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Out Of Mind » GALACTIC AWARENESS » HISTORIES MYSTERIES » The History of the Shamrock

The History of the Shamrock

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1 The History of the Shamrock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:52 pm

PurpleSkyz

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The History of the Shamrock




Full of symbolism, this plant has mystical roots
by Michelle Gervais
Shamrocks have been symbolic of many things over the years. According to legend, the shamrock was a sacred plant to the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad, and three was a mystical number in the Celtic religion, as in many others. St. Patrick used the shamrock in the 5th century to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as he introduced Christianity to Ireland.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
"Wearin' o' the green"
The shamrock became symbolic in other ways as time went on. In the 19th century it became a symbol of rebellion, and anyone wearing it risked death by hanging. It was this period that spawned the phrase "the wearin' o' the green". Today, the shamrock is the most recognized symbol of the Irish, especially on St. Patrick's Day, when all over the world, everyone is Irish for a day!
The original Irish shamrock (traditionally spelled seamróg, which means "summer plant") is said by many authorities to be none other than white clover (Trifolium repens), a common lawn weed originally native to Ireland. It is a vigorous, rhizomatous, stem-rooting perennial with trifoliate leaves. Occasionally, a fourth leaflet will appear, making a "four-leaf clover," said to bring good luck to the person who discovers it.
Grow your own shamrock

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
If you'd like to grow your own shamrock, you have a couple of options. You let the widely recognized white clover invade your lawn, or you can grow the Americanized version, Oxalis tetraphylla, the lucky clover. This is the plant you will usually find in gift shops in March.
Oxalis tetraphylla is a tender perennial in most parts of this country, hardy only in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 9. For this reason it is usually grown as a house plant, with a winter dormancy period. It needs bright light to thrive, as well as moist, well drained soil. When the plant begins to go dormant for the winter, keep the soil barely moist, and resume regular watering in the spring when the plant puts out new growth.

Thanks to: http://www.finegardening.com



  

2 Re: The History of the Shamrock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:53 pm

PurpleSkyz

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Irish Shamrock History

By: Alice Langholt
The Irish shamrock has a long history. It has been symbolic of different things through the ages, and had many different meanings attached. On St. Patrick's Day, many can be seen wearing a shamrock charm to show support for Ireland and celebrate Irish pride, even if they are not Irish.
The Irish Shamrock Plant
An Ireland shamrock is a three-leafed clover that grows in the summer and is native to Ireland. The species is Trifolium repens, and it's actually a variety of weed. Shamrocks grow from bulbs and may bloom with white flowers around St. Patrick's Day. If you own a shamrock plant, it's important to cut it back and keep it in a cool, dark place a couple of times a year so that it can rest. Shamrocks are dormant in Ireland during the winter, and they won't grow throughout the year when they're kept as houseplants.
Religious Connotations
The Druids of Ireland and the Christian faith both have symbolism attached to the number three. In the Celtic faith, three was a spiritual number that indicated the work of the gods and reflected the balance in nature. Ancient Celts also revered the shamrock as a food source for livestock.
During the fifth century, St. Patrick used the Irish shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity. One leaf represented the Father, one the Son and one the Holy Ghost. By drawing on the Irish love for the shamrock, St. Patrick was able to convert many pagan Celts into Christians.
Political Rebellion
During the 19th century, a wave of government-led religious prosecution against Catholics began in Ireland. The Irish shamrock became a symbol of the Catholic underground because of its strong association with St. Patrick. Anyone caught wearing a shamrock charm could face a punishment as severe as hanging.  
Good Luck
Sometimes, a fourth leaf will grow on a shamrock. This variation is called a four-leaf clover. Because if its rarity, it is said to bring good luck to the finder, a tradition that dates back to the Celtic people. Many kids and adults alike have a good time hunting through patches of shamrocks to find the lucky four-leaf clover hidden within.
No longer a symbol of rebellion, the Irish shamrock and four-leaf clover are fun, happy symbols of Irish pride and good luck.


Thanks to: http://www.life123.com



  

3 Re: The History of the Shamrock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:55 pm

PurpleSkyz

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The Shamrock Meaning and Symbolism

Introduction to Shamrock Meaning
The shamrock is a type of clover with three leaves. The most well-known meanings were imparted to the shamrock by St. Patrick, who compared the plant’s tri-part leaves to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Host Spirit. Occasionally shamrocks are found with four leaves. These are rare and considered to be very lucky for the finder. (Photo by Kanchelskis, Wikimedia Commons)
Learn more about St. Patrick in these recommended children's books on Amazon:
St. Patrick's Day
The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever
St. Patrick's Day Countdown
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
Shamrock Meaning and Leprechauns
A common saying associated with the shamrock and the clover family is “to be in clover” or to live a carefree life of ease and prosperity. Shamrocks are often associated with leprechauns, a generally harmless type of fairy said to live in seclusion and protect hordes of gold. However, if a human should attempt to capture a leprechaun to learn the whereabouts of his gold, the leprechaun may turn mischievous or practice hypnotism or trickery to evade or confuse his pursuer. The shamrock can undo the malevolent magic of a leprechaun.
Uses of Shamrocks and Clover
In more recent years, highly sensitive drug testing seems to indicate that clover contains traces of morphine, which can be passed into milk produced by cows that graze on clover. This idea is still under investigation. On the positive side, clover is high in protein and quite digestible if boiled for 5-10 minutes. Clover leaves and seed pods can be dried and used for tea or ground into flour for baking.


Irish Shamrock Meaning
[img(199.60000000000002px,137.60000000000002px)]http://www.livingartsoriginals.com/Images/pop-shamrocks.jpg[/img]Irish legends about the shamrock include a variety of mystic powers. The leaves of the shamrock are said to stand on end to warn of an approaching storm. The shamrock is claimed to be a remedy against the sting of scorpions and the bite of snakes. Although it is not the official symbol of Ireland (an honor reserved for the harp), the shamrock is associated with Ireland more than any other emblem. (Photo by graymlkn, Wikimedia Commons).
The most visible shamrock worldwide is the logo for Aer Lingus, emblazoned on the side of each plane in the fleet of Ireland’s national airline. On St. Patrick’s Day, millions of people wear shamrocks and Aer Lingus flies fresh shamrocks to Irish embassies all over the world.
The Shamrock as a Symbol of Rebellion
During the late 1700s, wearing the shamrock by Irish regiments was considered to be a rebellious act by the English crown. As a response to this, many in Ireland wore a small cross of red and green instead. For this reason, the shamrock has also come to be associated with the Christian cross.
The Shamrock as a Symbol of Life
Shamrock comes from the Irish word “seamrog”, meaning “summer plant”. The shamrock can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, in South America, in Africa and at high altitudes in the tropics. Even prior to St. Patrick, the Druids considered the impressive vitality of the shamrock to be a sign of sacredness. In this way, the shamrock came to represent life itself.    
Wild Shamrocks
Wild shamrocks are also known as wood sorrels, usually found in rich woods and rocky places. The blossoms have five violet-colored petals. The wood sorrel was a mystic symbol for the ancient Druids in Ireland. It was a symbol for joy, maternal tenderness and was associated with the Celtic sun wheel.
Learn More About Celtic Symbolism
Learn More About Ireland and Irish Culture
©2009-2010 Living Arts Enterprises, LLC
 
References:
Martin, Laura C. Wildflower Folklore. Old Saybrook, Connecticut: The Globe Pequot Press, 1993.




  

4 Re: The History of the Shamrock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:56 pm

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5 Re: The History of the Shamrock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:56 pm

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