In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself. To cultivate something in the black soil, see it sprout and then bloom, is to watch a magical working unfold before our very eyes. The plant cycle is intrinsically tied to so many earth-based belief systems that it should come as no surprise that the magic of the garden is one well worth looking into. Let's look at some of the folklore and traditions that surround gardening and planting magic.
Many Wiccans and Pagans love to garden, but a lot of people don't realize you can grow plants and flowers that bloom at night. Cultivating a moon garden is a great way to get in touch with nature, and it provides a beautiful and fragrant backdrop for your moonlight rituals in the summer. If you plant these lovelies close to your house, you can open the windows and take advantage of their aromas as you sleep.
If you're a Pagan or Wiccan who's into gardening, you might want to consider planting an elemental garden. The four classical elements are often associated with Pagan and Wiccan spirituality, so why not incorporate them into your gardening? Summer is a great time to work on your garden, so if you haven't gotten out there digging in the dirt yet, now's your chance! The sun is at its peak, the earth is nice and warm, and plants are growing all around. Move some of your existing plants (or put some new ones in) and create an elemental garden. By connecting different parts of your garden with the four elements, you can add a little bit of magic into your life each year.
Gardening is a magical act. It allows us to take the simplest form of life -- a seed -- and plant it so that weeks later it will bloom. Plants and magic have been associated for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, so when spring rolls around and you're planning your seasonal garden, why not set up a special area to dedicate to the goddess of your tradition?
As spring arrives, our gardens begin to bud and eventually bloom. For hundreds of years, the plants that we grow have been used in magic. Flowers in particular are often connected with a variety of magical uses. Now that those blossoms are blooming, keep an eye out for some of these flowers around you, and consider the different magical applications they might have.
So you've decided you're ready to do a magical working... but you're not sure which herbs are the best ones to use. Use this list as a reference point to determine which herbs, plants and flowers are the best choices for your purposes. Be sure to visit the Magical Herb Gallery for images of many of the herbs listed on this page.
Offer this summer garden prayer when the sun is at its peak, and see what rewards might fill your soil!
In addition to growing your own magical herbs in your garden, in many areas you can harvest herbs from their natural environment -- in the wild. This is known as wildcrafting, and is becoming a popular pastime. If you’re one of the many Pagans or Wiccans who enjoys working with herbs, you may want to look into wildcrafting. However, much like any other natural resource, herbs must be harvested responsibly -- otherwise, a once-plentiful plant can quickly end up on the endangered list! An ethical wildcrafter should never cause damage, nor should they deplete a resource. Here's how to be an ethical wildcrafter.
During the spring, birds are busily building their nests. Many species have returned from wintering somewhere else, and eggs are getting ready to hatch. If you'd like to attract wild birds to your yard, provide them with places to nest that are safe and sheltered. There are several ways to welcome birds to your property, including building houses, hanging feeders, and providing a source of water.
In the middle of spring, a magical thing begins to happen outside. In addition to the greening of the earth, we notice a change in the local wildlife. In particular, you'll see bees buzzing around your garden, partaking of the rich pollen in your flowers and herbs. The plants are in full bloom at this time of the spring, and the bees take full advantage, buzzing back and forth, carrying pollen from one blossom to another. In addition to providing us with honey and wax, bees are known to have magical properties, and they feature extensively in folklore from many different cultures.