The Solar and the Lunar Gardens

At the beginning of this month, I had the privilege of attending The Second Annual Two Worlds Wisdom Gathering hosted by Kaiser Institute. There were about 100 different individuals from diverse backgrounds attending but what each had in common was a desire for wisdom, learning, and spiritual growth. It was held in Austin, Texas at The Crossings, a combination retreat center and resort that is located in a nature preserve.

One of the things that we explored during the three day gathering was the idea of polarity between the solar and lunar—the masculine and the feminine. This is a subject that I love to study and talk about! Of particular interest was a garden and sanctuary area within the resort that reflected the two principles.

On the east, facing the sun was a solar garden. It consisted of a manicured lawn, a reflecting pool, tall, straight trees, walls with windows looking out on the valley below, and a water feature that was very masculine.

On the west side of the sanctuary was a feminine garden. It was un-manicured, more wild-looking with overgrown plants. It was also surrounded partially by walls, but the walls were falling down and had been broken off on the tops. The water feature was a quiet, stream over-grown with plants.

Both gardens had a bench where one could sit. I first visited the solar garden in the morning and the sun was shining and warm. Everything about the space was strong and powerful. I next went to the lunar garden and immediately felt and observed how different it was. It was completely unstructured and un-kept. In addition, there was what looked like it was perhaps a type of alter, but it was somewhat falling apart.

I went over and sat on one of the benches to get a sense of what I was seeing and feeling. It was only a matter of moments before I felt the impact of what I was experiencing and looking at. This garden represented the wounded feminine aspect in our planet and psyche. Whether done intentionally or not, the garden was not just a reflection of what someone thought of as feminine, it reflected wounding. The walls were broken down and the alter was in disrepair. Everything was overgrown and un-kept. It looked under-valued and neglected.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I was overcome with the feelings of how we have treated Mother Earth, women in general, the creative aspect within each of us, the vulnerable and receptive, and the feminine aspect of God—Spirit, Wisdom, Sophia. We have neglected, raped, ignored, exploited, under-valued, and despised the feminine principle in Creation.

In asking other participants what they thought of the gardens and what they had observed, no one else seemed to notice what I felt was glaringly obvious. Many said they noted that it was different but that it just seemed old and to represent wisdom. It was unmistakable that it represented the lunar/feminine. But other than that, everything seemed normal.

This reinforced my original impressions. The wounding is so identified with the lunar and the feminine that we see it as normal. To me, the beaten down, broken walls represented rape and forceful entry. They also represent a lack of healthy boundaries.

The feminine/lunar principle is one of reflectivity and receptivity so it is about openness and accessibility. It is not, however, about exploitation and gluttony with no respect or thought for over-consumption and in individuals—personal choice.

Look into your own life experience and observe where you can see wounding in the feminine/lunar principle. We can all observe it in our treatment of the earth. Somewhere in your own psyche you will also find the wounding whether you are a man or a woman. It is blatantly obvious but we have come to view it as normal.

The broken alter represents our neglect of the feminine in the Godhead. Religion has become a patriarchal tradition at the expense of the feminine qualities of God. It is seen by the huge absence of women in spiritual leadership roles within religion and the fact that we typically refer to God almost exclusively with a male pronoun. Although this is starting to shift, the imbalance is heavily weighted towards the solar/masculine. (Just look at the fundamentalist/masculine-type war going on in Iraq as an example)

What we need is an invigorated, renewed; Divine imagination of what the feminine/lunar principle is all about. A healthy feminine/lunar garden would look quite different. It would be lush, open, less structured, fruitful, womb-like, but would not look neglected, broken, and in disrepair. In fact, it would probably look a lot like the Garden of Eden. Hmm…