Symbolism can be a tool to help understand the world. I have often received comments about my logo. The logo has deep meaning for me – it is based on the rose – which has representations through the ages and through many cultures, and I love the symbolism that these cultures have placed on the rose. And beside all that – I love red roses. The five lines have a couple of symbols – one – being the five phases of a woman’s life – birth, menstruation, pregnancy / motherhood, menopause, death and second – the centre line – the central being of who I am, the other lines represent me being open and flowing forward and another closed and protected, yet always connected with the core.
An ancient symbol of perfection, inspiration for all times. Is the rose the “Queen of flowers’’ as Greek poetess Sappho wrote (7th century). For thousands of years roses have been a source of inspiration and symbolic meaning in legends, poetry, religion and the arts. Today they are still considered ‘sovereign’ among flowers. What makes the rose so enigmatic and universally appealing? It’s scent, the shape of the flowers, its velvety petals?
Ancient Greet Legend – It is said that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, came to life from within the sea’s foam. Where the foam fell to the ground, white roses grew. The rose was a rich source of symbolism in ancient Greek writings. From this legend white roses have come to symbolize the purity and innocence of love.
In the ancient Sufi religion of Persia, the rose was symbolic of life’s journey. Its beauty represents the perfection we should seek to achieve in life. The thorns were the challenges we face in trying to realize our goals. The fact that the rose flowers again signified that if we persist we will succeed in the end.
More than just pretty flowers, species roses provide us with scent, flavour and valuable medicinal properties. Species roses are often highly perfumed. The scent comes from the essential oils formed in the flowers and leaves. These oils can be distilled and added to perfumes. The fruit (hips) and petals of roses have distinctive flowers. In traditional Chinese medicine the therapeutic properties of the roots, leaves, petals and hips of roses are still used to treat a range of disorders.
Riches from China. China is one of four imported ancestors of the modern rose. Brought to Europe from China, the four roses were highly valued for there flower colour and perpetual flowering nature.
Two thousand years ago roses were mostly sweetly scented, five petalled flowers. New forms arose in the wild and in gardens by chance or through natural hybrids. However in the 1800s, new found knowledge of plant sexuality brought about a ‘breeding revolution’. It enabled rose breeders to make deliberate crosses using the colours, forms and scents of existing roses. Modern roses have evolved from wild roses and other ancient garden varieties in less than 200 years of plant breeding.
Roses in the kitchen – rose water, rose vinegar, rose honey, rose-hip tea, rose-hip jelly, rose-hip wine, crystallised rose petals, rose petal syrup, rose flavoured cakes, preserved roses. The rose – a basic ingredient of flavouring in many culinary delights.
Roses as medicine. The early medicinal and culinary uses of plants have been recorded in boods called herbals. In Mrs Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal (1700s) a red-flowering rose was described as being able to ‘strengthen the stomach, prevent vomiting and stop tickling coughs.