Wearing Of The Green – An Expression Of The Heart
As February winters come to a close, we wave goodbye to days of pink hearts and roses and say hello to green sprouts of Spring. Interesting that both Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day both carry an air of blossoming new hope and renewal of joyful splendor, where matters of the heart and life are concerned. Also notable are the colors associated with each, pink and green, both coincidentally representative of the energy of the Heart Chakra. So is green, just the new pink of Spring?
With the approaching “March” on life, we discover flowering blooms abound, precious first breaths and steps from our dear animal friends, and the onset of springtime cleaning of both our inner and outer closets, as we all take stock of what to let go of, and the new we would like to usher in. For many, that new involves change and the desire to let our dreams flourish and our hearts fill with hope. Optimism and abundance are irresistibly bountiful; helping us forget any lingering, dismal feelings. We find ourselves singing a new tune, as the melodies of birds and the phosphorescence of vibrant butterfly swarms enrapture our hearts.
But what do we know of this “green little gig” that envelopes our souls with such needed freshness? A little “Luck of the Irish” might just take us farther than we are aware, so let’s explore. Here is what one Historian, Jason Spence, has to say:
“St. Patrick is the origin of the ‘Luck of the Irish.’ He was a kidnapped Brit who was enslaved and found God on the hills herding sheep as a slave. He escaped. Became a Bishop and returned to bring the faith to the Pagan Irish who believed in the Druids. He received inspiration from God to use the three leaf clover called a shamrock, to explain the Trinity to his flocks who were the descendants of the Celts and Viking invaders. They believed in the ancient Druid’s religion of magic and many gods of nature. That there occurs four leaf clovers was explained that they were the result of God’s melting the Druid beliefs with the Trinity of the Christian beliefs. Irish soldiers conscripted into the British army began wearing the shamrock on their uniforms to bring them “magic” and avoid being killed in battle. Because they were blessed and used by St. Patrick, they believed they were on God’s side and protected by God. This is known as “Wearing of the Green.”
Green, yes green. A color that represents many things to many people–a melting pot of symbolism. The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, meaning “to grow.” And isn’t that what Spring is all about? Everything blooming, growing…a never-ending, cyclical process. Growth is our natural state and anything less than this, simply is “unnatural.” Speaking of which, the most common association for green seems to be found in its ties to nature, naturally. Culturally, green has much broader and sometimes contradictory meanings, ranging from it symbolizing hope and growth, to death, sickness, or even what some might call “evil.” Romans used green holly and evergreen as decorations for their winter solstice celebration, Saturnalia, which evolved into a green celebration called Christmas. It is also the traditional color of Islam and was symbolic of resurrection and immortality in Ancient Egypt, where the god Osiris was also depicted as green-skinned. Irish legend states that green clothes attract faeries and aid crops and the “Wearing of the Green” thus symbolizes the birth of springtime. It is known to signify witchcraft for its association with spirits of early English folklores and literatures that also traditionally use it to symbolize nature and its embodied attributes of life, fertility, and rebirth. In metaphysics, the Seven Rays system of Alice Bailey, which classifies different metaphysical personality types of humans, designates those of the third ray of creative intelligence as being “on the Green Ray,” while psychics who see auras refer to those with a green aura as typically having health/healing related occupations and being nature lovers. To me, green is the earth and it’s gardens and the caring for it. It’s the color that stimulates transformation, harmony, fertility, abundance and prosperity, endurance, stability, and regal presence. It represents safe passage (like the green traffic light), balances emotions, calms, and is also the alchemy of consciousness from one realm to another through the spiraling energies of DNA. The feeling of green is earthy and yet still feels very much like liquid, with a fluidity that is enchanting. Think enchanted forest or Emerald Bay of our very own Lake Tahoe, Nevada. And yet mostly, for me, green denotes love.
It is in the stories of the medieval period and in Hinduism that we come to learn how green is a true expression of the all-encompassing heart. Medieval stories portrayed it as representing love and the base, natural desires of man, while the Hindu’s use it to symbolically represent the fourth or Heart Chakra. You see, not only is pink indicative of love and the heart, but green is also a very powerful color linked with unconditional love. This fourth Chakra lies center of our Chakra energy system and is the most powerful energy, in my opinion, that exists. It acts as a bridge between the upper and lower three Chakras; a bridge between all worlds and illusionary divisions. As our Heart Chakra, green has great healing power and protective qualities. It is the one thing we humans can use powerfully when we learn to naturally access it and stay centered in the presence of it’s energy constantly. The Heart Chakra is an impenetrable force of healing that has no boundaries or limitations. It asks that we see, feel, think, and act on a whole other level that is motivated by nothing more than love. When we come from the purity of our hearts and commit to that compassion and acceptance, it implores us to embrace the essence of our being and know the beauty of all of existence, as an extension of ourselves. The Heart Chakra is the jewel of all Chakras, and it’s green energy is the emerald beauty of all gems.
Coincidentally, this brings us back to where we began. Back to a little “Luck of the Irish” energy. It just so happens that the most prominent Irish ring is the Claddagh ring, which has a history dating back to over 300 years and is one of history’s most meaningful and respected jewels. The features of the Claddagh ring symbolize some of the best virtues of human life. The heart held in the hands show love and the hands represent friendship and togetherness, the crown on the heart symbolizes loyalty–all virtues that have increasingly been forgotten in today’s materialistic world. No wonder many people remain fascinated by this Irish ring. People wish that some things would never change. And even though change is natural and inevitable, the core foundation of love that has transcended time, is one thing it wouldn’t hurt to hold on to, and could only benefit us more as we deepen and broaden through its evolvement. Our values and how we treat and honor ourselves, others, and everything around us are telling of what we see as our creation, in respect. Another description of the ring expresses how the heart represents the hearts of each and every member of mankind, in addition to the element which gives everlasting music to the Gael. (Remember that springtime song of birds and love ringing in our ears). The ring is also based on and directly correlative to the Shamrock, one of the oldest symbols of the Holy Trinity among the Irish. This interpretation describes the crown as a symbol of the Father, the left hand as the Son, and the right hand as the Holy Spirit, all caring for the heart in the center, symbolizing humanity. Throughout each varying symbolism, a single theme shines through, specifically that the ring symbolizes the trinity of “Love, Loyalty, and Friendship” or, in Gaelic, “Grá, Dílseacht agus Cairdeas” (pronounced ‘graw, dealshocked ogis cordiss’).
“The hands are there for friendship,
The heart is there for love.
For loyalty throughout the year,
The crown is raised above.”
Taking all of this into account, it becomes very clear, why we find ourselves immersed in good feelings, as we leap into Spring. With all this energy of beauty, renewal, healing, life, and love, it’s no wonder we don’t opt to wear, live, and breathe green all year round. And yet we can, because although the seasons change, the one thing that remains constant, but ever-growing, is the emanating power of our hearts. I am then reminded of the English folksong, “Greensleeves,” which echoes green as the color of lightness in love and the anonymous Irish street ballad, “The Wearing of the Green,” published by Dion Boucicault, from the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which ends in these words:
“And where, please God, we’ll live and die still wearin’ o’ the green!”
Through that emerald glow of love, we can create and be in that lovely energy any moment of the eternity of our lives. And the more we share our green, we can carpet the earth with velvet lawns of unconditional experience. Wearing love and life on our sleeves for always. Sounds good to me! Let us remember and reflect while we embrace the opportunity to begin anew, by planting tomorrow seeds, in the now of today.