Ivy/ G


(better gallery to follow)

temp notes on gallery
Plant of ceremonies
Dedicated to Osiris in ancient Egypt and to Dionysus in Greece, the ivy is associated with the wild. Along with the vine, priests and followers of Dionysus wore ivy wreaths in wild ceremonies and the leaf, though toxic, is hallucinatory. Curiously, cups made of ivy wood counterbalance unwanted side effects of alcohol, and later, in the Middle Ages, ivy leaves mashed in vinegar were used to soothe a hangover.In fact, well into the nineteenth century, many english pubs displayed a large ivy wreath hanging outside. Both vine and ivy grow spirally and both symbolise resurrection (strength preserved in the wine and the spiral of the years). Widely understood as the counterpart of the holly, where the ‘holly boy’ complements (and competes with) the ‘ivy girl’, branches of both are brought into the house at Christmas throughout England and Wales.