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‘F no.2’ is for ‘Flower Oracle’

I grow blossoms,
Gerber daisies and Lotus blooms.

I drop petals,
Velvet trifles,
In my path.

I peer through Black eyed susans,
And feel through Bleeding hearts.

I grow blossoms,
A love for a boy, a lily.

I flourish.

– Anthos

When planning for this week’s post, I was having a bit of a hard time; Full moon? Fate? Free will? Free time? What do I write about? I kept thinking ‘Flowers’, and it came up more than once when asking friends what my topic should be.

You see, I love flowers. They are beautiful and as individual as people. Part of their beauty to me is their fragility and their unattainability. Let me explain; I have a black thumb. I kill plants like it’s going out of style. I water them too little, or conversely drown them in an effort to keep from drying them out. I don’t give them enough sun, or I leave them to bake on a window sill. I was never taught how to properly care for plants (I’ve killed cacti, people….CACTI!), and so they have a mystique akin to a famous work of art for me, one that will send my heart pitter-pattering every time I see it, but that I will probably never own.

Obviously this would make a blog post from me about flowers rather short. Perhaps as short as the lives of some of my houseplants. Poor dears.

But this week, just as I was leaving my weekly shift at the Montreal Pagan Resource Centre I decided to take one last look through the shelves hoping for inspiration. And there it was; The Victorian Flower Oracle, by Patricia Telesco.

I definitely didn’t want to make a blog post that was nothing more than a copy/pasted list of flowers and their meanings, and so I thought this book might be an interesting alternative.

The book was Patricia’s follow-up to her Victorian Grimoire and it is a divination system that she built based on her research for that book. I read through it quickly, and I felt it was to the point; it didn’t waste paper repeating itself as so many other padded Pagan books do. In it, she describes a simple method of using cardstock, stones, or wooden discs as a base for a handmade oracle. She suggests clipping pictures and gluing them to the cards, or if you have access to a large selection of blooms and leaves, she describes a flower-drying technique that can make for beautiful and very ‘organic’ oracle pieces.

She describes a few possible spreads for your oracle (she doesn’t use the word ‘Tarot’ as she knows that some people may use her decoupage technique on stones or wood, though the spreads are based on Tarot spreads), even giving sample readings to understand their order, application, and meanings relating to each other and even for their inverted meanings.

Afterwards, the book is smartly organised into sections on flowering plants, and then herbs, trees and shrubs, and finally a whole other section on other symbols that can be added to your oracle or that may come up in dreams, or in your spell work. These symbols include runes, animals, colours, and miscellaneous objects (including modern day objects/symbols).

I love the layout of the book; the sections are clear and concise, and everything is easy to find. In the main plant sections each plant has a full spread (two pages, facing each other which makes it very easy to find the plant you need) and includes magical correspondences, folklore (including lots of edible flower recipes!), and their upright and reversed meanings. Also included for each plant is a picture, and a ‘notes’ section, as Patricia reminds the reader that she compiled these meanings, but they are not final and we should note what they seem to mean to us. Brilliant!

Having only read through the book quickly I decided to try and find what others have said about it; the reviews for this book seem generally favourable, but her Victorian Grimoire garnered its fair share of comments to the tune of “more fantasy than factual Victorian information”. With that in mind, I won’t blindly claim Patricia to be a genius, but given that this is an oracle system that she put together for her own entertainment based on information she found while researching, I think it’s a safe source of inspiration, if not pure, 100% academic information. Victorian flower language varied from person to person, as they used them to send messages to suitors or friends and so there is a sure chance you’ll find differing meanings in different sources.

Do I intend to make my own Flower Oracle? Absolutely! I’ve got a great idea brewing, and maybe I’ll be able to post about it later; the product and my results using this Oracle system!

Have any of you used this oracle system?

How did you find it? Any tips?