Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bewitching the Land, Part I: Boundaries and Patterns

Bewitching - enchant and delight.

In the Witch's Garden, where all spirit is alive, for all has been beckoned into a role of action within a growing cycle connected to the cosmos. Much enchantment and delight is birthed here. 

Whether we plant for pleasure, food, resistance, healing, or magick, we begin to cultivate a deep relationship with the earth and all her seen and unseen energies and entities. This relation can happen on the borrowed land in which we inhabit and within neighboring wild lands. This is where we begin to shed needless capes of captivity as we hold the season’s seeds in our hands, this is the journey back to who we really are, the journey back to the heart of the land, her fertile soil and the divine plant nation that grows from her.

Land, guide. Sky, portal. Critter neighbors, familiars. Seeds, spells. Plants, healers. Compost piles, cauldrons. Rocks, fortune tellers. Sticks, wands.

All spirit, all ancestors.

As we spend more and more time within the wild, tending, cultivating, observing and honoring, we become more receptive to the energies around us. The plants have a way of finding and opening up webbed portals of communication and feeling. Most that are drawn to this craft are already receptive in nature, although, socialization might become a little more intense to navigate as the feeling of surrounding space energy and all its entities heightens through the conscious learnings and unconscious transmissions from our natural world allies. This is why boundaries are essential in this type of work, seen and unseen, within those heighten energetic spaces we must protect our spirit from taking in too much of others’ energies or having someone (other entities residing in human vessels or intentional practicing occultist/s) capture pieces of spirit.

Plants that reseed themselves within borders or paths in wild lands or gardens, I believe, enjoy being considered for boundary work and for different types of boundaries.

One boundary plant that I turn to often is chamomile. Known as an ancient strewing herb that was thrown about the house to deter negative forces. Many folks say that chamomile carries both sun and moon properties and some say one or the other. I believe chamomile carries both sun and moon influences, I see this in my observance of its shadow play, how the petals not only move with age but also with light. I like to think of chamomile’s spirit as a conjuring of light that reflects back so hard that it blinds malefic entities, sending them elsewhere. I’m using this plant spirit as an example of building personal crafting relationships. There’s more to why I am being called to this specific plant for boundary support, to be vulnerable…its essence revives a sense of security in my belly that came quickly to aid by my mother, a feeling I think many of us have experienced, and now not having that security of parent figures the essence of chamomile still offers me this sense of security and a sweet comforting remembrance, making chamomile a healthy boundary plant for aiding in my trauma. It’s like it helps keep in spirit leakage, if that makes any sense. (Much of what is attempted to be explained in words really cannot, that’s part of the craft I think, and sometimes there are no words. That’s why we see so many more symbols in magick and alchemy.)

When posttraumatic episodes can be filled with reinforcement of light by letting plant spirits transform energy we may become less vulnerable to the cycle of negative emotions. In more severe cases I believe it’s best to connect with an experienced guide that can connect and walk you through a healing plant journey.

Being mindful of how far our energy extends and how it affects space, in my opinion, is a great path to preventative protection. Various resilient plants that spontaneously vegetate can serve as great guides by welcoming in specific lessons that slowly reveal how our energy affects the universe, in return transforming paradigms that will greatly serve growth in awareness, making more room for many a magickal manifestations.

Distinguishing points of entry and exit into our practicing sanctuaries and inviting specific boundary plant spirits to grow in and around these areas is a great way to cultivate and build plant protection relationships. It’s also cool to see who spontaneously pops up at your front door too, as in, which weeds happen to grow closer to your doorstep.

Sowing seed or planting plants that you’re drawn to in relation and respect to the local ecosystem, plant nation, and people is much more insightful and fulfilling than planting from a list of plants for specific uses. We learn more about ourselves and local community this way. We see patterns this way - so many patterns. Like where the fire colored flowers grow in our gardens, or in the wild, and what patterns they make and when.

A fun garden or local wild land energetic learning activity is making a chart with planets on top and your plant list vertically. As you look up each plant’s planet association place a mark in the appropriate area on your chart. Check out the trends. Are there more plants in association with one planet than others? What can that energetic pattern reveal in our craft? You could also go deeper and note direction of plant (eg. yarrow – eastside of garden) and take your anaylaztion further.

Our body’s waters; sweat, urine, blood, and tears are some of the most divine garden offerings and as most know some of those waters also serve as strong boundaries for setting our territory, so we must remain mindful when doing this in the wild. May we learn to sacrifice beauty for the garden, keeping cultivation to a minimal and may we remember that letting her be free with seed magic is an offering in itself. Other gardeners question the wildness, yet we stand strong and true in loyalty to her for the essential oil content, overall plant genetics and soil are stronger in a wilder garden than they are in a highly cultivated garden, plus birdsong and bug buzz is louder.

‘Bewitching the Land’ blessings to you. May we continue to harmonize with the universe in effortless exercises awakening remembered practices of ancient alchemists for our generations and those to come.

Stay tuned for…..
Bewitching the Land, 
Part II: Offerings and Conjuring Plant Spirit

Illustration and Photography credits:
Kat Sanchez, photos and illustration 
Modern Minimalist Art, illustration 

Opinion based post, as most. 

For more plant planetary resources check out Harold Roth, I enjoy his charts.

*If working on wild land be mindful and do your research about the past and current stories of the land you are on. If possible, connect with local indigenous folk.