I’m posting today’s card a little later for those in the Northern Hemisphere but never mind – the sentiments still apply whatever day you read this. So, today’s card from the Enchanted Map Oracle deck by Collette Baron-Reid is Gentle Gardener. I love this card so much and it does remind me strongly of the season – we’ve just had Ostara/Easter and new life is springing up all over the place. We need to tend our physical gardens well, but also our spiritual gardens too. Here’s what the book has to say about this card:
Be your own person – be a conscious co-creator! The Gentle Gardener is visiting you at this moment in your life to remind you that your thoughts, feelings and beliefs create the reality of your experience. She is the embodiment of the energy within you that is sent out into the field of co-creation and ensures that all that you are is reflected in the world of form. Are you aware of your thoughts? What is their quality? Believe in limitless possibility and you will see miracles unfold. The Gentle Gardener guarantees the integrity of everything you send out into the world. Stay positive and expect a wonderous return. your garden is abundant with beauty.
Throughout my time in therapy I’ve heard it said many times ‘to be real’ and of course many of us didn’t know what that meant. I think actually it means different things to different people considering that each of us lives in a unique reality. For me ‘being real’ is about being authentic. That means being honest with myself about my feelings at any given time. As someone who suffers from clinical depression I often find it hard to be positive. However, the truth is like attracts like – it’s all about energy. If we manifest positive energy we will automatically attract it, and the same goes for negative energy too. This is a universal law. However, when you’re suffering from depression, clinical or otherwise it is often very hard to manifest any kind of positive energy. So what do you do then? That’s where being a gentle gardener comes in.
Being a gentle gardener means essentially being gentle with yourself while at the same time challenging yourself to move forward through the fog. No it’s not easy but nothing worth having is easily gotten. The challenges have to be positive (so no saying I must, I ought to, I should) and achievable. In fact it really doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant they are, the point is to work towards them in a gentle forward motion. There are times when, because of my difficulties with depression, I find it extremely hard to do the simplest of daily tasks. so that’s when I need to break these down into really mini chunks (think mini bite size here). I’ll give you an example, sometimes I cannot do my housework and it will be weeks before I can manage it. Of course the flip side is that the longer I leave it the harder it gets to do and the more depressed I am, which then causes me to have even less energy…and the whole thing becomes a horrid vicious cycle. So the answer here is to be gentle and realistic – instead of looking at the whole mess I take one room at a time and tackle that. Maybe even half a room. But the point is by chunking it down into manageable portions (challenges) I can make it and then I find I’ve actually accomplished something and that has a knock on effect on my mood in a positive way.
So what about our spirituality? Well we need to be a gentle gardener here too. Quite often I’ve heard witches beat up on themselves for not being able to participate in a ritual for some reason. It’s a problem for them to be regular at rituals. They feel so bad and maybe even wonder what the God and Goddess must think of them. This then has an effect on their spirituality and they find themselves depressed, and the whole thing becomes a chore that they want to do but can’t manage. First thing – spirituality is NEVER a chore! If your worship has become so then it’s time to think again and see what you can manage. We have learnt through our study of the Craft that ‘intention is everything’. That means one really doesn’t need fancy tools etc, all one really needs is our heartfelt intention and the ability to visualise in our mind’s eye. So, if you miss a Full Moon ritual don’t beat yourself up over it. Do some gentle gardening – go out into your garden, sit down and stretch your hand out to the moon (or just the sky if the moon isn’t visible – it is still there). Send your love to the Goddess and bless her with your love. This might not seem like a ritual but in fact it is. If you are unable to make a Sabbat, go out and find a flower or plant that is associated with that particular Sabbat and spend time with it. All this might seem insignificant but it is really extremely important to change perceptions about how we view things.
By setting small challenges and doing things in a slightly different way you do not remain stuck in ‘I can’t’ and that negative energy. Soon you will be attracting positive energy to you and before long instead of the glass half empty, it will be half full. Take it from me – I was a person who ALWAYS saw the glass half empty and I wondered why I never felt the teeny bit happy. But once I’d learnt to change my perceptions and do some gentle gardening things began to change. That doesn’t mean I’m always ecstatically happy but it does mean that when depression hits those periods are a lot shorter now and I can move through them.