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Did You Know? About The Language of Flowers

As psychics, we need to interpret the messages that come to us through nature as well as through spirit… To be efficient and proficient in psychic work, we must also develop a broad understanding of the meaning of a great many signs, symbols and archetypes.

The idea that a posy of flowers could convey a secret meaning particularly between lovers, was originally an Eastern concept, although the flower as divine messenger is an ancient concept. The Buddha’s words manifested as flowers dropping from the sky are an early example.  The language of flowers is called floriography and though this art gives specific meanings to flowers, these meanings do not always tie in with their more generally accepted symbolism.

This idea became popular in Europe (and consequently in America) after Lady Mary Wortley Montagu visited Turkey in 1718. Writing to her friends back home, she described the system she had discovered whereby flowers and other objects were used as a means of communication. This idea, called hana kotobo, also existed in Japan. It might seem strange to Westerners to thing that the infamous Samurai warriors were particularly fond of this art, but its influence was so powerful that Samurai families often chose specific flowers as their crests, a similar device to the heraldic coats of arms.

Objects used to convey secret messages apart from flowers included fruits and other food, gemstones as well as valueless pebbles and even coal.  Therfore a Turkish love-letter was not simply a piece of paper or a bunch of flowers, but a parcel or packet containing a very odd assortment of items.

The lists of flowers and their meaning did vary, and this ambiguity continues today, although some meanings are generic. For example, the red rose is universally accepted as a symbol of Love.

From the book :  The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols by Adele Nozedar

The book contains a long list of flowers and their meanings, too many to include here, so instead, here are the old meanings for some of the flowers that are in my garden this year…

Aster – Daintiness, a talisman of love
Begonia – Beware, a fanicful nature
Bluebell/Bell Flowers – humility, constancy, gratitude
Calla Lily – Magnificent beauty
Chrysanthemum – You’re a wonderful friend, cheerfulness
Clematis – Atricice (ingenuity)
Clover – Fertility
Daffodil – Regard, unrequited love,  you’re the only one
Dahlia – Dignity and elegance, forever thine, instability
Daisy – Innocence, loyal love, purity, beauty, respect
Dandelion – Faithfulness, happiness, love’s oracle
Delphinium – Big-hearted, fun
Fern – Magic, fascination, confidence, shelter
Forget Me Not – True Love, memories, remembrance
Forsythia – Anticipation
Fuchsia – Confiding love, taste
Geranium – True friend, stupidity, folly
Grass – Homosexual Love
Harebell/Campanella – Humility, grief
Heather (lavender) – admiration, solitude
Heliotrope – Devotion
Hibiscus – Consumed by Love, delicate beauty
Honeysuckle – The bond of Love
Hydrangea – Thank you for understanding, frigidity, heartlessness
Nasturtium – Resignation, conquest, victory in battle
Ivy – Wedded love, fidelity, friendship, affection
Lilac – Beauty, pride
Lily (orange) – Hatred, dislike
Marigold – Cruelty, grief, jealousy
Mint – Virtue
Morning Glory – Affection
Mullein – Love, joy, Hebrew emblem of marriage (keeps volunteering in my front gardens)
Pansy – Merriment, thoughts (you occupy my thoughts)
Passion Flower – Faith, religious fervor
Peony – Shame, happy marriage, compassion, bashfulness
Periwinkle/Vinca/Myrtle – Early recollections, pleasures of memories, sweet memories
Petunia – Your presence soothes me
Phlox – Our souls are united, unanimity
Rose (Red) Love, I love you, respect, beauty
Rose (Tea) – I’ll remember always
Rosemary – Remebrance
Rose-of-Sharon – Consumed by Love
Sage – Domestic virtues, wisdom, great respect, female fidelity
Snapdragon – Gracious Lady, strength
Stock – Bonds of affection, promptness, you’ll always be beautiful to me
Sunflower – Constancy, devotion
Sweet Pea – Departure
Sweet William – Gallantry
Tulip – Perfect lover, fame, flower emblem of Holland
Verbena – Pray for me, sensibility
Violet – Modesty, virtue, affection, steadfastness
Wisteria – Welcome
Zinnia – Thinking (or in memory) of an absent friend

Do I love flowers? – and this isn’t all of the flowers in my garden, can’t remember the names of some, and some like Tickseed and Alyssum weren’t included in the book.

More About Signs and Symbols Here

1 Comment
  1. Wow. So much thought into flowers :) I wouldn’t have thought it possible

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