By Carole Guyette
Our sanctuary garden is at Derrynagittah in the west of Ireland, 29 acres of magical land dedicated to the sacred. I moved here with my family in 1995, coming with the intention of working with Nature to co-create a place of beauty, a sanctuary where the plant world would be honoured and where people could come for healing, to learn about plants and the spirit that resides within all beings. We hoped that in this place of safety and refuge, people would feel the sense of connectedness that exists between all forms of life – plant, mineral, animal and human, believing that if we truly recognize the spirit within all of us, we are much more likely to care for the planet and all her beings.
Living and working here is a blessing and beyond measure. The land holds two main outdoor temples where we conduct group and personal ceremonies: a medicine wheel herb garden and a stone-walled plant labyrinth. There is also a lunar tree circle of thirteen sacred trees, as well as numerous smaller altars situated around the land. We make ceremony to honour Earth and Sky and all beings of the Earth and beyond; holding the land in sacred trust and standing as stewards to honour her sovereignty.
The labyrinth is a powerful and ancient archetypal symbol of the Goddess and fertility, representing wholeness and balancing male and female energies. The Derrynagittah labyrinth is filled with plants and dedicated to Shekinah as the embodiment of the Divine Feminine. The plants bring an abundance of generous gifts, offering diverse expressions of divinity. Walking the labyrinth can be seen as a pilgrimage to the center of oneself, while simultaneously moving through gateways both to Earth and Sky. Transformation is offered for oneself and one’s community, and can bring benefit to all beings.