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Author Topic: Gardening with Paganism  (Read 5193 times)

Altair

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Gardening with Paganism
« on: October 26, 2015, 03:05:00 pm »
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 03:30:06 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!


What got me thinking about this is I just planted a new tree. Mine is a small rooftop garden, so everything is in containers, and there's not a lot of room for trees (a grand total of 3). I picked this type through a combo of intuition and research (moderate size, good in containers, etc.) and settled on a gray birch (Betula populifolia).

Now that it's in the garden, I realize I have the slender, pale birch; a full, profusely flowering Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis); and my first tree, which I inherited from a nearby garden, a stunted, gnarled little crabapple. Now all I can think of when I consider my three trees is: maid/mother/crone.

Maybe it was subconscious in the choosing, maybe it's an accident, but I'm happy with that thought.

My garden also has a modest green man relief sculpture, made from ceramicked Central Park leaves, who watches over things (I think of it as the garden's spirit/the part of me that's bound to the garden), and a welcome sign hanging at the entrance, handmaid by my mother-in-law for that purpose and on the back of which I inscribed a short verse as a kind of blessing for the garden and all who visit it.

The garden is my favorite spot for my meditations. (It burns me when winter weather drives me back indoors for months.) And it's my prime spot most of the year for bonding with Mother Nature, both intellectually (I've learned so much up there; it's like a little biology/meteorology lab) and spiritually.

Odd that it should connect me with nature, since the whole thing is forged by human hands; but then, here in the city, what isn't?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 07:00:09 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521
What got me thinking about this is I just planted a  new tree. Mine is a small rooftop garden, so everything is in  containers, and there's not a lot of room for trees (a grand total of  3).

Unless you've downsized since the last pictures you  posted, your definition of "small" and mine are must be somewhat  different. Your garden is at least as large as the one we had in our  backyard when I was a teen. :)

Quote
My garden also has a modest green man relief sculpture, made from ceramicked Central Park leaves...
That  sounds neat. Our green man is a store-bought ceramic and have a Sol  face heading opposie it that Donna's mom had up. Most of our attempt to  garden this year did not make it through the 25 inches of rain we had in  May (and the 15 inches we had over the weekend probably did not help).  More El Nino rains are supposed to hit over the winter and early spring.  With luck, we'll have better luck next year.
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Altair

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 10:13:58 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;181528

Most of our attempt to  garden this year did not make it through the 25 inches of rain we had in  May (and the 15 inches we had over the weekend probably did not help).  More El Nino rains are supposed to hit over the winter and early spring.  With luck, we'll have better luck next year.

 
Ouch. And yeah, El Nino is predicted to dump tons of rain in 2016. For which drought-parched California should be thankful (except for the mudslides)
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 04:19:43 am »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

 
I wish I was better at keeping plants alive. I have two potted plants right now. I want to install a hanging herb garden for the winter. I started a small herb garden last spring and still need to harvest it. Next spring I would like to do more. We couldn't afford a vegetable garden this year, but I started composting in the empty bed.

We found out that we have an actual orchard: 2 apple trees, 2 apricot trees, 1 peach, and 1 plum. We had to harvest and process the fruit and I made jam for the first time in my life. I felt very witchy boiling the jars in the giant cauldron. 6 fruit trees is a lot of work. Next summer I'm going to take most of the fruit to the Farmer's Market instead of trying to process it all by myself.

Altair

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 08:05:40 am »
Quote from: Freesia;181549
I wish I was better at keeping plants alive. I have two potted plants right now. I want to install a hanging herb garden for the winter. I started a small herb garden last spring and still need to harvest it. Next spring I would like to do more. We couldn't afford a vegetable garden this year, but I started composting in the empty bed.

We found out that we have an actual orchard: 2 apple trees, 2 apricot trees, 1 peach, and 1 plum. We had to harvest and process the fruit and I made jam for the first time in my life. I felt very witchy boiling the jars in the giant cauldron. 6 fruit trees is a lot of work. Next summer I'm going to take most of the fruit to the Farmer's Market instead of trying to process it all by myself.


Are there particularly pagan aspects to your garden, Freesia, or do you use it in a pagan way?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Materialist

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 07:57:01 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!


Not much. We plant food so we can have enough to eat. It is endless, butt-sweating, back- and wrist-breaking (the wrists go first) work that leaves one too exhausted to contemplate the cosmic meaning of it all. Then the harvest comes, with its tedious, brain cell killing drudgery of food processing. The yoga involved in this (if I'm in the mood) is a way to remind me what my chores are.

SleepingCompass

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 09:48:43 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!


Hi! I'm sort of new, sort of not; I forgot I was briefly active on here about a year or so ago until I came across the site while web surfing just now! This still seems like a neat place to be, so I'm going to try participating again and being active this time around :)

I don't have a garden per say as I'm a renter, but I do have a lot of various small house plants in my bedroom, which makes it feel a bit like an indoor garden.  I think they give my magick a small power boost and set the mood for meditation and the like.  I didn't purchase or grow them though with any particular magickal purpose in mind, but I did notice after the fact that there seemed to be a bit more power at my disposal when performing magick in my room since I got them.

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 04:00:04 am »
Quote from: Altair;181522
My garden also has a modest green man relief sculpture

Pretty sure I need one of these.

I've only done a little bit of growing.  Couple years back I got some paving stones and laid out a 9' circle in the backyard.  The intent was to use it as ritual space, but that idea never really took off.  So I wound up laying in a pentagram with some river rocks-- boom, backyard decoration that scares the neighbors.  
Then we planted some pumpkin seeds in there and grew our own lil patch.  That was pretty successful.  We tried watermelons this year but with less success.  The greatest part was watching the kids' excitement as they watched the growing things grow.
Oh, is it time again to say "Fuck Trump gently in the ear with a swarm of pissed-off hornets?"?

Okay. Fuck Trump gently in the ear with a swarm of pissed-off hornets.

Floofy Bunny

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2015, 04:30:15 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!

 
I have a small herb garden (rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, parsley), and I recently purchased some autumn mums. Gardening is definitely a key aspect of my witchcraft. We just bought this house in June, and I only now have started slowly planting as time and money allows. I recently did some research on honoring Freya via my garden so I am researching finding some suitable plants that she likes (she pretty much likes all blossoming plants!), but I live in North Texas so the summers are rough on plants. If anyone living in a similar climate has some suggestions or tips, I welcome them!

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 11:56:05 am »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!

 
Fabulous question-- this has been on my mind so much over the last year or so.  Um, long post follows.


In my current home, we've been fighting with Japanese Knotweed & Goutweed (both invasive species here in Canada, and I believe in North America generally) that have been, well, taking over my partner's yard for the entire 15 years he's owned this place.  We've been digging it up carefully, extensively, and painfully for 3 years now.  And this summer I had a minor mental crisis over the headspace I've gotten myself into... around fighting our land.  We live in town- it's not a huge lot, under a quarter acre, and yet here I am, cursing and digging and hating that I can't have the absolutely gorgeous food garden my brother and his wife have maintained, or the stunning flower garden and meditation garden my partner's mother has created... because I'm fighting.

The dissonance- me, fighting my backyard, so that I can cultivate (force) what I want... but not doing it meaning I'm forced into shopping for food at the grocery store, which requires driving when I could (should?) be maintaining some of my needs in my backyard... it has been seriously weird, in all the wrong ways.

I had a long chat with my brother and his wife, who grow nearly all their own food on a similar plot of land (minus, you know, all the invasive non-native species, but of course with their own difficulties), and who also champion a lot of eat-local, grow-local activities and events in their community.  My sister-in-law suggested planting food-generating plants that wouldn't compete for the same root space or nutrients as the existing knotweed, and then to raised-bed garden with brought in soil in a few key places... so that I'm not fighting anymore.  So I took last fall and the spring and summer off to consider.

And then... for a host of reasons, some of which are definitely related to my discomfort over feeling like I'm fighting my own garden, I bought a new house this fall.  And have been working out (solely, quietly, without breaking any ground as of yet) a multi-year plan to put in a full garden, as the property is currently only lawn, which I have no compunction whatsoever about replacing with something for us.

And it was that planning that actually had me come back to the forum- to hear about what others have done to honour/accelerate/deepen/etc their spirituality in their gardens.

So although I haven't done any of this at the new house yet, here is what I've listed and plotted so far:
- stone patio & flat labyrinth (if you're ever in Toronto, there is a gorgeous walking labyrinth tucked away on a Church property near Bay St., between high rises, and it is an amazing corner of the city).
- a whack of spring blooming flowers, in peonies, lilacs, and irises (for the joy of having them, and to celebrate family birthdays which are all in late Spring in this house)
- roses (for family history, as my grandmothers and my partner's grandmothers all cultivated these)
- food (berries, tomatoes, other expensive things that just taste better picked the day you eat them)
- herbs
- cedar & sage (for smudge)

... and hopefully a bunch of other wonderful things I can include because you folks have suggested stuff.  

The only thing I've actually done so far is to bury a few small bundles of stones at the compass points of the property, with moss agate, tourmaline, rose quartz, and something for the direction.

And meanwhile I'm working through how to make our current house's backyard more welcoming to renters... so I'd love thoughts on that as well.  I know how important it is to have space to make things your own, so your home reflects your energy and not someone else's.

So... I'd welcome thoughts and suggestions.  
Awesome topic.

Floofy Bunny

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2015, 05:08:37 pm »
Quote from: rian;181755
And this summer I had a minor mental crisis over the headspace I've gotten myself into... around fighting our land.  We live in town- it's not a huge lot, under a quarter acre, and yet here I am, cursing and digging and hating that I can't have the absolutely gorgeous food garden my brother and his wife have maintained, or the stunning flower garden and meditation garden my partner's mother has created... because I'm fighting.

The dissonance- me, fighting my backyard, so that I can cultivate (force) what I want... but not doing it meaning I'm forced into shopping for food at the grocery store, which requires driving when I could (should?) be maintaining some of my needs in my backyard... it has been seriously weird, in all the wrong ways.

I had a long chat with my brother and his wife, who grow nearly all their own food on a similar plot of land (minus, you know, all the invasive non-native species, but of course with their own difficulties), and who also champion a lot of eat-local, grow-local activities and events in their community.  My sister-in-law suggested planting food-generating plants that wouldn't compete for the same root space or nutrients as the existing knotweed, and then to raised-bed garden with brought in soil in a few key places... so that I'm not fighting anymore.  So I took last fall and the spring and summer off to consider.

And then... for a host of reasons, some of which are definitely related to my discomfort over feeling like I'm fighting my own garden, I bought a new house this fall.  And have been working out (solely, quietly, without breaking any ground as of yet) a multi-year plan to put in a full garden, as the property is currently only lawn, which I have no compunction whatsoever about replacing with something for us.

And it was that planning that actually had me come back to the forum- to hear about what others have done to honour/accelerate/deepen/etc their spirituality in their gardens.

So although I haven't done any of this at the new house yet, here is what I've listed and plotted so far:
- stone patio & flat labyrinth (if you're ever in Toronto, there is a gorgeous walking labyrinth tucked away on a Church property near Bay St., between high rises, and it is an amazing corner of the city).
- a whack of spring blooming flowers, in peonies, lilacs, and irises (for the joy of having them, and to celebrate family birthdays which are all in late Spring in this house)
- roses (for family history, as my grandmothers and my partner's grandmothers all cultivated these)
- food (berries, tomatoes, other expensive things that just taste better picked the day you eat them)
- herbs
- cedar & sage (for smudge)

... and hopefully a bunch of other wonderful things I can include because you folks have suggested stuff.  

The only thing I've actually done so far is to bury a few small bundles of stones at the compass points of the property, with moss agate, tourmaline, rose quartz, and something for the direction.

And meanwhile I'm working through how to make our current house's backyard more welcoming to renters... so I'd love thoughts on that as well.  I know how important it is to have space to make things your own, so your home reflects your energy and not someone else's.

So... I'd welcome thoughts and suggestions.  
Awesome topic.


What you said about fighting resonated with me - I will definitely want to keep that in mind as I begin gardening more at my new house.

Congrats on your new home, and you are a brave soul for taking on renting. :) My partner keeps bringing it up for our next house, and I am just like no. But having rented quite a bit (this is my first owned home), I have generally just wanted some patio style space, and a mostly trim backyard. As a renter, I just wanted space to put my potted plants because I really didn't want to spend a lot of money landscaping a house that wasn't mine.

Hope this helps. :)

Elding

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 05:25:32 pm »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!

No garden, but a small green back yard. It's a cozy little place but since I share it with my parents during the limited time I'm home, and spend so much time away, I don't typically use it for anything pagan-y. Since it's not strictly mine, I don't have the freedom to set up any outdoors shrines or anything (though I'd love to have one one day) and I don't have the time to tend to any plants.

However, I do perform some small rituals there. Usually I go to the woods because it's quieter, but sometimes I wan to do something associated with my home and my family, and the garden is a good place for that. It is also where I pour out liquid offerings, and bury items for cleansing or charging.
Out in the woods, and I\'m not alone, but the sun\'s quickly going down!
There! In the trees! Something stalking me! Stop walking around!
\'K, just be cool, don\'t be such a fool! There is nothing at all to fear...
... other than the trees and the night and a beam of light, and the breathing in my ear...
[/I]

PiscesMoon

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2015, 11:42:55 am »
Quote from: Altair;181521
For those of you with a garden--and by "garden" I mean everything from acres land to a few pots on a windowsill--does your paganism come into play in how you use it? In the gardening you do? (the plants you grow, the arrangement of plantings, the garden decorative tchotchkes, etc.)

I'm guessing this is a no-brainer yes for most of us (esp. the herbalists among us), so please feel free to describe the ways in which your garden plays a part in, echoes, or amplifies your spirituality!

I have tried to make our small garden into a space that is welcoming for wildlife- there is a pond, (which was here when we moved in) for frogs; I built what was meant to be a winter hibernation space for the frogs, but a family of woodmice took it over :) and there are lots of feeders for birds... I try and plant things that are beneficial for bees, and a fox who visits regularly has his own bowl to have his breakfast in.

Having wild creatures in my environment feels 'right' for my personal practice- days when I find it difficult to do rituals or anything complicated, tending to the animals gives me the sense that I am at least giving something back to the earth.

I've built a small stone circle near the pond that I honour the Solstices with... I don't know how to upload photos yet, else I would post one! There are rocks to represent each of the quarters and one in the centre, (three of these I found in the garden, two were found near places that had sacred meanings for me.)

A young Eurasion jay died in the garden three summers ago and I carved a marker to go over where I buried him, which was a kind of spiritual exercise I set for myself.

There are two very old elder trees that I try to keep healthy...they are amongst the trees said to be sacred to the Druids, so tending them (I hope) connects me with with that ancient British tradition, (my ancestors trace back to Wales, which is something I'm trying to learn more about.) I offer things to these two trees in thanks for the flowers and berries they provide, which I make salves and tinctures from.

Altair, in your second posting you said that "It burns me when winter weather drives me back indoors for months"... we have built a small summerhouse (glorified shed!) at the bottom of the garden, where I keep a small camping heater- it makes it possible for me to be out in the garden even in winter. If your space is large enough, would that be a possibility for you? I would go barmy if I had to be shut in the house for four or five months of the year!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 11:45:10 am by PiscesMoon »

Olivia

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Re: Gardening with Paganism
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2015, 02:40:33 pm »
Quote from: PiscesMoon;183951
I have tried to make our small garden into a space that is welcoming for wildlife- there is a pond, (which was here when we moved in) for frogs; I built what was meant to be a winter hibernation space for the frogs, but a family of woodmice took it over :) and there are lots of feeders for birds... I try and plant things that are beneficial for bees, and a fox who visits regularly has his own bowl to have his breakfast in.

Having wild creatures in my environment feels 'right' for my personal practice- days when I find it difficult to do rituals or anything complicated, tending to the animals gives me the sense that I am at least giving something back to the earth.

I've built a small stone circle near the pond that I honour the Solstices with... I don't know how to upload photos yet, else I would post one! There are rocks to represent each of the quarters and one in the centre, (three of these I found in the garden, two were found near places that had sacred meanings for me.)

A young Eurasion jay died in the garden three summers ago and I carved a marker to go over where I buried him, which was a kind of spiritual exercise I set for myself.

There are two very old elder trees that I try to keep healthy...they are amongst the trees said to be sacred to the Druids, so tending them (I hope) connects me with with that ancient British tradition, (my ancestors trace back to Wales, which is something I'm trying to learn more about.) I offer things to these two trees in thanks for the flowers and berries they provide, which I make salves and tinctures from.

Altair, in your second posting you said that "It burns me when winter weather drives me back indoors for months"... we have built a small summerhouse (glorified shed!) at the bottom of the garden, where I keep a small camping heater- it makes it possible for me to be out in the garden even in winter. If your space is large enough, would that be a possibility for you? I would go barmy if I had to be shut in the house for four or five months of the year!

 
I love this. I wish I could set up a little place that was welcoming to wild animals. Unfortunately have some domesticated ones that would throw a fit.

My h and I just moved into a new house and next summer I'm going to have to rebuild my garden. I'm not sure what I want to do yet. There is this spot in the corner of my yard that would be good for a fairy garden but I don't want to do just that.

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