"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Sunday, 30 September 2007

IVY Lore

another new month on the Celtic calendar: the 11th Moon of the Celtic year. We have Ivy, with the Celtic name of Gort - Sept 30 until October 27th - a time of reconciliation and settlement (karma). The butterfly is the Celtic symbol which is also the symbol of the Faery Faith, thus Ivy represents the mysterious and the mystical. Parts used: leaves, bark, berries. Caution: Some types of Ivy are poisonous
An herb of Jupiter and the sun. The bird associated with Ivy is mute swan. The gemstone is yellow serpentine. Ivy symbolizes healing, protection, co-operation and exorcism. It is the tree of resurrection and was believed to be a source of divine inspiration.

Throughout the ages, Ivy has been regarded as a symbol of fidelity. Ivy has a strong tradition at Christmas, along with holly. The custom of decorating houses and churches with ivy at Christmas was once forbidden by the Christian Church, on account of its pagan associations. Ivy provides protection against evil when growing on or near a house but should it fall off and die, misfortune was said to be on the way. Ivy was sometimes used in divination: an ivy leaf placed in water on New Year' s Eve that was still be fresh on Twelfth Night foretold that the year ahead would be favourable. Should ivy not grow upon a grave, the soul of the person buried there is said to be restless - and should it grown abundantly on the grave of a young woman, then this meant that she died of a broken heart. Women carried it for good luck and fertility.

It is said that wearing of ivy leaves can prevent intoxication - the plant's primary association is with wine and Bacchus, to whom the plant is dedicated.
Since it never shows signs of withering, the ivy is the plant which they say Bacchus gave to the boy Cissus as a gift; restless, provocative, tawny with its golden berries, verdant on the outside, it is pale elsewhere. From it are shaped garlands to crown the poets' temples -- poets become pale from their exertions, though their fame flourishes for a long time

Robinson tells us that a drachm of the flowers decocted in wine restrains dysentery, and that the yellow berries are good for those who spit blood and against the jaundice.
Culpepper says of the Ivy: 'It is an enemy to the nerves and sinews taken inwardly, but most excellent outwardly. According to the old English Leechbook of Bald; to relieve sunburn, smear the face with young ivy twigs boiled in butter. When used correctly, Ivy heals headaches, muscle cramps and assists in the art of prophecy.
In Scotland, ivy plaited with honeysuckle and rowan, was hung over the doorway of the barn and put under the milk pails on the night before May Day, to keep evil away from the milk, butter, and animals.

Ivy people are steadfast, constant and even-tempered. They are generally easy going and at times can even be whimsical. They do not take sides in disputes unless they feel a threat to their basic beliefs. They should not treat love attachments too lightly, for it is easy for them to move on, but if they love longer they will love better
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl doth to the moon complain
Thomas Gray: 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'

this week in the Artist's Way we are asked to send a postcard to 5 people - so, the first five who mention here that they would like a postcard from me, will receive a Blue Mountains postcard in a week or two!
*~* I hope your day is filled with butterflies, magick, colour & fripperies! ~*~


Gemma said...

Hi!Thank you for this. Ivy was also a potent symbol of strength to the Druids. I have a great web site Lila sent me;
Since we are both Ivy.

Julie Marie said...

This post on Ivy lore was one of the best and most intersting out of the tree lore series. Very enjoyable.

Guess what? I finally got your package mailed this morning! It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get to Australia.



Bimbimbie said...

Hi Robyn, I've just come indoors from watching the butterflies fluttering about the purple lantana that is blooming .... now you have me humming the first verse of the Holly and the Ivy - I now it's going to be stuck in my brain all day now. Smiles *!*

... Thank you Robyn I would love a postcard of the Blue Mountains *!*

A bird in the hand said...

My birthday falls in the ivy time, does that mean I'm an ivy person? I have to say, I've never thought of ivy. Thanks for all the info.

This year my birthday falls on a Friday!!! I was born on a Friday, as you know.

Friday's Child xoxoxo

Leanne said...

oh yes please- a reminder of my childhood!!

Lovely post Robyn!

Leanne x

lila said...

Lovely to read about the Ivy! I'm thinking of using some Ivy (and maybe a mute swan...wonder what they look like?) in a winter solstice painting....of course, I think these ideas up faster then i get them done! BTW, Gemma is the Birthday Girl today!

Krissie said...

Fridays child here too! hang on wasnt I an ivy too? to find out!

Krissie said...

no I'm an apple tree.

tinker said...

Ivy abounds around the outside of our house. Fun to find out so much about its lore. Have a wonderful day! xox

Laura Stamps said...

I was so busy this weekend, I just got to your blog, so I am sure I am too late to be one of the first 5 to receive a postcard from you.

However, here's an idea. I know this sounds weird, but I LOVE to have postcard conversations with my dear friends. If you like, I think that would be great fun for us Faery-Goddesses. So if you want to do this, send me an email with your snail mail address, and I will begin our postcard conversation by sending you a postcard. Big fun!!

Wishing you lots of magickal faery bliss today!!

motherwintermoon said...

I enjoyed the ivy lore. I love ivy. I love the way it grips and meanders at the same time. It's windy and adventurous, yet definitely tenacious.

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pixie said...

What a wonderful post, took me straight to the countryside seeing the ivy flowering as it is here now.
Very evocative.

Carmen said...

Great to hear your news on the previous posts!
I love Sonia Choquette's books you can listen to her every week on hayhouseradio or get her archives for free, too.
I love lilacs, I have to try to grow them in my garden next year.