Creation and dedication of a Goddess Garden
A goddess garden is dedicated to the goddess of nature, and this is reflected in the garden’s landscape design.
A goddess garden may be small or large. The tiniest piece of green and even a balcony can be transformed into a goddess garden, becoming an ecotope in it’s own right, where bumble bees and butterflies find nourishing pollen in the calyxes of the flowers, and where the birds mix their joyful melodies into the humming tune of bee and bumble bee, as if giving thanks for being fed at this place, when winter covers the land with a mantle of freeze and snow.
In the heat of summer all our furry and feathered fellow beings may find fresh water to drink, and the birds enjoy bathing in their own bird bath.
An insect hotel offers a home to our six-legged fellow beings; bats and hedge hogs may find a comfortable room for their hibernation in your goddess garden, which is becoming bit by bit a paradisal sanctuary for all, who enter it.
The garden’s identity as a goddess garden may be made visible in the choice of plants.
All flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees are sacred to the Goddess, and many plants have this fact reflected in their names.
Inula helenium – elecampane – is sacred to Elen of the Ways.
Elderberry – sambucus nigrum – in German “Holunder” is sacred to Mother Hulda – “Frau Holle” and Her entourage.
A whole genus of herbs is sacred to the goddess Artemis: artemisia vulgaris – mugwort; artemisia absinthum – wormwood; artemisia abrotanum – southernwood, to mention only the most popular ambassadors of this genus.
All these are potent healing herbs, and folklore attributes several magical properties to them.
Oracle through a priestess of the goddess Isis:
“As a rambling rose grows upon cottage and temple walls, so like a rose does heart join with heart within My all-embracing Love. For the Love of the Mother penetrates through all spheres: the hearts of every creature, each plant, every atom. “
(Quoted from liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis by Olivia Robertson, vol. I, Dea – Rites and mysteries of the Goddess; rite 1; dedication of a shrine to the goddess Isis
The Queen of each garden is the rose. The majestic beauty and infatuating fragrance of roses accompanied the religion of the Goddess in Ancient Babylon, Egypt, Hellas and Rome.
Temples and altars were decorated with garlands of roses; and their fragrance lifted up the spirit of those, who assembled to honour the goddess.
In the folklore and magic of ancient Rome the rose is is seen as the most powerful hex breaker. This belief is reflected in the novel “The Golden Ass” by Lucius Apuleius, where he describes, how the rose from the temple of Isis, is possessing the power to restore the novel’s protagonist’s human shape after he had been transformed into a donkey, because he had used some witches’ magical ointment.
In christian symbology the rose is closely related to the virtue of compassion.
When the Christian god had asked the rose in paradise, if she had compassion for the humans, who have eaten the forbidden fruit, such having sinned, although they were living in such a beautiful garden, the rose answered in the affirmative.
In innumerable songs and poems the Holy Virgin is addressed as wearing a wreath of roses; she is addressed herself as “the heavenly rose”.
The rose is a most appropriate flower for your indoor and outdoor shrines and altars.
Entering a room, that is filled with the fragrance of a bouquet of roses, lifts up the spirit and opens the heart’s rose, thus preparing us for the communion with the goddess.
The sacred elements are present in our garden as the breeze, that carries the flowers’ fragrance, the warmth of the sun, the refreshing rain and the nourishing soil, in which our plants are rooting.
The element of water may be present in a little pond with a dabbling fountain.
The spirits of air love to play with wind bells and feather mobilès. I prefer the feather mobiles as the sound of wind bells may keep away the very shy birds.
According to the belief of Tibetan Buddhism the Windhorse is carrying the wishes and blessings, written on the prayer flags, through the air.
The centre of our outdoor shrine of the Goddess is a stone, that represents the sacred foundation stone of Her temple.
The representation of the Goddess may be a beautiful statue or a simple, symbolic piece of art.
Trust in the goddess and the spirits of the place. You may find a branch, that looks like a figure with arms uplifted, if you fix it in the ground. Archeologists have found so called “Stabgoetzen” – rod idols – in the sacred groves of the German tribes.
When we had been creating the sacred space in our temple’s Goddess Garden, I have found a big spiral shaped red-brick at our field’s border during a walk with the dogs. In the past century these bricks had been used as a decoration, set in the middle of the crest. A spiral – the sacred symbol of the Goddess and of the spiritual path in the Fellowship of Isis! I was so happy. This was a fitting symbol for Her sacred garden shrine.
So, when we had created Her garden, the first garden shrine, dedicated to the Goddess had a spiral as the symbol for the Goddess and the Isian current and a heap of stones from nearby sacred spots as a symbol for the spirits of the place.
At the beginning of each rite the sacred foundation stone is sanctified by sprinkling or pouring a bit of water on it.
According to the law of correspondences the foundation stone represents now the throne of the Goddess, who is invoked in our rite.
If we perform our daily rites here, we may experience the increase of healing energy, radiating from Her sacred throne.
We need to pay attention to the spirit of the place, the genius loci, too. In our garden we have a small heap of stones, which we have collected at several magical spots of the surrounding. Do not take stones, which belong to an archeological site!!!!! If the spirits want you to have a souvenir of such a site, they will surely present you with something – a feather, a strange shaped branch, etc. . To feed the spirit of the place you may sprinkle a bit of dried cereals. Pay respect to the local spirits by inviting them to your rite. This may be done by rattling a sistrum, ringing a bell or beating a drum.
At the end of the rite mention them explicitly in your blessing.
Some people love to populate their garden with statues of fairies, dragons, garden gnomes, etc., etc. . Once I had a conversation with Olivia about the phenomenon of huge gardening shops and grown up people buying the plastic copies of the inhabitants of the fairy world. We came to the conclusion that this conduct is the expression of the half forgotten longing for the Land of Heart’s Desire.
But the fairies, the gnomes, the dryads and the flower devis are all present in your goddess garden; and the dragon of earth is coiling in the subterranean realm.
So leave space for the fairies to dance in your magical garden instead of paving the place with the plastic and polyresin bestiarium from the garden deco shop.
From the ecological point of view it is expedient to choose one or two figures of wood, clay or marble or whatever stone.
Many items, which are part of the garden decoration assortment, can be handmade by ourselves.
Box trees make great perimeter fences for our flower beds, and it is real fun to make traditional perimeter fences of branches and twigs.
Be playful and creative! Your goddess garden is a living mandala!
For the dedication of a shrine to the Goddess and for our daily practice we may perform the rite of “Dedication of a shrine to the Goddess Isis” from “Dea – rites and mysteries of the Goddess”, volume I of the liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis by Olivia Robertson.
The whole liturgy as well as unpublished material from Olivia Robertson is to be found at the Fellowship of Isis central website, authorised by Olivia herself and beautifully composed by Linda Iles.
After i had found the group Goddess Gardens on fb and put out the information the group grew very fast, and goddess gardens grow like dandelions in spring.
There are gardens in Glastonbury, in London, all over Europe and USA.
Some are small, others large; a balcony in a city as well as a country garden, each being an oasis of love, beauty, attentiveness, and care, a refuge for our fellow beings, radiating peace reflecting Her divine beauty.
May Her gardens flourish and grow.