Alternate title: Don’t just keep green thumbs in jars.
For a few years I’ve wanted to make a magickal garden, so I’m hoping if I blog about it that will help keep me on track, and I’ve already bought a lot of supplies and been reading and rereading relevant books. While I don’t think I ever frame myself as an expert, let me be clear: I’m a good gardener, but other than my Sorcerer’s Plant and eir “cousins” I haven’t done magick gardening before. So what I’m going to discuss in my Magick Garden blog posts will be hypothetical, book based, and/or limited experience. I hope no one ever takes what I say as gospel, but especially not this.
I like gardening, in the spring and summer I enjoy fresh herbs, spinach, lettuce, and a variety of tomatoes. While the roses and tigerlilies on my property (they when I moved in) get used magickally that’s just because they are there, that wasn’t their intent. But I’ve wanted for a while to make a garden that is for magick and in a lot of ways is magick.
If I grow my own magick plants, I can craft my own incense, potions/tinctures, oils, fetishes, tools, satchels or whatever. By growing it myself I can be sure of its identity and quality, something admitted harder to be sure of with a processed/dried plant, but I also get to know the plant and the spirit of the plant more intimately which will allow me to do more. An ally is more beneficial than a tool.
A consciously planned and quickened garden can be a thing of magick too. I’ve cultivated a few wild places to be places of magick, or enhanced it in some cases, but something that I can work with more closely will be that much more I believe. It’s not just about having fresh ingredients, it’s about having a collection of plant spirit allies, but plant spirits aren’t the only ones that benefit from a garden like this.
My local spirit will benefit from this, it’s a cultivation of their life energy, and will be enriched giving me another way to work with them. Think back to all the other spirits I mentioned that aren’t really local spirits, but get grouped as them: spirits that inhabit a place, shades of the dead, nature spirits, fae-type things, they will all get more of a space on my property when a magickal garden is made and they’re given space. Other spirits that I work with can be given space. When you have a place with ensouled tools, items of magickal power, it develops its own energy and presence, a sense of that place with a unique warping that aids your magick. I suspect a garden of plant spirit allies will work in much the same way, not just a magickal grove but something a bit deeper. In essence a quickened and maintained magick garden becomes a living temple for me to work in. This is some of the what and why, next time I’ll talk about the how some more.
So far the two books I’m working with are Viridarium Umbris (my favourite book on plant magick) and The Witching Herbs (only half way through reading). If you have any recommendations on gardening books from a magickal perspective, please let me know.