“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
The wonder and adoration humans hold for natural things is nearly unquenchable. And who can really blame us? We look at the earth with appreciative eyes, we’re drawn in by its beauty, diversity, and many wonders. That’s probably the reason why gardening is the most popular hobby in North America. People garden to enjoy the earth’s loveliness. From a spiritual perspective, this brings us into the Earth Element on an intimate level. Perhaps we can dig up the answers to a few ageless riddles in the process of creating Goddess or Witch Gardens!
Magic Gardens in the City
Think of it this way: We live in right-brain, technological times filled with pollution, noise, metal, and an ever-increasing sense of depersonalization. Everything is “by the numbers.” However, the ancient art of gardening offers us a chance to change the way we cope with this reality and maybe even shake it up a bit! Whether you live in an apartment or a home, puttering with soil and seed, even just a little, is very healthy for one’s mind and spirit. It provides a few moments of peace, and a chance to ground ourselves in the Mother once more. Perhaps more importantly, gardening offers us an opportunity to simply be, without anyone or anything else dictating that sense of being.
Magical Gardens as Nature’s Classroom
An additional benefit of Goddess gardening is that our endeavor becomes a classroom. Here we learn directly from Gaia’s textbook. Our ancestors felt strongly that working the land also worked the soul. Even one hundred years ago people were still talking about how Nature reflected God and was a means to better understanding that great mystery (of who or what God is). The more we lost sight of the human-nature-creator trinity, the more we abused our world and lost an appreciation for its lessons and the further we removed ourselves from important spiritual truths. A century later, we see how destructive that trend in humankind was becoming, for both the Earth and its inhabitants. That is why Green Wiccans find themselves attracted to Goddess Gardening.
How to Bring the Goddess into the Garden
So how do we go about bringing the Goddess and our garden back together? That’s easy! The two were never really apart. Just because humans lose sight of the vital connection doesn’t mean the Goddess did likewise! The Goddess is already firmly rooted (pun intended) in our gardens.
Many of the world’s myths depict the Goddess as the Creatrix, and frequently Her names magnify one or more of nature’s realms. For example, in Roman tradition Flora embodies all forms of blossoming and fertility. (We continue to use the word flora today to describe blossoming things particularly in the flower delivery industry.) In Canaanite tradition, Asherah‘s name means “upright” even as the trees that were thought to contain her energy. Greek tradition has Demeter (the “Earth Mother”) as the goddess of Earth, groves, and all growing things.
In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find any culture that didn’t include the Goddess interacting with, protecting, facilitating, and monitoring nature on some level in the myths and lore of its people. The power of these myths should not be underestimated, as they still affect the way we think and communicate. After all, we still use the phrases “Mother Nature” and “Mother Earth” in conversation regularly. This indicates that the connection between Earth and the Goddess remains very powerful−even if we don’t always recognize that connection. Part of the goal Goddess-centered gardening is to begin conscientiously re-establishing that awareness, our ties to this planet, and relationships with the ever-welcoming energy of the Goddess.
Approaching the Magical Goddess Garden
Building on that foundation, let’s consider the way we garden in a slightly different way. How? By bringing common metaphysical processes into our efforts, such as blessing the soil, energizing it with spellcraft, following the moon’s cycles, using crystals to enhance plant growth and returning to natural methods of working the land. It is fairly safe to say that an organic gardener is also a good steward of the planet, and a spiritually-minded organic gardener is a good co-creator with the Goddess!
The next step is building a garden. Pick a Goddess, study her sacred plants and get to work. You could have a witchy herb garden dedicated to Hecate, the patroness of witches (Herb Witches would love that!). Or, how about a fairy garden for Dana, the mother of the Fey. More spiritually, you could make a Zen-styled rock and sand garden that honors honing one’s very soul. There are literally thousands of Goddesses in mythology to tantalize your imagination and inspire your spirit.
Using the Energy in Your Magical Goddess Garden
And what exactly can you do with all these Witch’s gardens? Quite a bit. They can become sacred spaces where you perform rituals and spells, akin to a natural temple. Or, you can harvest magickally empowered flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetable from here for use at home and in Circle. And, of course, you could simply sit here, meditate, read a book, and enjoy the view!
With a little thoughtfulness and old-fashioned elbow grease, gardening and landscaping can become a kind of spiritual therapy. Here, you consult with Nature, lay the worries of the day and other tensions neatly at the feet of the Mother, and then grow something beautiful in their place: a renewed sense of self, the planet, and Spirit.
Visit our Sister Site Buildingbeautifulsouls.com if you would like to learn more about the symbolism and meaning of magical trees, flowers, and plants.
Article based on “Gardening With the Goddess,” by Patricia Telesco. All rights reserved.