Garden as Metaphor, Gardener as Priestess

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Working in the gardens I tend is excellent exercise, provides healthy fresh food and affords me more opportunities to touch the sacred soil. I came away this morning from a general clean-out of beds in the Summer garden and was a sweaty, stinky mess. The wheel barrow was filled to overflowing with leggy catnip and run-away blackberry canes. A blighted Early Girl tomato went into a bag–because of the blight, she can’t be composted with everything else.

(And as I type this, I’m realizing there’s a mound of green bean plants on the back stoop. I was supposed to pull the last of the beans before they go into the compost. With any luck, the possums and raccoons will be otherwise engaged and I can do that in the morning.)

Last night, the women who tend the Women’s Garden did some planning and dreaming while sitting around the brazier in the Crone’s Courtyard. We laughed and ranted and could almost taste next year’s crops, wondering how we can get the excess out to people in our community who need fresh food.

For years now, I have written and talked about Tower Time. I have this deep knowing that we are living through momentous times, times in which we are experiencing the collapse of ancient systems that have plagued humans and the Earth for far too long. Tower Time is hard and complex and, frankly, a little scary. We have been talking for some time about this as a Coming Attraction.

As I gazed into last night’s fire, I had another knowing. It’s here. The other shoe has fallen. The shit has hit the fan. The Abrahamic god, who has been a cipher for so long, has vanished from the firmament. At last. At last.

The hard work today–in the temple of my garden–was as sacred as setting the altars at Mother Grove. Pitchfork in hand and wheel barrow at the ready–no less the act of a priestess than lighting the incense and replacing the used tealights. My robe is grubby too big pants and filthy garden clogs. My priestess crown a blue handkerchief drenched in my sweat. My holy book is the rich soil. My choir that neighbors’ laying hens.

When we see it all as sacred, we all are the clergy who tend it. When we love it as the Divine, we will be willing to fight for it. In the face of idiotic politicians and greedy investors, we know the worth of this thing we love, that we honor, that we worship.

Take your ordination in the rains from heaven and the winds of change that have gathered around us. Let it come, this new world. As I have written before–these are the times we are made for.

Fear not.

Making Merry


The whole world seems so sour and fraught these days. I have spent many good long hours in one or the other of the gardens I tend, weeding and harvesting. The dirt always seems to be a good tonic for the blues.

Well, that, and wine.

August has come in with good grace this year–gentle skies and soft weather but with a cool nip to the morning air that speaks of the autumn that is ready to unpack its bags at the door. Even as I pick the heavy ripe tomatoes from the Early Girl plant that is taller than I, the pang of their loss is lurking around the corner. I have eaten tomatoes every day for a week and breakfast has been buttery-crisp fried eggs on a base of sliced tomatoes several mornings this week.

It’s time to plan the fall and winter garden but I’m not quite ready yet. I did put in some late-ish beans and cucumbers but the lettuces and other greens that will fare well enough over the winter must wait a few more weeks for their planting.

It is my responsibility to create this month’s Full Moon ritual at Mother Grove and I will honor this queer feeling of grief with an altar to Melancholia and a chance for my community to sit in a place of quiet and healing, if only for an hour or so.