius, Diancecht and other deities associated with the Sun, fields or healing.

Key Concepts: Solar energy, Cleansing/Purification, Healing/Health, Wishes, Beginnings, Redemption, Resurrection, Grounding, Dreams/Dreamtime/Vision, Faeries, Happiness, Childhood joy/memories, tenacity, regeneration/renewal/rebirth, Divinity, letting go in a healthy/timely way

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bladed Charms

Sprung from Adonis' blood
Petaled perfection
Daggered defense
We have Aphrodite's sensibility
but Eros' sense
Heady with the perfume of
Dancing in every glowing shade
We sing of graces
of blessings
of innocence
Though our bloom will wither
the Soul
never fades

We will
Soothe a fevered mood
Treat you to some Vitamin C
Celebrate achieving your goals
Lift spirits
Open hearts
Keep your secrets
Crown your honor
Gentle as a summer's breeze
yet beware our thorny darts

Brave maidens
Honorable Veterans
of a passionate life well lived
Press us between your memories
from weddings to graves
Include us in your rituals, incenses, lotions, remedies
nodding over our canes
hearts on our sleeves
blades at the ready
Standing brave

For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant, etc that holds lessons for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Cathy, Jan and Alan for naming this Teacher.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones
“Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.” Francis Lucille
“The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing." Larry Dossey
“There is nothing boring about a classic.” Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”
I believe it may very well be universal knowledge that sending or receiving red roses is a declaration of love. Roses have much more to say to us than just this single declaration, powerful as it is, and it is a shame that more people don’t make the effort to become fluent with the language of Roses. Within the Language of Flowers lies the Language of Roses, a dialect all their own, rife with meanings. What one conveys with this magical flower depends on the color, arrangement, number, or condition of the roses; sending a single bud, full bloom or dead rose changes the message significantly!
A bouquet of mixed roses, for example, would express to the receiver that “you mean everything to me”. Red roses represent love and passion; a bud for passions and love just beginning or a full bloom for the variety that is “Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life! Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture!” (Shakespeare in Love). Two roses entwined together represent an engagement or union.
White roses represent purity, blessings, divinity, loyalty or innocence. Mixed white and red represents unity. Yellow roses can represent jealousy, but more commonly represents joy and friendship. Yellow roses tipped with red can represent friendship blossoming into love. Red and Yellow roses mixed in a bouquet are an invitation to join the fun, or simply happiness. Orange or Coral roses represent desire and fascination. Light pink roses are to express sympathy or fondness, but dark pink roses are sent to express gratitude or appreciation.
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” George Sand
“You know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes, and her eyes everywhere in the world.” David Levesque
“Love is a stranger in an open car, to tempt you in and drive you far away… Love, love, love is a dangerous drug…you have to receive it and you still can’t get enough of the stuff!” Annie Lennox
Lavender or Sterling roses, my particular favorites, come in their own varying shades of delicate color. Those that are more purple in hue would be used to express love at first sight, fairy magic, or being enchanted by whomever inspired you to send it, while those more blue in shade would express fantasy, the spirit world, or the unattainable. Silvery Sterling roses, silver being the traditional color of the soul or spiritual matters, would lend themselves well to expressions of soulful intent.
Continuing through the uses of color, rare chartreuse roses would celebrate coming into a fortune or healing. You could easily have roses dyed, but natural is usually best in my opinion. While there are no true black roses, they can be dyed, and you can even find places where you can send a bouquet of dead roses! Black is the traditional color of wisdom, but sending black or dead roses would typically represent death or ill intent. This device has been used in film to threaten someone, usually by a crazed stalker.
However, sending dead roses takes on its own meaning to those who consider themselves a part of the Goth subculture, and would certainly be viewed much more favorably! A dozen dead red roses sent in this expression might more truly mean “my love is eternal, my desire for your beauty will never fade”, a Romeo and Juliet bouquet if you will. To the knowledgeable, you might even send dead roses to help someone celebrate the death of a bad situation! Yes, Mixing of colors and kinds changes everything…
“Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” Amy Bloom
“Spouse: someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single.” Unknown
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
The Rose has been intimately connected with Love and matters of the heart for centuries. For this reason, it most often appears at weddings, engagements, bridal showers, valentine’s day and anniversaries. The 1996 film “Bed of Roses” wonderfully captures the overwhelming power of love that sparks instantly, its healing ways on body and soul, and the divine balm that Love and Roses bring when Love moves from the fantastical to the inner chambers of the soul. In this film, Alice is a very isolated woman; abandoned as a child by her own mother and then again when her adopted mother dies, unloved by the grief-stricken adoptive father, and near friendless as an adult, Alice structures her life to remain untouched by the thorns that Love so often bears.
Lewis has had an abundance of love in his life, but the loss of his childhood sweetheart and their baby early in their marriage has left him isolated in his own little world too. Until, one night he looks up and sees Alice in her window stricken by grief. Their story of overcoming the fear of Love to be healed by this powerful emotion and find contentment is not an easy one, which is perhaps why I adore it so. It perfectly captures the magic of “love at first sight” and the many wounds and sacrifices that come with a true marriage.
Love is a terrible vulnerability and no one can hurt you like those you love. It requires great trust, faith, confidence, and courage to truly love someone, whether that someone is yourself, your family, your friends, or simply the world in general. Alice is a woman so wounded that it is questionable whether she has these vital qualities needed to keep the love that found her.
True Love, however it may arrive in your life, is rare perhaps only because it requires such a perfection of honesty, generosity, integrity, peace, wisdom, and harmony to fully blossom. True Love is an ever-unfolding kaleidoscope between two people. It gives as much as it requires. Universal Love is perhaps the only thing more rare than the True Love found between two people simply because it transcends the relationship between two individuals and applies all the same qualities to every member of Humanity and the World that contains us.
There are many moments of selfless beauty and quiet enchantment perfectly expressed through the shifting colors of the magical Sterling Rose that were marvelously captured by the “Bed of Roses” film. Lewis sorting through every scintillating lavender rose in the city as he lovingly crafts endless bouquets of perfection for the new love that could resurrect him from the ashes of his own despair is an awe-inspiring sight. Alice’s stunned and fearful confusion as she sits in a room without space for one more bloom, while comical, is also a chilling thought when you realize that this would most likely be everyone first reaction to so much love being directed at us so earnestly.
Through the film, Alice learns that it is not Love she truly fears though… it is herself. Alice fears her ability to return love equally as much as she fears opening herself to the possible miracle and inevitable pain of love. She doubts her worthiness of such perfection as much as she doubts the perfection itself.
When speaking of sterling roses, a thorn-less rose, Alice says that she almost prefers the roses with thorns as they are too perfect to be real without them. A poetic reminder of this “forge-tested” woman’s familiarity with pain. Lewis and his roses open the door for the deep healing that the soul-wounded Alice needs, which gains her the wisdom of the Sterling Rose… Love without thorns is magical perfection. In the end, this gives her the courage to face her worst fears and embrace love honestly.
We all carry burdens. We all go through trials and varying degrees of pain. The thorn-less rose reminds us that when we are at the end of our rope, emotionally exhausted, and beyond all hope… love still embraces us in its gentle perfection, waiting to be remembered as one of the many natural and healing gifts of Life. All that you know could crumble around you, but if your heart still brims with love for Self and World you would never feel poor, isolated or bereft. Love is not something that begins or ends with any individual, it simply is, like any other element or energy in Life. When we open ourselves to this reality, the miraculous becomes an every day occurrence, and anything is possible.
“Every now and then everybody is entitled to too much perfection.” ~ Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”
“I live on a little planet called reality, where things like that don’t happen.” Alice Walker, “Bed of Roses”
“Infatuation is when you think he’s as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he’s as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford – but you’ll take him anyway.” ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
“If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?” Unknown

Now, because it is so commonly paired with Love, the rose in her many splendors is also strongly associated with romance, sex and fertility. These were all once considered aspects of Love equally desirable in any marriage. The first appearance of rosewater was between 1582 and 1612 as the oil or "otto’ of roses in Persia used at wedding feasts for the Grand Moguls. It is said that at the wedding of a certain princess and an emperor, a canal was dug that encircled an entire garden.
This canal was then filled with water and fragrant rose petals for the bridal couple who discovered that the heat of the sun separated the rose’s essential oil onto the surface of the water. This oil was then skimmed off and prized ever after as a heavenly perfume which is used to this day for inspiring all that the Rose symbolizes… love, romance, fertility, desire, celebration, ceremony, etc etc.
A lover’s trail of petals from door to bed is another frequently employed symbol that re-enforces this flowers devotion to Aphrodite, Eros, Bacchus and similar sensual deities. Roses, like their cousin the Apple, are also associated with the goddesses Brighid and Freya. Singer Meatloaf once asked, “Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?” The parallel between this potentially consuming passion, and the symbols of both red roses and Wolf is perfectly apt, although another common Creature Teacher to see within the Rose is Deer Spirit. The Rose’s connection to Canine energy is perhaps more easily seen through the inadvertently named Dog or Dag rose, another favorite of mine.
“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“Sex on television can’t hurt you… unless you fall off.” Unknown
“Remember, if you smoke after sex… you’re doing it too fast.” Woody Allen
“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” Voltaire
“A fever is an expression of inner rage.” Julia Roberts
It is believed that the Dog Rose came from a corruption of its original name, the Dag Rose. Dag is an archaic word for dagger, a reference to the roses many sharp thorns which were braved to gather either its beautiful flowers, or more importantly, it’s fruit. The Rose Hip, fruit of the rose, is useful for many things. Rosehips are tasty cooked into many dishes, and excellent in teas for their antioxidant qualities and concentration of vitamin c. Roses are closely related to the Apple and can be used anywhere you would use a tart fruit. The old “apple a day” maximum is equally true of rosehips, and typically the most productive roses for the best rosehips are of the bush variety like Dog rose, or rosa rugosa.
The roses used in medicine are typically any of the scented roses that bear a deep red or rose tint. After the second blooming in the fall, bulbs form on the stems of the rose just below where each flower bloomed. These swellings will round out and gradually turn an orangey-red, when they are considered ripe and can be harvested.
When you harvest rosehips, you cut off the tops and bottoms, slice in half, deseed, and then rinse the hips in preparation for storage. You can preserve hips in a variety of ways. One of the simplest is to store them in an airtight container in the freezer until needed, and I can tell you that if you have stored them properly they retain all their medicinal benefits as well as their sweet-tart taste. Ask me for my Earthy Goodness Casserole recipe sometime!
Over the years, roses and their fruit have been used to create syrup, perfume, oil, confectionary, cordial, conserve (jam/jelly), all sorts of cooked dishes, ungents/lotion, gargles, bandages, poultice, eyewash, candles, baths/potpurri, and liquers. These have been used medicinally for: fevers, jaundice, jointaches, headaches, fainting, dry skin, cuts and sores, weakness and trembling of the heart, weak stomach, to promote good digestion, to cool an over-heated liver, hot inflammations or swellings, sore throats, to cool tempers, qwell nervousness, restlessness, insomnia and all nervous complaints, as well as being a comfort and strength to the heart and spirit. Rosehips and even untreated rose petals make a deliscious and healthy treat that should be part of everyone’s diet!
“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.” Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields
“A bowl of warmth, a soft face, a new day. Some get-well thoughts sent your way. Feel better soon!” Author Unknown
“I dream of the winter in my heart turning to spring
While the ice gives way under my feet
And so I drown with the sun
I’ve been burning in water and drowning in flame
To prove you wrong and scare you away
I admit my defeat and want back home
In your heart under the rose…"
HIM, “Under the Rose”
For all it’s healthful benefits and uplifting nature though, Roses are also closely associated with Death. Roses are a favored flower for gravesites and funerals. Perhaps this is an unconscious reminder to ourselves that we should not only enjoy Life, but remember too that Death is but a natural part of the living experience. It is this close association with both the Creative and the Destructive forces, the Rose’s ability to unflinchingly permeate both states with its powerful Love… that makes it such a favorite of Goths, in my opinion.
Like Lillies, Roses are beloved not for the mere frequency with which they appear at funerals and graveyards! This amazing flower is not just the herald of Love or Death, it can symbolize magic, divinity, perfection, healing, hope, secrets and a host of other things. Beloved of Isis and the Mother of Christ, this flower is rife with dichotomy: life and death, magic and practicality, spirituality and sexuality, gentleness and pain, airy and earthy by turns.
A rose was sometimes worn behind the ear by servants, tavern workers, or others in 16th century England to indicate that the wearer heard all and told nothing. In Germany, roses displayed at a table suggested that diners could speak freely without fear that their secrets would travel beyond the room. The expression sub rosa, “under the rose,” is believed to originate from the custom of carving a rose over the door of the confessional in Catholic churches. It remains a favorite symbol of all secret societies, although when the rose was first connected with secrecy remains a mystery.
It is easier for me to see immediate connections to the Canine Creature Teachers. Perhaps the first quality one associates with Dogs is loyalty, an important aspect to devotees of the Rose. Wolves too are noted for their passion, their overwhelmingly sensitive and sensual natures. Foxes are magic and mystery given four feet and fur, and wild dogs of all sorts are associated with death, communication, and transformation.
There is a certain amount of surrender and sacrifice, a familiarity with the gritty and painful side of living that comes with the Rose that is also familiar to those called by these Creature Teachers. Perhaps the name Dog Rose isn’t so inadvertent after all, although the many virtues of this classic flower appear to be largely well kept secrets. The balance between Canine and Deer Teachers should be examined by those called by the Rose.
“Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death. Like a confiding child, she asked no questions, but left everything to God and nature, Father and Mother of us all, feeling sure that they, and they only, could teach and strengthen heart and spirit for this life and the life to come.” ~ Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women”
“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Roses were favored decorations during the Roman eras. They were strewn across floors and tables, filled goblets, temples, tombs, and processions. Rose flavored wines have probably been enjoyed at ceremonies from Bacchanals to funerals for as long as people have had Rose wine! Roses have been carved into ships and cradles, and adorn many stray corners of our lives. A soothing bath, an inviting scent to a room, especially with chocolate! Explore the many myths, legends, songs and works of art that glorify this marvelous bloom. Celebrate some perfection in your life however you choose, but please consider confiding in the Rose during your celebrations. How does this Nature Teacher appear in your life?
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Thomas J. Peters
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

It isn’t always easy to celebrate your life in the moment, or occasionally even to find a reason to celebrate… But, the beautiful face of the Rose in a handful of Wildflowers is my favorite bouquet any day! A fabulous reminder to both enjoy and learn from life. Being mindful of what you carry forward with you into each moment is half the battle. The Rose is Nature’s many splendor-ed reminder to do so always with Love and Blessings. What are you passionate about in Life? What does this emblem of Spirit mean to you? How do Roses appear in your life?
“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” ~Albert Schweitzer
“To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, you haven’t lived a life at all. Stay open. Lightning could strike.” Bill, “Meet Joe Black”
“Thank you for a day of too much perfection.” Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”