Close your eyes, if you will, and try and visualize the perfect magickal garden space. What did you see? A formal garden with perfectly trimmed topiaries and rose bushes that encircle your ritual space. How about an old-fashioned vegetable garden with a pumpkin patch and a scarecrow? Maybe you visualized yourself sipping herbal brews in an English cottage garden or studying up on spell work in a tropical garden where the scent of jasmine bewitches you. And still, others may visualize an amazing herb garden just steps from their kitchen- or a gothic Witch’s garden tangled with mystery and secret knowledge.
What about desert inspired gardens? Where the element of fire sets our hearts ablaze or a shady woodland setting where faerie energy can be felt just under the fern fronds and moss makes a cool carpet for our dancing feet? There is also something enchanting about a snow-covered landscape that sparkles under moonlight- reminding us to take the time to tend the garden that is our inner self. Gardens are as varied as the Witches who tend them- be it an amazing array of potted plantings on a balcony or a field of wild flowers- the most important aspect of your magickal garden is that it feeds your soul.
Connection with our Ancestors I have written a lot about seed saving and plant sharing because I feel it is not only an important way produce food that is better adapted to your region, but to connect us with our ancestors. Be it a cutting from your grandmother’s prized rose or seeds that have been passed down for generations, for me, part of the magick of my own garden is that it’s a place where I can feel my ancestors near me.
Another way to connect may be more ‘historical’ in nature. Take a look at an old grimoire, receipt book or an herbal almanac- Are you drawn to these plants because of their medicinal/historical or magickal values? Growing your own magickal plants is a great hands-on way of learning more about the craft and connecting with long gone hedge-witches and cunning folk who walked between the worlds in days gone by.
Connection with Nature Being a part of life’s process helps us to understand that our connectivity with nature is truly a symbiotic one- We lovingly tend to the earth to grow our own food, which in turn helps sustain us. Flowers, shrubs, trees or water features that we add to our landscapes are not only beautiful, but provide food, water and shelter for other creatures, attract pollinators, and provide oxygen.
As magickal practitioners you may notice more faerie activity. The blessing of nature spirits are abundant when we are in sync with our natural surroundings.
Earthing (grounding) Being in contact with the earth has calming effects that may lower stress and help improve sleep. Magickally, it helps to balance and equalize the flow of energy and avoid negative side-effects unbalanced energy can have on your spell-work. Plunging your witchy hands into the soil is a great earthing technique- in fact, recent studies show that there is a soil microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae which has the same mood enhancing effect as anti-depressants.
Bare footing is another way to make that contact with earth’s balancing energy. Wiggling your toes in fresh upturned soil or walking on fresh spring grass are great ways to ground and create a sense of ease.
How about tilting your face to the breeze? Let the element of Air blow away negativity and stimulate your creativity.
Balance your energy by dipping your feet in a stream, lake or other body of water. Dance in the rain or simply sit by a garden water feature and let the trickling sound of water cleanse and equalize your spirit.
Sense of Accomplishment As I look at the jars of dried flowers and herbs that line my witchy pantry, I can take pride in the knowledge that I cultivated my magickal ingredients myself. I like knowing what went into the cultivation of my garden- everything from the compost that the seeds are propagated in- to the astrological timing of when they were sowed and the moon phase of when the plants were harvested is all under my control and contributes to, not only the success of my plants, but to the success of my spell crafting.
You can customize your magickal herbal needs. What are your magickal needs? Would you like to make your own smudge sticks? Adding white sage to your garden sounds good. Maybe you want to work with lunar energy- how about growing lemon balm, gardenia or willow. Okay- maybe you just want something simple like- the all-purpose Witches herb, Yarrow. No problem. Growing your own means you can customize your garden to fit your needs
A place for meditation and ritual. This is your sanctuary. Learn to take advantage of focal points, such as a favorite tree, vine, water feature or view that soothes you. And learn how to create a sense of safety and enclosure to make your ritual space comfortable and maybe give it just a hint of mystery.
Make Your Own Pagan Prayer Flags
Here is a fun project that will add a little whimsy to your magickal garden space. And the best part, you don't need a sewing machine.
You will need:
4-5 Fat Quarters 18"x21" (colors or patterns of your choosing) These can be found in the quilting section of any craft/hobby or fabric store.
2- 4 yards of ribbon or twine (depending on how long you want your flags)
2 yards of black felt (I like to have plenty to work with in case of mistakes)
Pinking shears or scissors (I use pinking shears to control fraying- this will leave your flags with a zig-zagged edge)
no-sew fabric glue (look for water-proof if you live in a wet climate)
Lay out your fat quarters. These will make four panels each that end up roughly 9"X10". You can use up to three of each color for your panels, but hold one out and cut into 2" strips. these will be used as the streamers that go in between the panels.
Once you have all of your flag panels and streamers cut out, make sure to iron them so they lay nice and flat and set aside.
Now for the creative part! Use the black felt to cut out a symbol that resonates to you for each flag panel. This is a good time to get the kids involved and let them help with the designs or the cutting (if they're old enough). Don't get stressed out if you're feeling artistically challenged, cut out bold, simple patterns like moons, stars, cauldrons or simple representations of the God and Goddess. You don't have to mess around with Celtic knots if you don't want to.
Once you have all of your felt pieces cut out, lay one on top of each panel- make sure they are centered, and then using the fabric glue, glue onto the panels and let dry for a couple of hours.
When the panels are dry, it's time to attach them to your ribbon or twine. Lay out your ribbon (you might want to use plastic sheeting or newsprint to lay under it if you're worried about getting glue on carpeting) and place the flags and streamers in a manner that is pleasing to you. Remember to leave enough room at each end for tying.
Glue each panel and streamer in place and let dry overnight.