The Anemone flower meaning has various interpretations based on myths and beliefs. They originate from different parts of the world hence adding even more depth to its meaning. In this post we’ll discover in depth the meaning of the Anemone through its myths and beliefs.
What does the Anemone flower symbolise?
The Anemone flower symbolises abandonment, illness, healing and being forsaken. They are also a symbol for spring not only because they bloom in spring but because they are associated to the wind god in Greek mythology. And finally, they also represent the qualities of the planet mars since alchemists place this flower under the dominion of the planet mars.
The meaning of the Anemone flower can also be understood by learning what the cultural significance was in different cultures. It can also help to know how it was used in the past in order to add more meaning to the flower.
Anemone Flower meaning through myths
The meaning of the Anemone flower in mythology often associates itself with death and regeneration, through those myths we understand the process of letting go.
Anemone and Zephyr
In Greek mythology, Anemone (daughter of the wind) was a nymph beloved by Zephyr or Zephyrus. He was one of the four Anemoi.
Anemoi were wind gods that represented the cardinal points of the compass and Zephyr represented the West.
Additionally, Zephyr was more than just a wind god to the Greeks. He represented the wind of the west that gently blows marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Chloris or Flora was the wife of Zephyr. When his wife found out about this romantic encounter, she banished the Nymph from her court and finally transformed her into a flower bearing the name Anemone.
Zephyr ends up losing interest in Anemone as flower preferring her as a Nymph. However, Boreas another wind god (North Wind) falls in love with her despite being a flower.
He tried in vain to woo her but Anemone was not at all interested by him. An angry Boreas blows on her petals every spring.
Aphrodite and Adonis
Anemone was also a devotee of Aphrodite the goddess of love or Venus. This connects her to the tragic story of Aphrodite and Adonis.
Aphrodite the goddess of love saw Adonis at his birth and determined to keep him for herself. However, she made the unwise choice of choosing Persephone the Queen of the Underworld as his guardian.
Aphrodite descends into the Underworld to claim Adonis. However, she encountered the reluctance of Persephone. Zeus intervened to settle the issue between them. He decided that Adonis would spend six months with each goddess.
He would then spend autumn and winters with Persephone while spending spring and summer with Aphrodite.
Adonis became a great hunter and enjoyed risky sports. One day he attacked a wild boar which then buried its tusk in his side. Aphrodite rushed to her lover but all her tears couldn’t save him. He died in her arms but with her magic the blood pouring from him transformed into Anemones.
This story also parallels a Near East story related to Tammuz the equivalent of Adonis.
Tammuz was a fertility god, he was stronger in summer during the summer solstice. Tammuz was also killed by a boar.
The boar is a metaphor of Persephone as she symbolises the dying of vegetation. An eight petaled scarlet anemone sprung from Tammuz blood.
The Arabic name for Anemone is Shaqa’iq An-Nu’man translates to wounds or pieces. The eight petaled Anemone also mirrors Eight winds of Greek Mythology.
The Anemone flower as Scorpio birth flower
Mars is the ruler of both Aries and Scorpio zodiac signs. However, the meaning of the Anemone flower especially in Greek myths tends more towards death and regeneration.
Those myths then would be more in line with Mars as the ruler of Scorpio. Scorpio in astrology rules the 8th house and one of the meaning of the 8th house is death and regeneration.
Anemone Cultural Significance
Let’s take a look at the meaning of the Anemone flower in different cultures. Some cultures view Anemone as a symbol of luck while others had a more negative connotation to the plant.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the Anemone plant contaminated the air which made them associate the plant to illness. This was also the belief of the Persians.
In China the plant symbolises both healing and death. The root of anemone is unearthed before the plant flowers. Chinese anemone root was first documented in Chinese medicine in the divine Husbandman’s classic (Shen’nong Bencaojing), a herbal written in the 1st century CE. Anemone is also used in funeral rites in China, they call it the death flower.
In Israel, Calanit Metzouya translates to Anemone Coronaria. Calanit comes from the word Cala which means bride and metzouya translates to common. This is a reflection of the beauty and dignity of a bride on her wedding day. Moreover, Anemone Coronaria became the national flower of Israel. In Israel, February is the month of Anemones. It is called “Darom Adom” or translated to Red South.
Romans, on the other hand would hunt for Anemone in early spring and wear the first one they found to bring them luck. They used them as amulet or tea to help them prevent fever.
“Lilies of the field” mentioned in the New Testament might refer to Anemones. It represents one of the flowers that turned red when the blood of Christ trickled down with crucifixion.
Anemones are part of various medical lore. Below are some of the uses of the Anemone plant from various kind of treatments:
1. Using the root of Anemone before it flowers
Decoction to counter infection with the gastro intestinal tract.
Treatment for amoebic dysentery
2. Pulsatilla – using dried aerial parts harvested when it flowers in spring
Remedy for cramping pain
Spasmodic pain of reproductive system
In trance as sleeping difficulties as sedative
Different types of Anemones
There are various types of Anemone species, in his Herball John Gerard concludes that this flower is “without number.” Let’s take a look at some of the various types of Anemones.
1. Anemone Blanda
Anemone Blanda or Balkan Anemone are a species that are native to the south east of Europe and also the middle east. Blanda translates to “mild or charming.” The plant grows 10 to 15 cm in height and produces daisy like flowers. They flower in early spring and are usually a shade of indigo but they also grow in shades of pink or white. The leaves of Anemone Blanda are equally spaced and repeated in a pattern. The leaves do not contain any hairy structures on them.
2. Wood Anemone or Anemone Nemorosa
This type of Anemone flowers in early spring and they are native to Europe. The plant grows from 5 to 15 cm in height and produces flowers that are 2 centimeter in diameter. The flower often had 6 to 7 petals and in rare cases it might have 8 to 10 petals. The flowers bloom from March to May and are often white in color but they are also available in pink, lilac and blue.
3. Anemone Coronaria
Anemone Coronaria or the Spanish Marigold. Those flowers are native to the Mediterranean. Those type of Anemone bloom around April to June. This plant generally grows from 20 to 40 cm tall, however it can also grow as tall as 60cm in rare cases. The flowers resemble poppies and have 5 to 8 petals with a black center. They are usually red in colour but can also be white or blue.
4. Japanese Anemone
Japanese Anemone originates from a region in China known as Hupeh, this flower is native to Asia. The Chinese name for the Japanese Anemone is “da po wan hua hua,” and it translates to broken bowl flower. The plant can grow from 30 to 100 cm in height. In some cases the plant can grow up to 120 cm. The flowers are usually 5 cm in diameter and usually have 5 sepals. Those sepals are usually purple, purple-red, pink or white.
FAQ about the Anemone Flower Meaning
Anemone Flower Meaning in Christianity?
In Christianity the Anemone is known as the blood drops of Christ. The blood fell on the Anemone that bloomed on Calvary and turned them red. It is also known as the herb trinity because of its three-petal form.
What does wood Anemone symbolise?
The Wood Anemone symbolises abandonment, forsaken love, sickness and sincerity. Those meanings are further expanded in Chinese, Egyptian and English myths and folklore.
Are Anemones good luck?
The Romans would hunt for the Anemone in early spring and they believed the first one they found would bring them good luck.
You can also check out other flowers under the dominion of mars or read about more Scorpio Birth Flowers.