Thursday, June 25, 2009
Dead Man’s Garden
ANEMONE: Sometimes depicted on a memorial to symbolize the brief flowering of life and an early death.
ASPHODEL: Believed by the ancient Greeks to be the favourite food of the dead, these flowers were thought to grow in one of the fields of the underworld.
CHRYSANTHEMUM: In many European countries, including Italy and France, this flower is associated with death.
HOREHOUND: This plant was one of several listed as sacred to the ancient Egyptian god Anubis and is useful for summoning the spirits of the dead.
LILY: Associated with resurrection, lilies were used widely in Victorian funerary iconography and can be found decorating many modern tombstones as well.
POPPY: A plant sacred to the god Morpheus, the poppy is the source of opium, which relieves pain and induces dreams. Its association with death is two-fold: First, it presents death as a relief from pain. Second, it presents death as a great sleep or dream.
WILLOW: Sacred to Hecate, the willow has ancient ties to the dead in both Western and Eastern traditions.
YEW: A poisonous tree whose dark, brooding greenery seems perfectly at home looming over a lonely grave.