Sunday Legends-By Any Other Name

rose

Sometimes you set up an idea or theme that you want to work with and the universe decides that it wants your energies somewhere else. Roses have been everywhere for me lately, so I’m taking the hint-and this time it wasn’t even a case of ignoring it and hoping the nagging would stop, this is just the first time I had to sit down and write on it.

Admittedly, this is a topic that feels strange to me. I don’t really mesh well with the traditional trappings of Western femininity. I think that I’ve said as much on this blog before, I must have. I am the girl who’s the first to admit that I’m not like other girls. I asked Mid for stuffed bats for Valentine’s Day one year. And when I think ‘roses’ I think about as girly as you can get, right up there with wanting to paint your bedroom pink and high heels.

If those are your type of things, rock out with your bad self- I’m going to be the one in the corner with the oxblood Doc Martins and black dress pants. That is in fact what I wore to my birthday party this year.

The flower has a deep connection with love and romance, being the flower of Aphrodite/Venus. I think that it’s interesting however that a lot of modern writers and poets associate her with something much closer to the ideal of courtly love than perhaps what she was actually good at-hers was a love that quite fine with the idea of rampaging.

The rose holds several layers of meaning. There are historical examples of the rose actually standing for secrecy as opposed to love. The symmetry of the rose has long been appealing to religious writers of various faiths who use the flower to express the concept of divine love and protection; the connection to the divine has also led to a perhaps increasingly archaic belief that deity smells like roses and a successful exorcism will smell like such.

For the Victorians the rose was all about love but color was pivotal. Red roses suggested hot, passionate love while pink was a little more restrained. Yellow was the color of friendship (I’ve also heard through oral tellings that yellow was sometimes used to reject a person-of the “let’s just be friends, okay?” variety), and white for chasity or pure intentions. Stripped of its thorns the rose would suggest love at first sight. Receiving black roses meant you probably angered someone deeply and you should watch where you step.

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