Nearly all types of ivy are evergreen, meaning it does not die or lose it’s leaves in the winter. The poet Alexander Pope wearing a crown of ivy; the crown was traditionally associated with a poet of esteem, Painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller, circa 1721, via Wikimedia Commons. The Celtic meaning of the ivy deals with connections and friendships because of its propensity to interweave in growth. In addition, these meanings are alluded to in older pictures, songs and writings. In ancient times Ivy was made into an ale which was used Well written, and a good selection of images too. In its native habitat, it's more likely to form a peaceful but assertive part of its environment. Tristan went to Ireland to claim Isolde as a bride for King Mark. Spiralling inward and outward, seeking enlightenment and companionship. That sounds like a very good use for ivy! I think we have forgotten much of the power of this symbolism and that our forebears lived in a world where they saw meaning and symbols throughout the natural world and their lived. Spiritual Meanings: At the spiritual level ivy as a dream symbol symbolizes immortality and eternal life. Another association of Ivy as an evergreen, is perennial life and immortality. The term "Ivy League" at first referred to the athletic league to which all eight universities belonged. It was often seen as protection against evil forces. It certainly thrives in our Houston climate outdoors! Ivy represented peace to the Druids of old, perhaps because of its ability to bind different plants or even different kinds of plants together. Fill the flower pot with all-purpose potting soil. Dionysus sometimes carries a kantharos, or drinking cup, as well as a thyrsus. Just try and dig out the ivy in your garden to see how tough it is! This growth symbolizes connections you already have in your life, or ones you desire to make. This name is derived from the plant name. Ivy is indigenous to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Robert Graves allocates this tree to a month stretching from December 24th to January 20th, using a calendar of thirteen months, since both Caesar and Pliny reported that the Druids divided their year into lunar months. I hope you find the berries. The Celtic meaning of the ivy deals with connections and friendships because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 05, 2014: Hi Linda. I appreciate your kind comment, the vote and the share. While we might decorate our home with ivy, you might be surprised by the symbolic meanings it has been known to portray. Answer: Ivy symbolism is fun to consider, but in today's world, I think it's often more important to think about real life. If its growth is unchecked, it can travel from one plant to another and bind the plants together. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 15, 2014: Thank you for the very informative comment, Colin323! Like you, I think that it's a pretty plant. Embrace your light, and let’s rise together! I'm glad to know it's not a parasite as is often believed, because it is attached to a few of my trees. It’s supposed to be good for a hangover or to sober you up. The leaves were also used to heal burns and alleviate eczema. Juvenile leaves of English ivy growing on a brick wall. I always wondered if the berries were poinsonous and now I know. Water is symbolic of the subconscious. In ancient Egypt ivy was dedicated to Osiris, who represented immortality. Voted up. Holly is given the starring role in the song and ivy is ignored, so it seems strange that ivy is even mentioned. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 2016: Thanks for sharing the information, Eliza. Click the link above, for the Holly and the Ivy. Ivy is a symbol of lasting affection and the dreamer recognizes that he has to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. Etymological Meaning of the Geranium Flower. Both plants were appreciated as winter greenery at a time when many other plants were bare of leaves, especially as holly and ivy had attractive berries. Various folk cultures and traditions assign symbolic meanings to plants. They are also considered to be very spiritual, which is where the term “Holy Oak” comes from. I appreciate your visit. I hope you have a great week, too! The red berries represent the blood that Jesus shed on … The Ivy will cover the forest floor and grow as high as the tallest tree, the Ivy is the olympian and will outperform anything. Unravel the meaning of the name Ivy from the destiny and luck it channels to the life lessons and symbolism to take into account. If a girl carries Ivy in her pocket she will soon meet her future husband. This plant has lobed leaves, grows on walls, has blue berries and turns a beautiful red color in the autumn. Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth were founded in the 1700s and Cornell was founded in 1865. Some people value ivy as an ornamental plant or as a part of nature. In addition, these meanings are alluded to in older pictures, songs and writings. His blessed forgiveness and acceptance is the soothing cream our broken spirits need when we tumble from closeness with Him. Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on March 01, 2019: Wonderful research! I visited the HubPages forum just now and read about the Internet trouble that you're having. Marie Ryan from Andalusia, Spain on May 13, 2014: Interesting...I loved the explanation of "A good wine needs no bush"-. It uses the host to climb and is a master of photosynthesis it takes no nutrients from the host, the … Although it is sometimes regarded as invasive, ivy is appreciated for its ability to grow in the shade, and will quickly cover a wall or a slope. In many cases even grapes are portrayed heart-shaped. The carol is believed to date from the 1500s, but the spelling has been updated to that of the 1800s. I It also served as a symbol of prosperity and charity, and thus it was adopted by the early Christians, for whom it was a reminder to help the less fortunate. Petals: Just like holly, the fruits of the ivy make it the perfect symbol for Christmas. Indeed, Ivy signs have a tendency to be deeply spiritual and cling to a deep-rooted faith that typically sees them trough adversity. The ivy, which clings to its support, is also a symbol of attachment and undying affection. I have a horrible fence at the back of my yard, made up of old, dead bushes. Carols such as the ones described above may have been sung in conjunction with the decorating of a house or a church hall for Christmas. Meanings English Baby Names Meaning: In English Baby Names the meaning of the name Ivy is: Faithfulness. The ivy is also a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. If Ivy appears in your life think about joining a spiritual group. In the past, the giant fennel (Ferula communis) was used to make a thyrsus. This was perhaps the start of the tradition of using the word ivy in the group name for the universities. I appreciate your visit! The pole was known as an alepole or an alestake. I like using it, and it is a pretty plant. The outside of your home must look beautiful. The spiralling nature of the way Ivy grows is symbolic of the spiral of the self. It really caught my eye and educated me on the background of this beautiful plant. Upvoted and shared :-). By Linda Mintle. The spiralling nature of the way Ivy grows is symbolic of the spiral of the self. I am an ivy supporter. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 04, 2014: Thank you, Alun. I wonder if your plant is Boston ivy? Question: Is an ivy plant thought to bring bad luck in British tradition? The universities were established in the 1600s to 1800s and have a long tradition. In the past, English ivy was valued for more than its appearance. The common name geranium has an interesting history. It is also associated with the Greek God of wine and fertility Dionysus, often seen covered in ivy and grape vines. A stater was an ancient coin. A Symbol of Affection –The tendrils, or the thread-like part of ivy, often in a spiral form, represent affection and desire. Blossom Time: Ivy blooms in the later part of summer up to the early fall. Today, Christians consider holly symbolic of Jesus Christ in two ways. Ad Meskens, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 License. A common story on carol websites is that good-natured singing contests were held during the time when the two carols were popular. The ivy plant is also a strong plant which can grow in the hardest enviroment. Voted up, shared, etc... Have a great week. "The Holly & the Ivy" is a very famous Christmas carol, which actually depicts a vast meaning in it. Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 05, 2014: I LOVE English Ivy, my neighbor hates it, so I get all the ivy I want for centerpieces. In the Middle Ages, holly represented the masculine element, perhaps because of its prickles and harder leaves, while ivy represented the female element. Fascinating hub, especially the connection to Dionysus and the Ivy League. Ivy is an interesting plant. In these contests, men (holly) sang songs disparaging women (ivy) and women sang songs disparaging men. Look inward to find self-growth, but turn outward to find spiritual companionship with like-minded people. In some versions of the legend, a rose bush grows out of Isolde's grave and a vine out of Tristan's. And many southwestern … IVY: Symbolically, the ivy has always been closely identified with death and immortality. The lyrics are somewhat puzzling. Ivy has certainly had an interesting history. The explanation that is considered to be most likely for the origin of the term is its mention by a newspaper reporter named Caswell Adams. Ivy Name Meaning: Interesting Facts About the Name Ivy The name Ivy inspires honourability, distinction and perseverance. Alun. Search for self. I love the way ivy look framing a home or garden fence. Because it had the ability to form dense thickets in woodland, grow where other plants could not and block out the light from even the mighty oak, ivy was believed to be very powerful by the Druids, more powerful than its enemy, the vine and quite sinister. Ivy has an interesting history full of folklore and tradition. The plant is often admired for its beautiful appearance on the walls of buildings. Don’t touch the berries! Thank you! Despite the plant's association with wine and the fact that its fruits are the same color as some grapes, English ivy berries are poisonous and mustn't be eaten. The Ivy is much misunderstood and is assumed that it strangles the host it climbs. Edith Rickert (1871-1938) was an English professor at the University of Chicago. However, an ivy vine (or another vine or a tree) grows out of each grave towards the other one. Dionysus is often depicted wearing a crown of ivy and carrying a thyrsus. The Greeks and Romans held the plant in high esteem. These days ivy can be often seen in weddings to symbolize fidelity, or faithfulness and continued loyalty to one another. If a certain plant or tree comes into your life on any given day, then take the time to see the symbolic meaning behind this occurrence. Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share, Pollyanna! Thank you very much, Flourish. I appreciate your visit and the kind comment. Despite the fact that it adheres to tree trunks, English ivy isn't a parasite. Apparently, Adams complained about having to cover a game between either two "ivy covered" or two "ivy league" universities. From this came the saying. It's a free magazine so it doesn't pay, but writers get a free ad and a plug for your website or hubpages profile or whatever you want. Particularly for me it was interesting to learn of the possible origins of the 'Ivy League' Universities - a term I have often wondered about. They can also symbolize health, luck, resistance, morale, and survival. Alpha (A), the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega (Ω), the last letter, are often found combined into a single symbol representing Christ.. Ivy spiritual meaning. She loves to study nature and write about living things. Hi, Vellur. They may also indicate that holly was brought indoors as a winter decoration while ivy wasn't. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our friendships take - but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form with our friends that last over the years. Thanks for the comment, Cynthia. It seems the link between holly and ivy was just too strong for the ivy to be left out of this famous carol, even though the holly was to be the main subject of the carol. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. Thanks for the visit. In ancient Egypt ivy was … CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on May 07, 2014: Wow Alicia, thanks for all the great information on the legends and mythology of ivy. It encouraged assistance toward others in their search so that they, in turn, might offer assistance. I appreciate it very much. My wife and I had bought it for $10 back in 2009 and have gifted many planters to our friends asking for it after buying from the same outlet. Thank you so much, cairennrhys! Welcome to HubPages! The newer version was published in 1868 in a book compiled by William Husk called Songs of the Nativity. Christmas holly and ivy go together as good-luck plants. Small amounts of Ivy tea are said to dilate blood vessels, while large amounts can cause them to contract. Voted up. The stories connected with this plant is very interesting. I find carol history very interesting, too! Christmas evergreens represent endurance while the berries represent resurrection of life. Eckard Wolff-Postler, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 License. The hardy, evergreen leaf of the ivy denotes immortality and rebirth or regeneration. In some versions, Tristan and Isolde die and are buried in separate graves by King Mark so that even in death they cannot be together. Antranias, via pixabay.com, Public Domain CC0 License, Holly standeth in the hall fair to behold, Ivy stands without the door; she is full sore a cold. Gemstone: Opal; Spirits: Faery people; Animal: Butterfly; Flower: The Woody Nightshade; Tree/Plant: Ivy; Planet: Moon veiling Persephone; Also known as: The Survivor; Compatible With: Oak and Ash ; Characteristics: Representing the mysterious and mythical, Ivy’s ability … Ivy was symbolic of the journey of the soul and the spiral toward to the self. Considered to be powerful indeed by the Celts because of its ability to kill even the mightiest Oak, the Ivy has a tendency to create dense, inpenetrable thickets in the forest. Because they fly high into the sky, Lightworkers often tell us that they are messengers of the Gods who provide humans with a bridge between the mundane and spiritual life. It's a lovely plant. It is also associated with fertility because of its rapid growth. These traits ensure that the plant is noticed. And … For … Now that you know more about the symbolism behind clouds and some of the different types of clouds you can tell a better story about your tattoo, get your first cloud tattoo, or maybe even just feel better about a cloud cover up tattoo. Ivy is filled with symbolism, spanning the globe. The name comes from the Latin columba, which means "dove." Thank you very much, VioletteRose! Because it is forever green, it is a symbol of fidelity and eternal life. Now it refers to the universities themselves. The trees are believed to be like spiritual guardians that can provide comfort and solace. He's wearing a crown or wreath of ivy leaves from the reproductive stage of the plant. The wreath and festoon together symbolise memory. The carol is thought to date from the late 1400s. Isa. I bought it from Home Depot where it was marked as English Ivy. Kimberly Powell. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 10, 2017: Thank you for the kind comment, Ximena. It is said that a handful of bruised ivy leaves boiled in wine will make it so the wine cannot intoxicate the drinker. The thyrsus was a wand or staff made from a stalk of the giant fennel plant or the branch of a tree. in conjunction with hallucinogenic mushrooms create a frenzy and induce vision, Ivy, spiral of revelation Common geraniums belong to the genus Pelargonium, while true geraniums belong to the genus geranium, which includes the crane’s bill geranium, a similar but … Bird Spirit is the perfect symbol for freedom and perspective. This ability sometimes has a symbolic meaning. It sounds like a lovely plant, Suhail, whatever it is! The Frog is an emblem of rebirth and power. In this book, she says that many holly and ivy carols existed during the time period that she investigated and that they often involved a debate about the relative merits of men and women. VioletteRose from Atlanta on May 05, 2014: Great information about the English Ivy, thanks so much for sharing :) I love learning about these! The purpose of this was to search for the soul. Ivy grows in such a way that it intertwines and connects with both itself and whatever it grows along. Cerasoli tombstone, Hope Cemetery, Barre, Vermont. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 06, 2014: Hi, truthfornow. Ivy in the Celtic mythology. A cap of ivy was used to try to cure diseases of the scalp in the young, and a poultice of ivy was often made up to apply to corns! Bridal: may signify the grave of a young bride or groom. I love Canada, but a part of me is still British! Hey, if you enjoy writing about history myth and legend of the British Isles, I write and assist the editor for Celtic Guide magazine and we are always recruiting writers. Dionysus was the Ancient Greek god of wine, agriculture, festivity, and theatre. By extension, because of its purgative qualities, it may symbolize baptism. Birds’ Symbolic Meanings as Spirit, Totem, and Power Animals. It's a beautiful plant. The ivy wreath is symbolic of conviviality (gaiety or joviality). It is seen as a plant of the Otherworlds and communicating with them. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2014: I enjoyed the historical info on the holly and the ivy, and I am one that likes English ivy. Keep up the great work and keep on writing great hubs that I will read. I don't know how you do that because I do have some education, but you do it every single time. In 1937, Adams was assigned to write a report of a football game between two universities belonging to today's Ivy League. Numerology: The ivy is number 2. Virgil spoke of the gold ivy that had yellow berries; this ivy is all but extinct today. In Scotland, young girls used to take a leaf from the Irish ivy and place it on their hearts saying: A bit risky, I would have thought! It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back. This gold stater from circa 360-340 BC depicts either Dionysus or Priapus (also known as Priapos). I pulled a weed the other day. I appreciate it very much. i'-vi (kissos): The only mention of the word in all the sacred writings is in 2 Macc 6:7 in connection with the oppression of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes: "On the day of the king's birth every month they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the feast of Bacchus (Dionysus) was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Dionysus, carrying ivy," this plant (Hedera helix) … Enjoyed reading. The explanation that is often given is that the first line in the carol is a remnant of the old custom of linking holly and ivy together. I loved learning so much here on the symbolism and traditions as to the Ivy plant and the Holly as well ... very interesting indeed. Ivy was also linked to inspiration and worn by poets in the form of a crown. Ivy was considered the feminine energy while Holly was considered a male. In ancient Greece ivy was the plant of Dionysus because of its vigour. The name "ivy" is from the Old English word "ifig," which may come from the Old High German words "ebahgwi," "ebawi" and "ebah." Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 26, 2014: Thank you for the visit and the comment, Cyndi10. Ivy clings to any surface, making it a perfect representation of wedded love and fidelity. Excellent article. The ivy is an example of the twists and turns our friendships have over … Traditional Meanings: European (Judeo-Christian) Love if see intertwined ivy – The dream of intertwined ivy shows the romantic love nest; Lucky life if fresh and green ivy – The fresh and green … Symbolism . The Navajo believed cattail leaves were a protective charm against lightning. I am new here and this was the first article I read! In most versions of the ancient stories about Dionysus, his father is Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother is the human Seleme. The function of the aerial roots is attachment to a support, not absorption. My sister had the brainwave to start training an ivy plant along it last year. Spiritual Meanings: At the spiritual level ivy as a dream symbol symbolizes immortality and eternal life. The leaf veins are conspicuous and are light yellow or white in color. It looked harmless but turned out to be poison ivy. I am actually interested in reading more on the carols as it seems like a very enriched history. Hi, Suhail. Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on September 26, 2014: I enjoyed reading about English ivy, which seems to like my yard. This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been. Thank you for continuing my education. 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