Updated: Nov 26, 2019
In our little garden in the Southern Suburbs, is where I sun bathe, where we earth every morning while we do our pranayama practices and have our breakfast, where we harvest herbs and medicine from, where I offer my moon blood every month at the garden altar, to a San Pedro, and where I do ceremony, working with the elementals.
Over the course of years, bags and bags of compost have been worked into the soil and bags of bark used for mulching, to create optimal soil conditions for worms and microbes to thrive in, as well as bags and bags of river stones and shells have been collected to create structure (landscaping) and for mulch respectively. Big chunks of Rose quartz are lying around everywhere in the garden along with petrified wood and clear quartz picked up in Namibia, and other crystals bought locally. What brings me so much delight is to also see how many materials I can recycle to make garden décor with, adding beading with semiprecious stones and using a lot of wind chimes to create an otherworldly feel. I even get giddy when I hang up glass crystal balls that refract sunlight into fairy light spots and rainbow colours all around...
Because it is also an organic garden, it means that on some days at night time, especially after it has rained, snails or caterpillars need to be collected and released in their new home at Newlands forest, or Neem oil needs to be sprayed on plants to combat aphids. This seems like tedious endeavors, when toxic chemical alternatives are available, however, reaping the psycho-spiritual benefits from conscious gardening requires some fundamental Earth-honouring and ahimsa steps. Functional medicine doctors explain that one of the many benefits of using no chemicals, is that you can expand the diversity of your gut microbiome by picking herbs close to the soil, collecting some friendly micro-organisms on the way to the plate (using it in raw foods).
Placing our hands on in the earth and getting them “dirty” with soil when we garden and witnessing garden plants grow in accordance with the cycles and seasons, are the easiest ways to bring balance to one’s root chakra and to feel held, nourished and supported by life, because we connect directly with Mother Earth and her abundant bounty. The moment we make that commitment to love and care for our bodies as best we can, to be on a path of self-authority and -sustainability, and to be a steward of the Earth, She gives back to us in ways we never thought possible in this beautiful reciprocal relationship! When meet plants with humility, respect, and a clear and simple presence of mind, we can communicate on some level with the plant kingdom, and vice versa. The only way to experience this for yourself, is to become curious and to take that leap in cultivating a living relationship with plants and the Earth.
Once you have established some connection, you do not even need a big space to grow a number of plants: if you have a balcony with pots available, or a small patch of garden, see how you can apply some form of permaculture in planting herbs which you can use on a daily basis. For example, from our garden we:
🍀 Make smudge bundles using Lavender, Rosemary, Rue, Mpepho, and African Sage. 🍀 Make tea from Apple mint, Chocolate mint Pineapple Sage, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lavender, Geranium, and Chrysanthemum and Camomile flowers. 🍀 Use culinary herbs for cooking: Organum, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Basil, Fennel, Dill, Rocket, Stevia, French Tarragon, Turmeric, Wilde Els, Wild garlic, Spring onion, Lemon Grass, and Parsley. 🍀 Harvest fruits and vegetables: celery, spinach, kale, gooseberries, mulberries, peppers, artichokes, and Spekboom. 🍀 Use plants for specific ailments: Wildedagga, Balbo Nella, Aloe, and Rue. 🍀 Use plants for ceremonial purposes: connecting with the male plant spirit of San Pedro, and the goddess plant spirits of Santa Maria Marijuana and Tulsi. 🍀 Are in the process of planting herbs to make different yoni steam blends with, drawing on herbal knowledge from Chinese Medicine.
May we heal ourselves and our planet, starting at home, with our gardens….