“The gardener is the cultivator and the guardian of soulful growth.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The Gardener makes a clear choice on what to cultivate and what to uproot. From the moment she chooses to plant, she feels a commitment to serve the survival of the little plants. She has a lot of love for life and would go out to water her seedling on a hot summer’s evening, even though she’d rather sit back and have a cold beer. Seeing her little ones grow, gives her deep satisfaction and nourishes her fundamental desire to care.
The Gardener has knowledge about the rhythms and cycles of life. In the deep rest of winter, the soil recovers. Preparing a fertile, loose, humid earth is the main ingredient to nourish the seed. Only then the seed will be planted, watered, looked after. She is aware of the fragility of the young plants, she rejoices when seeing the juicy fruit coming from them, celebrates harvest and eventually gives all that remains from the plants to the compost. She sees the beauty of each phase, bearing in mind that the compost of this year’s veggies give nutrients to next year’s seeds.
When you pick this card, it’s a moment to make clear and conscious choices about what you want to plant into your life. Feel inside you what you have honest commitment for. Maybe you are even given a handful of seeds, of talents and interests, but if you throw them all around you randomly – only a few will sprout.
As the Gardener of your inner paradise, you can offer the best environmental conditions and continuous caring in order to inspire that what matters most to you, to flourish. Still, you will need to surrender to life, because there is always a greater force you cannot control, such as rain, hail, heat, weather, temperatures. In fact, it is always a blessing if everything works so perfectly together, that a seed flourishes and fruits. Look at everything that is alive within you with wonder and gratitude.
*What do you most care about and are willing to take commitment for?
*Seeing yourself as a garden, how do you prepare yourself to be fertile soil for projects and inspiration?
*What do you plant, in life, that promises to nourish you, from the seed (idea), to the fruit (manifestation) and beyond?
In Permaculture, gardeners speak of five zones of where to plan. The house/home is in the centre and is surrounded by five circles. Zone 0 means this is you and your house. Zone 1 means you consume it on a daily basis, or it needs a lot of care and thus zone 1 is closest to the house. Zone 2 is a little further away, and is either less labour-intensive, or you consume it every other day. Zone 3 and 4 are even further away. Zone 5, also very interesting, is: wilderness. That which exists within your boundaries, but you don’t cultivate (yet).
The following exercise helps you clarify your priorities and distribution of your time. Take a piece of paper. Draw yourself at the centre and five rings around it. Now label your zones 1-5. In this picture you can rank your interests, talents, projects or relationships within these 5 zones. Those which are closest to your heart and you are willing to spend a lot of time caring for them, you’ll put into Zone 1. And so on…