Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Each year, at the small country church near my home, I watch as one of its members faithfully plants a small patch of marigolds outside the front door. These yellow and orange flowers create a beautiful backdrop for all the pictures taken after ceremonies. The weddings, baptisms and confirmations this garden has helped commemorate are countless.

In times of antiquity, on certain holy days, Christians would adorn statues of the Virgin Mary with these beautiful flowers calling them “Mary’s gold”, hence its name, Marigold. But even before it got its current name, this flower was considered sacred in India and also by the Aztecs. Marigolds were often used to decorate shrines and temples.  They made stunning garlands for rituals and for weddings.

These beautiful flowerets are also known as the “herb of the sun”.  Cooks have used the pungent leaves and flowers as a substitute for saffron, and as seasonings for meats, and in salads.

Today’s gardeners use it as a companion plant, often planting them in or near vegetable gardens because its pungent aroma keeps pests away.  Whether used by priests, cooks, shamans, or gardeners, the sacred marigold is a godsend.

 

~J.K. Ingersoll~

 

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