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Ivy meaning

Ivy meaning: the myth of Dionysus

The meaning of ivy in ancient times was closely connected to the myth of Dionysus or Bacchus. It was thought that she first appeared with the god himself. As soon as he was born, in fact, little Dionysus found himself surrounded by the flames that burned his mother’s body, struck by a lightning bolt from Zeus. It is said that suddenly ivy grew around him and enveloped him and protected him. The ivy is often found connected to the other distinctive trait that always accompanies the figure of Bacchus, namely the vine, a plant that in terms of behavior and meaning represents exactly the opposite of ivy. The first, linked to its fruit, wine, recalls sin and the forbidden, the second, the ivy, was instead a symbol of innocence. It was not difficult, in the Middle Ages, to find the design of the ivy intertwined with vine shoots, or the real plant at the entrance of the taverns to make these places more harmless. The two plants well represented the dualism of Dionysus who, besides being the god of bacchanal and wine, was curiously known as the god of innocence.

Ivy meaning: Celtic cult


Ivy was also a sacred plant among the Celts, who associated it with the cult of the serpent and the dragon, both allegories of the afterlife and of the underground in general. In the Celtic sense, the meaning of ivy was primarily that of immortality. Being an evergreen plant, of exceptional resistance, indeed even difficult to eradicate, the ivy was for this people the perfect symbol of the eternity of the spirit and of nature. The druids who studied the medicinal uses of the plant, saw in the ivy, and in its poisonous berries, a representation of death and rebirth together. Quite well known is an ancient Celtic legend according to which in Caerphilly Castle, near Cardiff, there is the ghost of a woman, killed for love, called the green lady. The woman,

Ivy meaning: woman and love


Faithful, stubborn, unconditional love, which challenges everything and everyone, is certainly the meaning of ivy that intrigues most. This climbing plant with immediately recognizable leaves, rich in a thousand streaks ranging from dark green to pure white, is above all a parasitic plant. A famous joke says: << love is like ivy, where it sticks it dies >>. This type of love of which the ivy is the undisputed symbol, in ancient times was generally understood as feminine love since the woman was not an independent figure, but in need of attaching herself to the beloved man. It is a plant that, like a woman, is born under the influence of the moon and in fact needs shade and cold to grow. Furthermore, it is precisely to women that it brings greater luck, especially to brides.

Ivy meaning: poison and cure


The ambiguous, dichotomous meaning of ivy can also be found in its medicinal use from ancient times to today. The ivy berries, those small and seemingly insignificant charcoal fruits of hers, represented poison and cure at the same time. The Celts, above all, used both the fruits and the leaves of this plant in many and varied ways and for the most disparate diseases. They made rheumatism ointments from berries, treated ulcers and dysentery, and used them as purgatives. With the leaves they prepared healing creams and even remedies to cure madness. At the same time, they knew they could promote, through its poison, altered states of consciousness, even hallucinogens. Modern science later confirmed that ederine, the glycoside found in ivy berries,

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