A lot of people ask me why I got "a tree" tattooed to my back....well to those who don't know....what my tattoo means to me, well let me tell you. It started with a dream I had. In my dream, I was falling apart.....like my body, my life, everything was falling apart....but when I looked down at my naked body, I was wrapped up in an ivy vine, thick, lush, green....the most beautiful green I'd ever seen....and it was what was holding me together. It was beautiful and strong, binding....supportive....hopeful....unyielding in it's purpose.
When I woke up, It was so profound and meaningful to me, I KNEW, knew with 100% certainty, that I needed that vine. I had finally found what I'd long awaited to discover and that was WHAT I wanted forever. Other considerations....Poison Ivy keeps people at a distance....for those I want to stay away....(some people think tattoos are scary....perhaps I'm trying to repel some people)....also, green, the color green is notorious for redheads, as it's said to "temper" us...to calm our fiery red passions and flare ups. I've always loved that ivy is pretty....yet un-flowering.....it grew strong, it grew thick, and it goes any way it wants....when it meets a concrete wall...it doesn't stop, it climbs up and over.....there's nothing that stands in the way of ivy. Even when you chop the shit out of it, and TRY to kill it, it's very resilient and often times comes right back.
My friend Amy told me the other day that Ivy is a symbol in England for Luck....which made me want to do a little research into my treasured inked ivy, and here's what I found.....and I have to tell you, based upon what I already believed.....and compounded with the new information I've discovered, I couldn't have picked something more perfect.
I am thinking of naming Jerimy and I's woods behind our house that we bought....how fitting would THIS be?
Bacchus, who was the Roman god of wine and revelry (a.k.a. 'Dionysius'), wore a crown of the evergreen Ivy as the symbol of immortality.
Likewise, Osiris (the god of the afterlife, underworld or dead), in ancient Egypt, who was represented as carrying a rod entwined with Ivy at all times.
A cult of worshipers grew around the god, Bacchus, to celebrate the joys of liberation through intoxication. The revelers often wore the crown of Ivy, too, believing it complimented or counter-balanced the effects of the grape. (Ironically, Ivy also stood for intellectual achievement in ancient Rome.) Legend tells of Bacchus evading his enemies by crossing a bridge of vines and ivy over the Euphrates River. Another myth finds Bacchus pursued by pirates at sea -- and saved when the enemy ship's rigging became crippled by clinging Ivy. The Ivy-crowned head of Bacchus can be seen on ancient Roman coins, circa 48 BC.
In old Ireland, the Celts regarded the Ivy as a symbol of determination, death, and spiritual growth. When portrayed with its spiral growth around a tree it represented rebirth, joy and exhilaration. The power of the Ivy to cling and bind and even kill the mighty oak impressed the ancient Druids. In respect of Ivy's strength, they and other Pagan cultures used it in sacred rituals. As an evergreen plant, it became a symbol of everlasting life, and it was the Irish poet who traditionally wore the Ivy crown.
Christian artists saw the Ivy's spiralling growth as a sign or symbol of the Resurrection. It represented the ascension of the spirit to the Divine. Earlier, the Christian church rejected both the Ivy and Vine as pagan symbols. They were being used in the Roman Saturnalia celebrations of winter, during which the god's staff was made of Holly and his sacred bird was said to nest in Ivy. Centuries later, the Holly and the Ivy became inseparable as Christmas plants, their Pagan connections forgotten.
In times past, lovers took the Ivy to be the symbol of their fidelity. Brides carried it in their wedding bouquets, while women wore it for fertility and good luck. Must have been Ivy's reputation for multiplying in the toughest conditions, growing even in near dark. In Victorian times, the Ivy was a symbol of wedded love and friendship in matrimony.
In England, Ivy is a popular Christmas plant bringing good luck and joy. Grow it up the wall of your house and your life and property will be more secure and better protected.
Just try taking it down!
info collected at: