Magickal and healing herb gardens are sanctuaries of the soul. Indeed, any garden is a magickal on to the Witch.
The earliest formal record of gardening dates back to a stone tablet from Mesopotamia circa 4000 BC. It describes how Enki, the Sumerian God of Water, provided fresh water to the dry land and thereby produced fruit trees and fields from a desert like land. By 2250 BC, the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon were well established in the capital of Sumeria. These are considered to be the forerunners of gardens today.
In Ancient Persia, (modern day Iraq), gardens were the playground of life. They serves as a place of solace, a gathering place for friends and family, and a formal extension of the home outdoors. These gardens were called “Paradise” and were thought to be an earthly view of what heaven must be like. They were cultivated carefully and tended to lovingly. Due to the desert conditions of the area, the gardens were usually enclosed by high walls. Many had aqueducts installed to maintain the irrigation needed for the gardens to thrive. Most often these gardens were formed into a square pattern and further divided into four smaller squares. Fountains and water channels were an important part of the architecture of the gardens. The gardens were said to have two of every fruit tree and plenty of places for sitting so that one could rest and enjoy the view.
Zen gardening is considered an art form by many. A Zen garden is a dry-landscape style of garden consisting of sand trails raked into intricate patterns. Often, the trails are not made of sand at all but rather a crushed type of granite, a very fine gravel. Many times the gravel pathways circle a rock or bush. The purpose of Zen gardening (the raking of the gravels) is to provoke contemplation and meditation. These gardens are thought to be very peaceful and restful to the eyes.
Traditional Japanese gardens invoke a sense of peace and tranquility in both the gardener and the person lucky enough to view the garden. According to the principles of Japanese gardening, each element introduced must be something that could occur naturally. For example, you can find a waterfall in nature, but not a fountain. Hence, a fountain has no place in a traditional Japanese garden.
Knot gardens are by far one of the most fantastical types of magickal gardens. They can weave a spell right into the landscape. A know garden is a very formal, precise arrangement of plants and tress. To create a magickal knot garden, choose an herb that corresponds to your intent and plant it in a pattern. The pattern can be as intricate or a simple as you wish. It can be a symbol, meant to reaffirm the spell, or any pattern that you like.
The ancient Romans brought their gardens inside the home and invented the atrium. Many times the atrium was placed in the center of the home. The area was left roofless and was usually surrounded by walkways. It may have held reflecting pools, herbal gardens and fruit trees.
One of today’s most popular magickal-gardening practices is moon gardening. This technique uses an ancient system of moon phases and astrological placements to calculate planting and harvesting times. In a moon garden, white and night blooming flowers are the main ornaments.
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