Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Hope Springs Eternal
Faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope, valor. All of those are qualities traditionally associated with the iris. I love iris and in fact if I had a favorite flower (I don't), it might be the iris. Or maybe the rose ... or ... OK really I do NOT have a favorite flower. I love iris, though, especially the purple ones.
Here's a true story. At my first initiation, part of the ritual involved being given flowers and herbs which, according to that tradition, also bestowed the initiate with the associated qualities. When one of my initiators placed an iris in my hand, she said, "Here is the iris, associated with hope." Just then she noticed that the iris was dead. Everyone laughed.
The next day I spread all my initiation herbs and flowers on newspaper, put them out in the sun to dry. (I planned to make a small herb pillow from the dried plants.) Two days later when I went back into the sun room to check on their progress, I discovered that the iris had bloomed! Faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope and valor bloom from a withered stem and shriveled flower bud? Oh yeah!
That iris, coming back from the dead, without water or any loving attention, was one of the best gifts of that initiation, and a significant part of the reason I still use the name Reya (the name I was given at that ritual) even though I don't practice magic anymore. The small miracle of the unexpected bloom explains, too, why I love iris so much.
I believe in hope, valor. I am a person of faith, even when I'm struggling to believe. The next time your faith in all good things takes a dive, find an iris and just drink it in through your eyes. Iris strengthens faith, it does! Cheers!