Why Paisley?

Tuesday November 1st 2011


OK – some of you have wondered what the paisley connection is with the November horoscopes. It’s just this in my tiny mind. Paisley =  fertility = Scorpio. 

Paisley pattern, which originates in South or Central Asia depending on who is talking, is said to be an ancient fertility symbol – a mango split in half or a cypress tree or a frond.  The truth is no one really knows.

To me it looks like sperm under a microscope, which is about as fundamentally Scorpio as you can get since it’s a combination of fertility and analysis.

So the illustrations for this month’s horoscopes are an homage to Scorpio.

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  1. rijuta says:

    Talking from South-Asia here : the paisley is an ancient Indian symbol – seen and mentioned in some very ancient myths and texts, that have passed down generation after generation in the exact same form. The term used in Indian context is ‘ambi’ – related to the modern word for mango ‘aam’. The ambi, like a mango pod, can even today be seen across heritage arts, Indian textiles etc. The symbol’s most primitive association is with the ‘sacred pot’ – used in prayer and ceremonies even today – which is a pot, filled at the top with a coconut and mango leaves. This pot is also seen at the apex of some of the most ancient temples in India. The mango tree is eternal since it keeps renewing itself, and the nectar of the fruit is the psychic symbol of the Nectar of Immortality, a most sacred concept of the ancients. Immortality not in a literal physical sense, but a timeless-eternal-self beyond body. Like in all Indian arts, the symbols are not inspired by ‘nature’ per say, but their allegorical, metaphysical connotation. Like you mentioned fertility, in Indian context too, the mango too is associated with fertility, or rather ‘richness’…but the better term is ‘Fullness’ – a concept often celebrated across all ancient cultures as you may know. ‘Fertility’ as a word in modern times creates a very typical & narrow image, while Fullness encompasses (and was meant to) all aspects of one’s being, top to bottom.