Violets delight me! They visit for such a short time in the spring, yet have numerous attributes and an extensive history. Violets will protect you from “wykked sperytis” and will bring luck and love. They are featured in mythology, folk lore, literature and poetry. They have been used to cure headaches, calm tempers, and induce sleep. They have been crystallized, used for syrups and jellies, and candied.
There are over 550 species of violets, found in temperate climates around the world. They have many folk names and most of them are reminiscent of sex or love. In addition, their leaves are heart shaped, giving them a place of honor with the romancing herbs!
Like the rose, the color of the violet has great significance in sending messages. Blue violets promise "My love will always be true", purple send the message, "I return your love." White signifies "I'm willing to take a chance on happiness". They also represents modesty and humility as they often hide their spectacular beauty under heart shaped leaves. In William Cullen Bryant’s poem The Yellow Violet, it symbolizes a lost love. In the language of flowers, yellow symbolizes friendship, happiness, joy and success.
They are highlighted in many myths and legends. One story comes from the goddess Venus asking her son Cupid if he thought she was more attractive than a group of maidens playing along the edge of the woods. He said he found the maidens to be more beautiful, so she beat them until they were blue. Since then, because of their association with Venus, they have been associated with love and romance. Huh?
Another legend suggests at one time violets were white, but Mary's grief at seeing the suffering of Jesus on the cross turned them all blue. They have been associated with the modesty of the Virgin Mary, the Angel Gabriel, the Holy Trinity, and Greek and Roman legends and lore. Athens has been referred to as the "Violet Crowned City”. Napoleon returned from exile in the spring and used the violet in a secret code to determine loyalty. This tiny, delicate little flower has had a powerful impact.
In addition, there are recipes for aphrodisiacs, love portions, and beauty products.
My favorite use for violets is sprinkled on a tossed green salad when she first appears in the spring. She is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. Add strawberries, orange sections, and avocado. My raspberry poppy seed dressing from an earlier blog post, 5-27-2013, is a lovely compliment.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!