We display wreaths in times of memorial and celebrations, as well as during the Advent season. Based on the short synopsis below, you can learn a little about why this tradition is so prevalent, even if we’re not consciously aware of the depth of meaning. With the following information, when the cards in this post come up in a Tarot reading, deeper messages can be intuited.
The CIRCLE (a universal symbol) represents eternity, the circle of life, wholeness, and our sources of light–the sun and the moon. The circular wreath represented victory for the Romans and Greeks—the victorious often wore wreaths as crowns. The Celtic spiritual practice of casting circles was meant to protect what was enclosed. In Chinese symbology, a circle represents the cosmos—when a square lay within the circle, it symbolizes the link between heaven and earth (as can be seen in I Ching coins). Similarly, Carl Jung saw a circle with a central dot as a symbol of the Psyche—the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness.
EVERGREENS represent growth and everlasting life. Pine trees played a major role in ancient Pagan life—from Greek and Roman, to the Celtic and Germanic peoples. The Celts saw evergreens as powerful, because they stayed vibrant and green during the darkest months of the year. To many Native Americans the pine tree is a symbol of longevity and wisdom. For the Chinese (as well as Korean and Japanese), the pine tree represents longevity, wisdom, and solitude—it is one of the Chinese “Three Friends of Winter” (pine, bamboo, and plum), as they stay green all year.
HOLLY, in Celtic mythology, symbolizes peace and goodwill. Interestingly, the holly tree is resistant to lightening, so is associated with the Celtic and Norse gods of thunder, so often one was planted by the home. Druids felt the holly tree was a protecting guardian against evil spirits and bad luck. For the Celts, bringing holly leaves into the home during the winter brought shelter for fairies who, in turn, would protect the family from setbacks or tragedy.
Please comment on this post with other symbols you see in today’s wreaths based on ancient ritual and myth.