"You can learn a lot of things from the flowers", ( All In A Golden Afternoon) that captivating scene from Disney's Alice In Wonderland, that enchanted my six year old self so much, that it's lead (my now 32 year old) self up a very steep spiral path of wonder, magic and belonging.
I thought that with all our talk of 'thoughtful' floral design that it was about time we explained what that actually means to us. How our approach in deciding to live a life dedicated to plants is so much more than working towards creating beautiful wedding flowers.
That is one side shoot, one steeped in love and creative excitement, but one that we hope will eventually evolve into a medium to give the plants their voice back!
In our combined recent journeys of growing plants and designing with them, we have learnt EVERYTHING from the flowers. .
Plants are our medicine, our food, our art, our shelter and above all our greatest teachers!
They use their beauty not only to attract pollinators, but to also attract US to them, so that we can learn from them. To learn to carefully listen to their messages.
Enjoy the gifts nature keeps giving us, (with respect), and listen to what she has to say!
We are living in precarious times, we all feel it now, with real urgency!... The terrifying realisation that we ARE IN the age of the Anthropocene!
We can't undo the damage that has been done, but what we can do is to fiercely protect what is left!
Heal those wounds, starting with ourselves!
Just as importantly we need to protect the ways of life that we NEED to make that change, traditions, knowledge, craft and wisdom, that are fading, becoming extinct! Ways of life that we must keep alive in order to protect our children and future generations to come.
Plant medicine, craft and lore is our birthright, for our ancestors it was second nature, for us all now, it is about remembering!
Remembering that everything we need is all ready here, growing at our feet.
As we all start to Learn A Lot Of Things From The Flowers! We thought we would start to share our own journey and processes with you. Sharing a little bit more about what we mean by 'flower lore'.
Below I have taken you through my 'thoughtful' process of deciding on the ingredients for a crown I made for a recent event held, at Deans Court.
The plants featured also have medicinal and energetic healing properties in various forms, but that is for another day and many other posts.
You may think 'whats the point', no one at the event knew why I had decided upon those plants (and if you did I really really want to meet you!!), but that is exactly it, there does not need to be a point! There was a time when everyone knew the universal language of flowers, their symbolism and meaning, was an unspoken understanding that communicated to the heart.
The crown is not just an accessory for an event, it's a medicine cabinet, a teacher, a friend and a counceling session all rolled in to one. You just have to 'remember' to observe and listen deeply.
Until next time much love,
THE WASSAIL CROWN
In January I was invited by Deans Court to take part as one of the 'Maiden Queens' in their annual Wassail event. An ancient blessing ritual dedicated to aiding the fruit trees in a bountiful harvest for the following year.
A lot of the ceremony is centred around 'banishing evil' from the trees and protecting them. This year I loved the more literal, enviromental commentary from the Druids about our need to protect our environment and 'banish' the evil that lies within our current paradigm.
My role as 'Maiden Queen' in the Wassail ceremony, is to bless the trees with fertlity so that they have a fertile, fruitful crop for the folowing year. I have to physically get up into the tree! Which is a difficult task in a velvet cape, clutching a flaming torch, but needs must, we do what we can for the trees!
My crown, I decided had to be a seasonal medly of protective, banishment and fertility elements.
BIRCH - For The Base
'The White Lady Of The Woods
Choosen for her association with' renewal' warding off 'evil spirits' and shedding unhelpful and negative influences in our lives. So much of the Wassail ceremony is about 'banishing' negativity from the trees and aiding a positive year to come, the Birch works so well for this!
- The celts used the twigs for drawing out spirits of the old year
- Used most famously for Besom brooms, so that people can 'brush away' any negativity from their lives
- Very much associated with 'fresh starts', the tree itself sheds it's bark, symbolising renewal, and the release of old patterns.
LUNERIA - (Honesty)- Fertility & The Moon
Choosen for her association with the Moon, I choose the dried seed pods to become a literal representation of the fertility and feminine energy of the moon. As we were in the depths of Winter when I made the crown, there wasn't much to forage that was 'fertile' so I thought dried seed pods, would be the perfect option.
- Lunaria, is also known for her ability to ward off 'evil', and as we were banishing the 'evil spirits' from the trees I thought she could lend us a helping hand.
ACORNS - Fertility, Strength & Courage
This is not the season of the Oak King, if any of you have ever heard the folk lore tale about the battle of the 'Oak and Holly King', you will know that it's not yet his time of year, but it will be very soon! I could not include the Holly King with out a glimpse of the Oak's return too.
Our Instagram followers will know my love for the acorn and it's association with strength and courage, and as with any seed an Acorn is another perfect addition for fertility too.
HOLLY- Protection, Restorative
As it is the time of the Holly king, Holly is a traditional plant worn at a Wassail. I believe most likely for it's protective qualities.
- It's also very strongly associated with 'protecting us from ourselves', which I think fits so well with what the Druids had to say about our current environmental situation.
- The Holly has restorative properties, so aids healing. Perfect for the Wassail in aiding any healing needed after the negative energy had been removed.