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Planning the Magickal Garden
My Garden Pages
Magick in Your Garden
One does not follow the witches path long before feeling the need to garden. As witchcraft is an Earth religion, we feel a spiritual rush when sinking our hands into the soil or watching a plant grow to maturity. These are the energies we celebrate in our rituals, the handiwork of our Mother Gaia.
Many of us find ourselves in urban situations. I live in an apartment in a mid-sized city. I don't have the land for a beautiful fenced garden. Maybe someday. But for now, I garden in containers. I find I can grow enough herbs for my magickal needs if I choose my plants wisely. What started as two pots on the front step has now grown into 15 or 16 large containers. Even though I'm a city person, I can still plant and harvest by the Moon signs, work ritual over my seeds and plants, harvest them magickally, and dry them for future magickal and medicinal use.
I hope these pages will grow into a magickal gardening journal. It will be for me a gardening notebook, a recipe book, a place to share my magickal garden. I've put these pages together in conjunction with a Witches Garden class I'm teaching at Dracona Pagan Web. We should have much to share as the class progresses.
First and foremost, you must evaluate your magickal needs. Use a lot of mugwort for divination? Constantly smudging the house with sage? These herbs would certainly have a place in your garden. Check out my Magickal Uses of Herbs pages and find plants to meet your needs that are well suited to your area. Don't know which plants grow well in your area? Take a look at this planting zone chart for the US. Research this carefully. I live on the cusp of two zones. An Internet search revealed that I live in Zone 6b. As you research your herbs, check to see which zones they grow best in. If you are container gardening, you have a little more leeway here. You have the ability to drag your plants indoors if the weather does not accommodate them. That can be a hassle, though, and I stand by the idea of growing plants native to your area as much as possible. This puts us in tune with the cycles and seasons of the land -- the land where we live. Of course, I don't see many patchouli plants in the wild here, and I grow it on a regular basis, so you will find yourself growing exotic plants at times.
When winter is still raging outside, I cozy up to the computer to start my gardening research. One way to keep my notes straight is to create pages for each plant, listing magickal, edible, and medicinal uses, as well as cultivation and propagation information. Does this plant grow best from seed or should I buy a plant? What sort of soil does it need? What are the sun and water requirements? I figure all that out before I buy the first seed. Of course, this is a process I continue throughout the growing season as I add new plants. Like me, though, I think you will find it fun to get lost in garden dreams while the freezing rain is pelting outside.
I'm growing the following plants because I'm curious about them. They are traditional, medieval garden plants that are steeped in witchy lore. Most are poisonous. I love folklore, so it makes sense this would extend into my Craft. Plus, these plants help me to feel in touch with my spiritual heritage. If you choose to grow any of these plants, please read the cautions on these pages carefully.
Once you've chosen your plants, how is your magick garden different from grandma's mundane garden? Number one, you've chosen your herbs to match your magickal intent. When grown, they will be blessed and charged in a magick circle to assist in your spellwork and ritual. But we can bless and charge our seeds and plants during the growing process as well, infusing them with magickal energy.
Start with a seed blessing ritual, preferably at Ostara, but it can be performed whenever you begin to work with the seed (some need to be in a growing medium well before Ostara). In all gardening matters, work with the cosmic energies of the Moon. Find a Moon sign and phase guide and follow it. Here's a quick rule of thumb, although it might vary from plant to plant:
Always plant during the new or waxing Moon phase, preferably in the fruitful Moon signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. There are some exceptions: Plant garlic during a new or waxing moon in the sign of Scorpio or Taurus. Root crops should be planted during a waxing or full moon in Taurus. Plant vines and flowers in Libra during a new or waxing moon. Sage needs to be planted in Pisces, Scorpio, or Cancer during a full moon. Valerian: Gemini or Virgo during the new or waxing moon.
Paint or draw magickal runes on your flower pots, on markers, or in the soil. The rune Berkana is particularly well suited for planting. Put crystals and stones in the soil to energize plants. Moss agate is the gardener's stone. Charged and placed in the soil, it will assure the abundant growth of your garden. Other agates and quartz crystals work fine as well.
Magickally charge the water used to nourish your plants. This can be as simple as saying an incantation over the watering can or setting water out under the full moon to charge. Sprinkle a few fertility herbs or a moss agate in the water while charging. Again, draw fertility runes on your watering can and charge it with abundance.
Bless your plants with a mini-ritual every full moon during the growing season.