There is a root of peace within this Earth.
Plant it in my heart, my home, my land.
That it may grow deeply.
And then will it branch and give shade,
Then will it blossom for the lovers,
And yield fruit that none will lack.
Then will the old sit under its shade and be honored.
And the babies play and laugh into its leaves.
— Psalm 50, ©Earth Psalms by Angela Magara
In most spiritual traditions, the garden is viewed as a holy place. Since the dawn of civilization, gardens have been sacred sites for the invocation of the Gods, for meditation, inspiration, and reflection. It is no accident that in medieval times, monastery gardens were both utilitarian places that provided food and medicine, as well as havens for prayer. In Japan and China, gardens offer peace, privacy, and a place for meditation. And in the folklore of ancient Britain, magical associations are given to nearly every tree, herb, bush and flower of the wayside and the garden.
For the garden is a magical threshold between the wildness of Nature, and the structures of humankind. People through the centuries have discovered that, out among the potatoes and lilacs, their gardens are a place of power and enchantment. From there, we can observe the effect of the Moon, the Sun, and the shifting influences of the zodiac on the growth and decline in Nature. In gardens, we can contact the beings from other realms who may otherwise be elusive or unknown to us. There, we find the faerie races that are most comfortable with human interaction, as well as the devas and elementals who are associated with the subtle creative forces of the Earth Herself.
“Deva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “body of light.” This may or may not accurately describe your own experience of the energies that dwell in your garden, but it is a useful term. Machaelle Wright, the co-creator of the Perelandra Center for Nature Research in Virginia, has written extensively about her work with the devas, the energies of the land and life that guide her. She describes them as an “energetic presence which I don’t normally see, but can feel and inwardly hear. The devic level is the architectural dynamic within nature that creates the blueprints for all form.”
Tomorrow, I’ll share some more about her work with the devas of her garden, and how you can begin to contact these energies, as you work with your garden. For whether it is a container garden in a sunny urban window, or generous beds in a yard, when you are working with the Green Allies, you are working with other, aware beings and magic.