Posts Tagged ‘Victorian Flower Oracle’

OK, games can be a lot of fun – but they can also be torture if people take them too seriously or if it’s mind games afoot. This weekend is Beltaine for those of us in the Northern hemisphere – a perfect time for fun and games so let’s all engage in some fun games and leave the other kind alone, shall we?

Blessings!

HONEYSUCKLE – GAMES

KEYS: Games & sports, having fun, setting small challenges for yourself, a spirit of competition, a break from work, having a laugh, playing psychological games

MEANING: Grandville’s image shows Honeysuckle in a summery dress and a flamboyant hat. She is on a staircase. Close behind her is a beautifully drawn goat who holds one of the pink tendrils in its mouth. There is no sense of despondency or menace in this card but, rather, a sense of uncomplicated fun. This card stands for all sorts of games, in both the actual and the more metaphorical senses. We probably play games with other people, not with goats, but whoever our fellow players are, it is important to remember that games are fun. Or are supposed to be. Don’t let that competitive streak make a game a thing of anxiety and one-upmanship. What is the difference between a game and a sport? Many people would say a sport demands physical prowess while a game does not. Is chess a game? For avid chess players, chess is neither a game nor a sport but a way of life. For most of us, though, games (or sports) should be a pleasant opportunity to get together with family and friends.

Now we come to difficult games: mind games. We all play them, often unconsciously. Eric Bern examines these games in fascinating detail in his book “Games People Play.” He gives the games colloquial names such as “See What You Made Me Do,” “Ain’t it Awful,” and “I’m Only Trying to Help You.” Even if you haven’t actually used these words, or heard someone else using them, chances are you have witnessed these games being played at home, at work, wherever. They are not necessarily bad, as long as you are aware of them and recognize that, ultimately, a healthy relationship can only thrive if games such as these are kept to a minimum. Why? Because they prevent good communication.

Original language of flowers meaning: Generous and devoted affection.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by author Sheila Hamilton and artists JJ Grandville (original illustrations), Karen Mahony, and Alex Ukolov

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We have so many choices today that it can be overwhelming, yet we all claim to want them even if we freeze in the choosing of one thing over another. This weekend, between the (hopefully) relaxation and fun, consider your choices and why you are making them. Is this the easy thing to do or least confrontational? Are you choosing time for yourself as well as with others (or perhaps vice versa)? Choices, like dahlias, are lovely to look at, but we need to be able to move forward in a positive way with the choices we are making.

Blessings and have a lovely weekend,

Thistle

Dahlia – Choices

Keywords: Picking and choosing, evaluating many options, spoiled for choice, decisions decisions, seeing all the alternatives, deciding what’s best

Meaning: The lady on this card is not just a dahlia herself – she also loves dahlias and is trying to decide how to arrange some in a vase. A single bloom? Which one? Or both together, for contrast? We all have to make choices. Some are basic: what to have for breakfast; and some are life-changing: whether to settle down with a partner, whether to have children, and other such serious issues.

Then there are those sticky moral choices that can drive us half insane while we weigh them up – fortunately, having actually made a choice, we usually feel better. Choice sounds great. Most of us like to think we have options, that our life is not mapped out in one ever so predictable line. If you are keen gardener, think of all the beautiful dahlias you could choose. You won’t buy them all, but is not great there so many? The actual act of choosing is fun, not just the outcome. And you really can’t make the wrong choice in that situation. But how about a much more serious kind of choice? Imagine that you were offered two jobs simultaneously. Both of them are in the field you enjoy and in which you have some skill and experience. One of them is adequately but not well-paid: the other will earn you quite a bit more for the same number of hours, but you will have more responsibility. What do you do? This particular one is not a moral choice, but it is tricky. When you’re faced with this kind of difficult decision, make a list of priorities. Ask yourself what you really want and what you would miss most if it were they taken away. The simple but profound exercise often points a way forward.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by author Sheila Hamilton and artists by JJ Grandeville, Karen Mahoney, and Alex Yukolov

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It’s tempting to rush to an answer when the questioning must be done but is uncomfortable. Don’t fall for it – give yourself the time to consider things and make a decision that is truly best for you.

Blessings,

Thistle

Wild Rose: A Thorny Question

Keywords & Phrases: Difficult decisions, something troublesome that needs to be sorted out, making tricky choice, bothersome issues, rather worrying enquiries, awkward questions being asked.

Meaning: In Grandville’s engraving, Wild Rose is a lady who looks less than comfortable. She has a wild rose in her hair and others at her great, but thorny, stems wrap her round in a rather nasty embrace. Two rosehips dangle from her wrists as if she has been handcuffed. She is also wearing a rather tight reship necklace.

This card tell you that a difficult decision may need to be made. The pros and cons of each possible course of action may be whirling round your headed morning, noon, and night. Someone may be pressuring you to make up your mind right now.

Of course, this feels stressful, but an over-hasty decision must be avoided. It sound simplistic, but writing it down can help. Set it out like a chart: Pros, Cons, Likely Outcomes. Then leave it for a day or two. Sleep on it. Go to the cinema, meet up with a friend who has nothing to do with the issue. Over these two days, your path may become clearer. Thorny questions should not be answered in a rush.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by Sheila Hamilton, art by JJ Grandville, Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov

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Well, I’m back finally. The surgery did not go as planned, but I’ll probably talk about that more later. For today, the whimsy of the Victorian Flower Oracle drew my attention, and I realized I’d never shown you all the lovely design on the back of each card.

OK, so now on to today’s card. Do keep in mind that an admirer is not just a romantic one. If you’re an artist, it could be a potential patron. If you’re tackling something new, it could simply be a supporter. Open your mind to what this means and don’t crush people unnecessarily.

Cornflower & Poppy – An Admirer

Keywords & Phrases: A gallant suitor, a fan, someone who believes in you, a paramour, a patron or supporter, recognition of your talents

Meaning: In this picture, Cornflower and Poppy are elegant ladies, probably friends, in a cornfield. Cornflower wears a blue hat, naturally, while Poppy wear a red one. Two insects are at their feet, serenading them with fine music. It is a warm day at the height of summer, and all is well. The Cornflower is looking questioningly at her companion, as if to gauge a reaction to the insects. They are not the terrifying poisonous kind you might encounter in the tropics but, nonetheless, they are insects. Cornflower and Poppy, being elegant themselves, may have wished for more sophisticated admirers. Such is life. But these insects seem genuine; they do not contain a sting. What this image seems to say is that if you wish to take your admirer’s attention further, it is probably safe to do so. If you don’t it would probably be best to side-step your admirer carefully – s/he is quite a sensitive soul who could be easily crushed.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by author Sheila Hamilton and artists JJ Grandville, Karen Mahony, and Alex Ukolov

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OK, we’ve had two pairs of lovers (though representing more than romantic love) two days in a row! Seems as if Spring is definitely the season of love as we head into warmer weather with Tuberose and Daffodil. Daffodils are favorites of mine, and memories of picking armfuls of them from a wooded area where they had naturalized stick with me as truly magical moments of childhood. I hope you all enjoy today’s card as well.

Have a great Thursday!

Keywords & Phrases: Love, warm friendship, passion, affection, partnership, and trust

Meaning: Love. There are many types of love, and many ways of looking at this most complex emotion. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, being an orderly sort of person, divided love up into several categories. Eros is romantic and sexual love, wile Agape is ore of a love between friends, possibly more selfless. Confusingly, Philia also means friendship in modern Greek, as well as implying loyalty to the family and community. Storge means natural affections, such as parents usually have for their children. Xenia is hospitality, the ritualized bond between host and guest.

Many cultures have a similar range of terms to describe what the English language simply describes as “love.” By nature, some of these terms overlap. Then there is patriotism or love of country, love of money, love of learning, parental love, and altruistic love, a love which expects no reward. When you draw this card, remember that it can point to any of the forms of love, not just romantic.

In Grandville’s image, we see Tuberose and Daffodil in a romantic settings, the first sitting on a bench outside a ouse and learning in through a ground floor window, the second inside the house, learning out. Grandville appears to have abandoned his convention of personifying flowers as women and has personified Daffodil as a man. But what a strange encounter! Even given the rather rigid Victorian etiquette, it was expected that a lover or would-be lover enter one’s home by the front door! one has to wonder if something illicit is going on. Perhaps the families of the two young people do not approve of the relationship; tis would hardly be a novel situation. Then as now, there could be a thousand reasons why this should be. What is obvious is that Tuberose and Daffodil have contrived a way of meting regardless of any outside pressure, and I think we must applaud them for this. “Love finds a way,” the saying goes, and it is always heartening when this is borne out.

This card asks us to think about the place of love in our lives. Maybe we are blissfully happy in a romance, but it’s equally possible that the deepest love we feel comes from our relationship with children, parents, or friends. In a different sense, we may feel passionate love for an interest such as art, nature, music or simply our gardens. Whatever the source of love, thesis time to recognize, value, and nurture it.

The Victorian Flower Oracle by author Sheila Hamilton and artists JJ Grandville, Karen Mahony, and Alexander Ukolov

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