Aster 101

  • Posted on 06/29/2016 by Laura

Aster is a flower that reminds us of a lot of other flower types, but that we love for its own unique combination of these qualities. Celebrate September birthdays with this “herb of Venus.”

Meaning

The aster flower has many meanings of love, love of variety, or can act as a talisman of love. It also signifies patience, elegance, daintiness, afterthought, and trusting.

The aster’s name comes from the Greek word for star, because it resembles the look, shape, and beauty of a star.

The Legends

There are a couple of versions of the legend concerning how the first asters came about:

Astraea, the Greek goddess of the stars, was upset by the lack of stars on Earth. She shed tears, and where the tears fell, asters sprouted and grew.

Another tale tells that Jupiter, god of sky and thunder, flooded the Earth in an effort to destroy warring men. Astraea, upset by his actions, asked to be transformed into a star. This was granted to her, however she was still saddened as she watched the flood recede and take the men’s lives. Her tears fell to Earth, transformed as stardust, leaving behind beautiful aster flowers in their path.

This next legend relates the flower not to Astraea, but to Theseus. Theseus the son of the founder of Athens, King Aegeus, volunteered to defeat the Minotaur, promising to wave a white flag on his return to Athens to signify his victory. Theseus won but forgot about this promise and returned with the same black flags waving. Upon seeing this, King Aegeus believed his son dead and so committed suicide in his grief. Where his blood spread upon the earth, asters sprung about.

In Cherokee Indian legend, asters came about in a different manner altogether. Two Native American girls were frightened by the war being fought and decided to hide in the woods. They sought aid from an herb woman. As the girls slept, the woman sprinkled herbs on them and covered them up with leaves so that they may be protected. When the morning came, they had been transformed into flowers. The girl blue turned into the aster flower and the girl in yellow  became the goldenrod.

Uses

French soldiers often have these flowers laid on their grave in an act of remorse and longing to revise the ending of their last respective battles. In France, the flower is known as the eye of Jesus Christ.

The aster can be used as a love charm, possessing magical powers. If one burned the leaves of an aster flower, the powers could ward evil serpents and spirits away.

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