Delightful gold buttons adorning gardens, fields, lawns, sides of roads… Tansies are invasive weeds that don’t wilt easily, but one would hardly complain about their presence. It used to be an extremely popular plant, favored by Charlemagne who encouraged it to be grown in monastery gardens all over Europe.
Before Charlemagne, though, tansy was well-loved by the Greeks. Its name, tanacetum, was derived from the Greek athanasia, meaning immortality. It was described is Lucian’s Dialogue of the Gods as the plant which granted Ganymede his eternal life.
“Take him away, and when he has drunk of immortality (athanasian), bring him back as cup-bearer to us.”
In Christianity, the plant was dedicated to Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, who was exiled five times by four Roman emperors, including Constantine the Great, and was known as “Athanasius Contra Mundum”, “Athanasius against the World”.
Even though Tansy is not very popular as an edible herb anymore, it is a traditional flavoring for cakes celebrating Easter.
Blossoming roadsides on the swedish island Gotland, august 2016. Papaver dubium, chicory, tansy, oxtongue, greater knapweed, wild carrot, dewberry, mayweed and much more I had no place for on this little post card.
The whole anti-abortion thing is just ridiculous to me because, hey, guess what.
I have 8 plants in my garden I could use to induce abortion.
1. Pine needles.
4. Wild carrot (seeds). (Interesting fact wild carrot, common name Queen Anne’s Lace, is thought to be closely related to the famous and now extinct silphion, used widely by the Romans for both seasoning and contraception)
5. Black Cohash
8. Wild ginger (used by First nations people; a strong decotion of the root has contraceptive and abortificant properties.)
9. (EXTRA) High doses of vitamin C (in the range of 6 grams per day for 5-6 days) has been shown to cause spontaneous abortion in about half of early term (5-6 weeks) pregnancies.
Note that not all of these are safe. Indeed, Tansy and pennyroyal and wormwood and rue are all toxic in high doses. Clinical abortion is safer. And of course not all of these methods are as effective as clinical abortion. But the point is that women have been using these plants to help control their reproductive rights for as long as women have existed, and banning abortion would not stop them.
Some of my natural dyeing I’ve made. I’m so in love with the advocado and madder, but also the Tansy. I need to keep track of all my dyeing, so small tags with information is on each hank. The yarns I’m dyeing is linen and organic cotton and will be woven into scarves.
#naturaldye #natural #nativeplants #mylocaldyeplants #slow #sustainable #slowfashion #madder #tansy #advocado #walnut #linen #organiccotton #organic #cotton #fortheloveoflinen #handmade #madebyhand #delditkbh #mitkbh #copenhagen #denmark
One magical university, divided between the Colleges of the Real and Unreal. One pub. One indie band. A lot of drunk witches on a Friday night. One shattered friendship, due to be repaired. One Practical Mythology paper which really has to be finished by Monday… Oh, and trolls. Let’s see who survives Friday night drinks!
Ever since Montagu’s Turkish letters,
flower language initiates had passed meanings back and forth as a
gossipy secret handshake. Some of them, like a narcissus for egotism,
had obvious mythological roots.
Others were derived from characteristics of the flowers themselves, or
from hedge-witch lore about their medical and magical properties:
cabbage looked like a wad of cash, and so it meant profit; walnuts
looked like brains, and so they meant intellect; pennyroyal, rue, and tansy teas
were abortifacients women secretly (and often desperately) used to
induce miscarriages, and so the flowers meant “you must leave,”
“disdain,” and “I declare war against you,” respectively. Other plant
meanings are harder to fathom—why should a pineapple, long a symbol of hospitality and wealth, instead mean “you are perfect”?—but that was part of their allure; a secret language is hardly secret if it’s obvious.
Between 1827 and 1923, there were at least 98 different flower dictionaries in circulation in the United States, and flower code was regularly discussed in magazines like Harper’s and The Atlantic. It spread way beyond actual flower bouquets, and into literature and fine art. Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson—both
gardeners as well as authors—used the language of flowers in not only
their writing, but their personal letters. Maybe you thought it was
annoying that bits of Jane Eyre expected you to know French; Charlotte Bronte also expected
you to understand that when Jane looks at snowdrops, crocuses, purple
auriculas, and golden-eyed pansies in chapter nine, she’s feeling
hopeful, cheerful, modest, and preoccupied with the connection between
money and happiness.
Similarly, the Pre-Raphaelites relished the ability to add floral symbolism
to paintings that already drew on mythic themes; Rossetti’s “Lady
Lilith” might look sensual, but the white roses behind her belie a
disinterest in carnality, while the poppies and foxgloves beside her
suggest she’s sleepy, forgetful, and insincere. Even home embroiderers got in on the game;
a woman might apply her needle to a difficult lilac pattern as a
meditation on humility, or work through a marigold and pansy theme as a
way to come to grips with thoughts of grief.