Flora for the Zodiac
The signs as various myths and legends surrounding the origin/creation of certain flowers (not the flowers directly associated with each zodiac sign).
ARIES // Amaryllis (Greek) – A love struck maiden longed for the handsome Alteo, but he was cold to her. In a desperate gesture, she pierced her heart with a golden arrow and walked to visit him every day. On the thirteenth day, beautiful scarlet flowers bloomed along the path from every drop of her blood. Alteo fell in love with her, and her heart was healed.
TAURUS // Rose (Greek) – Chloris, the goddess of flowers, found one of her beautiful nymphs dead in the woods. She cried, and turned body into a flower. She asked her husband Zephyr, the wind, to blow the clouds away so Apollo could shower her in sunlight. Dionysus added nectar for fragrance, and Aphrodite added pure beauty, then named it for her son, Eros, and hailed her the “Queen of Flowers”.
GEMINI // Foxglove (Celtic) – Foxgloves from “Folks Glove”, as in fairy folk. Fairies would hide in the bell blossoms and wear them as petticoats, caps and gloves. If you pluck the foxglove, it angered them and they may play tricks in revenge! Fairies would give the flowers to foxes so they wouldn’t get caught raiding chicken coupes. With the magic gloves on, they could steal eggs without making a sound.
CANCER // Pārijāta (Hindu) – Pārijāta was a princess who fell in love with the sun god, Surya. However, he left her for another. When he deserted her, the princess became hopeless and committed suicide. From her ashes grew a tree. Unable to stand the sight of the lover who broke her heart, the flowers only bloom at night under the eyes of the moon, and she sheds them like tear-drops before the sun rises.
LEO // Sunflower (Greek) – The nymph Clythia was in love with the God of the Sun, Apollo, but he shunned her and courted a princess. Jealous Clythia told the king who, furious at the princess, buried her alive. Saddened, Apollo went back to heavens without a word. She lay on the ground distraught for nine days, watching him, hoping for a single glance. Clythia wasted away and became a flower, whose petals still follow his chariot across the sky each day, waiting for forgiveness.
VIRGO // Aster (Greek) – When the god Jupiter decided to flood the earth to destroy the men constantly at war, the goddess Astraea was so upset she asked to be turned into a star. Her wish was granted, but when the flood waters receded she wept for the loss of lives. As her tears turned to stardust and fell to earth, the beautiful aster flower sprung wherever they landed.
LIBRA // Anemone (Greek) – Chloris, the goddess of flowers, was married to Zephyr, the god of the west wind. Zephyr fell in love with a beautiful nymph that served Chloris named Anemone. Jealous and angry, the goddess banished her to keep them apart, and Anemone died of a broken heart. Zephyr resurrected her as a flower. She withers every winter but returns every spring to greet Zephyr with open petals.
SCORPIO // Peony (Chinese) – Queen Wu was disheartened to see only winter jasmine in her garden. She wrote a poem to the goddess of flowers asking her to make everything bloom that night instead of waiting for spring. The next morning, all flowers flourished except the peony, which refused to bloom out of season. She was offended and banished it. Once gone, it bloomed beautifully. Furious, she ordered it to be burned – however the next year, the burnt peony grew back. With black petals.
SAGITTARIUS // Pa'u-o-Hi'iaka (Hawaiian) – When Hi'iaka, the goddess of island nature, was a baby her older sister, the Volcano goddess Pele, left her on the beach while she went fishing. Due to a storm, Pele was gone for a very long time. When she returned, she found flowering vines had grown over the baby to shield her from the sun. Hi'iaka now wears them as a skirt to protect her on adventures and in the forests.
CAPRICORN // Aconite (Greek) – As one of his twelve labors, the hero Hercules was sent to fetch the three-headed dog Cerberus from the underworld. With the help of Persephone, he was successful. The spittle of the beast dripped upon the rocky earth, and from it sprang the first aconite plant. The purple wolfsbane flowers are elegant, but it’s leaves and roots are deathly poisonous.
AQUARIUS // Iris (Greek) – The goddess Iris would bring messages to the gods across the sky, appearing to mortals as a rainbow. She acted as the link between the heavens and earth, where she left irises of many colors, the three upright petals symbolizing hope, valor, and wisdom. If purple Irises were planted over the graves of women, it would summon the Goddess, who would guide the dead in their journey.
PISCES // Water Lily (Brazilian) – When the moon goddess, Jaci, hid behind the mountains, she’d take beautiful girls with her and turn them into stars. Naiá, a girl who loved the goddess, dreamt of becoming a star, so she roamed the mountains every night. While resting by the lake, she saw the moon’s reflection, dove into the water and drowned. To reward Naiá for her sacrifice, Jaci turned her into a star different from all the others – the star of the waters.