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With Spring here, and Mother’s Day coming, I can’t help thinking about roses. Admittedly that’s partially because I have several rose bushes that are beginning to bloom. I tend to go for a variety of colors simply because I like them, but some I choose for meaning as well, so I thought I would look at the history of their origins and their cultivation, as well as rose meanings for the most popular colors.
At over 35 million years old, according to fossil evidence, it’s not surprising that we have over 150 species of roses and thousands of varieties. Originally from Asia, roses are now grown in most of the Northern Hemisphere.
Their symbolic use, whether metaphorical or allegorical, is sparsely recorded until the texts of Homer. In the Illiad, he tells us how Hector’s body was anointed with rose oil after his death at Achilles' hand.
Anacreon, one the 9 canonical Greek Poets selected by scholars in Alexandria to represent the best in Alexandria, tells of seafoam dripping from Aphrodite became white roses, and when she sheds blood to help Adonis, that blood is said to have turned to red roses.
Even a bare survey of the times and ways roses show up in history and mythology would take far more space than we have here, so I’ve listed some resources below if you’d like to find out more about roses. For our part, however, we’re going to look at some of the colors and meanings of today's roses and point you in the direction of uses.
Roses are definitely a multi-purpose plant. Most people have probably seen Vitamin-C or whatever with Rose Hips. Roses can be used in altar work, ritual baths, teas, salads, balms, and desserts, but like the history and mythology of roses, the uses are far too many to explain in the space we have, so we’ll go right to the meanings.
Red - Love, Respect, Courage, Beauty, Perfection, Passion.
Yellow - Joy, Gladness, Freedom, warmth, happiness, and friendship.
Pink – Pink roses represent gratitude, appreciation, admiration, and Sympathy. They can also symbolize grace, elegance, and joyfulness. A softer, smoother version of the red.
White - Reverence, Purity, Secrecy, White roses are traditionally associated with marriages and new beginnings. The white rose is also a symbol of honor and reverence. One example of that, for those who remember, was at JFK’s funeral. He had white roses on his casket.
Orange – Fiery orange roses symbolize desire and enthusiasm, passion and excitement, and impassioned romance.
Lavender - The unique beauty of the lavender rose is a perfect symbol of enchantment and can also signify love at first sight.
Blue Roses - A perfectly blue rose, like the perfectly black rose is elusive. Blue roses don’t appear in nature, so they symbolize a desire for what you can’t have.
Green roses - Green represents harmony, fertility, peace, and tranquility, wishes for prosperity, or recovery of good health.
Black Roses: The black rose, like the blue rose, remains elusive. What we see as black roses are roses so dark red, they appear black. Black roses convey death, either actual or metaphorical, Mystery, Magic, Resistance, Evil.
That's it for now! See you next time!
en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Rose_(symbolism)