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Rosalia, Holiday of Roses

June 4, 2014 4 Comments

The rose has been celebrated for fragrance and beauty. It is a symbol of the goddess Aphrodite.  The Romans used garlands of roses and violets to commemorate the dead.  Rosalia was a time to decorate with roses to show respect for the ancestors.  The rose originated in Arabia where it was cultivated for perfume as well as for landscaping purposes.  Crusaders brought plants back with them when they returned to Europe.  This very popular flower continues to captivate our attention in gardens and in perfumery.  The symbolic power of the rose is still in use as well.  I found a Rosalia party in Maine, here in the US.  The Maine folks will make a batch of rose mead, among other DIY rose products.  Here are a few ways I have found to include roses in my life:

  • rose flower water in cooking and cosmetics
  • rose petals in bath sachets
  • rose flower essence
  • roses in tea
  • roses as ingredient in bitters
  • cut flowers

The roses I cultivate are Lady Banksia, or Tombstone roses that spread and like the very hot climate in Tucson.  In season they yield many small white and pink flowers that I use for making flower essence.  They are fragrant, and in an essence, very tasty.  I drink the essence straight up rather than preserve it with alcohol.  The taste is delicious.  Many hybrid roses are without scent, so I usually prefer the old style, strong smelling, varieties.  To preserve that smell for later use, simply spread the petals out in a single layer and dry on a basket in the dark until dry.  I store herbs in paper bags or glass jars. The scent lasts longer if you use glass.

Fortuna, Roman Goddess of Abundance

January 17, 2013 1 Comment

The Romans had a pantheon similar to the Greeks. Fortuna represents wealth, commercial success, and abundance of all kinds. She is intimate with the infinite source of wealth, and acts as a conduit, bringing it to life on earth. Lakshmi is busy doing the same thing for the Hindu pantheon. In America, unfortunately, the Puritans have directly linked wealth to purity of behavior (as described by them). This narrow view of abundance is a vicious cycle of a bummer drag. They arrived in Plymouth Colony and were greeted by sophisticated and generous souls. Since the hospitable tribes did not read the Bible the Puritan fathers decided it would be fine to totally rip them off for everything they had. Things have gone downhill from that point.

As a priestess of Fortuna, you are required to make friends with money. She is the power behind all propitious events. It is possible to procure her guidance through meditation. You can ask questions with your dominant hand doing the writing, then pass the pen to Fortuna in your non dominant hand and let her answer. The handwriting may be very bad, but let it go. You are the only one who will read and interpret it. If you really wonder about your fate, your fortune, your lot in life, ask. Ask deeply, and you will find the answer. Oracles did some gas inhaling at you will not need in this exercise, but the concept is the same. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will open. Same deal. Don’t allow some Puritan nerd from the past to rob you of your right to know. Be still, know. The truth will set you free….a whole lot freer than Salem during the witch trials, anyhow. Speak to Fortuna. She has something to tell you.

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