Watercolour on paper, 2020
Celebrating the Wild Roses of the British Isles
From top right: Rosa Arvensis (with ‘Robin’s Pincushion’ gall), R. Canina, R. Rubiginosa, R. Rugosa (non native but grows wild), R. Pimpinelliflora
With Rose loving insects: Hummingbird hawk moth, Gall wasp (Diplolepis Rosae), Honey bee, Hover fly, Red tailed bumble bee, Cinnabar moth, Flower beetle. And Rabbit and Wren.
The simple beauty and exquisite scent of wild Roses are the crowning glory of a Midsummer’s day; delighting the senses and gladdening the soul.
Heart shaped petals scatter like confetti along hedge-lined paths, falling from trailing stems armed with perfectly fierce thorns, teaching us caution as we reach to pluck the delicate blossoms.
It’s well worth a little bloodshed to receive the blessing of Rose medicine, though, which is truly a wonder in the world of healing teacher plants.
Cooling, calming, clearing, harmonising, Rose offers relief for inflammatory conditions, is restorative, rejuvenating, supports immunity and is a tonic for heart and mind.
This plant, symbolic of Love, expresses the archetype of Sacred Mother:
Within her softly sensuous fragrant healing blooms, her beauty and perfection;
Within her sharp thorns, that are the sword of the Warrioress, the strength to withstand attack, protecting the vulnerable and piercing complacency.
Sacred Mother of Life and Mother of Death, holding perfect balance.
The mandala is the harvest of five months attention. It is an acknowledgement of the way that Death feeds Life, through sacrifice and generosity, in a circle of reciprocity between generations past, present and future. A circle (or really sphere) that also enfolds our humanity within the complexity of All Life, including our plant and animal relations and the raw elemental basis of everything.