What’s in a Name?

Symbolism is intriguing in all areas of life and I have long been fascinated with the meaning of names so this morning I decided to research more about my name and put up what I found. Here are some aspects I found from several websites . . . now I really feel like I should live up to my name.

Laurel \la(u)-rel\ as a girl’s name is pronounced LAWR-el. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Laurel is “the bay, or laurel plant“.

(n.) An English gold coin made in 1619, and so called because the king’s head on it was crowned with laurel.

(n.) An evergreen shrub, of the genus Laurus (L. nobilis) — called also sweet bay.

(n.) A crown of laurel; hence, honor; distinction; fame; — especially in the plural; as, to win laurels.

“You may think of bay leaves when you hear “laurel” — or you may think of “resting on one’s laurels” — but there is more to the laurel story. I did a bit of research on the variety of meanings — modern and historical, religious and social and even supernatural and I found the following from my research…

Creativity – Laurel was said to communicate the spirit of prophecy and poetry. Laurel leaves were commonly put under pillows at night to gain inspiration through dreams and its intoxicating properties are associated with prophetic and poetic inspiration.

Cleansing Properties and Magical Attributes – Laurel leaves surrounded the temple of Apollo to cleanse the soul before entering. It’s associated with purification and was seen as a plant with powers of immortality. Laurel supposedly awakens awareness and past life memories, stimulates psychic awareness, health and the powers of divination.

Peace and Protection – Today laurel is seen as a symbol of peace. It also indicates a power over the passions and is thought to protect from the influence of evil spirits and to give protection from lightening.

Achievement – It has long been a symbol of victory. Laurel was given as a symbol to the winner in Pythian games. Masons consider the laurel symbol to signify the hopeful expectation of success in the search for the True Word. In the bible, laurel is an emblem of prosperity and fame. In Christianity it is said to symbolize the resurrection of Christ and the triumph of humanity. It is also the source of the word Baccalaureate and of poet laureate.” — http://www.wickedblog.com/2007/09/12/laurel-leaves-symbolism-and-meaning/

“To wit, the symbolic laurel meaning deals with:

  • Glory
  • Victory
  • Nobility
  • Immortality
  • Intellectual superiority
  • Second Sight (the gift of prophecy)
  • Recognition (renown) of High Achievement
  • Long-term Vision (“big picture” understandings)

The name meaning of Laura is kicked off primarily from the ancient Latin word laurus which means triumph/success/victory. The Latin moniker for the laurel plant is laurus nobilis, which accentuates the theme of high honor as nobilis is a term meaning nobility/regal status.

So what’s the big deal about the laurel plant?

The laurel acknowledges higher accomplishment of the soul – and did so way before it was recruited as a sign of physical prowess as we see in ancient Olympic games.

Laurel leaves were used to adorn people with distinctly precious and uncommon insights. Furthermore, the mark of the laurel could only be worn by those who used their higher knowledge and spirituality to serve the public in beneficial ways.

And so, only the best, the most cunning and most noble in heart and deed were given the honor of wearing the laurel. Supreme priests, priestesses, prophets, poets, heroes and royalty would be adorned with laurel – but only if they commanded their gifts of intellect and willpower  in honorable ways.

These chosen few tacitly lived by the old adage “with great power comes great responsibility” – they gave of their insight selflessly because it was their responsibility to do so – and upon these noble souls where the mantle of laurel shall rest.

In Chinese myth, the laurel plant is associated with the moon, and so shares its themes of femininity, intuitive power and immortality.”  — http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2009/11/23/symbolic-laurel-meaning-and-ties-to-name-meaning-of-laura/

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