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Ancient Legends & Myths

Garden Wisdom

Your garden is a reflection of your inner spirit. Everything in nature is also found in you. Gardens come in all shapes, sizes and types, just as we do. The kind of garden you maintain and the kind of animals that like to visit can often reflect how well you are consciously using your creative energies and abilities. Below is some brief information about using plants and trees in your garden and some of the ancient practices of the old ones.



Trees and humans have had a relationship since the beginnings of human existence. They provide us with shelter, nutritious fruits, leaves, flowers and roots for food and medicine. They have given us wood to provide a fuel for our fires.

In Neolithic times ancient people understood the importance of the tree and gave it respect, offered it prayers and blessings and did not take them for granted. Ancient cultures remained close to nature. They believed that the tree was the central axle of the Universe and everything circulated around it. Trees are channels for the divine spirit. With its roots firmly planted in the ground and its branches spreading toward the sky, it reminds us that "as above, so below".

The old supersition of "knocking on wood" was originally practiced to ensure that no spirits were in a tree before it was cut down. In German folklore the kolbode were spirits that lived in the trees. When the tree was cut down, a piece was saved to carve into a figure so the spirit would have a piece of its orignal home in which to live. These pieces were shut up in wooden boxes and brought into the house. Only the owner was permitted to open it. If anyone else opened the box, untold damage would result. Children were warned not to go near them. Jack-in-the-boxes were made to scare children and remind them not to touch the real boxes.

Apple trees were symbols of fertility to the Ancient Greeks. They were sacred to Demeter. In Norse mythology Freya, the goddess of wisdom, walks through heaven dispensing golden apples to the gods which will give them wisdom and understanding. The Celts believed that apple trees grew in the Celtic paradise. In Arthurian legend, the Isle of Avalon is where Arthur passes after being mortally wounded. "Avalon" stems from the word apple (Welsh afallen, Scottish Gaelic abhal). This tree tells us that this is a time of joyful giving, hidden knowledge and that happiness and healing are at hand.

Ash Trees are trees with much mysticism. In Celtic mythology it has ties to the Irish Nuadu and Gwydion (in Welsh legend, the master druid). The link between the ash and druidry was confirmed with the finding on the isle of Anglesey of a first-century druid staff made from ahs, and decorated with a solar spiral. In Norse mythology it is the sacred tree Yggdrasil, upon which Odin sacrificed himself so that he might achieve higher wisdom. However, the Eddas describe this tree as "evergreen needle-ash" which is a metaphor for a conifer and therefore the ash has nothing to do with Yggdrasil. Also in Norse mythology, the first man was said to be made of ash wood. The Teutonic gods held council under the Ash every day. The Ash was sacred to Poseidon in classical Greece. The Ash tells us to combine strength and widom during times of sacrifice and to look for connections.

Beech trees message is that of a time for new expressions of ancient knowledge and to find power and nobility through speech and prayer. Celtic altars in the French Pyreness have been found. They were dedicated to the god Fagus, or "beech tree". Beech wood was one of the preferred woods used in divination sticks during the Iron Age.

Hawthorn trees, along with Hornbeam were often used to enclose and guard woodland sanctuaries. This tree is associated with the Welsh goddess Olwen, Cardea the Roman goddess of childbirth and Hera, Zeus' wife. The Hawthorn is a tree sacred to fairies. This tree teaches us that patience brings creative success.

Hazel trees are very magical trees. Their message is that it is time for transformation and to act on inspiration. In Celtic tradition it was associated with sacred wells, springs and the salmon. The Celts considered it a tree of knowledge. Hazel twigs and staffs were used as dowsing instruments. It was also associated with Arianrhad, the goddess of the stars.

Holly was sacred to the Druids. They kept it in their homes during the winter to provide a home for the "little people." It served as a protection from negativity. It is associated with the Welsh goddess Criddylad. It also represents the time when the days grow shorter and the god of the earht and the underworld reclaims the sun. His tree is the holly, which is linked to the spirit of vegetation, the Green Man. In medieval Christianity Jesus was associated with the holly and it made its way into church ceremonies. Holly's message is that of a time to become the spiritual warrior and be clear about purposes.

Lilac trees balance the spirit and intellect. Lilace trees are filled with fairy and elf activity. The fragance is considered magical. Lilac is a great healing spirit. It can also help to reveal to you past lives and how they are harmonized with your present.

Oak trees are the trees of truth. Their message is that of strength and endurance amd opening to new spirit forces. Bronze-Age Europe associated the oak tree with their weather gods. The oak was sacred to the Norse Thor, the Saxon Donar, the Celtic Taranis, the Roman Mars Silvanus and the Greek Zeus. The oak is a tree of truth. The mistletoe of the oak is magical. Mistletoe is th symbol of the feminine energy and sexuality. The mistletoe was a powerful herb of the Druis, used primarily for fertility and as an aphrodisiac.

Rowan trees are trees of vision, healing, pyschic powers and inspiration. The Rowan tress is associated with Norse Thor and the Irish Brigid. The Rowan alerts us to the need for developing discrimination, especially in balancing common sense with superstition. This is a tree of protection.

Willow's message is to be flexible and look for connections and trust your inner visions. This tree is associated with the Celtic goddess Brigid and the Greek Orpheus who brought to Greece the teacings of music, Natur3e and magic. Willow makes the best dowsing material. It was used to make Celtic harps. It was sacred to poets in Greece.

Flowers and Herbs

Throughout the centuries, Europeans made note of which plants were attractive to the fairies and which offered protection from them. Below is a list of flowers you may want to include in your garden.

Angelica, Basil, Buttercup, Bluebell, Carnation, Clover, Cowslip, Daisy, Dandelion, Dill, Foxglove (dangerous to pets and children), hathrone, Heliotrope, Gorse (fairy repellant), Hollyhock, Iris, Lavendar, Lilac, Lily, Lobelia, Marigold, Mistletoe (attracts unpleasant tree fairies), Morning Glory (repels unwanted night fairies), Muchsooms, Pansy, Plox, Primrose, Ragwort, Rose, Rosemmary, Sassafras, Shamrock, Snapdragons, Tulip, and Violet.

Messages from the Flowers & Herbs

Angelica - cause and effects become clear, look for protective spirit.

Buttercup - develop better self-worth, words have greater power.

Carnation - love is deepening; new opportunities for love.

Chrysanthemum - open the heart; healing and vitality growing

Cornflower - clairvoyance stronger, new life and energy.

Daffodil - focus on inner beauty; time for clarity of though; find a creative outlet for energies.

Daisy - nature spirits at hand; open to their contact for creative inspiration

Foxglove (Faerie Lantern)- stay groundedp imagination, secual energies powerful now.

Forget-Me-Knot- explore karmic connections and past from new perspectives.

Frangipani (plumeria)- have faith in yourself; aspire for more.

Geranium - new happiness and vitality; take advantage of new opportunities.

Gladiola- follow spiritual impulses now; pursue higher aspirations.

Hyacinth - overcome grief and jealousy; use gentleness as a power.

Iris - maintain hope; sense of peace restored, new birth at hand.

Lily- time of new birth; purity and humility win.

Lily of the Valley - awakenings of mother energies.

Marigold - words have healing power; sacrifice out of love is necessary.

Morning Glory - break old habits; be spontaneous

Pansy - think things through before acting.

Peony -healing and artistic abilities strong now.

Petunia - demonstrate proper behavior, be enthusiastic.

Rose - healing and love at hand; look for new birth.

Snapdragon - protection; assert your will.

Sunflower - time of happiness and well-being; healing energy strong.

Tulip - keep your feet on the ground, trust in your own efforts.

Violet - keep things simple; lucky opportunities about.

Zinnia - maintain childlike sense of humor; have courage.



December 21, 2014->

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