“Rosemarie is for remembrance
Between us day and night
Wishing that I might always have
You present in my sight”
– Clement Robinson
As the poem says, rosemary is very symbolic of remembrance, of memory and it is also a symbol of fidelity, loyalty and enduring love. Rosemary is actually part of the mint family but being so different to what we traditionally consider mint, I wouldn’t focus too much on this for the purpose of understanding the spirit of the plant.
The name is derived from the latin for “dew of the sea” but it is also said to be because the Virgin Mary spread her blue coat over a white flowered rosemary plant, turning the petals blue and changing the name to “Rose of Mary”. As well as it’s links with Christianity, it was considered sacred to ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.
This holy plant comes from the Mediterranean and is the herb of Aries and the Sun. Associated with light and vitality as well as the head (by virtue of Aries), this herb encourages us to think clearly, to remember who we are and to call ourselves back to ourselves.
It copes well with drought conditions making it a hardy plant that is considered easy to grow. It may be asking you to think about your own preparedness and approach to potential disasters. Are you someone who falls into chaos when things go wrong or are you the person who stands up and takes control? What could you do to prepare for the future? It could be setting aside a little extra money each month. It could be investing in your mental or physical health. It could be building resilience so that you are better equipped to handle tough times.
The rosemary plant is a woody, evergreen with needle like leaves which are infused with oil. This oil is used in perfumes, in cosmetics and in incense for scenting a room. The link with memory is seen again in the context of rosemary oil as a memory aid. Still on memory, the plant is used as a symbol of remembrance and is thrown into graves during funerals. More positively, it is also associated with weddings. In the middle ages, brides would wear rosemary in their hair as a love charm. I wouldn’t put too much faith in it’s romance powers though – Anne of Cleaves wore some in her hair at her ill fated marriage to Henry VIII.
Rosemary is a sign of constancy, of devotion and of memories of loved ones. It is a reviving herb with a strong scent and a stimulating energy. Drinking rosemary tea is said to restore your body following sickness or winter blues. It provides you with the warmth of the Med and it’s powerful taste could be seen to invigorate you on a cold dark night. It is also said to improve your mental powers as well as help you sleep.
This dual purpose, to stimulate and to rest, is an interesting one. It feels to me like the plant embodies both yin and yang, or other opposing forces – masculine and feminine, holy and mundane, life and death. A holistic being at it’s very core.
None of the above should be considered medical advice, do not eat anything unless you’ve done your research. Plants go by different names in different places and have different properties at different times of year. Some of the possible uses of this plant have come from folklore and should not be taken as fact.