Plant Ethnology, Myths, Legends, Folklore

This is a new site section dedicated to advanced plant monographs dealing with the legends, myths and folklore surrounding certain plants. Stories and allegories about plants exist in many cultures and traditions, from the early Mesopotamian people, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, ancient China, Mayans and Aztec empire, on to medieval times of Europe, Victorian flower language, Art Nouveau  and are still preserved in our modern civilized world.

We just have to look into our garden and surroundings to find the plants whose folklore dates back centuries or millennia. Some have been brought here by the Romans, others were imported from the “new world” to old Europe.  We shall look East, West, South and North, from the sakura blossoms of Japan to the white sage of Northern America, from the Hindu dhatura to the Jimson weed of Northern and the angel’s trumpet of Southern America. We will delve – of course! – into the legends surrounding the Mandrake of the Near East and many other poisonous plants. We will but scratch the surface when it comes to the wonderful flora of the Mediterraneans, the vast medicinal treasuries of the Africans and rain forests of Southern America. We will find almost every plant has a legend and its very own spirit – or “deva” – attached to it.

Step by step I will add here articles that focus on these special plants and herbs, which are most often also attributed “magical” or metaphysical properties. On this occasion I’d like to point out a very special friend’s website, who is an academic student of ethnobotany and whose expertise and council is invaluable. German visitors of this blog are encouraged to visit her page at Bussardflug.de and leave feedback or engage in a conversation about nature spirituality.

After all, this is about how we educate and develop our senses in an ever-changing world, where nature seems to play a lesser part, yet we face the greatest challenges in our development as civilized humans, who are still part of and dependent on this ‘wild nature’ that we so much yearn to transcend.

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