Healing in the Garden

You reap what you sow, so it goes don’tcha know.  I’’m a seed that my dad planted back in 1969, there’s five of us in all, but I was the first one to sprout. . .

This is the beginning of the book that I’m writing and I’m realizing that I haven’t really spoken much about my personal journey and why this garden is so important to me.  I hope it serves other women and in turn our whole community and greater world circle.

I was raised on a flower farm in Beverly, Ma, which is North of Boston. So I get my connection to plants and flowers from my dad and my spiritual connection feels like it comes more from my mom  who was a missionary in Mongolia for 10 years.  She would rather read a book than plant something. My Grandmother, my dad’s mom, Nana Sweeney really nurtured my nature loving.  We would take walks in the back woods and find lady slippers and pick fiddle heads and take ‘em home and stem ‘em up.

Although the first few years of my life were pretty serene and peaceful, my childhood was not an easy one.  There were a lot of bumps in the road.  I don’t really talk about these things too much, but they have left indelible markings on my soul that have really been informing my work with women.  I won’t go into detail here, but the events that had such profound effects were being molested by a creepy man when I was 6 and then my stepmother moved into my house when I was 8 and taught me about jealousy rage, violence and separation.

A lot of my time here on this planet has been learning how to let go of attachments to the energy cysts that seem to persist in our bodies when we have gone through trauma. Coming to terms with letting go of people who mean harm to me and my own internalization has taught me how to rewrite the stories that I’ve carried in my body about how I’m not worthy or bad or should not speak up.  That has been the key to transformation.

After my Nana passed on I really connected more with my spiritual journey which was not about going to church on Sundays.  For me church was always the woods or the ocean or the flowers.  I had started circle dancing with some folks on the NorthShore and that felt like “church” in a way. I moved out to Western Mass to volunteer at Kripalu where I started to reconnect the dots with my body-mind and spirit.  Yoga and Dance really helped me to claim myself again as a sovereign being and I started to express all of the things that were inside just waiting for an outlet.  I became a YogaDance Instructor, Reiki Practioner and Massage Therapist and set up a private practice in Northampton for 12 years.   Creating and holding sacred space for others to do their healing work has been a very rewarding service for me and I’m very thankful to all of my clients who I’ve connected with over the years.  In 2012, my dad passed away and the land that my grandparents had purchased as a homestead for our family was sold.  Luckily for me in 2013 a vision of a healing garden came to me.  I realize now, looking back that the seeds had been planted long ago.

The fall of 2013 was the beginning of my last year of my priestess apprenticeship in the SOPHIA wisdom school.  As I sat there on the couch that winter I was dreaming about all sorts of things, gatherings of women, yurts for teaching, red tents, healing circles with plants.  Tulsi was a plant that we had been learning about and a friend introduced me to the Organic India Tulsi Rose tea.  It’s a fine gentle comforting tea to keep you company and nurture the soul.  As I was dreaming I was thinking about gardens.  I had community gardens in the past and was always led to create a circle in the center. My first journey planting medicinal plants was back in Maryland in 1996.  I planted valerian, wormwood, motherwort.  New Year’s 2014 I had gotten one of those artists journals, you know the black hardcover book with the blank pages inside. . . I just wrote and sketched and set intentions for how to use my energy best to create beauty and peace for myself and others on this planet that we share.

One day on the couch I was drawing circular gardens and the idea of combining tulsi and roses in a garden for healing through rituals, dance, meditation and music was born.  My first blog post talks about the miraculous way that the garden came into manifestation and the kind people, Janice Sorensen and Michael Hoberman who said yes, when I asked if I could plant a garden on their land.  I don’t think at the time I clearly communicated the score of the project when I said garden, but the life of the garden is unfolding day by day.

There are so many levels of peace and healing that I feel from this garden. . . the early morning garden covered with dew as the sun begins it’s rise out of the east is a different feeling than I get from when I sit in the garden on a warm summer night watching the full moon cross the sky.  The healing for me comes from digging in the earth, feeling the soil and working directly with the plants as well as the beauty that is created by the flowers.  We all have different sensitivities and at this time on the planet more and more people are becoming sensitive to more subtle energies.  When we are mere babies we are attuned to a certain frequency that is our very own energetic signature, then life piles on events and social conditioning and the frequency gets somewhat distorted.  Through spiritual practice and deep listening we are able to tune into our unique essence or Sacred Soul Song if you will.  Through my own healing journey working with energy and focusing on my connection with the land and the plants I have learned to connect with my intuition more and I can sense the gentle energy of the flowers and often feel the vibrations emitted by different energy bodies.  I invite you to come for a healing session, a meditation or class, purchase some rose petal elixir or some tulsi tea and begin to feel the essence of the flowers.  My greatest desire is that this garden through it’s events, bounty and it’s simple existence of being creates peace, beauty and healing for myself and others.

We have already hosted several concerts including, 56-String Duo, Radiolaria and the Gong Temple.  We’ve hosted a women’s weekend, weekly meditations and other sacred gatherings and I plan on running some programs for summer 2018; Goddesses in the Garden,  a 7-week women’s circle to encourage our use of our intuition and our connection with the plants and caring for the world around us as well as the Sing Your Sacred Soul Song class which is a circle that uses writing prompts, vocal chakra activation exercises and the spirit of Tulsi to rewrite the stories that have been holding us back from being our best selves.

I hope that you get a chance to visit the garden this summer.  I will announce the women’s classes and events here on the blog and we will also host a few events for all genders to come together in the spirit of peace.

Until then,

Deep peace of the running wave to you!

Sulis

Spring has Sprung

This year for the first time I started seeds in a greenhouse!  They are all doing very well.  Tulsi and Lavender are coming along as well as some colorful calendula, lupines, nasturtiums, morning glories and more.  I was hoping for some fiery Galliardia plants for the beginning of the rainbow pathway, but it’s difficult to get started. . . so we’ll see.

I hope that you got to see some of the very first flowers a few weeks ago.  The white drooping Snow Drops, Glory of the Snow and yellow, purple and white crocuses or also purple croci.  I was able to make some flower essences of these special flowers at the full moon.  They really embody the energy of beginnings and pushing through. . . pushing through those hard cold places.  I’m seeing parallels in my personal life right now where there have been some stuck places that I just have not really wanted to look at all that squarely before now.  Always lingering below the surface. . . there, but too scary for me to actually shine the light on.  But now, finally it’s time to embrace the hard things, the cold things I’ve been keeping hidden in the back of the freezer for so long.  We are thawing out and ready to bloom now.

snowdrop-flowers-spring-flower-plant.jpg    Snow drops have an energetic signature of threes.  Three petals make up the tube and then 3 more are drooping down.  I’ve also been working the dynamics of threes lately.  For me the old pattern of the three was one of being left out or feeling the energy of two against one, but these days that we’re living in now are days of radical evolutionary change where people are coming together and healing old patterns and I can say for myself that I am learning about the beauty of relating in groups of three.  Functional threes that are supportive of one another.  I’m currently in two writing groups that have 3 people each.  It gives us the intimacy of a very small group and very personal attention, but maybe a hair less intense than say two people. They say that the most stable tables have three legs and we have long been indoctrinated into the concept of father, son and Holy Ghost. . . a triangle with the apex at the top is like ascending into heaven and with the apex downward is like bringing the holiness to the earth. . . when these two triangle combine together we get a merkaba. . . which is seen as a symbol for creating heaven here on earth.  There are many flowers that combine the patterns of differentiated threes, like when we look at the crocus or an iris we see the contrast of the shape of the inner 3 petals overlaid on the outer 3. …. but the snowdrop is the trailblazing first of the symbolic 2 in the flower world that comes up in the Spring and as such it has a gentle energy of being coupled with the energy of that first emergence and penetrating the soil. . . as the pioneer, the snow drop uses a gentle force. . .its not like the daffodils which says, “hey everybody, I’m here”. . . snow drop is unassuming. . . you really have to get down to earth and underneath to see the center of this flower and in a way that’s what its doing, it’s pulling us down to earth to bring that awareness to our ground cover once again that has been covered by snow for so long.  Here I am, let’s ease into spring together. . . be gentle, be penetrative but in a soft gentle way.

29570330_10155748442778882_2093040096864264505_n     The Glory of the Snow is a blue flower that has 5  blue petals with white centers. Its almost a little like that Maxfield Parrish blue. A little more audacious than the snowdrop, it provides a beautiful contrast to the white snow. Little stars on the ground reminding us of the stars in the sky bridging heaven and earth. Five is the star, at least the traditional star in our culture.  The five pointed star shines on our flag and when we look at that daVinci sketch of the man in the circle  For me 5 is reminiscent of family.  I have 3 sisters and one brother. I’m still learning how to work with the combo of 5.  Five also reminds me the 5 Chinese Elementals. Five can seem a little overwhelming to me at times.  I dream of fields of saturated colors and there are some places where I’ve seen a good showing, but always on the lookout for the beauty and welcome you to share your sightings of flowers.  Hopefully we can continue to create more and more beauty around us and inspire others to see the beauty that we see.  This world certainly could use more beauty  in it.

29595565_10155748442793882_7311747528650994330_n     Most of us are pretty familiar with croci.  We mostly see these as the first flowers in Spring.  Usually 3 or six petaled, they usually have 3 stamen.  Stamen are the pollen producing parts of the flowers that rest at the center of the flower.  I think it was the end of March when I was walking through Smith College here in Northampton and spotted a huge patch of purple crocuses under a big oak tree.  They are a gentle flower often emerging along with snow bringing us joy and happiness as we are reminded after a long winters rest that Spring flowers are nearing.

I will make the essences and Rose Petal Elixir available for sale as well as selling some plants at a local farmer’s market.  Please stay posted for what we’re cooking up here in the garden this summer.

Much love!