I have chosen to go by my real first name, but to preserve some privacy, have chosen a different other name…surely not the last one I will have. Isabel was not my birth name either, but was given to me by my ancestors…. Now I am Isabel Rose.
Why the rose?
Well there’s the Tudor Rose, symbol of Unity from my Welsh Tewdwr/Tudur ancestors that combines the White Rose symbol of the English House of York and the Red Rose smybol of the English House of Lancaster into one unified symbol…(Cymru am byth!!)
The rose and her sisters are a gentle bunch. They are soothing (rosewater/rose hydrosol is one of my very favorite substances on earth!), sexy as heck and beautiful, not to mention smell amazing and they’re frequently edible! When I moved to my current land, I planted many. They bring me joy!
But the reason I like the rose, is besides it’s ubiquity, is that for me, it is a unique plant-oriented substitute for the pentagram.
I have just never liked the poor pentagram,
what with the symbology in American for Texas, and the over-dramatic overuse of the symbol in the 70’s in the Wiccan communities, I would just rather not go there.
To me the symbol of the Rose is much more amenable, and it is a pattern found in many places in nature. Most of the Rose family flowers are five petaled, hence the perfect substitution for the pentagram.
And recently I found “the Rose of Venus” a symbol which I love.
Also, there is a bit of a movement within herbalism to go by a Rose name…much like many of the Rasta-oriented Hawaii folks use the last name Love…So now I feel a true part of the sister(and brother)hood!
And last and most importantly, which I wasn’t
even consciously aware of when I chose it, is that this name honors my favorite ancestor, my great grandmother, Alice Rosaline “Rosa” Crabtree.
Grandma Rosa, or “Little Grandma” was a “Granny Woman” who knew the herbs of Southeastern Missouri like the back of her hand. She was raised in the backwoods by parents who were Jewish, Melungeon, Cherokee/Lumbee and African, among other things, lived deep in the woods most of her life, close to the land, and knew how to survive. She was tough, and took no shit off of anyone.
Her childhood and adult life were both dirt poor, but she raised seven children with only the medical care that she could provide. When she couldn’t find an herb, she would ask someone who was going across the Meramec River to get her something from the “Root Diggers” and bring it back on their way home.
She birthed most of the babies in the area, and was the only hospice care many people had as they died, including her own grandchildren. She did this not because she had any schooling or training, but because she had to, and this is what women did.
And she “knew” things too…she saw things that others did not. Visions, ghosts…Her granddaughters and great-granddaughters do as well.
Rosa has been my guardian spirit for almost twenty years, that I know of. Out of all of my ancestors, I think I am most like her. I wish I had known her in life, but I feel like I channel her now. My oldest cousin, who did know her when she was young, said I remind her of Rosa, most definitely. I was gifted with Rosa’s earrings, which I feel like gives me some great familial or ancestral power…
She is the main reason why I am so proud to add this name to mine.
I’ve created IsabelRose.net to keep track of all of my projects in one place.
So there it is, the reason for the use of the Rose in my name, in my work, in my life.