Tellus, Holy Mother, source of nature
Queen and Goddess I invoke you:
You are all-powerful and my needs are so small.
Give me what I ask and in exchange,
I will give you my thanks, sincere, and from my deepest heart.
— from the Tellus Mater, ancient Roman prayer to the Earth
If you are an avid gardener, you probably do not have any one time that delineates last year’s garden from this. Life in our gardens is an ongoing process, and at any given moment, there will be plants that are on the wane, while at the same time, others are beginning to peek through the soil, or come into their fullness.
But at some point, every year, it is a joyful and wise choice to have a small ceremony of blessing, to celebrate the growing season in your garden. In the Northern hemisphere, Ostara is often a time of awakening the garden energies. But it is also true that for many of us, at Spring Equinox, there is still a great likelihood of frost and freezing temperatures, so we would not want to have planted our summer flowers or veggies then.
Beltane is also a splendid time for such a rite, but at that festival, most of us are less focused on the green world, and more on the enjoyment of our animal natures!
So now might be a lovely time to consider consecrating (or re-consecrating) your garden for the growing season. This is the first waxing moon since the Beltane Sabbat, so the upsurge in fertility, abundance, and growth is now firmly upon us. And today and tomorrow, the waxing Moon is in the sign of Cancer, one of the most fertile, lush signs of the zodiac for planting.
There are any number of enjoyable ways to make a rite of celebration for your garden. You might want to simply cast a Circle, and in sacred space, sprinkle an offering of corn meal, tobacco, or fertilizer (organic only, please!). And in my experience, the Green Allies always like to be sung to, so I recommend that chanting and singing should be done throughout. If you know an appropriate chant, great, but just making up a tune to go with whatever prayer words you may have is also fun and always appreciated.
Another suggestion is to purchase a new plant or packet of seeds, especially for this new beginning, and spend some time honoring and connecting energetically with them.
So before you stick them right in the ground, place them on your altar, if that’s feasible. Create sacred space and bless the new addition to your garden with all your love and hope for the coming season of growth. If you have seeds, hold them in your hands quietly for several minutes, feeling their texture, noting their size and weight in your palm. Let the energy and love within your body flow into them, and listen for their messages to you. Take your time, at least ten minutes of so. Consider where they may have come from, who their mother plant was, what landscape they were conceived in, who may have harvested them for you.
Similarly, if you have a seedling plant, while in your sacred Circle, spend time admiring its structure, the leaves, its smell, size, texture. Tenderly touch each leaf, and caress every stem, and bloom. Allow it to speak to you, let its energy touch your heart, as you send your own love into it.
Then, when you are ready, plant your new friends in a carefully prepared spot. As you do, be sure to sing to them. Give thanks to them for their beauty and willingness to live with you. Introduce them to the other plant beings who live nearby.
And then conclude your rites by walking through all of your beds, singing praises and welcoming the green life all around. Include the birds (who by this time, may well be singing along with you) and any other living beings and Ancestor spirits of the land. Notice if any of the plants or nearby animals have a message for you, or if you find yourself making promises or commitments.
Be sure to honor those in the days to come.