Today’s card is Ivy, also known as Hedera helix. Ivy is a shrub as well, growing mostly in shady areas. For this reason, Ivy is associated with the Moon just as holly is associated with the sun. The Ogam letter for this card is Gort, and the form and shape of Ivy, and its spiral growth pattern have caused this shrub to be linked to the stars and constellations. The old Christmas carol, ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, preserves the ancient belief, expressing hostility or rivalry between the two plants. On some level, this is because holly holds intensely masculine energy while ivy is definitely feminine in nature. Thus, these plants signify the opposition of the sexes. As well, ivy blooms in autumn while most full sun plants bloom in spring or summer. The ivy was then tied to a stalk of wheat and paraded through the village during the harvest celebration as a sign of good luck.
Ivy has been associated with poetry and intoxication since ancient times. Ivy crowns were worn by poet laureates in the classical world, while the followers of Bacchus (Dionysius) ought to alleviate the side affects of drunkenness by steeping ivy leaves in wine, which was thought to make the wind more potent while weakening the affects of the alcohol at the same time. Probably NOT! Still, for this reason, taverns use to display an ivy bush over their door as a sign that the ale house was only serving the best brew. Also in classic mythology, it is said that the Bacchae (priestesses of Bacchus) practiced a form of orgiastic ritual where they drank a dangerous amount of tea made from ivy, fly agaric, and pine sap. This caused intense hallucinations during which they saw visions and ran through the countryside devouring living things or fornicating with multiple individuals in true orgiastic form. White ivy had been deemed sacred to goddesses of the Moon including Ariadne and Artemis (Greece), Pasiphae (Crete), and Arianrhod (Celtic). The Irish hero Fiona was also said to be kept hidden within an ivy clad tree to prevent those who sought to murder him from discovering his whereabouts. For this reason, it is one of his symbols as well.
This card speaks to us of our need of others. Support comes from many directions during this time but will only aid you if you are willing to accept it. Often, we struggle or fail because ego won’t allow us to admit that we need help, that we are not able to do all things ourselves or be there for all people simultaneously. This leaves us exhausted from trying to be totally self-sufficient when the truth is that we all NEED other people and we each seek the support and, at times, acceptance of others. Do not allow your pride and stubbornness to stand in the way! We can be strengthened in a myriad of ways that we can’t imagine until we share our burdens and successes with others. The Green Man urges you to take the help now that is offered.
May your interconnection with others provide the help and solutions that you seek at this time.