I knew when I bought this little cottage that I was going to have to change the landscape. But I lived for half a dozen years with the land, talking to her, learning her, entering into relationship with her. About a year ago, I found Landscape Guy, who, while not Pagan, I knew would work with me in the way that I needed. We started the hardscaping and moved on to trees and bulbs and plants.
A few weeks ago, Landscape guy called me and said, "I don't care that you think you need to work this weekend. I've found your altar stone. Meet me at the quarry." I dropped everything and raced there and, amazingly, Landscape Guy was right. A lovely boulder, found in the Shenandoah River Valley, with a corner perfect for offerings. I touched it, and it spoke so clearly to me. There were lots of folks wandering around the quarry that day, and Landscape Guy said, "If you want it, we should go pay for it now. It may not be here too long." So, I wrote a three-figure check for a rock, although no one can ever "own" a stone like this. (I've done dumber financial things, trust me, so I hardly batted an eye.)
We've been on and off since then about schedules and the weather, but, in the end, Landscape Guy was able to get a crew out here today, the day before Beltane. They planted lots of things, including all the black ariseama that Landscape Guy could find, moved bushes around, and pulled out stuff that needed to go. I planted rosemary so it would be in the ground on Beltane night. And, they installed my altar stone. Now, after all these years, the woodland garden in the southeastern corner feels "right."
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."