This is the digital equivalent of a sketch – a way of capturing an idea before it slips away.

The inspiration behind it is Lori’s use of the words Hildegard and Viriditas in her heart map.  It is also in response to Heather’s post on gardening.

Hildegard was a medieval German nun.  She was  a mystic and spent her time writing and making beautiful illuminated manuscripts.  The word viriditas is thought to have been coined by her.

According to Wikipedia – Viriditas is one of Hildegard’s guiding images, used constantly in all of her works… It has it has been translated in various ways, such as freshness, vitality, fertility, fecundity, fruitfulness, verdure, or growth. In Hildegard’s understanding, it is a metaphor for spiritual and physical health.

The idea is expanded on this web site

-Viridatas – ‘the animating life-force within all creation, giving it life, moisture and vitality. Viriditas was green fire and energy’

Reading that viriditas is associated with a green fire and energy made me think it belongs at the Hearth.  The photo I have used in the centre of my image is one I took many years ago of a garden I created then had to leave.  Thinking of Heather saying goodbye to her home of many years reminded me of it.


Suzanne – Almurta


10 responses

  1. YES!!!!! Hildegard was a woman totally ahead of her time. And viriditas is, well, very hard to define — I see it as something akin to “chi” or “prana”. It is life itself.

    Oh, don’t get me started…….. 🙂

  2. I have been threatening to go back to Hildegard again. She is one of those wonderful parts of the wheel that keeps spinning here at Soul Food. Certainly the whole concept of viriditas underpins much of what I have done, the agrarian fertility aspects which must be attended to in any endeavor to enhance creative fertility.

    1. Thanks for your comments Heather. Here’s a thought – is viriditas also about ecology and the greening of the earth? I’m thinking also of the way in which no gardening work is ever wasted. Even if we leave a garden we have made it goes on growing and becomes part of the greening of the earth. Just some thoughts really. Cheers – Suzanne

      1. I think “greening” is all inclusive — it can be physical, such as in a garden, or metaphorical, such as what happens to a well-nourished soul.

  3. This is superb Suzanne, and for the information – connections. I am loving how this is all working so well, the threads being spun capturing and captivating us all .

  4. Absolutely fascinating. I. too, need to visit her again.


  5. Thanks fo rsharing this mythology and providing some background to the image. I enjoyed reading this post and it has set me on some thinking….

  6. “green fire and energy” – such a vibrant phrase

  7. All I can do is echo everyone else–not only is the image beautiful-but the information and the connections are brilliant.

  8. I love the way you have linked back to Hildegard by using a mediaeval style ornamentation around the photo. It’s always so sad to leave behind a garden which you have nurtured for so long. Mine is now being tended by other (fortunately) loving hands.

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