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    Blessings to Plant By

    “Like people, plants respond to extra attention”.  H. Peter Loewer

     

    Plants are a much-needed companion in our sacred spaces. It is the fall planting season. When the cool weather brings strong and sometimes soft colors but mainly vibrant and jewel toned. When the planter knows the coming rains will help the plants succeed their first winter in their new home.

     

     

    Blessings are an ancient and modern way of saying, “a little help here”, “thanks for coming into my space” or “let’s see what we can do together.”  There are very formal blessings and just ones of acknowledgement. Some have been written down and passed  down, others are made new.  As long as there is respect behind the blessing, all will be well.  This blog offers planting blessings I have found over the years.

    From Native Americans  “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”

     Ellen Dugan, The Garden Witch,  provides us with gardening and faery blessings.  From her work the Garden Witchery, Magick from the Ground Up comes  A Garden Blessing

     Through the seasons of rain, sun, and snow,

    May these plants and herbs happily grow.

    Winter to spring and summer to fall,

    Lord and Lady, bless them one and all.

     Another one from Ellen’s book the Cottage Witchery, Natural Magick for Hearth and Home speaks to the trees.  While magnolias are the tree listed, this blessing can apply to any tree you wish to commune with. Just exchange magnolia for that tree.

    The magnolia brings fortitude and fidelity,

    Little tree, send happiness and harmony to me.

    Grow strong, straight, and true where you now stand,

    Your magick spreads out across my land.

     I don’t remember where I found this one but would like to extend many thanks to its author.   A tree blessing spell for a new tree. Plant a sapling in spring under a waxing or full Moon using organic fertilizer and a magical stone (quartz crystal or moss agate.) Full moons, such as the one coming up in this fall are an excellent time to plant trees.

    While you work, repeat this chant:

    “Roots go down, grow deep and wide, anchor firmly side to side.
    Trunk go up, grow tall and strong, keeping time to the seasons’ song.
    Leaves go out, thick and green, fair as any forest seen!”

    Put some fertilizer in the hole as you fill it, and sprinkle more on top.

    Set the stone by the trunk as a gift for the tree.

    Then cover everything with a layer of mulch.

    Thank the sapling for coming to live with you and promise to take care of it.

     

     I’ve studied Celtic mythology and the natural way for many years.  One of my instructors,  Mara Freeman, Honorary Chief Bard of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, created this blessing for trees.

    A nine-fold blessing of the sacred grove
    Now be upon all forests of Earth:
    For willow of the streams,
    Hazel of the rocks,
    Alder of the marshes,
    Birch of the waterfalls,
    Ash of the shade,
    Yew of resilience,
    Elm of the brae,
    Oak of the sun,
    And all trees that grow and live and breathe

    On hill and brake and glen:
    No axe, no saw, no fire shall harm you,
    No mind of ownership shall seize you,
    No hand of greed or profit claim you,
    But grace of the stepping deer among you,
    Strength of the running boar beneath you,
    Power of the gliding hawk above you.

    Deep peace of the running stream through your roots,
    Deep peace of the flowering air through your boughs,
    Deep peace of the shining stars on your leaves.

    That the harp of the woods be heard once more
    Throughout the green and living Earth.

     

     

    And ones I’ve created.

     

    A Planting Blessing

    I plant these (seeds/seedlings/plant) with good intentions to help the earth, the neighborhood, and my sacred space.

    To bring joy, beauty, and pleasure

    To intoxicate the air with soothing fragrances

    To stop and mind the morning, mid-day or evening time

    To encourage peace in the heart

    To teach and observe the wonders of nature dancing the dance of the seasons

     

    A Planting Blessing Two

    To the earth I gently place this plant

    May your roots grow strong and in companionship

    May you inherit the strength you need and share that energy with the space around you

    May you feel so loved that you are never without friendship

    Thank you in advance for our great journey together

     

     

    You too can create blessings or a special ritual when planting.  All the best as you celebrate this planting time.

    Notes:

    One of my tips is to let the plant know it’s in transit when taking it to its new domain.  Yes, talking to them helps. On the practical side I like to let the plant sit in water for at least 2 hours before planting. This helps with the stress of transplanting.

     

     

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    Sacred Spaces

    “You touch the earth, you will never cry again”   Arlene Tognetti

    I walk outside my patio door and the wonderful scent of my sweet peas fills the air. This smallest event makes me stop and smile.  I then take a seat and wait excitedly for the next whiff to move towards me.  This small movement is a sacred one.  Where you forget totally what you were doing and truly enjoy the moment.

    Sacred spaces are the places where it makes you take a break, where you feel calm, free or dare I say at peace.  It can be a simple arrangement you brought.  A single container with your favorite plant or several containers to large spaces.  It is a place for you, the place you consider sacred.  It consists of some aspect of nature and you.

    A place that is sacred can do many things.  Refresh your spirit after a long day or unexpected event, create awe and wonder as you watch the dragonflies dart in and out, provide sanctuary when you feel distressed in any form.  Seek out that touch of the nature spirit.  Take the important five minutes to connect with a quiet place.  Carry a picture of your favorite plant or space–put it on your phone.

    You may have heard, nature is hot again, that after several years of being inside, scientific studies prove we need nature.  It resets an internal need forgotten.  Over the last several years the healthcare industry has proven out that walking in nature, gardening, and even the simple act of reflecting has proven to heal, calm and change an individual’s life.

    Communing with nature is nothing new, we continually hear the loss of it.  True, large defoliation of land–due to man, fires, insects or, the attack of foreign bugs and non-native plants and the traditional gota build syndrome.  All have their impact.  Creating your own or supporting sacred spot become critical.

    I help my clients to create quiet spaces. Helping to start their day or end their day or in the evening to watch the stars go by.  Create a place that becomes special where you can catch your breath whether for an hour or a couple of days.

    I have been a lifelong steward. Mankind is but one piece of the earth and yet carries the heaviest load.  Quiet Garden is one of my favorite organizations.  The “Quiet Garden Movement nurtures low cost, accessible, outdoor space for prayer, contemplation, rest and inspiration in a variety of settings.  These are places that speak to your inner spirit, helping to heal and look at your place in the world somewhat differently.  Leave your cell phone at the gate.  It is on my bucket list to create and manage such a place.

    Through helping to rediscover the power of your own spirit and recognizing the greatness that is all around us, wellness and stewardship come to fruition.  Organizations like the Quiet Gardens model templates of how to take these traits with you.

    How to create a sacred space?

    Lead with your heart and intuition, this is your space to do whatever is necessary for a restful, restorative and inspiring place.  It will be okay to change it down the road.  Your special space honors and celebrate life, fun and creativity.  It is your catalyst and how you track the flow of nature.  While you are the creator, you are also the caretaker, the observer and the storyteller.  All traits that feed a part of your soul that appreciate the moment and needs care.

    These are ideas on how to develop your space.  Keeping it simple and the level of maintenance you can work with are important.

    Do you like art?  I love art in the garden; large or small, round, tall, swings, solid, there are so many choices.  For simplicity, bonsai do it all.  They are an art form, represent nature and are sacred.  I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek.  Once a good friend had me care for his bonsai.  They all died under my watch.  As my living space becomes smaller, I have begun looking at this wonderful art form.  A post for another day.

    Do you need to create privacy or boundaries?  Trees in the ground or in containers. Physical structures like arbors, lattice fencing, or gates.  Small spaces reduce stress.  Create a garden room, any of the above tools will help.

    What are your favorite scents?  Plant for your senses.  Do you like morning bloomers, mid-day or evening ones?  We are a plant rich society, growers and information are available.  Calming plants like rosemary, jasmine, daffodils produce delightful scents. You’ll need to learn each plants life-cycle (flowering time, maturity, etc. for best results)

    Back to my sweet peas, I’ve enclosed a picture.  Such small plant deliveries such power. 

    Do you have favorite colors?  Does your space need inspiration, add silver or a boost of energy as you go out for your day, add red.  Use plants, containers, furniture, art or even the bird that visits your space.  I have a tree frog or two, they are green and yellow with brown toes.  Green for nature, yellow for communication (no idea what it is saying but I always say hi) and brown for the earth and to showcase the other colors of its body.

    If you live in an area where there are seasonal changes celebrate them.  My favorite season is fall, I always try to bring the reds and golds and hope they go partially into the beginning dark of winter.  I am a tree person, the coral bark and paperbark maples transition in spectacular hues from fall to winter.  The blues of conifers light up the twilight and the white bark of the birches catches the winter light just so until the sprouting of pink cherry trees signaled spring.

    Ginkgo leaves in fall

     

    How do you get to your sacred space? Is it three steps or many steps, a winding path, a labyrinth or a maze?  What material do you like gravel, sand, wood or trex?  Add something that moves down your path; chimes, flags, seedpods, or grasses.  Something that draws you to your sacred space.  Place a seat or two to rest and let your journey of the day be put aside for a while.  Let nature and your sacred space embrace you.