Everyone loves stones. Crystals and gemstones are an easy way to aid magick. I use them in my spells, wear them and decorate my rooms with them. Crystals provide me with the necessary energies I need to manifest my desires. Depending on my energy level or what my spells require, I try and showcase a stone or two at home and at work. Sometimes it’s hard to display magickal items without someone wanting to know why you have rocks on your desk at work. That’s why I create Magickal Zen Rock Gardens. Not only do these beautiful displays show off your creativity, they provide a discreet way to continue working with magick no matter where you are. I’ll show you how to make your own tabletop gardens in this article, however you can adapt these ideas to sculpt beautiful outdoor landscapes for ritual use.
Japanese Zen Rock Gardens are fashioned by strategically placing rocks in containers filled with sand traced with waves and lines. These landscapes blend into their natural layout of one’s surroundings providing good places for meditation and connecting back to the natural world. The rocks and sand designs display the Zen concepts of balance, simplicity, and harmony in Nature. The rocks symbolize mountains and the Earth; the sand and its patterns represent flowing water. As far as I know, gardeners do not select and place garden rocks based on their energy properties. However, we’ll sculpt our gardens with stones selected according to a theme and purpose.
Building a garden is easy. In addition to creativity you need 3 things. Obviously, you’ll need stones. Without them, you have a sandbox. You’ll also need some sand and a container. The sand holds the rocks into place and creates an illusion of water. The sand also grounds and cleanses your stones. Sea salt can also be used as an alternative to sand since salt also helps to cleanse stones. The container holds the sand and stones; most Zen Rock Gardens use simple, black-framed trays. Craft stores sell these trays at reasonable prices. Of course, you can use or build your own container. You may also want to grab a fork or use a finger to draw in the sand.
If you already have a theme for the garden and the stones you want to include that’s great. However, if you have no idea what you want to do, think about the garden’s purpose. Do a little research to help focus your intent. Be creative. Maybe you want to place a small protection garden at the front door to banish or keep away negative energies? Or maybe you want to create a mix of energies stressing things you need to keep you sane throughout a workday? Once you have your theme, begin matching the stones and their energies to your theme. Keep in mind that the stones affect the room the garden rests in as well as your magickal endeavors. You can always make as many gardens as your magick dictates.
Once your garden has a theme, gather the stones you want to use. Your stones can vary in colors, sizes and shapes and textures. Playing off these differences help you to arrange the garden’s appearance. Larger stones become focal points and draw energy from other stones and the sand. They also direct energy from the garden outward. Use larger stones sparingly. You may want stick with one or two large stones and then group the other, smaller stones around them. These smaller stones help to balance or enhance the energy of the larger stones and aid the garden’s visual flow. Combining several sets of these groupings in the sand create an illusion that there are islands in the water. Unless the goal of your garden is to provide overall balance, I recommend using a variety of stone sizes and shapes.
Assemble your garden once you have all the supplies. Dump sand into the garden’s tray. Fill it until you have enough sand to hold and support the stones in the positions you want them to rest at. Begin laying your stones. The goal here is not to cram as many stones into the sand. Take each stone one at a time and locate the best place in the tray for it. You’ll know the spot because the stone’s energy shines the strongest. Continue placing stones until you feel you have achieved the idea of what you wanted. If you don’t use all the stones, that?s okay. You can make another garden or use them somewhere else.
Traditionally, gardeners restricted the amount of rocks in gardens by keeping them in one or two groupings. You may want more groups in yours. Maybe you just want to place the best stones in the center of the tray. This is your garden; design it how you want it to look, just make sure the completed arrangement gives you the highest energy return. If you aren’t getting the correct balance between energy and design, move the stones around to different locations. Stop adding or moving stones once you achieve the desired balance between energy and design. No matter what you do, remember, this is a Zen Garden so the energy needs to feel and flow naturally among each stone, stone grouping and the sand; like a river flowing along the Earth into the ocean.
At this point you’re done. However, you’ll want to trace lines or patterns into the sand. Using a fork or your finger, draw lines from one edge of the tray to the other. Create swirls in the spaces containing nothing but sand. Drawing in the sand brings watery motion to the garden and connects the rock islands together, acting as energy conduits. The lines, waves and swirls also direct where and how the energy flows and pools inside the garden and out into the world.
Once you’ve finished drawing into the sand, move the garden to its new home. Sit back, relax and appreciate your creation. Building Zen Rock Gardens is fun and inspiring and addicting. You can easily change the theme appearance of your existing garden to display new stones and waves whenever you wish. Give gardens as gifts. Composing simple designs with the right amounts of stone, space and sand makes your garden successful. By using the Zen ideals of simplicity and harmony with Nature, you’ll make beautiful displays for your stones as well as tools to help perform magick with your crystals and gemstones at work or home.