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Sweet violets by Sue Perryman

Sweet Violets - Viola odorata Ruling Planet: Venus Sign: Cancer, Libra Element: Water Gender: Feminine

Magical Properties: Love, lust, peace, healing, protection, commitment, death and rebirth, luck, wishes.

Violets are tiny pretty hardy perennials that grow to about 6 inches tall. They are usually purple, but sometimes white ones can be found. They are native to Europe and North Africa but have been naturalised in North America and eastern Asia. Violets can be found growing in fields, hedgerows, meadows and waste ground. The leaves are heart shaped.

Sweet violets are edible and when crystallised make beautiful decorations for cakes.

White violets represent innocense and purity and the purple flowers represent loyalty, consistency and steadfastness.

The Generic name is derived from the Greek name for the plant 'ione' after Io a Greek Princess in Greek mythology who Zeus desired. Zeus transformed himself into a cloud to approach Io so that his wife Hera wouldn't find out. Hera had followed him though and changed Io into a white heifer. She then set Argus, the 100 eyed monster to guard Io. Zeus fed her with sweet violets.

In another myth the violet bloomed where the lute of Orpheus fell after he was killed by the Maenades. The lute was taken by Zeus and placed among the stars and the violet was dedicated to Orpheus.

The ancient Greeks believed that violets were symbols of fertility and sacred to Aphrodite. The Romans believed them to be a symbol of love.

Pliny decorated the terraces of his home in the Tuscan sea area with violets and said that a garland of violets worn on the head would cure headaches and dizziness.

A necklace of violets protects from deception and inebriation.

Gathering the first violet of Spring that you see was said to make your greatest wish come true. If you do pick any though please be sparing and be careful not to damage the root stock.

Carrying violets with you will bring you protection, good luck and ease the heart of unrequited love. One source states that keeping violets inyour home or growing them in your garden will bring peace, healing and protection, although another source says that bringing them into your home will attract fleas!

Use violets in all kinds of love workings. Mix with lavender for added power.

If you dream of violets, fortune is sure to smile on you.

The leaves can be added to a green sachet to help wounds heal and prevent evil spirits from making them worse.

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