Creating Sanctuary

"The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there."

~George Bernard Shaw

We are excited to announce that Heart Springs Sanctuary, Brigid’s Way’s home, has been accepted into the United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network!

The United Plant Savers (UpS) protects native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. As part of their mission, UpS created a network of sanctuaries dedicated to restoring and preserving habitat for wildlife, both Plants and animals.

Herbalism and Plant medicine have an interesting history of both beauty and pain. Unfortunately, part of this history is the over harvesting of Plants. Now that interest in natural healing is growing and herbs become part of the latest health fad, it is even more critical that we are conscious of the well being of Plants and how they are harvested.

At Brigid’s Way we believe that our future is intricately tied with the future of the Plants. When we found our Home, we knew that we were creating a Sanctuary where Humans could work co-creatively with Nature and experience the Divine through the Plants and Nature Spirits. We wanted to create a place that honors the Plants and acts as a model for another possibility. That is the possibility where we all Beings can thrive.

We are very much in the beginning stages of creating this Sanctuary. We have great plans of converting the large lawn to gardens, wild areas, and walking paths. This Spring we are building a Labyrinth. We have a ridiculously long list of Plants that want to join us here (which we couldn’t be happier to have them). We want to create a Wetlands Sanctuary around our small pond, where there is again mostly grass. And we have some clean-up work to do. This is just what the Nature Spirits are asking us to do this first year! Who knows what plans lay ahead.

My point is that if the idea of a Botanical Sanctuary or a Sanctuary garden sounds appealing and yet, you think you have to create something pristine first, you don’t. The most important aspect of creating a Sanctuary is the intention. It is about saying that this area (which may be acres or may be a little porch with a couple growing pots) is Sacred. Beyond that, what constitutes a Sanctuary is up to you. It may be an area where you do not harvest. It may be a garden planted with a special purpose, such as a Butterfly garden. It may be an area where you simply sit and meditate with Nature.

For me, when I found this place or more when this place found me, I was determined that every aspect would be a Sanctuary. The intention is that every thing we do at Heart Springs Sanctuary is in alliance with the Nature Beings.

When I was introduced to Damanhur, my friend Esperide Ananas talked about the Three Mother Worlds: the Human World, the Plant/Tree World, and the Nature Spirits World. She said, “There was once one sound, one frequency, one World.” (That touches me so deep to think about one sound, one frequency.) However, the humans separated and caused the Three Mother Worlds to form. Part of Damanhur philosophy (at least based on my understanding) is that if humans are to survive on Earth, we need to reunite the 3 Worlds. [If you would like to learn more, join us for a free Teleseminar with Esperide on January 21st.]

Working co-creatively with the Nature Spirits to create Heart Springs Sanctuary is part of my efforts to help unite the Three Mother Worlds. Though I have to admit, I wasn’t conscious of this effort when I decided to make this a Sanctuary. I did it because it felt right, really it felt like the only option. I want to live in a Sanctuary. I want my clients and students to be received in a Sanctuary. I think we all could do with a little more sanctuary in our lives.

We launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign to support the planting of Trees and Shrubs at Heart Springs Sanctuary. This is the first step that the Nature Spirits have highlighted. These Trees and Shrubs are integral in creating a wetlands area, converting the large expanse of grass, creating a woodlands section where we will later plant native woodland Plants, and providing food and shelter for the Pollinators and other wildlife. The support from our community adds to the energy and vitality of this Land. As part of this project, we are offering people to name a Tree or Shrub for a Loved one or themselves. As we go about our gratitude walks and classes, we will greet these Plants by these names, strengthening the connection between humans and Plants. Please support this project by sponsoring a Tree/Shrub, sharing it with others, or helping us to plant. We are so excited to welcome these Plants and their human counterparts here!

Wherever you are, I hope that you are able to find sanctuary and can pause to feel your connection with the Plants and Spirit. Feeling the Love that they offer us, even when the world is cold.

“And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

~ Rumi