Seed catalogues arrive at this time of year – for keen gardeners this is an exciting and welcome addition to the post Christmas post. A seed catalogue holds the promise of summer in the depth of January – the Eden to come, all in potential. In psychotherapy we work with seeds. The seed quality in the person – what is the quality that has not yet been able to manifest but which, if planted and given the right conditions, could grow in to something beautiful and useful.
The seed in alchemy is the seed of gold….The Maires’ Emblem below shows the alchemist sowing in to the ‘white foliated earth’ which means earth which has been prepared with the ash produced by the burning struggle he has been through.
In the most wonderful book ‘Sacred Seed’ edited by Dr Vandana Shiva (from which the image at the top of the page is taken), Pir Zia Inayat-Khan points out that in Arabic ‘hubb’ means love and ‘habb’ means seed – seeds are symbols of love, coming from sweet fruit which has ripened, and also they contain the potential and promise of more sweetness to come – tiny things which are so humble and yet so powerful.
The gold of a life lived in love, with love, is the potential fruit of inner work – psychotherapeutic work, spiritual work, creative work. Looking for the seeds of this way of living in the midst of winter (actual winter, or the heart’s winter) is part of spiritual practice. I am going out now to plant some sweet peas, which should flower around May/June time. I have some dark purple varieties this year, I am going to put them near the pink cosmos (‘dazzler’), in front of the out-of-hand buddleja. I am going to do it as a prayer – remembering the hubb in the habb.