Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Gardens, Groves, and Hidden Places

  • David A. LeemingEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_256

Gardens, groves, and other such “hidden” places are often sacred in religious stories. Gardens and groves and other hidden places can represent an earthly paradise, as in the Garden of Eden of the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. Like temples and walled cities, they are protected places, metaphors for cosmos, against ever-threatening chaos. They are places of birth or rebirth. Jesus is born in a humble stable; the Buddha is born in a grove. Muhammad receives revelation in a cave, the Buddha finds enlightenment under a tree in a grove, and Jesus prepares for his passion in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Psychologically, the sacred space in question may be said to represent the preconscious mind, the center of the world for the individual, and the place where the ego resides and in which it achieves revelation or awakening to self. It is also the place that can be threatened by outside forces such as those represented in the Abrahamic tradition by the Devil, who, in a sense, shares the...

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  2. Leeming, D. A. (2005). The Oxford companion to world mythology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Blanton-Peale InstituteNew YorkUSA