As it is the month of the HEALER in the Living Attributes Typology, I thought it fitting to share some information on how you can work with the healing forces that are ready willing and available in your garden. And how gardening can also have a spiritual effect on your own nature.
Gardening, as a spiritual discipline, forces us to live wholly in the present, to acknowledge each moment’s special beauty and its brevity. When we observe a bee alight upon a perfectly formed sunflower, we can choose to ignore it and keep weeding or pause to attend to its passing glory. There is a part of each gardener pushing forward, calling us to plan, to labor, to produce. But there is another part that stops planning, laboring, producing—stops and holds still within an endless moment. If part of each gardener seeks to alter the landscape, another part simply loves this sensuous world while acknowledging its mortality.
Spiritual gardeners do not seek to freeze this world into static perfection. Rather, they recognize where true gold is found. The Greeks called the goddess Aphrodite “the golden one” because of the way in which love transforms the beloved with radiant beauty. A similar radiance illuminates the garden when it is tended with love and deep care.
Just as love among people is based on intimate knowledge, so too for the gardener. While it is easy to be infatuated with the colors and fragrances of a plant whose name you do not know, real relationship is built upon knowledge: of a plant’s preferred conditions for growth, its season of bloom, its history and lore. So the final part of magical gardening is understanding the plants that compose the garden as well as the design principles that join them into a complementary whole.
The Marigold for instance: it is a sun-loving annual of the genus Tagetes, named for the god Tages, who taught the Etruscans how to find gold through divining. It has a long history of connection with the metal sharing its flower’s hue; its common name derives from an early Christian practice of offering it in place of coins at Marian altars, hence “Mary’s gold.” Valued for its healing properties, marigold has been used in many ways: as a garnish on broth to strengthen the heart, as an ointment for toothache, as a wart remover when mixed with wine. A favorite companion plant for many vegetables, it is thought to repel the parasitic worms called nematodes; its pungency is also said to repel four-legged pests like rabbits from devouring the lettuce. Planting marigolds, the spiritual gardener is reminded of their “Story of Glory” and where we can grow true prosperity in our own life.
Psychic Enthusiasm – Petunia
Encourage Strength – Cocks Combs
Marigolds, Petunias and Cocks Combs are what I planted in my Sacred Garden this summer – I have loved tending to them and watching them grow.