Into the Mighty Forest

Theodore Kittlesen

Aleksandra Waliszewska


2k14 goal: Become weirder and queerer

(via jamiedavidalee)


Edible flowers (clockwise from top): Dianthus, Star flower, Calendula, Rose, Viola, scented Geranium, Rosemary, Nasturtium, and Borage in centre

For future art, writing, and spellwork:
Dianthus, the formal name for carnation, comes from the Greek for “heavenly flower.”  From Wikipedia, “For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on colour.”  For example, Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection; white carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolize regret that a love cannot be shared; purple carnations indicate capriciousness.  In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.  Carnations also represent bad luck or misfortune in France and Francophone cultures.

The flower symbolism associated with Calendula, marigolds, is indicated in the name: Mary’s Gold. Marigold flowers were “golden gifts” offered to the Virgin by the poor who could not afford to give actual gold. Marigolds were used in Mary Gardens. Marigolds are symbolic of passion and creativity. Marigolds are also known as the “Herb of the Sun.” Marigolds have been used as love charms and incorporated into wedding garlands. In some cultures, marigold flowers have been added to pillows to encourage prophetic or psychic dreams.  The flower symbolism associated with the calendula is grief, despair and sorrow. Calendula blossoms in wine are said to ease indigestion. Calendula petals are used in ointments to cure skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches.  Calendula was also often called pot marigold because it was used as seasoning in the cooking pots of the poor and was used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron, adding its color to cakes, butter, and puddings.

Red Roses: A red rose is an unmistakable expression of love.Red roses convey deep emotions - be it love, longing or desire. Red Roses can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to convey heartfelt regret and sorrow. The number of red roses has special romantic meanings associated with them. 12 red roses is the most popular of all which conveys “Be mine” and “I love you”
White Roses: White is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers are generally associated with new beginnings and make an ideal accompaniment to a first-time bride walking down the aisle. White flowers can be used to convey sympathy or humility. They also are indicative of spirituality. Hence, white roses also follow suit.
Yellow Roses: Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, like the other roses, does not carry an undertone of romance. It indicates purely platonic emotions.
Pink Roses: There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Over all, pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses also connote elegance and grace.
Orange Roses: While a yellow rose reminds us of the sun, an orange rose reminds us of a fiery blaze. These fiery bloomssignify passion and energy. Orange roses can be used to express intense desire, pride and fervor. They also convey a sense of fascination. These flowers rival only the red roses as messengers of passion in romance.
Lavender Roses: A Lavender rose like its color conveys enchantment. It also expresses “love at first sight”. Darker shades of lavender roses (close to purple) convey a sense of regal majesty and splendor. These roses are used to express fascination and adoration.
Blue Roses: A perfectly blue rose is still elusive like the perfectly black rose. Blue roses cannot be achieved naturally so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable. They say "I can’t have you but I can’t stop thinking about you"
Green roses: Green is the color of harmony, of opulence, of fertility. It is also a color indicative of peace and tranquility. Green roses (these are off-white roses with shades of green) can symbolize best wishes for a prosperous new life or wishes for recovery of good health.
Black Roses: Black is the color of death and farewell. A black rose, like the blue rose remains elusive. What we know as black roses are actually really dark red roses. Black roses convey the death of a feeling or idea. Sending black roses to someone indicates the death of the relationship.
Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce Rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products and some makeup products.
In France there is much use of rose syrup, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows.
Rose flowers are used as food, also usually as flavoring or to add their scent to food. Other minor uses include candied rose petals
Rose creams (rose flavored fondant covered in chocolate, often topped with a crystallised rose petal) are a traditional English confectionery widely available from numerous producers in the UK.

Folklore says the violet connotes a love that is delicate. The sensibility of delicacy is also associated with the violet from ancient mythology. Roman and Greek myths recount a tragic story of one of the goddess Diana’s (Artemis) nymph companions, all of whom had sworn to stay maidens. The nymph was unrelentingly chased by Diana’s twin brother, Apollo, so that Diana changed the nymph into a violet to protect her. The modesty of the nymph is attributed to the violet.  Inspired by mythology, Victorian floriography—-the language of flowers—-assigns to the violet a meaning of retiring modesty. The white violet, in the Victorian mind, means candor; innocence, too. It was much the same during the Renaissance, when the meanings of flowers were not just simple assigned values, but reflected an essence that led to an understanding of the Divine. Under the influence of Classical scholarship and religious symbolism, the violet during the Renaissance also meant modesty.
The ancient Persians and Greeks used the violet to heal the heart and the head. An infusion of violets in hot water helped to ease a broken heart. Greeks used the plants to help induce sleep, and to calm anger. It was used as a symbol of innocence and modesty. Medieval Christians believed violets were once strong, upright flowers until the day, the shadow of the cross fell upon them on Mount Calvary. Forever after they bowed in shame at what man had done. In connection with this legend, violets were often used in Good Friday ceremonies. However, while the violet is usually noted as being modest, Sir Walter Scott once characterized it as a ~boastful queen of the forest flowers.~
Violets are also considered to be funeral flowers. It was thrown in graves for remembrance in rural England. The mourners also carried violets to protect themselves against poisonous exhalations while in the cemetery. In ancient Greece, so many violets were placed in a grave that they almost completed concealed the body, and they were also scattered about tombs. Persephone was gathering violets the day she was kidnapped by Pluto and carried off to the Underworld. Josephine had them showered on her coffin when she died. Napoleon the Little was buried under a pall of woven violets. Because of their association with death, violets became a flower of ill omen. 
When newly opened, viola flowers may be used to decorate salads or in stuffings for poultry or fish. Soufflés, cream, and similar desserts can be flavoured with essence ofViola flowers. The young leaves are edible raw or cooked as a somewhat bland leaf vegetable. The flowers and leaves of the cultivar ‘Rebecca’, one of the Violetta violets, has a distinct vanilla flavor with hints of wintergreen. The pungent perfume of some varieties of V. odorata adds inimitable sweetness to desserts, fruit salads, and teas while the mild pea flavor of V. tricolor combines equally well with sweet or savory foods, like grilled meats and steamed vegetables. The heart-shaped leaves of V. odorata provide a free source of greens throughout a long growing season.
A candied violet or crystallized violet is a flower, usually of Viola odorata, preserved by a coating of egg white and crystallized sugar. Alternatively, hot syrup is poured over the fresh flower (or the flower is immersed in the syrup) and stirred until the sugar recrystallizes and has dried. This method is still used for rose petals and was applied to orange flowers in the past (when almonds or orange peel are treated this way they are called pralines). Candied violets are still made commercially in Toulouse, France, where they are known as violettes de Toulouse. They are used as decorating or included in aromatic desserts.
The French are also known for their violet syrup, most commonly made from an extract of violets. In the United States, this French violet syrup is used to make violet scones and marshmallows.

The flower symbolism associated with the geranium is a true friend, stupidity, folly and meeting. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning “crane”. The name derives from the appearance of the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a crane. Geraniums are found in temperate regions of the world and in tropical mountains.  Very easy to grow.

Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. The plant is said to improve the memory. The leaves are used to flavor various foods, such as stuffings and roast meats.
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary, and from this association with weddings, rosemary evolved into a love charm. Newlywed couples would plant a branch of rosemary on their wedding day. If the branch grew, it was a good omen for the union and family. In ‘A Modern Herbal’, Mrs Grieves says, “A rosemary branch, richly gilded and tied with silken ribands of all colors, was also presented to wedding guests, as a symbol of love and loyalty.” If a young person would tap another with a rosemary sprig and if the sprig contained an open flower, it was said that the couple would fall in love.

Rosemary was used as a divinatory herb. Several herbs were grown in pots and assigned the name of a potential lover. They were left to grow and the plant that grew the strongest and fastest gave the answer. Rosemary was stuffed into poppets (cloth dolls) to attract a lover or attract curative vibrations for illness. It was believed that placing a sprig of rosemary under a pillow before sleep would repel nightmares, and if placed outside the home it would repel witches. Somehow, the use of rosemary in the garden to repel witches turned into signification that the woman ruled the household in homes and gardens where rosemary grew abundantly. By the 16th century, men were known to rip up rosemary bushes to show that they, not their wives, ruled the roost.

Nasturtium flowers are considered on emblem of conquest and victory; however, they are also representative of charity. As a gift, these blossoms are often given to represent the end of a struggle, or as encouragement during a long journey.  Nasturtiums are long-lasting and popular in the kitchen. Used in salads, vinegars etc., the flowers and the leaves have a sweet, peppery taste. It is for its tangy taste that nasturtium gets its common name. During World War II, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black peeper, which was unattainable. Sun and heat tend to make the pepper taste in the nasturtiums, more spicy. Flowers planted in the shade or semi-shade have a milder tang.  The Indians of Peru used the leaves as a tea to treat coughs, colds and the flu, as well as menstrual and respiratory problems. Being high in vitamin C, nasturtiums act as a natural antibiotic, and as such were used topically as a poultice for minor cuts and scratches. Nasturtiums are also used in Ayurvedic medicine. The leaves are rubbed on the gums to stimulate and cleanse them. Early English herbalists referred to nasturtiums as Indian Cress.

Carrying fresh borage, or starflower, blossoms brings courage. The tea is said to induce your psychic powers. Culpeper assigned the astrological rulership of Borage to Jupiter, the planet of expansiveness and generosity, and put it under Leo, the sign that rules the heart.  A person needing Borage fears failure. They feel that it is their duty to take on all the responsibility in a given situation, resulting in resenting their role in life. Somatically this attitude can be expressed as stiffness in the joints, high blood pressure, tension headaches and flaring eczema. People needing the remedy Borage tend to be warmer than others and to feel worse in the heat.  There is a sense that they must attend to every detail or a catastrophe will befall the family. By saving others, they are limiting the possibility that they themselves will be abandoned. Gradually they lose any playful, carefree, and spontaneous aspects, because they feel that everything has to be right. They may become very disagreeable and easily offended, resenting the choices of other people.
As an herb, it comforts the heart, bringing cheer, restoring adrenal functioning, promoting lactation in nursing mothers and healing fevers of pulmonary origin. As well, it reduces cholesterol and soothes the gastric mucosa and respiratory tract.
As a homeopathic remedy, it brings playfulness and spontaneity to persons who have been burdened by family responsibility, becoming hardened and resentful. Their argumentativeness stems from their protective nature due to their anxiety about the family’s welfare.
The flower essence promotes optimism and enthusiasm in a person who has suffered burdens experienced in the heart.
A central theme emerges: Borage is a remedy for heaviness of the heart, bringing lightness and flexibility. Dioscorides’ remarkable observation of two thousand years ago is consistent with all three modern perspectives: he said that Borage ‘cheers the heart and helps drooping spirits.’
May the reader find Borage, as a remedy or flower essence or even a living plant to meditate with, as a healing balm for a heaviness of the heart.


(t-shirt my boyfriend made for me for xmas)


AA Bronson, 2011

Sexy Pagan Friday No. 23


Hope Gangloff, Drawings