In the book right now, we are going through the Maiden, Mother, Crone aspects of The Goddess. Today, we are asked to pick fresh flowers, close our eyes, intone the name of a maiden goddess, then wait for her to come. When she comes, so says the book, she will hand us a number of flowers, each one representing an aspect of the maiden which we are meant to develop personally.
The maiden goddess upon whom I called was, of course, Kore—Persephone pre-underworld. I did not cut flowers for her because A) I do not have ready access to flowers, and B) I thought about cutting a bit of branch from the pomegranate tree I planted for her and Demeter and dedicated to them, but then that would be damaging the tree unnecessarily. Why would I make Kore a dead offering of something that was living in her name?
I did the visualization differently as well. I think it’s pretty cheeky for the author of this book to assume he knows what the maiden goddess will do when she shows up. “Hey there, Kore. Shut up and hand me flowers.”
I don’t think so.
Maiden or not, goddess is goddess, and goddess is powerful. If I call to her and she deigns to show up, she can and will do anything she damn well pleases. I can communicate to her the purpose of the visualization, but whether she chooses to follow the script is entirely up to her.
In my visualization, I called to Kore and she came. Her skin and hair were shining white. She wore a long ice blue dress with a thin white coat over it, open. She wore diamonds set like icicles around her neck and a crown of similar diamonds in her hair. She stood next to the tree that belongs to she and her mother. She gestured to it and said, “Take care of my tree.” She let a branch slide between her fingers. Her fingernails were a medium-length, pointed, and painted a Spring pink.
I said, “Do you want me to take care of myself too? Is that your message? Is the tree a metaphor for me?” In retrospect, I see how childish that was.
She looked directly at me and said, firmly, “Take care of my tree.” She said it in a way that meant I was not to ask any further questions. She left my garden and I opened my eyes.
Let me explain about this tree:
I planted it in April of 2015. I took care of it really well for a while, then went through a big depression in the summer and kind of let it go. In the autumn, all its leaves fell off, either because of the cold or because I neglected to water it, but then in the spring of this year, it came back in great glory.
This year, through the winter and spring, I took care of it pretty well, but then toward the end of school in May and almost all the way through summer, I went through another horrid depression and hardly watered it or any of my other plants at all. About a third of my plants died altogether. The pomegranate tree’s leaves turned all brown and mostly fell off. I felt so guilty about it that, when it was almost barren, I ran out and gave it a big drink. There were tiny dried pomegranates all over the ground. I almost cried. Here I had been thirsting the tree near to death and still she tried to give fruit.
Green began to appear again on the branches. Another depression, more neglect, more brown leaves. This time I was sure it was dead. I watered it again though consistently for two weeks, (it only requires water once a week which makes my neglect even more egregious), and the completely barren tree has come back green all over. It is a survivor. It is surely blessed by Demeter and Kore.
All of this to say that when Kore told me to take care of her tree, she meant exactly what she said. I must care for that tree and not passively try to kill it over and over again. I know there is a deeper lesson there. There always is with gardening. For now though, the directive is simply to take care of the tree, and that I will do.
PS The tree’s name is Beauty.