self-improvement

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Digging into Symbolic Garden Meanings

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013



Garden Meaning- Avia with Her Garden

I’ve enjoyed tiny herb gardens sitting in my kitchen windowsill for years. There’s something about seeing those perky green sprigs that always makes me perky too. I reasoned if such a tiny garden gave me so much joy, then surely a big one outside would be bliss-city! So, I decided to step up the ante and grow a grand garden outside.

This is the second year I’ve established a vegetable garden in my yard. Has it been bliss city? Not quite. Well, I was blissfully clueless as to how much work was involved. Lol. But, I have to admit…the fruits of my labor have been well worth the sweat equity.

There have been more rewards to tending a garden than just the fresh produce. I’m talking about the symbolic harvest. Walking down the garden path has proven to be very educational, with multi-faceted layers of lessons learned along the way.

You know me…I’m always tracking down symbolic meanings, and my forays into agricultural cultivation have offered a garden of symbolism…ripe for the plucking. So let’s start tilling those symbolic garden meanings

The most profound symbolic meanings come when we can draw parallels between our external world and our internal world. Gardens open their gates willingly to these kinds of parallel experiences.

Most notable is how we can equate gardens to our psychological standing. How? Easy.

Symbolic Garden Meanings are Ready for the Picking When we Look for Them



Gardens need an ever-watchful eye to insure growth remains steady and strong. Same is true for our thoughts and feelings. Simply put, we must be the ever-vigilant gardener of our own minds. We must be active in rooting out wayward thoughts and pulling out the negative behaviors that are like weeds, choking out the fine potential fruit growing within us.

And just like earthly gardens, we’re going to have some tough conditions with which to contend, and these can threaten our emotional growth.

  • Drought: Dark nights of the soul
  • Disease: Illness caused by external influences pushing us out of balance
  • Infestations: People or circumstances ‘bugging’ us and distracting us from our growth.
  • Storms: Feeling drowned or overwhelmed by life’s problems

Thankfully, for every threat, there exists its twin:

  • Sunlight: Inspiration, creativity, illumination
  • Cool Rainfall: Provision from our spiritual source
  • Rich Soil: The sense of being anchored and comfortable with ourselves and our growth
  • A Loving Keeper: The Gardener of our souls (the god or higher power of your own understanding) who is ever-supportive in our spiritual growth

I’m not the first to associate the symbolism of garden meanings with the human mind and spirit. James Allen, made the parallel in his book, As a Man Thinketh. So did Dr. Joseph Murphy…in several of his books, most notably The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Even the Bible makes multiple comparisons between the garden and the condition of the spirit.

A little research into the meaning of gardens reveals they are representatives of the divine and tangible blessings from God. This is a theme in many cultures around the world, and gardens are synonymous with the potential for humans to cultivate their own inner power and spiritual ripeness.

Gardens: Symbolic of Sacred Spaces



Overwhelmingly, the idea of paradise and sacred space is centered on the symbolic meaning of gardens. In fact, the word garden means “enclosure” (German/English). This emphasizes symbolic garden themes of :

  • A retreat
  • A sanctuary
  • A safe place
  • A sacred space
  • A space to grow
  • An area in which to worship
  • A space to encourage an attitude of appreciation

All gardens have the potential to be these things, even the gardens within our minds and hearts. There are soft, tender spaces within us that are rich and ready to accept our spiritual seeds. We can enter these sacred inner gardens through meditation. By traveling inward, we can encounter the inner garden, and plant seeds of joy, love, peace, abundance.

Our constant vigil to nurture these ideals (seeds) will be required for their ripening and fruition. Furthermore, our connection and surrender to a higher design is akin to the sun shining upon the gardens of the Earth. Call it your Higher Power, God, or Allah, but there is indeed a Divine Gardner who has tended to the garden of our souls, and continues to influence our spiritual path. Working in tandem with this Source makes for a lush and fruitful inner landscape…a stellar spiritual garden with infinite potential and growth.

There are, of course, more symbolic garden meanings ripe for the harvest and ready for your contemplation. These are just the immediate symbolic phenomenon I have encountered while tending to my own garden (external and internal).

I hope this symbolic parallel gives you a good visualization for personal growth. I further trust this article gets your intuition germinating with new ideas that sprout into big rewards in your life.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out my article on Symbolic Garden Meanings. It is a more structured piece, and features symbolism from cultural and mythological perspectives. I even talk about the symbolic meaning of different kinds of gardens (water gardens, rock gardens, etc).

Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!

Other Articles of Interest:

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Real Riches with Tanna Corona

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I’ve had the serious pleasure of exchanging uber-keen symbolic insights with Tanna Corona, host of Real Riches Radio.  I adore Tanna’s style – smart, savvy and sagacious.  I think you will too.  That’s why I’m encouraging you to take a listen to her talk show, every Monday night.

And if her radio show isn’t enough to make you adore her too, here’s Tanna’s impressive bio:

Tanna Corona  is a professional Certified Life Coach, Master Spirit Life Coach and Member of the Certified Coaches Alliance. Her expertise is in the fields of prosperity consciousness, love relationships, the Law of Attraction, metaphysical Christianity, and communications. Tanna is also an ordained Minister with the Universal Life Church.

Tanna (pronounced Tah-nah) is producer and host of the REAL RICHES show on BlogTalkRadio.com (RealRiches), where she interviews Spiritual, Law of Attraction and New Thought practitioners and proponents.

Tanna holds a Bachelor’s Degree (with Latin Honors) in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She worked in the legal field for many years, and she parlays the disciplines of that profession into her current work.

Tanna is self-taught in the realms of divination, self-knowledge and tapping into inner wisdom, such as the Tarot, numerology, runes, acrophonology, feng shui, meditation, and visualization.

——–

Here’s Tanna’s blog for more information.

And don’t miss her show on Blog Talk Radio.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Poof! You’re a Toad (the dangers of totem-assignment)

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Personal Investment is Key to Totem Identification

Don’t let the title of this blog post fool you.  I’m not waving my rowan-wood wand, turning folks into toads (yet, lol).

Rather, this post is about the tricky business of assigning animal totems to folks wanting to know.

Not a day passes when someone doesn’t send in an email with a question like: “Avia, can you tell me what my animal totem is?”

On the one hand, I’m thrilled with these inquiries.  It suggests a desire to re-connect to animal kin.  It’s a sign that folks are becoming more attuned to the wild and wonderful realms of the Mother [Nature] – and that is uber-awesome.

On the other hand, I’m often distressed by the lack of personal investment in re-connecting with our animal brothers and sisters.  Connections to our animal kin is a deeply personal act.

What’s even more irking is the idea that a virtual stranger can arbitrarily assign a totem to another person.  To explain, I’ve been known to listen in on certain radio show discussions about totems and neo-shamanism.  I’m not naming names, but I’m suspect when these totem-experts get callers on their show with the inevitable question: “Can you tell me my animal totem?” and I’m floored when the totem-practitioner pops off a critter to the caller – essentially assigning a totem to him or her in the span of two seconds.

How can that cosmic connection be gleaned from a distant second party?  It feels like “slot-machine logic” – an answer spit out at random.  I could be wrong. These totem experts could be mightily connected to their spiritual council, and so they are fed this totem information to present to the caller.  Still, I have doubts.

On my most connected days, in which unification with my own Spirit Council is super-tight, I am fed information in terms of “seeing” woodland creatures or other critters scampering around my client’s energy.  These visions give me a good idea about the inquirer’s totem affiliations.  Nevertheless, in the midst of these visions come strong admonishments from the Council.  Admonishments like: “These are the animal energies communing with the human – but he/she must establish the connection.”

Historically, shamans could succinctly identify totems to the members of their tribe/village.  There’s a reason for that.  Shamans, elders, seers, and wise-women of a tribe typically hold their positions in the group over long spans of time. They live, learn, love together in a tight-knit community, intrinsically linked to the clan members. They often oversee the birthing of new members, and are participants of that member’s life from day one.  This gives them special knowing, they see the patterns between a tribal-member’s aura, energy, personality that link to the like-energy of their totem.  Simply put, tribal shamans have had a long-standing connection with their people, and are therefore in a better position to identify the individual totems of their tribesmen and women.

So what if we don’t live in a native setting in which an Elder knows us and can help us retrieve our animal totem identities?

The onus is on us.  We must be the ones to invest the time to re-connect with our animal guides and guardians.

Asking others to identify our totems isn’t a bad thing, but I’d be leery of pat answers from virtual strangers.  Those who ask me what their totems are often get frustrated with my round-about answers.  I offer information that my Council feeds me, but not without belting out a few paragraphs about the importance of personal meditation, research and investigation into the matter.

Let’s face it.  Most of us wouldn’t ask a stranger “Who is my life-partner?” and then marry the first person named Joe or Suzie just because we’ve been given a pat answer to this question.

In my opinion, re-partnering with our animal totems is no less serious.  Our animal totems are profound partnerships – indeed, a marriage.  They deserve our time and attention to get to know them.  We deserve the investment to familiarize ourselves with our connection to them.  So, be wary of the “poof! you’re a toad” syndrome.  Pat answers to complex questions like these are to be approached with caution.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark