We do not find much in the way of explaining garden totems when looking at possible messages and medicines derived from plants that we would grow in a garden. That seems odd because there are several plants of nature that carry symbolism and have specific lessons to teach us. For the most part the plants that we can find information on are trees and some flowers but not so much what we would grow ourselves. Certainly many tribal traditions were considered farmers and many held the three sisters (corn, squash and beans) in high regards but none seemed to put much significance to the plants that were grown to feed the people. They were life sustaining but did not seem to have much to teach us.
So, I have been reflecting on this for a couple of days now. Is there medicine from these plants in a garden? I believe that there are but maybe it is in a more general way than a specific way for a single plant. For me, working in my garden is one of the ways that I get spiritual energy. I was born under an earth sign and having my hands in the soil makes me feel connected to the Creator in many ways. I could also say that gardening is in my blood as both my Indian ancestors and my European ancestors grew crops. Granted it was something to help feed the families but it was and still is a way to connect with nature in general.
Organic Garden Vegetables Print by YesterdayCafe on zazzle
When we garden we are encouraging growth and that can be something that becomes significant in our spiritual journey. As humans there is always room to grow so the act of gardening is showing that we are open to the growth of our inner selves. I think that we can also safely say that it is full of feminine energy because of the nurturing and creation of a life.
My reflection on this topic started when I began to research tomatoes to see what lessons my favorite garden plant might have for me. I found some interesting facts about this fruit that we call a vegetable but nothing in the way of totem medicine. For instance, did you know that this versatile plant originated right here in North America? Mexico to be precise. From what I gathered it did not grow anywhere else and was introduced to Europe after Columbus and the Spaniards returned from their explorations on this continent. I also saw a statistic that said that Americans consume about 22 to 24 pounds of tomatoes per person in any given year. Another stat said that around 93% of all gardens in the US have tomato plants growing in them.
At first I was a little disappointed that there did not seem to be specific lessons from the plants that we grow to feed ourselves but then I sat down and started to write down what came to my own mind. Patience would most assuredly be a message as we have to be patient as the seeds begin to sprout and then grow into the produce that we will consume after harvesting. Respect came to mind because maintaining the garden and the soil shows a great deal of respect for Mother Earth and the gifts that we receive by taking care of the needs of the ground and the plants growing in it. Family and the importance of it also was something that I jotted down. As a gardener we are taking care of a plant family but also our physical family by providing food for them to eat. It can also symbolize connecting to our own roots. Sharing is another symbol that can be associated with garden plants, we share the bounty from our own labor with our family and usually friends and neighbors. Physical fitness because if you have ever gardened you know that it is not for wimps! It is hard work.
So, even though we may not find a specific lesson from a specific plant; garden plants do have several messages and lessons for us to apply to our own spiritual journey. If you would like to learn more about how I garden, you might enjoy reading about gardening in Indiana.
Just out of curiosity what is your favorite plant from the garden?
I have to say that my favorite garden plant is the Fuschia – this was my lovely Dad’s fav plant. However I also love roses and Lillies of the Valley, which were fav plants of my Grandmother (my Father’s Mother).
I, too, have a connection with the Lily of the Valley plant through my Grandmother. She had them mixed in with her ferns on the north side of her house. I loved seeing them in bloom and now have my own growing in my own garden. I think of her often when they begin to bloom in May.