Gardens have always been important to witches (a source for medicinal and magickal plants), but up until this week I did not realize the major role they also played in Egypt.
In an article called “Witchcraft gardens Goddess gardens,” I learned that the ancient Egyptians believed their gods and goddesses enjoyed gardens, and established them around the Temples. They created gardens for the public, and some that could be viewed only by the priesthood.
While witches are fond of round gardens, the ancient Egyptians liked rectangular ones. Normally these were laid out according to the four directions, although sometimes they were laid out to align with an important star, or with sunrise or sunset at a solstice or equinox, or even with the movement of the moon.
Water features were common in these ancient gardens, and they often had a benben (pyramid shaped stone) which represented the first land rising from the primordial seas. Plants like water lily and lotus were used during sacred ceremonies.
Palm trees were popular, as were sycamore, acacia, fig, jujube, nut trees, pomegranate, tamarisk and willows.
Plants and flowers used included bay laurel, cannabis, chrysanthemums, cornflowers, daisies, papyrus, henna, iris, ivy, jasmine, mandrakes, sweet marjoram, myrtle, narcissus, poppies and roses. (That was the reason Sekhmet told me She was “Lady of the flowers” and to plant roses for Her!)
I have felt a bit guilty at times, thinking my vision of multiple gardens and lush banks of trees here in the desert was a selfish one, but now I see that it is not my vision at all, but one given to me by and for the Goddess.