“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are. Alfred Austin”
The zodiac of western astrology is another option in working with colors and sacred spaces. Lilies, lavender, roses and poppies touch every sign. Lilies are sexy and passionate with their deep, nectar-coated throats. Lavender and roses fill the air with their wonderful fragrances. Poppies offer a plethora of color and textures. Taurus and Leo signs need to give their monies to a helpful friend. They will buy every plant they see, touch or feel.
Western Astrology plays an integral part of the relationship between plants, planets and humans. Elements influence all them – Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The fifth element (Wood) from eastern views facilitates people’s connection with nature and the universe. I use element and sign as the same within this blog. An example is that Aries is a Fire Sign and belongs to the Fire Element.
Birth sign flower brings luck and harmony. Each month has a flower(s) associated with it. Signs cross two months and I have presented both.
Planting under the zodiac
The Moon is the key ruler of planting activities. Leading the Water Elements, the moon acts on behalf of all growing things and is most effective when in a compatible sign. Planting when the Moon is moving through one of the six signs of femininity and fertility will yield hardier plants, greater yields and larger produce or flowers. The water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) and the earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn).
The non-planting signs of the Fire Elements (Aires, Leo, Sagittarius) and Air Elements (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.) These signs are infertile. Vegetables will fail under these planting tips.
An exception is those signs ruled by the planet Venus (Taurus, Libra) the planet of beauty and fragrance.
When designing sacred spaces, the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn like practically. The cushions for the outdoor furniture are textured, soft, appear lived-in and comfy. Colors of earth signs are brown, bronze, copper, and green.
The Water signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces need quiet and calm. Lifting spirits in tones of blues, greens, indigo or purples provide the needed relaxation and calmness. Coastal looking furniture and colors of white-washed are present in their sacred space. Touches of sea shells, driftwood or pebbles placed in containers brings in the call of water.
The Fire signs of Aires, Leo, and Sagittarius build spaces of spontaneity, passionate pops with a touch of romance. Sacred spaces are from any age, caves to modern styles. Colors of burgundy, red, terra cotta; warm shades of orange and gold and accents of dark woods.
The Air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are intellectual, highly communicative and objective. Their sacred space style is modern or minimalist that are bright and airy. Colors of yellows, quiet neutrals, pastel, creams and palest blues.
The cycle starts with Aries, (March 21st – April 19th) ruled by the planet Mars and the 1st house of the zodiac, Beginnings. Spring starts.
A Fire sign, individuals are confident, fierce and full of energy. Always on the move, Aires like to explore and always picks the road less taken. The plants will match individuals’ enthusiasm, zeal and passionate characteristics.
A pioneering sign Aires are drawn to the newest plant varieties. Plants survive in difficult situations and grow under adversity. They are large, pleasant; red with sharp and pointed leaves. Edible fruit or herbs are spicy or bitter. The flowers of Aires in March are daffodils and in April sweet peas, daisies and lilies.
In a sacred space, plants shimmer with hues of red or orange. The flowers are self-confidence and contain unbridled energy. The paths are wide and straight red brick or rough gravel, both of which embody the dynamic energy of this sign. A generous space for lawn games of croquet, touch football, or lawn darts are required.
Aries rules the head, eyes and face. Plants that purify the blood, stimulate the adrenal glands, or are high in iron (ruled by Mars). The herbs generate heat to the body. Examples of plants for this sign are amaranth, beets, bryony, chestnut, gentian, sweet woodruff, and wild-tiger-lily.
Taurus, (April 20th -May 20th) ruled by Venus and the 2nd house of finance and structure.
Taurus individuals are stubborn, headstrong and romantic (think Ferdinand the Bull). Very sensual, they remain practical and grounded. Ruled by the plant Venus (beauty and finances), comfort and pleasure are important to them.
They are the best gardeners of the zodiac. An Earth element that fits snugly into the rhythm of the soil, keeping their hands in the soil, touching plants, fragrances and textures. They need to recharge through the earth and the green world radiating both strength and calm. This sign wants every plant they see.
Taurus plants are abundant with enticing fragrances, gorgeous blooms displaying flirty structures. Lilies are an example. The blooms meaning their a is love for nature. They are dramatic and sensual symbolize the romanticism. A lover of many colors, pastel shades of blues, green and pinks are complemented by orange, red, or russet. The flowers of Taurus in April are sweet pea, daisies and lilies and for May lily-of-the-valley and hawthorn tree.
Great growers of vegetables and a talent for preserving them. Taureans are practical needing consistency and stability. It is important for them to feel the earth under their feet. Using tried-and-true plants of heirloom varieties is a must.
The sacred space entrance faces the southwest. Include a sunken part help with feeling close to the earth. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house is a great example of a Taurus sacred space. The trees grow enough to form canopies. The furniture is low and chunky with comfortable cushions.
Taurus rules the throat and ears. The plants are soothing to the throat or calm the digestive system. The herbs are flavorful, cooling and cleansing. Examples of plants of Taurus ruled by Venus are eucalyptus, foxglove, mint, golden rod, olives, raspberry, and sweetgum.
Gemini, (May 21st – June 20th) ruled by Mercury and the 3rd house of communications and restlessness.
Gemini the Twins are the most versatile individuals of the zodiac. Energetic, lively, and generators of new ideas. An Air sign loving and showing their sociable, clever and creative side. They move from one activity to another as if they are on the wind.
Gemini love blooms, the prettier the better. They are the sign that will intently use the Language of Flowers to send messages and feelings. Roses are a favorite and symbolizes love and companionship. The flowers for Gemini for May are the lily-of-the-valley and hawthorn tree and June are roses and honeysuckles.
Gemini tend their plants daily helping to keep them grounded. Their space is luxurious with total functionality. The infrastructure works, the arbors are in plant and the composite is functional and out of site. elongated shapes found in the cubism form, capturing the Geminis energy and sociability work well in a sacred space. Sophisticated and streamlined style with a touch of movement (swings, slides).
Sacred Spaces face the east filling with light and air for a spacious and infinite ideas. A comfortable wooden swing is present where this sign can indulge in flights of fancy. The colors of pastels, Nile Green and silvery tints can be found in plants and art pieces. Yellow and orange flowers are placed in sprinkles around the area.
Mercury rules the lungs, shoulders, arms, and hands. The plants under this sign strengthen the lungs and respiratory system. Air is a thinking element and is repeated in the fruit of nut trees that reflect the human brain. The leaves are thin or fuzzy and a subtle fragrance. They are finely divided leaves or stems (like the bronchi of lungs).
Examples of plants of this sign are carrots, jack-in-the-pulpit, lavender, lilies-of- the-valley, maidenhair fern, oats, roses, and southernwood.
Cancer, (June 21st – July 22nd) is ruled by the Moon and the 4th House of home. Summer starts.
Cancer individuals are hopeless romantics and the most emotional sign of the zodiac. Their feelings and senses are always present. They want to appear very strong and rigid but are very vulnerable. They symbolized the home, are social, loving and patience.
A Water sign ruled by the Moon, Cancer love to feed and nourish itself and others. The plant petals are soft or well-define. The leaves moon-shaped containing moisture. The flowers for Cancer in June are roses and honeysuckles and in July larkspur and water lily.
Cancer’s sacred space is quiet and contemplative and is an extension of their home. Small areas that need detail care are great for Cancers and will nourish them. Let the rest go wild or low maintenance. An asymmetrical pond with curve paths and flowerbeds with natural contours and low foliage are subtlety in place. Curve benches are placed in shady spots.
The colors of silver-gray, pale yellow and white are prominent in moon gardens (evening primroses, evening stock, and night-blooming cereus) where evening fragrances bridge the consciousness and the subconscious.
Cancer rules the stomach, breasts, diaphragm, and liver. Plants aid digestion or the subconscious. Example of plants that support this sign live by the water and are rich in potassium; hydrangeas, night jasmine, peppermint, and saxifrage. Trees share their sap – birches, limes, maples and palms.
Leo, (July 23rd – August 22nd) is ruled by the Sun and the 5th house of creativity.
Gregarious and dominant of all the signs. Leo are leaders or want to be. Warm, loving, strong, confident and generous are part of their nature. They think and act big.
The mindset “Right Plant, Right Place” firmly applies to a Leo. Endless shoppers excited by the many offerings, They will go crazy in a nursery. A very practical friend needs to watch the selections and the budget. Ensuring growth and blooms for their future home. Unless they have a conservatory, remind them to hire a consultant.
These are the beautiful folks, loving beauty and sunshine. Their sacred space entrance faces the south to capture the sun’s vitality. Always the most beautiful in the area. (Biltmore, Balmoral, Versailles). It will contain amazing seating areas. Wide areas for walking, flowerbeds of red and pink roses, and French-style groves. Massive and extensive displays grace front walkways and patio beds. A fire or outdoor stove or tiki lights, fairy lights surround the seating area.
The plants are large heart-shaped leaves or a radiating shape. The flowers for July are the larkspur and water lily and August gladiola and poppies. The colors are bright, large, warm and aromatic. They lift the spirit with their strong shades of orange, reddish-orange, or yellow can be found in the metal gold and copper. The artist Klimt and his ‘Golden Phase’ is an excellent example. Use in structure, art and you can divert Leo’s symbols by planting sunflowers or orange trees.
Leo rules the heart and circulation and the plants that regulate blood pressure. Examples of plants that fall under this sign are angelica, barley, garlic, ginger, junipers, marigolds, mulberries, peonies, and sunflowers.
Virgo, (August 23rd – September 22nd) ruled by Mercury and the 6th House of work.
These individuals are modest and shy and witty, interested in socializing and understanding those around them. Diligent and meticulous at work.
An Earth sign ruled by Mercury, Goddess of the Grain is the traditional sign of the harvest. An excellent gardener with deft hands and capacity to work hard. A thinking caretaker, before beginning a project, a plan is devised. Then revisited along with the overall strategy. Gloves are always near during the growing season.
Their sacred space faces west. It is tidy and structured. Well-trimmed lawns with wide paths or a prairie will stimulate Virgo’s intellect. Everything is planted along straight lines, and hedges are trimmed neatly. Rows of vegetables are neat and trim. Integrated pest management and organic weeds are activated by this sign. Circular flower beds and potted plants condense and join energy. A circular metal table surrounded by round-backed chairs as an invitation to sitting and taking a break.
The flowers for Virgo August gladiola and poppies and September morning glory and asters. The plants are finely divided leaves or petals emitting subtle odors. Small flowers of bright hues in blues, brown, green, and yellows.
This sign is a big believer in herbal remedies. The most beneficial plants for Virgo are high in potassium and help to calm the nerves. Examples of plants for this sign are buttercups, fennel, endive, hazelnuts, narcissus, pansies, and walnuts.
Libra, (September 23rd – October 22nd) is ruled by Venus and the 7th house of balance. Fall begins.
The sign of balance and harmony, individuals are charming, calm and kind. Rule by Venus (beauty and love), they will create a wonderful sacred space that is made for social activities. The space must be organized, semi-formal and under cover with amenities nearby.
An Air sign, the plants are light, lovely flowers of extraordinary beauty and gorgeous scents. The herbs are fragrance or exhibit sensory quality. Most fruit blossoms are ruled by the planet Venus. Trees and plants have small, delicate leaves, because they’ll make music when the breeze wafts through them.
The flowers for Libra in September are morning glory and asters. October is calendula and cosmos. Colors range from bright to subtle shades. They are blue, mauve or soft hues, ranges of green-white to pinks.
A delicate sign that appreciates its sacred space but will need to hire help to form a place of grace and refinement. A graceful statue or shiny gazing ball is the perfect final touch for this garden, as even-handed Libra is attracted to both natural and manmade beauty. personification of the intelligence. They are really very attractive. A cooking area nearby that is melted into the scene.
Libra rules the kidneys and the adrenals. Plants help with blood pressure and lift the spirit bringing balance to these areas of the body. Examples of plants for this sign are apples, bergamot, cherries, primrose, strawberries, rose (white) trilliums, and violets.
Scorpio, (October 23rd – November 21st) ruled by Pluto and the 8th House of deep transformation, rebirth, regeneration and the transformation of energy.
Individuals born under this sign are complex and intense (of all the signs). They are powerful and passionate, very strong willpower, amazing ability to persuade, and deep emotions. Not a follower and neither are the plant behavior of this sign.
Mars and Pluto co-rule this sign. The plants under this water sign are found in remote places or underground. They are vigorous, spicy or bitter and may have thorns. Unique in colors, that can appear green and dark all at once, midnight blue, red, dark red, maroon, turquoise or purple.
The flowers for Scorpio are in October calendula and cosmos and November the chrysanthemum. Scorpions have a flair for drama and enjoy eye-catching plants and flowers. Vines cling and trail, plants appear wild and will thrive, they partner well with Nature.
Unique sacred spaces that are entered from the north with mysterious nooks and recesses. A water feature like a bird bath or fountain is always favored for the space. Curved paths. There is always a plan, successive plantings are a key requirement.
Scorpio rules reproductive organs. Plants that fall under this sign anthurium, basil, blackthorn, mushrooms, rhubarb, stinging nettles and woad.
Sagittarius, (November 22nd – December 21st) ruled by Jupiter and the 9th house of discovery and expansion.
Sags depict the combination between man and horse (Centaurs) displaying intellect and strength. Individuals are strong, independent and energetic. They are open-minded and always seeking new adventures. Optimistic individuals that can charge one with positive emotions.
Jupiter is the most bountiful of planets, plants need space to grow. They are large, conspicuous, and have a pleasant scent. Wildly spreading out and seeming free. This planet rules annuals that produce flowers all summer. Many species of evergreens that shows their majesty. Jupiter’s influence is to get one to looking upward to capture the sky’s latest visions.
The flowers for Sagittarius are in November chrysanthemum and in December are holly, ivy and poinsettia. Floral arrangements in worship services are under the domain of Jupiter. The flowers that adorn altars perfectly suits your spiritual aspirations, and carmine encourages the expression of your inner fire. Colors are cobalt-blue, deep purple, light or purplish-blue, purple, or tan.
They view sacred spaces as having a piece of nature in the home. A physically strong sign that does not shun physical work. One may even mention audacity when referring to their understanding of gardens. Comfortable wooden Adirondack chairs and a long picnic table part of the seating area while viewing the outdoors.
The plants support the liver, are high in the mineral silica, and promote a positive frame of mind and expansion. Examples of plants for this sign are bamboo, cattail, dahlias, gladiolas, Indian grass, oatstraw and passionflowers.
Capricorn, (December 22nd – January 19th) ruled by Saturn and the 10th house of details and structure. Winter starts.
Individuals are stable, caring and reliable. Deeply rooted and comfortable when everything is in its place. Independent, disciplined and serious. Appreciative of beauty and luxury. Never amateurish they will plan, review and review again. An organized soul the plantings are formal in their sacred space. They are comfortable having space for leisure activity. A formal patio covered in flagstones with a square table surrounded by well-back chairs.
The vegetable gardens are field-stone pathways between neat rows. They do their research and start from the ground up – literally. As a conscientious and disciplined steward, they plan for the long season and year-round activity.
The plants are shade tolerant or will grow in extremely dry conditions. Simple shapes that are hardy, long-lived with short bloom times. The thorns are elongated and can stand severe cold. Growing where they want, they are woody, knobby and produce annual rings. Saturn rules plants with long lives and slow growth. He rules vegetation that taste bitter or acrid, and poisonous plants that are deadly and medicinal powerful.
The flowers for Capricorn are in December – holly, ivy and poinsettia and in January – carnations and snowdrops. Colors of black, blue, blue-violet, chocolate-brown, dark gray, indigo, gray shades.
A sign that uniquely reflects the nature life-cycle of plants. To bloom from the depths of the dark, Capricorn and Saturn provide the cold, dry and quiet spaces. Then follows to drying and finally the withering and dying process.
Capricorn rules the skeleton. Saturn rules the skin, bones and teeth. Plants treat broken bones, strains, sprains or bruises. Examples of plants for this sign are comfrey, cucumbers, mullein, oaks, pole beans, radicchio, solomon’s seal, tulips, and Japanese white pines.
Aquarius, (January 20th – February 18th) ruled by Uranus and the 11th House of Friendship and personal goals.
Aquarians fiercely independent and eccentric. The sign of originality, sacred spaces are built on inspiration. As an Air sign ruled by Uranus, plants will grow in unusual places and may vary in appearance wanting to be realistic or inspirational.
The plants may grow a bit wonky with strange scents. They must show your originality and how they are placed. The ability to rejuvenate, meditate, and nurture your humanistic and pacifist tendency works in hand by the principle of Zen garden. Trees stand strong and embrace the winter cold.
The flowers for Aquarius January carnations and snowdrops and February violet and primrose. Colors are turquoise and violet. Sacred spaces are easy-care meandering plants alongside walkways and patios. Water features to offer those moments of tranquility.
Uranus rules sudden changes. It oversees plants that help with circulation, relax the nervous system, or promote inspiration. Example of plants for this sign are cinnamon, cloves, elderberry, kava kava, rowan, snow peas, and thyme.
Pisces, (February 19th – March 20th) co-ruled by Neptune and Jupiter and the 12th House of Mysteries (subconscious mind, dreams, instincts)
Pisceans are caring, generous and compassionate, tending to follow the heart rather than the mind. They love greenery of any sort and will garden by intuition and their unique relationship with Nature.
Another sign that needs to hire help to do the heavy lifting in a sacred space. A member of the Water elements and ruled by co-ruler Neptune, a water feature is a must combine with artistic flair. Impressionist style is theme for Pisces.
Individuals can sense change and the plants are no different. Large and graceful, and hard to find. Rainbow of colors soft sea greens, purple or red-violet are brilliantly placed at the front and alongside walkways. The flowers for Pisces are the February violet and primrose and March’s daffodils.
Many of the plants grow near water promoting health, awareness and positivity. Their healing plants abilities are to strengthen the immune system or have an antibacterial effect. The herbs are helpful in dream work or bringing physical concepts to the next plane. Examples of plants of Pisces ruled by both Neptune and Jupiter are coffee tree, hops, lupines, melons, mosses, orchids, skullcap, and willows.
“Colours also have healing properties and with their constant movement across the surface of the planet they created energy fields. It was within these areas that life started. “
Andre Norton – The Legend of the Fairy Stone
Colors are fantastic, interesting and complex. They play a valuable role in the design, the contribution of or the meaning of your sacred space. They create harmonious environments and nowhere is that greater than within the plant kingdom. Healing is their purpose no matter the shade, tone or use; always at work to help us, the earth or healing nearby areas.
The Book of Durrow is one of the first books on documented color dating back to the seventh century. Like its more famous cousin, The Book of Kells, they are both known for their design work. The colors from these books are ever present in plants and sacred spaces.
- Blue representing the sky, healing & positive energy
- Green representing nature, restfulness, fertility & growth
- Purple representing the ethereal, mindful awareness & calming
- Red representing intensity, inner-strength & a boost of energy
- Orange representing fire, moving forward & socializing
- Gold representing the sun, protection & knowledge
- Yellow representing intuition, illumination & new ideas
In the enlightenment period Sir Isaac Newton used a prism in 1666 to discovering the electromagnetic spectrum. The prism showed sunlight is not one color but many. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
In the 1940’s Max Luscher developed the field of color psychology. His color therapy used red, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, gray and black. He could tell a person’s stress level and psychological make-up by the order the color chosen or if paired with another color.
Edgar Cayce believed that everything is energy and radiates a heat signature that produces colors. He could the energetic colors around people, and he believed each color represented an aspect of that person.
Nature and color have long been a part of healing. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians believed in healing with colors. In the western world these beliefs are rapidly finding their way into sacred spaces. Horticultural therapy is one modularity being integrated into hospital and healing spaces. Forest bathing, used by the Japanese has gain popularity. A terrific practice, I would hike in the winter too many great natural pools, coming away refreshed.
Each of us have experience the impact of color. The sudden smile, finding yourself in a reflective mode, feeling cool on a hot day or warmth on a cool winter’s day. In a sacred space they work hard, often taking us out of our immediate thoughts. Changing our mood, provide healing or joy and challenging our observation skills.
Color and direction play a role in designing spaces. Indigenous tribes have great insight into working with nature and individuals. Feng Shui is well-known for using these attributes in designing or restoring sacred spaces. The combination can create a relaxing corner for reflecting, make small spaces seem larger, showcase a particular spot or bring areas together.
General tips on color in a sacred space:
- Show your personality
- When buying plants, especially annuals – look at them as you do with paint swatches. Notice the slightest change in shade, structure or texture. Even containers play a role. I always tell my clients to take photos of their favorite combinations. It is not unusual to use the same plants year after year as long as they are available.
- Using the color wheel and understanding each neighbor’s relationship always help. No worries if you want to use either end of the spectrum and put them in the same container. Go for it.
- The cool colors of blue, purple, green or white reflect light and stand out in shade or cloudy skies. These colors create depth.
- The hot colors of red, orange, and yellow jump out. Highly recommended for sunny locations. These colors make spaces look closer, a great use for folks who are house bound.
- The warm colors of black, brown, copper, or pink can make a space sizzle and come alive. They are often the supportive cast, letting the other colors shine about them.
- As I have matured in my planting skills and continual downsizing, I have appreciated the technique of repeating the same color in my containers and for clients. That quiet flow they create. Increasing what the eye and mind see.
- I love texture and color and many a winter and spring container is based on texture.
- Do use your art pieces?
Most importantly this is your sacred space, use the colors that work for you. Change when you want to and enjoy.