“Nearly purple, my blushing red face
can be found in almost any field.
One of Creator’s numberless gifts,
my many uses have long been revealed.
Tonic, tincture, poultice, bath or tea…
Leaves like trinity knots, I lift,
singing of healing, calming, and renewal of every degree.”
“Thought, word and deed must come together. These are actually the holy trinity within the human being: thought, word and deed. When thought, word and deed are in alignment at a very high level, then you are living a principled life. You are living an authentic life. This takes you to living a divine life.” Swami Sai Premananda“Experience is by industry achieved, And perfected by the swift course of time. William Shakespeare
“A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.” Richard Whately
“Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don’t depend on it.” Author Unknown
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) was a native of Europe that can now be found all across the U.S. growing wild or cultivated as a fodder crop. Also known as Beebread, Cow clover, Cow grass, Meadow clover, Trefoil, and Purple clover this perennial herb is easily spotted by its trifoliate leaves with the pale green crescents and purple/red flower. Another marvelous plant typically considered to be a “weed”, red clover is actually quite valuable for many reasons. Clover, like its Leguminosae family, (peas, beans, peanuts, etc) replenishes the soil and increases soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. White Clover (Trifolium repens) is its closest relative, is also easily found across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and has many of the same uses.
Clover has been used medicinally to treat: whooping cough, gout, cancer, liver and gall bladder problems, constipation, rheumatism, asthma, varicose veins, as an anti-oxidant, chronic skin diseases, as a blood purifier and cancer preventative, bronchitis and other lung conditions, colds and as a diuretic. Clover tea has been used as an antispasmodic, expectorant, mild sedative, and blood purifier. Externally, it has been used to treat ulcers, athlete’s foot, sores and burns. Red Clover has been used to treat menopause and hot flashes as it contains phytoestrogens. Current studies are showing that it has little or no effect in this area, but it is perhaps too soon to tell, and the studies continue on it’s usefulness in treating AIDS, diabetes, and menopause.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. " Rachel Carson
“The earth laughs in flowers. " e.e. cummings
“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.” John Muire
“Wildness can be a way of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope. " Wallace Stenger
Clovers have shown themselves to be useful in improving blood flow through arteries and veins, which is why it is currently being studied as a potential treatment for Type 2 Diabetes complications like high blood pressure or the narrowing of veins. It is also being studied for it’s beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels. It is the isoflavones with estrogen-like activity that has really intrigued most researchers. While tasty in salads, Clover is easier to digest if it has been steeped or cooked for 5-10 minutes. Clovers are an excellent “survival” food as they are abundant and high in protein.
In the language of flowers Red Clover represents “industry” or “vitality”, White Clover represents “think of me”, and Four-leafed Clovers express good luck or the sentiment “be mine”. The traditional Shamrock of Ireland comes from the Gaelic word seamróg, which means simply “young clover”. Whether they have the usual 3 leaves or the magical 4, all Clovers are considered to bring good luck, especially in gambling. Clover was once commonly carried by all sorts of people as it was believed to reveal witches, sorcerers and good fairies. Since the advent of Christianity, the Trefoil has come to represent the Holy Trinity. I particularly enjoyed the explanation in the film “Nuns on the Run”, You’ve got the Father, the Son and the holy ghost. But the three are one – like a shamrock, my old priest used to say. “Three leaves, but one leaf.”" The trefoil design can be seen almost everyone one looks in most churches; carved in wood, shaping windows, capping arches, and even adorning the hems of religious robes.
“Three things cannot be long hidden- the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha
“There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them – the senses, intelligent companions, and books.” Rev. Henry Ward Beecher
“Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.” Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Before Christianity though, the Trefoil in many forms was an emblem of the Triple Gods and Goddesses. The Trinity Knot or Triquetra is likely the most well known symbol still in use today, and Trefoils can be found on every Girl Scout. The Maiden/Mother/Crone and Master/Father/Sage, or more generically Youth/Parent/Elder, aspects are there to show us the power to be found in each stage of life. Which deity you are examining will give you a different focus. Artemis is a Maiden goddess known for her purity, her hunting skills and her glowing beauty. Demeter, Greek Goddess of the bountiful harvest, nurtured all the World although she still mourns the loss of her daughter Persephone during the Winter season. Hecate, the dark crone aspect of the maidenly Moon, is the Goddess of Magic and roadways.Hermes, the youthful god of communication, could serve as the young Master aspect. Zeus, King of the Greek gods and hurler of thunderbolts would represent the Father, and Hades the gloomy but wise god of the underworld would represent the male counterpart to the Crone, the Sage. In Celtic tradition, the triple goddess might be seen as Aine, Brighid and the Morrigan. Their male counterparts could be represented by Lugh Lamfada the youthful many-skilled sun deity, Dagda the earthy father figure, and horned Cernunnos (aka Herne)the hunter of souls and one of the gods of the underworld. How these masculine and feminine deities resonate with any given individual is a personal journey and life-long road filled with wondrous discoveries about World, Spirit and Self.
No matter what culture you are examining though, the triple aspects of a given deity show the importance of the creativity, innocence, and energy of Youth, the nurturing and steadying qualities of the Parent stage in life, and the wisdom and power of the Elder stage in each of our own lives. The well balanced individual remembers to keep all three aspects healthy and strong. Three Fates, three wishes, three trials, or the simple magic of body, mind and soul working in harmony reminds us that this number has held a curious fascination for our race for as long as we’ve been counting.
“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Robert Louis Stevenson
“The heart’s affections are divided like the branches of the cedar tree; if the tree loses one strong branch; it will suffer but it does not die; it will pour all its vitality into the next branch so that it will grow and fill the empty place.” Khalil Gibran
Magically, white or purple clover has been used in workings of:protection, prosperity, to invoke triple goddesses, good luck, love, exorcism, to see the Fey, and as an anointment to open the 3rd eye chakra. Clovers have been worn in the shoes to ensure a prosperous, happy and long marriage. It is said that when Adam and Eve left Eden, Eve carried a 4-leafed clover with her as a remembrance of Paradise. It has represented the club used by Hercules, has protected its bearer from all forms of evil, and those who did not know they were carrying a four-leafed clover have been carried off by the Fairies.
Balanced Clover people would exhibit positive qualities of this plant, and unbalanced ones would exhibit negative qualities. Overrunning a situation or other people as opposed to supporting, healing or nourishing them for example. Drawing UnSeelie (troublesome and often dark Fae) rather than Seelie Court visitors (the Bright and more helpful Fae), or being stuck in destructive Crone aspects (like Vengence) as opposed to positive ones (like Wisdom of the Elders) are all possible examples. For balancing energies consider Rabbit, Bee, or Cattle as well as Birds, Worms, Deer, various Insects. How does this lucky lady of the wild fields appear in your life?
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity … and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” William Blake
“Nature often holds up a a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.” Mary Ann Brussat
Each Who Sings Now? poem I have written is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a tree, star, animal, stone, etc. from which we can learn so many priceless lessons… if we only take the time to listen. Many people enjoy trying to guess which Teacher inspired the poem before going on to read about them in detail. Can you guess who is singing?