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An Abundance of Roses

Rose is the flower associated with the month of June and my roses are blooming in glorious profusion right now. It took three attempts before we were finally able to tie our bushes back properly, the branches so bowed, so heavy with blooms… one bush that has barely given me one or two roses each year is amazingly covered in dozens of sweet-smelling red blooms…. I can’t help but wonder what is different this year. Why such an abundance of roses?

The psychic in me asks, so what is the message here, what should I be noticing, what is the lesson from this bounty and the lovely scent wafting in from my patio, now pink with rose petals? I know that roses bring messages of love, friendship, gratitude, even respect, but I also know that the rose is an ancient symbol with deep meaning attached to it.

So I looked up the meaning of roses. This is what I found first in my book “the Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols“.

In common with the lotus and the lily, the rose is one of the most important flower symbols in the world, its influence as a sacred flower pervading all cultures and religious beliefs. The reasons for many of these beliefs is shrouded in mystery, not a surprise given the age of the flower, fossilized roses from 35 million years ago have been found, and wreaths of roses have been found in the most ancient tombs. These days, the rose (particularly if it is red) is the ultimate flower of love, an ingredient in love potions and philters, dedicated to Venus and Aphrodite.

Love is, however, not the only symbolic meaning of the flower. Its beauty springing from the muddy earth is a synonym for the triumph of spirit over matter, an aspect it shares with the lotus.

Like the lotus, the number of the roses’s petals carries meaning. The original wild rose, prior to human cultivation, has five petals, an example of a pentagram or five-pointed star created by the natural world. Because of its perfection and beauty, the rose is a symbol of purity. At the same time the flower has undeniably sensuous qualities, in both its luxuriant petals and its scent, equating it with female sexuality. Paradoxically, the rose is at once a symbol of life and of death, of heavenly perfection and earthly desire, of fertility and chastity.

The rose is also a symbol of secrecy, perhaps because of the way the petals hide its center, perhaps for some more obsure reason. To speak of something sub rosa – “under the rose” – means that any information must be kept confidential.  Some Masonic lodges and alchemy guilds still conduct meetings with a red rose hanging from the ceiling as a reminder of the private nature of the discussions taking place.  There are three roses on the ceremonial apron of the Master Mason, acting a reminders of faith, silence and secrecy.

The Rosy Cross of the Rosicrucians has a rose at its intersection.  Here the rose symbolizes the heart, life and secrecy.

In alchemy, the wild rose carries rich symbolic meaning, too; it is primarily the sign of the union of opposites, (again because the petals indicate 2 + 3 = 5). Alchemical terminology calls this the “Conjunction.” The colors of roses are as important within the alchemical tradition as anywhere else and carry the same meanings: the red rose for male energy, passion, love; the white rose for female energy, innocence, purity; yellow for compassion and humanity; pink for friendship and thankfulness; orange for enthusiasm and optimism. The black rose – which does not exist in nature – is symbolic of death, depression and loss.  Roses have long been associated with Mary, mother of Jesus, and rose windows in cathedrals and churches are her symbol. In India, the Great Mother was called the Holy Rose. 

When I checked our book on Superstitions I found this little gem – various versions of this superstition seem to have been passed down even to this day:

1755: “Our maid Betty tells me, that if I go backwards without speaking upon Midsummer Eve, and gather a Rose, and keep it in a clean sheet of paper, without looking at it, till Christmas Day, it will be as fresh as in June; and if I then stick it in my bosom, he that is to be my husband will come and take it out. 

And if you dream of a red rose, it could very well mean that you will be a bachelor or an old maid if you don’t learn to control your passions… but if you dream of picking a rose, it is said to mean that you are a good lover or sweetheart, unconscious of your beauty, and receiving a rose in a dream could herald a reconnection with an old friend…

When it comes to the rose, there are different meanings associated with the type of rose, the different colours,  the number of  roses in a bouquet, and the the number of petals. For example, a rose with eight petals is a message of rebirth and renewal. A Cabbage Rose is said to be an Ambassador of Love, a Purple or Lavender Rose signals Mourning, Sweetbriar Rose offers Sympathy, a Tea Rose says I’ll Remember Always Your Loveliness, White and Red Roses together speak of Unity.  Giving 1 Rose talks about Love at the first sight – the single rose, whatever its color, depicts utmost devotion to a single person. “All my deepest affections are concentrated in you”. Giving  24 Roses says “You’re always on my mind” and stands for the twenty-four hours of the day, meaning that the loved one is thought of during every hour of the day. Giving 108 Rosesis a proposal, since this bouqueut asks: “Will you marry me?”

In  the Tarot, the rose is considered a symbol of balance. Here the beauty of the rose expresses promise, new beginnings, hope. This beauty is contrasted with its thorns which represents defense, physicality, loss, thoughtlessness. The rose is seen in the major arcana as: Magician, Strength, Death and Fool cards. All of these cards hold strong meanings of balance and equilibrium.

Wow! Now I can see a lot of meaning in the abundance of roses in my garden this year.. Rose could easily be Global Psychics flower – love is a primary focus in what we do, why we do the work, and what we try to teach our clients… Our intention is to bring balance and hope against the thorns that can challenge our clients.

I was amused to see that the rose is about secrecy – our work requires a promise of confidentiality… I am expected to be a keeper of secrets… it is no wonder that I must be reminded of what I have said in a reading – I basically “wipe the slate” after a reading so that I don’t remember it until the next time I speak with the client.

This abundance of roses also reminds me that I have a lot to be thankful for… we encourage our clients to focus on what they love, to notice and be grateful for the blessings in life, however small… it is from this space of love that we are able to most easily attract what we want in life, to bring more love, and with it, prosperity into our lives.  It seems that the more often I give thanks, the more I have to be thankful for…. so Thank You roses, for reminding me that love and gratitude flourish around me now.

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