Q is for Queen Anne’s Lace: Pagan Blog Project 2013

During my childhood rambles through the woods and fields by my house, I picked a lot of Queen Anne’s Lace. I didn’t understand why it was considered a weed: I thought it was one of the most beautiful and magical plants around.

Q is for Queen Anne's Lace

Okay my opinion on Queen Anne’s Lace hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. But I’ve gained a little more understanding about why I love her so much.

Think about it. If Queen Anne’s Lace was a delicate, rare plant that required coddling, she’d be sought after and adored by gardeners and nurseries. Because take away the weed label, and she’s really really pretty. But because she’s boisterous and strong and does what she pleases, she’s considered a nuisance and people expend a lot of energy trying to control her.

That feels familiar–am I wrong ladies?

As a child I didn’t quite understand how something became a weed, but I was very familiar with the disastrous consequences of being female and failing to conform. And when I was a kid I really wanted to conform. I wanted to please my parents and my community because I hated being in trouble or having anyone mad at me–but somehow I always managed to do or say the wrong thing. I was never pretty enough, never quiet enough, never tidy enough, to be a “proper” girl.

Ok, that’s something else that hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. I’m still not a proper girl, at least not according to the criteria of my childhood community.

Q is for Queen Anne's Lace 2

I also fail in proper womanhood according to societal standards of beauty. I’m too short and round to qualify as beautiful by popular opinion. I’ve struggled for years to make peace with that fact, and to see beauty in myself. I’ve made a lot of progress. It helps to be surrounded by people who are capable of seeing beauty in many forms. But there are still days when I compare myself to all the wrong people and evaluate myself by all sorts of ridiculous criteria–and I have to remind myself that there is more than one way to be beautiful. And that I’d rather be myself than be “proper”, whatever the hell that is.

That’s probably part of why I love weeds like Queen Anne’s Lace and Dandelion so much. They’re beautiful in their own way, society be damned. Weeds like Queen Anne’s Lace make excellent allies for those of us who don’t fit neatly into the places our culture wants to put us, or for those of us who will never be conventionally beautiful. And my guess is there are a lot of us.

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About Michelle

Just one of many queer pagan creative types, writing, knitting and navel gazing in the Pacific Northwest. View all posts by Michelle

4 responses to “Q is for Queen Anne’s Lace: Pagan Blog Project 2013

  • Mira

    Michelle, in my first language this plant is called “wild carrot”, and you can really eat its thick root. It is like a garden carrot, but pale, not orange or yellow. And to follow your image of a weed that is none (if anybody officially would decide otherwise), and of female beauty in its many shapes… like Queen Anne’s Lace, women have a lot of further hidden qualities below the surface, you just have to dig a little bit. And I like QAL’s custom to roll in the blossoms and later the fruits during night or when wet, to shelter them like in a nest. It knows when to set boundaries! And the dry seedhead will adamantly stay a long time well into winter, when most of the other plants have retracted. Perhaps we also should have a closer look at Queen Anne’s life, who gave her name to the plant. I think she was an impressive woman!

  • sassykas

    I LOVE QUEEN ANNE’S LACE!!! and I love what you said about non-conformity. and you are beautiful, because in the words of another person who cared: you are wonderfully and fearfully made. hugz!

  • Stephanie

    What an awesome analogy. It fits so well. I never thought about why certain plants are labeled weeds when they’re just as pretty as the supposed good plants. Of course, because they grow too well, get in the way, and refuse to stay neatly tucked into a flowerbed. And what a perfect description of why certain women are ostracized and made to feel inferior.

    Thank you for this post, and those beautiful pictures. I never disliked Queen Anne’s Lace, but I have a new found appreciation for it.

  • Alverdine

    Love this, and it’s an excellent analogy. :)

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