Apparent beauty Superficial attraction Strange things lurk within

There are at least two stories in this image…one I did not see when I took the picture. If you look closely, a bee is hiding in the centre of the flower and a long legged fly sits on the edge of the corona.

I have always been fascinated by the strange flowers of this particular plant. We find stories and symbols in many things. The passion flower is not named for the human emotion, but was named by 16th C missionaries for the Passion of Jesus. They saw in the strange bloom a symbolic representation of one of the central moments of the Christian faith, the crucifixion.

There are varied interpretations, and you can almost hear the missionaries as they spoke, each one adding his own personal touches to the way the flower was able to illustrate the story they told.

• The leaves are pointed, like the Holy Lance and beneath them are dark spots that represent the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for the kiss in the garden of Gethsemane.

• The tendrils of this climbing plant remind the faithful of the whips the soldiers used.

• The ten petals represent the faithful apostles… without Peter, who denied knowing Jesus three times and Judas who is counted as his betrayer.

• The filaments of the corona symbolise the Crown of Thorns.

• The chalice shaped ovary represents the Cup of the Last Supper.

• The five anthers symbolise the five wounds from the nails and spear.

• The three styles are the nails themselves….or to some, the Trinity.

• The flower blooms for a day… the time Jesus suffered on the Cross, then wraps its petals around the chalice; a symbol of the entombment and the inner mysteries of the resurrection.

• Some see in the fruit a symbol of the world and in its red juice, the blood of the crucified.

• Many passion flowers are blue and white… blue for heaven and the robe of the Mother, white for purity.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in flowers, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Within

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    That a big load for one little flower to bear! They are quite spectacular however, no matter what we attribute to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful and unusual flower.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidprosser says:

    I’ve no doubt you can see whatever you want inside the flower but at the end of the day it’s just a beautiful, if a little strange, flower. Gaia was certainly on form the day she created that one..
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    • Sue Vincent says:

      It really is an odd bloom… as if Gaia were experimenting a bit to see what would work. You are right,, of course, we can find symbols in whatever we choose; I quite like the idea of the itinerant preacher using a flower to teach a whole story though. Hugs xxxx


  4. Gorgeous flower, thanks for the lesson. I didn’t know it.


  5. Haven’t we all heard of the language of flowers? A different slant on it here! We are thrilled to discover Passion Flowers in our new garden; I had an idea in the dim, dusty recesses of my mind that it had something to do with Christ but until now didn’t know what it was. Thank you, I will look at them in a new light.


  6. Norma says:

    Now that’s some flower. It is quite odd and beautiful. I had seen this last month and immediately clicked a photo for myself. It was fun to read what each part of the flower stands for. Thanks, Sue. 🙂


  7. What a lovely flower with an interesting background! 🙂


  8. jjspina says:

    Beautiful and symbolic flower! Thank you so much for sharing! Fascinating!


  9. That flower and the information about the religious teachings was all new to me. It was a great way for the missionaries to teach religion though. Many people didn’t read in those times, and reading material was in short supply before the printing press, so visuals were used. There were also the beautiful stained glass windows you write about. Beautiful flower.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I like the fact that they could take something as simple as a local flower to share the story of the Passion. The visual teaching of the stories, once churches were built, had long been the way… which is why we still have the glorious medieval wall paintings. I wonder what was used before that… something as simple as a flower, perhaps.


  10. olganm says:

    Thanks Sue. I’ve seen a few recently and they make you stop and look for sure but had not done any research on them. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.