Thursday, 12 January 2017

Snowdrops



Its this time of the year again. The time when first snowdrops appear out of the snow. In Serbia they are called "visibaba" meaning "hanging granny". They appear at the end of January, beginning of Febrary, which is the coldest part of the year. This is the part of the year ruled by the old white-headed hag, old earth, winter earth, Morana. And they actually look like a bent old hag with long white hair. The appearance of snowdrops at the time when Morana is most powerful signals that her power is beginning to wane. The old white-headed hag, winter earth, is soon going to die and will be replaced by the beautiful young maiden, spring earth, Vesna. 

I have just discovered a very interesting thing. Snowdrops bulbs are poisonous!! They contain galantamine, which is lethal in large quantities but in a small amount is used as a medicine against early Alzheimer's and vascular dementia...

Let me know when you spot the first snowdrop. 

4 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting post as I have always equated snowdrops with innocence and the maiden aspect of the year, rather than with the Hag of Winter. I love that you have now given me a way to think of them as both. Thank you.

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  2. May be of interest.

    "Based on Homer’s description, many experts think the “potent herb” Hermes gave Odysseus as a cure to Circe’s potion was actually the snowdrop plant. Scientists have studied the plant and found that it contains properties that protect brain cells from damaging toxins."

    Slivers of Science in Homer's 'The Odyssey' Modern science could explain mythic tales of transformation.
    http://discovermagazine.com/2015/nov/17-rooted-in-truth

    (By the way, Heinrich Kramer also babbles about Circe’s magic.)

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  3. In Poland we call those flowers "przebiƛniegi" which may be translated as "ones that pierce through snow" because they spring when there is still snow in Poland. They are under legal protection.
    Besiedes, I didn't know that Serbian and Polish languages are so similar...

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