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On the Twenty-first day of December

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on December 21, 2011 | Comments (0)

On the 21st day of December, tarot gave to me:

Ah! A little surprise…not a tarot card at all, buy a card from Mickie Mueller’s Voice of the Trees, an enchanting oracle deck based on the Orgham.

For our Solstice today, we have Ivy. Since this is not traditional tarot, I’m giving us a bonus…a sample of Mickie’s wonderful text. It’s so interesting and beautiful, you may just want to give yourself a little Solstice gift. It’s so easy: CLICK!

Divinatory Meaning: Tenacity/Self

Your survival instinct is strong, even if life has put tough barriers that seem insurmountable; you have everything you need to rise above and power through whatever is before you.  You may have not been given the smooth road, perhaps a rocky path is yours instead.  Do not despair, for you can grow and flourish in life situations where others might be defeated.  Your path is one of self discovery, and your life force is strong enough to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself.  Use what is inside of you, the gifts you inherited from your ancestors, and apply them without fear.

Reversed:

You are facing difficulties, and you may feel strangled or restricted.  Search inside yourself for the answers, is there an outside force that has you in a stranglehold, or is it your own obstinacy that is holding you back?   Also, watch out for jealousy directed at you when ivy appears reversed.

Symbolism and Lore:

Ivy has connections to many of the trees of the Ogham, and certainly, is often found in the wild literally connected to trees.  Ivy is a very opportunistic plant that grows on other plants, and can even grow on stone.  Although at first glance ivy is a seemingly small and charming plant, it can actually harm the mightiest trees of the forest with its relentless grip, so it is not to be underestimated.  This would be why the Celts named it a chieftain tree, they respected the fact that it was tough and able to meet any challenge with grace and beauty no less.  No matter the terrain, Ivy will find a way to survive.

In this card Ivy is represented as a beautiful emerald eyed forest spirit, clad in green and draped in ivy.  She presents the viewer with a bough of ivy, offering you persistence and the power of belief in you own inner strength to carry you through.   Her expression portrays self assurance and depth.  There is a suggestion of faerie wings at her shoulders, pointing to the ivy’s connection with the good people of the land.

Interestingly, according to folklore, ivy covering your wall will protect the people in the home from dark magic, possibly that the ivy is tougher than any curse.  It is believed to be a lucky talisman, especially for women.  Ivy was used in love magic, to allow a woman to see her future husband.

Ivy is associated with Holly as related in the old English song The Contest of the Holly and the Ivy, which was later rewritten as a Christmas carol, but the original lyrics paint the picture of a battle of the sexes using holly and ivy as emblems of man and woman.  The two can also be considered a representation of the God and Goddess of the natural world, both evergreen and flourishing in seasons of growth or decline, reminding us that life always continues.   The growth of ivy can be seen to duplicate the sacred spiral. This is a pattern that runs throughout all life, and in our very selves, as DNA, the building blocks of life.  Remembering this and Ivy can help you bring forth the gifts that you ancestors have given you.  Ivy reminds us of tenacity and self, and our genes that have come to us through the ages, against many odds, to make us who we are today.

Field Guide:

Hedra helix the English Ivy is native to Europe, and was introduced into North America by settlers and is commonly planted as an ornamental plant.  Ivy is an evergreen vine with dark green leaves that are waxy with palmate veins.  The shape of the leaves varies, but is usually a 3-5 lobed leaf with a heart shaped base.  Ivy is very invasive and will trail along the ground, and also climb up trees, trellises, stone walls and brick buildings, usually damaging the surface of the structures it grows on by digging in its strong tendrils that can even break rock and mortar.

Ivy can grow 80-100 feet long and can grow in sun or shade.  Ivy that grows in sunlight produces clusters of greenish-yellow flowers which mature into black fleshy berries late fall.  Many birds feed on the berries which are toxic to humans, and spread the seeds allowing the plant to take over forested regions if planted in rural areas.  Ivy is very beautiful and in addition to being used in gardens for landscaping, it is also a lovely addition to indoor planters due to their tolerance for shade, and is often seen in flower arrangements.

 

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