Copyright: 1994, 2012 S. Tephyr Burgess
There is the potential for great harmony on this planet. We had it once.. we can only hope we can obtain it again. One of the reasons for dis-harmony is Mankind has forgotten his place on the planet. His place being a part of the whole. One who gives as much as receives.
The Earth understands that Her gifts are here for all of us, She also understands that our gifts are or should be for her. Her gifts to us are obvious: the air we breath, the ground we walk upon, the water we drink, the plants and animals that sustain us. As I mention in the article about Thanks, I have never come across a Religion or Culture that didn't have some form of Thanksgiving. How we do this is as individual as we each seek out and define Divinity.?
The important thing is we remember to give it. To remember not to take Nature for granted or to think that as a human you have it all coming to you with no need to return. This concept would be unacceptable in most neighborhoods throughout the world: it is equally unacceptable with our relationship to Nature/Mother Earth/The Goddess/God how ever you perceive the ultimate Divine.
Eventually we all return to The Earth. That is our final gift. But in the mean time we are taking a lot and we should remember to at least give Thanks in what ever form feels comfortable to you.
I always let The Garden Devas know ahead of time before I plant on doing anything, at least the night before or sometimes early morning I will sit and see how my plans are received. Sometimes I am told not to do anything, including Harvest. Other times I am guided to a plant that I should take at that time.
If I receive a positive response then I sit with the individual plant(s) a while. When I feel that I am in tuned and my activities are understood and excepted then I begin to harvest.
Here are some rules of thumb:
After you have attuned with your garden but before you start give whatever form of Thanks is appropriate for you.
Never take more than a fraction of a plant or plant stand. Never cut a plant right down to the ground.
Never take more than you need. This is sometimes hard to figure when you are harvesting for the future or with the needs of others in mind. This is again where Trust comes in. While you are Harvesting keep yourself open and if you feel that you are understanding or attuning that you have taken enough; then stop. Even if it doesn't look like what you thought you needed. Even if it seems like a lot. Trust. And you will eventually learn why you needed that specific amount.
Be still in your mind. Be open to the subtle vibrations and energies emanating from the plants, the soil, the air, all the life around you. That is not to say you have to stop thinking entirely. But it is in your best interest to put all the negative things; all the problems of daily living outside of yourself for awhile. This is not only therapeutic and helpful in putting aside your problems to look at later with a clear mind, but you will be able to attune with Nature around you better. However, if a thought enters your mind that pertains to a problem or difficulty you are having hold on to it, as in the quiet you may have found your solution. Listen to what you are being guided to do. Clip branches? Flowers? Leaves? Roots? All? This plant? That one? As well as problems or situations within your life. Often in quite of Harvesting some concept or idea that is the solution for something within my life will pop into my head..... an "Ah-ha!".
Harvest one plant at a time. Connect with one plant species at any given Harvest time. Connect with each specific plant. When you are done and you have the time, energy and the cooperation of the Devas and Nature Spirits then you can go on to another plant species. This also keeps your harvesting basket organized!
As I have mentioned before unlike many Co-Creative Gardeners I do not "Release" the plants Spirit. This is a procedure that I have been guided to by my Garden Deva. For several years I tried the technique of "Releasing" and I dint feel totally committed to it, though it was advised by others. This is done with the concept of freeing the Spirit to go on to other work or form. In meditation with the Devas of The Garden I was told this wast necessary there. That is was a choice of the Plant Spirit to stay or go, that in Harvesting the plant for any use, including weeding. The plants Energies and Spirits very often wish to stay in the form of the preparations, including the compost pile. They wish to continue and to become part of the Medicinal and Metaphysical Form. To help with the focus and intent behind the uses needed, before Harvest I give them the option to go on to whatever is next in their paths.
Before you move on to another plant species, prepare the one you are working with. Take it into your work area. You are now ready to begin, go to: