Flowers are objects of desire for many people. For example, the soft, velvety petals and intoxicating scent of roses have inspired romance and poetry for centuries. However, some people are immune to the charms of blooms and blossoms – they prefer to keep their distance. When an aversion to flowers becomes a true phobia, it is known by the Latin term Athophobia.
Why Do People Fear Flowers?
There are many reason why people fear flowers. Some of them are due to the symbolism of specific blooms. Throughout history, certain flowers have carried hidden meanings. Those who understand the secret significance of flowers in art and culture may be more apt to develop Athophobia.
Rose White, Rose Red
The rose carries the most powerful symbolism of all. For thousands of years, the rose has been a source of fascination. It appears in myths, religious texts, and painted masterpieces. But what is the meaning of the rose? And why would it frighten a human being?
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The Rose In History
In the 17th century, a secret fraternity of mystics gathered in Germany. They called themselves the Rosicrucians. This society was devoted to the reformation of mankind through esoteric pursuits such as alchemy and philosophy. The rose was adopted as the symbol of the Rosicrucians, who wrote shocking manifestos upon the walls of Paris buildings. The society sought to reform European thought and morality through their teachings. For some, the Rosicrucians represented sacrilege.
In Christianity, the red rose is a potent reminder of Jesus’ suffering. Its blood-red petals are meant to illustrate his own blood and his own sacrifice. The rose was also a symbol of discretion. The Latin term, sub rosa (under the rose) was used to denote secret meetings and confidential gatherings.
White roses have always been associated with death. In the Tarot, the Grim Reaper carries a white rose.
This card is meant to represent great transformation. It is not necessarily a symbol of physical death. However, to most people, turning up the Death card during a reading is bad luck. It tends to create a sense of unease.
Some people who suffer from Athophobia are affected by the symbolism of flowers such as the white rose. They develop a phobia towards all flowers due to their fears.
Other Triggers For Athophobia
The physical attributes of some blooms may cause this phobia. Certain flowers can be very dangerous. The white oleander is a poisonous flower with a deceptively harmless appearance. It’s silky white petals belie its powerful defensive mechanism. Only a small amount of the toxin from nerum oleander is needed to cause grievous harm or death to a human being.
The poison in a white oleander is used as a murder weapon in the 1999 novel, White Oleander, written by Janet Fitch. The character is a woman scorned, and she chooses to seek her revenge by poisoning her ex-lover with the flower.
Fear Of Flowers Can Be Due To Allergies
For some who fear flowers, an allergy to bee stings may be the reason for their phobia. Since flowers attract bees, they are dangerous and best avoided. Those who rely on epi-pens and other safeguards against fatal bee sting allergies will not be comfortable around blossoms that attract bees.
Athophobia can cause nausea and vertigo. People with this fear will feel anxiety and dread when faced with flowers. Situations where flowers are everywhere will trigger a feeling of panic . Places like botanical gardens, open-air markets that sell flowers, and even weddings and funerals may be avoided.
Psychotherapy is a typical treatment for Athophobia. The subconscious triggers and reasons for this phobia can be found with the correct form of therapy. Cognitive and tapping therapies are other, more controversial treatments for Athophobia. Anti-depressants can relieve anxiety and cause a lessening of panic attack symptoms.