Let the Flower of Gods Bless You

Let the Flower of Gods Bless You

 

”The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun.
And with him rises weeping.”
(William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale – Perdita at IV, iv) 

I often display pictures shot at the flower market which is located in the chowk of Varanasi (Benaras) but I almost never show its flowers.
The courtyard is mostly over-powered by the fragrance of fresh marigolds.

It is one of the traditional flowers used in garlands, offerings and social functions.
In India, the common Hindi name used for marigold is Gendha and it is Sthulapushpa in Sanskrit. 
It symbolizes a trust in the divine and a will to overcome obstacles
The saffron/orange colour signifies renunciation and hence is offered to God as a symbol of surrender. 

It is said to be in bloom on the calends of every month, this would be why the Romans named the flower Calendula and one of the names by which it is known in Italy, “fiore d’ogni mese”, countenances this derivation. 
However it was not named after the Virgin even if the flower is offered to Mother Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation, in fact its name is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla, the Marsh Marigold. 
Old English authors called it Golds or Ruddes. 
Being an edible flower marigolds were used in cookery and medicine and in the old times they were used to color hair yellow

Magical lore tells that putting marigolds under the matress will induce prophetic dreams. 
The herb is also said to have the power to make dreams come true.
The marigold was also believed to be protective and was used in wreathes to keep a home safe. 
Similar to St. John’s Wort, it was thought that marigold could strip a witch of her will.

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