Warning: Gardening is addictive and will improve your health, spirit and mental well-being.Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witchcraft: Garden Magic, pg. 3
This GIF pretty much sums up how I feel about gardening. It’s funny, two years ago I couldn’t keep a Hen and Chicks succulent alive, but last year I managed to grow a pretty little garden! This year I’m taking on more challenging plants, and even plan to transplant a rose bush! I know roses are fairly hardy plants, and as long as I time it right the bush should take root well, but I’m still proud of myself. Confidence is key to success in all endeavors! (That, and a little help from Good Neighbors.)
Before I purchased any supplies, I did my homework. Growing a garden is a science, just as it is an art. You need to know which plants get along, which plants like light, and which like shade, and you need to know if the plant will be happy in regular soil, or if you need sand or a fancier soil. I’m still a novice, as you can tell from my impressive vocabulary (fancy soil – face palm).
Connect to Earth on a deeper level…
Growing a garden is more than just planting and harvesting supplies for your herbal collection. It’s about connecting with the Earth on a deeper level…it’s about establishing a relationship with the spirits of Nature, the Fair Folk, and the Genius Loci, and it’s about using magick to create life. When I see a seed I planted turn into a cute little sprout, reaching for the sun out of the dark soil, I am overcome with pride, in the plant and myself. It’s akin to the pride I feel when my son does something new, so it wouldn’t be far off to say it’s a motherly love you feel for your plants. Those little plants have spirits of their own, and they respond to your love and affection.
I think it was a documentary, perhaps a video on Youtube or Facebook, but it revealed that plants suffer when they’re bullied. They had two plants – same plants, same soil, same age – everything was identical. They were kept in environment controlled boxes, to ensure that the only variable was what the plant was told. They had recorded people saying mean things, and saying nice things, and played the mean things to one plant and the nice to the other. The plant who heard the compliments grew strong and tall, while the abused plant was weak and sickly. If that isn’t proof that plants have feelings, I don’t know what is!
How do I start a magickal garden?
The first step in creating your magickal garden is the first step in any magickal activity: devise your intent. Do you want the garden to carry out an assortment of intentions, or do you want to stick to one theme? Do you want to grow a garden as an offering? Or, how about creating an elemental garden, with a separate garden or section for each element. For ideas, I have created a Pinterest board with all sorts of pins about gardening for witches.
Research and Record-Keeping
All of my garden plans are in my grimoire. Some people use spreadsheets, recording their planting time, when and how they are to be pruned, watering schedules, feeding schedules- everything needed to keep the garden tasks sorted. I will create a diagram of the garden, to scale, so I can plan where to plant each seedling.
I live in an apartment, so I only have a small space to work with. (I have had to put in a formal request to plant a small rose bush, and it is yet to be approved…) The flower and herb garden is going to be in the back yard, so as long as it doesn’t extend past my little porch and steps, it’s allowed by property management. That gives me a bit of land about five feet across and four feet deep. Not a lot in garden terms. This means I have to choose plants that do not need a lot of space around them, but growing outside means my plants can grow nice and tall. By planning wisely, I can manifest a magickal garden just as glorious as any other. You feel such pride when you carefully devise and plant a healthy garden, no matter the purpose. When it doesn’t do well it is heartbreaking. That is why research and record keeping is so important.
- what plants do well in your location;
- what plants get along and which need to be in their own container;
- how much light and water the plants require; if the plant needs special soil, or will need particular food. Do you need to mulch? Do you need sand?
- Will the plant attract bugs, and if so, what kinds? Butterflies and bees are great, but if you or a family member is allergic, then you may want to avoid a bee-attracting plant.
- To make sure your garden thrives, you will have to design it carefully. That means drawing out a scale sketch, and then sectioning off what will go where. If you can do this in your head and remember, that’s great! But, if not, you will have to draw it out. If you don’t want to keep that then use scrap paper.
- It helps to have one location to keep your design sketch, research notes, a chart of what can be planted when, and even record when you planted something, if it’s going to come back next year, how often it needs watering, when and how to prune, and proper harvesting methods.
One design I am considering is an elemental garden. I’ve done my homework, and kept extensive notes, so once I know what can go where, I can work in an elemental theme.
Soil is the body of the garden. It is the body, and water is the blood. When you lay down the garden, take a bit of soil in your hand. Bring it to your nose, and inhale deeply. There is nothing like the scent of fertile soil. Bring it apart, and watch it fall. There is a thing of beauty, as soil slips through your fingers. And don’t wear gloves when you do this! I know, your nails will be grubby and gross. But when you first lay out your garden, it’s important to connect to the soil.
Your Earth garden may be a garden on its own, or it may be a section of your garden as a whole. In addition to soil, you can bring the element of Earth into your garden with rocks, crystals, and statues of dwarves and fairies. Growing lush greens, like having a pot of mint, or a nearby bush, will work as well. Earth and Land, in any elemental system, is associated with the quality of strength and stability. What better to represent that than a tree? If you can’t plant a tree, then plant your garden near a tree. Hanging some chimes in the tree (incorporating air), will tie the tree to the garden.
Earth Spell: Garden protection
Using a pot or cauldron, mix a handful of soil from your garden, a healthy dose of pepper, and a few pinches of dried basil. (Use your intuition for exact amounts). Use a rusty nail to stir the mixture. Set the nail aside, and, using your hand, sprinkle the mixture around the perimeter of the garden saying:
Basil cleanse, Pepper sting, This garden is sealed with a protective ring.
Bury the nail at any corner of the garden. (Make sure it’s deep, and to be safe, put a stone or board over the spot. I know I love to garden barefoot, and would hate to step on the nail if it manages to climb up to the surface. This would be a good spot to put your garden altar!)James Kambos, “Spring Garden Magic”, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac, pg. 15
Nothing says spring like a melodious song of birds in the morning. One of the most depressing things about winter is waking to silence – or worse, to the sound of a snow plow. While I’m grateful that snow removal is included with my apartment, it’s not a pleasant way to wake. The gentle breeze brings the unmistakeable scent of spring – the soil, the moss, the subtle smell of trees as they awaken from their icy slumber.
To incorporate air into your elemental garden, plant flowers with gentle yellow hues. Angelica, “Ruby Giant” echinacea and Russian Sage are all ‘air’ plants. Wind chimes are always a great way to invite the powers of air. My favorite way to extend offerings to the powers of air is to hang bird feeders. Whether it be a humble hummingbird feeder, or half a dozen large feeders and houses, Nature appreciates when you feed her feathered children.
Spring is a little cool for us Northerners to go camping, but it’s the perfect time for bonfires and fire pits. The spring showers keeps the grass moist, minimizing the chances for a wandering spark to cause a tragic disaster. If you are like me, and live in an apartment, then a fire pit or chimnea may not be possible. you could make do, with carefully placed candles and lights. Planting sunflowers will bring the element of Fire into your garden as well (or any flower with vibrant orange, red, or yellow hues). There is a neat DIY Mason-jar candle holder I found on Pinterest, which is in the board I created for Magick Gardens. Where I live, mosquitos can get quite thick by the height of summer, so citronella torches and candles give mood lighting and keep the pests away.
Water is the life blood of the garden. Something simple as a way to collect rain water for your plants can be efficient in incorporating the powers of water into your garden. A rain collection container doesn’t have to be an unsightly bucket either. Paint a watering can, or repurpose coffee cans, so as one overflows it will pour into another can just below. Rain water is much better for our gardens than tap, so if you don’t get a lot of rain, try to save what you can when it does.
A birdbath, or even a small pond are equally efficient, and much prettier to look at. While I can’t have a bird bath, much less a pond, I can have a small fountain. There is something about the gentle trickle of a fountain – it’s reminiscent of a gentle spring rain. I’ve included a few pins on how to make your own fountain. I’m not comfortable working with sheet metal, so I will hunt for clearance fountains to add to my garden.
Water is rejuvenating, and refreshing. Make a ritual out of watering your plants (or any other form of tending); take the time to talk to your plants and connect with their spirits. Each plant spirit has its own personality, its own vibration. Get to know each one. This especially comes in handy if one gets sick. If you are in tune with the plant’s spirit, you can ask it what is wrong. You would be surprised how well this works.
Connect to your Plants
As I said, take the opportunity to get to know each plant in your garden when you can. Even if it’s just a few minutes when you’re watering them. Not only does this prove helpful when a plant gets sick, but it helps when it comes time to deadhead, prune or harvest. It’s not respectful to go around cutting someone’s hair, so it’s equally rude to just start snipping away before asking the plant for permission. Last year some of my flowers grew as tall as 6 feet, and the flowers would get so heavy the poor stalk would be leaning from the weight. I would water the garden, and talk to all of my plants. Then I would get shears, ones I used only for my garden, and before I snipped anything I would talk with the plant. I would ask if I could cut it here or there, and would tell it why. “Your bloom will soon die, may I cut it here to relieve your back from leaning and make a bouquet in my home?” or, “this part of your plant has become sick, may I remove it so you can thrive?” Same goes for deadheading, when you pull dead blossoms off so the flower can replace it with a new one. “I’m sorry I have to hurt you, but it’s so you can keep growing strong”. And after I’m done, I take a moment to feel gratitude for my plants, and for their sacrifice. Even if it’s just a damaged leaf, it’s part of their body. The garden is much healthier when it knows it’s loved.
You may use your garden to grow herbs and flowers for magickal workings, or the act of growing the garden itself could be magick. While I have included some pins about what a Witch’s Garden includes on the Pinterest board, don’t feel compelled to include any of the suggestions. With witchcraft, you want to make it your own. That means listening to your body, your intuition, and trusting that the messages you receive from nature are real. Yes, my garden will have some herbs. But that’s because I was drawn to them, NOT because some ‘expert’ wrote that I have to have them in order for my garden to be ‘witchy’. As witches, we are naturally drawn to the outdoors. We are nurturers, mothers, caregivers, healers, and have honed our abilities to walk between the worlds. All of these qualities are exercised in gardening – whether it’s a rock garden, a pond, a succulent or zen garden, flower garden, vegetable garden – I could go on and on.
I think that altars make the magick garden complete, but again, go with your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable having an altar outside, then don’t have one! Like I said before, I need a little help when it comes to gardening, so I adorn my garden with things that Good Neighbors like. I will have an altar in my garden this year, whereas last year my ‘witchy’ stuff was at a bare minimum. The altar will be for Earth gods, ancestors, dragons and Fae, so I’ll have all sorts of odds and ends out there so there is something for everyone. But that’s me.
When one hears magick, it’s natural to think spells. There are countless spells that use the growth of a plant to bring prosperity, or the soil of the bed to bring protection, luck, health, happiness. I included only two spells, but I found dozens more in researching this post. (Most of the content I knew, but still like to do research to see if there’s anything I can add to the piece). Growing an elemental garden connects you not only to nature but to the elements as well, which makes spells utilizing the elements all the stronger. You could design your garden in a way that it works with the planets, or deities. There is no limit to the possibilities. James Kambos, in his article “Spring Garden Magic”, said “The spring garden should be a place to celebrate magic.” (p. 19, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac). I couldn’t agree more, Kambos! The very act of growing and nurturing a garden is magick.
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Greetings my Gracious Group of Grateful Gals, Guys, and everyone in-between! I must apologize, I hadn’t realized that my scheduled post never published! But, as they say, better late than never!
Remember the Magic
That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.
Remember The Magic – it was created for YOU!
People who wait for a magic wand fail to see that they ARE the magic wand
Energy flows where attention goes…
Take the photo of the first person, close your eyes and for one minute visualize that you are getting the news that that person achieved/received/recovered/fill-in-the-blank what they needed. How did you learn about your friend/family’s magical miracle? Did they tell you? or did their child blurt it out when they were leading up to it for a dramatic reveal? The clearer you see it the more magic you send them. When the minute is up open your eyes, look at the photo and say “THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…for _______ health, wealth or happiness.”
Say the words slowly and with intention. Now move on to the next person and repeat.
Using gratitude to help someone else with his/her/their health, wealth, and happiness is the single greatest act of gratitude you can perform. And one of the magical things about it is that the health, wealth, and happiness you fervently wish for others, you also bring to yourself.
In the comments below, tell me where you are and what the weather is like – more specifically, describe the air. I live in New Hampshire which is in the North-East United States. The air is cold, and crisp. It tastes and smells fresh, like an ice cold glass of water. It’s refreshing as well, like mint gum bursting with flavor, ensnaring all of your senses as you make the first few bites.
In ancient teachings it is said that when a person reaches the point of being deeply grateful for the air that they breathe, their gratitude will have reached a new level of power, and they will have become the true alchemist, who can effortlessly turn every part of their life into gold!
Did it happen by chance?
Take a Breather!
Make All Your Wishes Come True
I wish I may, I wish I might…
- What emotions did you feel when you received your desire?
- Who was the first person you told when you received your desire? How did you tell them?
- What is the first great thing you did when you received your desire? Be detailed as possible.
- Re-read the sentence listing the desire and emphasize the magic words Thank You, so you feel them as much as possible.
Imagination is the true magic carpet.
Welcome to Day 9!
Day 9 Exercise: Gratitude for your bills…
If you don’t have enough money, the last thing you would normally do is feel grateful for your bills, but if fact that’s exactly what you have to do to receive more money in your life.
Hello my lovely readers!
We are going over day 6 and 7 today! Yesterday I went to my fathers house for Christmas, (it went well!) and after grocery shopping I was wiped out! I’m still fighting off a cold, but again, grateful it’s not worse!
So, a quick recap – everyday we are adding 10 items to our gratitude list, and before bed each night we take our rock into our hand and say thank you – while feeling grateful for the best part of the day. I know I’ve said this every day, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart: Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully for following along with me in your copy of The Magic.
Day 6: Works Like Magic
One thing I see often on social media is people complaining about their job, or their small paycheck. I’m on disability – I cannot work. I got my first job when I was 14 years old, and always did well at work, so it grinds my gears to see people taking their work for granted. Byrne says that if you are miserable at your job, the best way to get into a better job is to start being grateful for the job you have.
You should love your job, whatever it is, and be excited about going to work, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less. If you don’t feel that way about your current job, or if it’s not your dream job, the way to receive your dream job is by first being grateful for the job you have.The Magic, p. 71
Day 6 Exercise
The next day you go to work imagine an invisible manager is following you around, taking notes of everything you’re grateful for. Does your office have good coffee? Do you have a coworker you enjoy talking to?As your “gratitude manager” follows you around during your next shift/the next time you work, have them “take note” – you will cue them to note it down by saying or thinking “I’m grateful for ______” and feel as grateful as possible. It can be anything – if no one took your stapler, the building didn’t get set on fire, that kind of stuff. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the silly Office Space reference).
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
Day 7 Exercise
For one whole day, try to get through without saying anything negative. If you catch yourself saying or even thinking something negative, stop yourself and say “But I have to say that I am really grateful for _____”
This is sort of how I boosted my self confidence. I started by giving myself one compliment a day, and stopped myself from putting myself down. If I put myself down, I would immediately counter with a compliment. It felt silly at first, but I would make a point to look in the mirror and say the compliment aloud. You get used to talking to yourself, and you finally start internalizing the truths of how great you are.
Hello my lovely readers! Who is feeling amazing today!? THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for joining me on this magical endeavor to transform into a grateful person! I have a cold, hence why I’m writing this later than usual. It was great to sleep in! I’m thankful that my cold isn’t as bad as it could be, and I’m thankful that I’m starting to feel better!
If you haven’t already, get a copy of The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, the author and creator of this process.
So, every morning we are adding 10 more items to our thank you list, and before bed each night we take the gratitude rock into our hands, thinking about the best part of the day and saying thank you, feeling the energy of the gratitude fusing with the rock.
Yesterday we focused on our health and renewed our appreciation for it. Todays’ topic is a bit more touchy – something that can cause wars, murders, make people eat weird stuff and do crazy things:
Rhonda explains that if there’s a lack of money in your life, “understand that feeling worried, envious, jealous, disappointed, discouraged, doubtful, or fearful about money can never bring more money to you, because those feelings come from a lack of gratitude for the money you have.” (p.61)
This was one of the first things I started doing when I began my healing journey – I started appreciating the money I have, despite the fact that I get less in a month than many people make in a week. I’m on disability because of my mental illness – I cannot work, so I am lucky to get any money at all. I have a roof over my head, my son and I never go hungry, we are never cold, we have plenty of clothes, and my rent, electricity, and phone bills are always up to date. I am even blessed enough to have cable and internet – a blessing many people in my situation do not have. Has being grateful brought me loads of money? No, but I am confident that my gratitude for what I have is why whenever I have an unexpected expense I somehow come into money to cover it – I get a writing gig, my mother gifts it to me, I sell clothes, one time I was chosen to take a survey for Google and received a $50 gift card, which bought me an office chair I needed so I could spend a large portion of my day at my desk writing. Gratitude has made a HUGE difference in my life, especially when it comes to money.
Now, today’s exercise should have been read in the morning, so I apologize for posting this in the afternoon. But, better late than never! There are a couple steps for today’s exercise:
- Take a few minutes to recall all the times you have been given things at no charge to you. When you were a child, did you have toys? Meals at home, a snack and lunch at school? Did you receive gifts for your birthday or holidays? Did you have a pet? Were you rewarded for good grades, or given an allowance? As you remember each time money was paid for you, say and feel the magic words from your heart for each instance.
- Take a dollar bill or small bill and put a sticker on it. (I used a Post It Note). On the sticker write: THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MONEY I’VE BEEN GIVEN THROUGHOUT MY LIFE.
- Take your magic bill with you today, and at least once in the morning (oops, lol you can do it tomorrow too), once in the afternoon, and once in the evening, or as many times as you want, and take the bill out. With the Magic bill in your hands, read the words you wrote and be truly grateful for the abundance of money you’ve been given.
- After today, put the Magic bill somewhere you can see it everyday, to remind you to continue to be grateful for the abundance of money you have been given in your life.
Until tomorrow, my lovely readers!
Welcome back my lovely readers!
|My Magic Rock|
Yesterday we reaffirmed our gratitude for our three closest relationships by taking their photos out periodically and saying “Thank you _____, for _____”. We have been starting each day by adding 10 more items to our thank you list and reading them aloud, saying “thank you” three times before moving on to the next item. Before bed, we take our gratitude rock into our hand and reflect back on the day. When the best thing is clear in your mind, you say “thank you, thank you, thank you”. We are beginning, ending and spending time throughout each day being grateful.
Today, day four, we are focusing on something that is of the utmost importance, but ironically is the #1 thing we take for granted: our health.
Take a moment to think about your eyes, your nose, your sense of taste – how would life be for you if you were to lose any one of these senses? What about your hearing? The sense of touch?
Think abut your legs, and how they help you get to where you’re going, how they support your weight day in and day out.
Starting with your toes, focus on each body part in turn and think about why you are grateful for it, then say thank you toes/feet/legs/hips etc.
Now get a sticky note, index card, or scrap piece of paper even and write in bold letters:
The gift of health is keeping me alive.
Put the card somewhere where you will see it often. On at least 4 occasions, read each word carefully, slowly, and feel as grateful as possible for the gift of health. Byrne explains that being grateful for your health is not only essential to keeping it, but it guarantees that it will continue to get better, with increasing energy and zest for life.
If gratitude were used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments, we would see a health revolution, and recovery rates and miracles like we’ve never seen before.
The greatest wealth is health.
Gratitude is a vaccine an antitoxin and an antiseptic.
Welcome back everyone! Wooo 3 days in only 25 to go! Who else is already feeling better for being grateful?! I know I am! We had a snow storm last night, and I am so grateful that snow removal is included in my rent! Thank you thank you thank you!
It’s your contact and experiences with other people that give your life joy, meaning and purpose.
- choose three of your closest relationships to be grateful for.
- Gather photos of each person.
- with the photo in front of you, think of five things you are most grateful for about each person and write it in your Magical Gratitude notebook/word document.
- Start each sentence with the magic words “Thank you ______, for ________.” (so I would write Thank you Joshua, for being such a sweet son.)
- Carry the photos around with you today, or have them so you can see them throughout the day. (My photos live in my phone and computer, so I will make a collage of them and make it the background of my Mac, because I’m always using it. )
- Look at the photos 3 times today, and while looking into their eyes in the photo say Thank you, followed by their name.
The People I am Grateful for Today, Tomorrow, and Every Other Day of My Life
|Thank you Josh,
for being the best son a mother could ever dream of having ❣
|my amazing siblings!
thank you Mike,
for being the best younger big brother ever,
and thank you Alexis, for never being afraid to be you!
|Thank you, Mom,
for everything you do for me and Josh!
I would be so lost without you!