Two years ago a potted cactus on my front deck bloomed for the first time. Yesterday, five major flower heads had, over a period of a month, once again pushed their way past the piercing thorns and waited for night fall. While I slept, they opened up — for moths and bats, I suppose.
When I opened the glass doors and walked onto the deck and into the morning’s early light, what I found most remarkable — was not the stunning fragile display of delicate whites and deep throated yellows — but a perfumed fragrance that truly hit me with a mesmerising force more steeped in night visions than day time antics.
So very different from last week’s blog entry on the smell of the kunzia flower. This flower spoke of a sensual encounter with a mysterious stranger late, oh so late, at night while the moon misted a spell on propriety and mature manners.
In Buddhist teachings, the lotus flower is symbolic of the transformation from muddy beginnings into a blossoming of full enlightenment and self awareness.
In the cactus flower, the symbolism for me is this: the birth of the sacred feminine pushing through the prickly phallic masculine and opening up into a full vulvic display; proud and fragrant with delight.
Much has been written about our culture’s view of the vagina as vagina dentata, but looking at this flower’s display of it’s sexual organs, there is nothing that would suggest a Freudian castration complex or anything sinister or malevolent.
The fears men have of women’s sexuality leads in its most drastic form to FGM — female genital mutilation.
To bring an end to this mistreatment of our women, more men should be sticking their noses into the business of flowers. They just might come away with an hierophantic experience where the sacred made, not just an appearance, but a life changing appearance.
This morning, after posting the above blog yesterday, I awoke to find all the flowers on the cactus eaten by a possum or, possibly, several possums. I say “several” because during the night there was a lot of heavy duty scampering along the deck just outside my bedroom window. More so than normal.
I don’t know if the flower of this particular cactus has any hallucinogenic qualities, but something got these possums moving. Looking at the cactus (below photo), one can only guess at what happened. Nothing much left.