Sex, Death and the Lily: the Earth Laughs in Flowers

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It’s before 6.00am on a Wednesday morning and my ‘never so tired as when you first wake up’ brain is urging me to find out why lilies are so often associated with sex and death. I mean you only have to look at this gilded example…

01 2 Sex, Death and the Lily: the Earth Laughs in Flowers

I discovered, through some superficial research (thanks Google!) that because Zeus wanted Hercules (his son by the mortal Alceme) to be wet nursed by Hera (his ‘awful-wedded’) it all kicked off. She wasn’t keen. In the ensuing Hellenic brouhaha (women, eh?, sooo touchy…) the Lily and the Milky Way (not the confectionery, that’s another story) came into being.

As you might expect the ancient and profane associations of this sacred bloom were turned around by Judaeo-Christian iconographers, the watchwords being chastity and virtue.

It still looks filthy to me.

My thanks to Nicole Savage’s SF Heart pages, a labour of Big Hippy Love, for the material on the Legends of Flowers.

Paul Williams

This is the blog of Paul Williams, Ceredigion resident since 1970. I am an English and Philosphy graduate of what was once known as St David's University College, at Lampeter. I played bass in Dyfed's first punk band, and living in Llandewi Brefi, had a grandstand view of Operation Julie. Eventually, after 2 years playing bass in Brighton's 256th punk band, I returned to Wales to deal in books and then antiques. I've trained and worked as a counsellor, I am a photographer, blog and web designer and I publish the annual Wales Antiques Guide. I am married and a father of one. Apart from my family, my interests include books, maps, Nikon, Yashica and Mamiya film cameras, British Culture 1935 - 1965, Poole pottery, Welsh textiles, and Poster art. My favourite movies include anything by Pressburger and Powell favourite music includes Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and anything form San Francisco 1965-1970. I am a late convert to 'Kraut Rock'.

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