Posts Tagged With: Plant

Magical Gardening Around the World

Magical Gardening Around the World

By , About.com

 

Around the world, people tend to garden in different ways. Someone living on a large family farm plants their crops differently than someone on a half-acre lot in the suburbs. A resident of a big city in an advanced nation will grow things in a different fashion than a family living in an impoverished, third world country. While one person might use a large tractor and motorized equipment, another may use a simple shovel. Still another might only use a pointed stick to make a hole in the ground. Since time began, the human race has managed to find ways to make things grow where before there was nothing.

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 gardeners swear by the idea of planting by the phase of the moon. The first quarter is when they plant crops which bloom above ground — spinach and lettuce, cucumbers and corn, to name a few. The second quarter, leading up to the full moon, is the time to plant above-ground seed crops like beans, watermelons, squash and tomatoes. During the third quarter, the week following the full moon, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes should go in, as well as bulb flowers. Finally, the last quarter of the waning moon is the time to avoid planting altogether — instead, work on garden maintenance such as tilling and weeding.
  • Appalachian folk magic is rich with tradition when it comes to planting. Pound a nail into the northern side of your fruit trees to bring a higher yield come harvest time. Also, if you want your hot peppers to grow really hot, then plant them when you’re good and mad about something. For maximum growing potential, have a pregnant friend help you plant beans, and the beans will flourish.
  • Medieval English folklore says that if you plant daisies, they’ll help keep the fairies out of your yard. Once they’ve bloomed, make a daisy chain for a child, to keep the fae from leaving a changeling in the child’s place.
  • Certain tubers, such as yams, are believed to increase lust and fertility. In some West African nations, the white yam has been linked to high birth rates, particularly that of multiples such as twins.
  • If you’re planting blackberries, roses, or some other brambly, thorny bush, train them over an arch in your garden. In Restoration-era England, it was believed that walking through a bramble arch would cure just about any ailment.
  • A South Carolina rootworker named Jasper says that his family’s Gullah heritage has shaped a lot of their planting traditions. Women who are menstruating are not permitted to harvest okra, because it might spoil when they put it up for canning. Also, pickles won’t be crunchy if canned by a woman having her period. Mustard, collard, and other greens planted near your bedroom window will help prevent conception of a child. The color blue keeps evil spirits away, so plant blue flowers near your front door.
  • Some Native American tribes planted beans, squash and corn in an arrangement known as Three Sisters. In addition to being a self-sustaining ecosystem, in which each plant helps the others, the planting of this trio is associated with the concept of happy families, abundance, and community.
  • During the Victorian era, the secret language of flowers became popular. Each flower had its own association, so if you wished to attract love, for example, you might plant love-linked flowers like geranium and lilac.
  • In Slavic countries, wild roses are said to keep away vampires. In many other places, garlic is known as an anti-vampire plant, and in some parts of Central Europe it is used to ward off the “evil eye.” If you think someone might be trying to do you magical harm, plant garlic in abundance.
  • There’s a number of tales about never eating tomatoes off a silver platter, or you might die. This actually has some historical basis – Colonial settlers found that they often became ill after eating tomatoes. Rather than it being a problem with the tomato itself, this was due to a reaction between the tomatoes and the settlers’ pewter dinnerware. Despite the rumor being proven false that tomatoes are deadly, in some parts of the country tomatoes are never dished up in anything silver.
  • During the westward expansion of the nineteenth century, some Midwestern areas believed that if a girl found a blood-red corn cob among the yellow ones, she was sure to marry before the year was out. Forward thinking young men occasionally planted a few random kernels of red corn strains among their crops.

 

 

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Transplanting Potted Herbs To The Garden

Transplanting Potted Herbs To The Garden

How To Transplant Herbs From Nursery Pots To The Garden

By , About.com

Spring is the time to get out and visit garden shops and nurseries. Take along your garden wish list (you have one, don’t you?), and start selecting the best looking plants you can.

Once you do get your plants home, it will be time to transplant them into the garden. Here are some tips for transplanting potted herbs, in order to keep your plants looking fresh and growing well. Potted herbs come in many sizes, from tiny 3 inch pots to 1 gallon and even 2 gallon sizes. No matter what size you buy, look for plants that are not too dry in the pot. Their leaves should be lush and no shriveled or have dead areas on them. Looking at the bottom of the pot, there may be fine roots sticking out in numerous places, but avoid larger or extremely heavy number of thick roots coming out the sides and bottom of the pot. This is an indication that your plants have grown too large for that pot, yet have remained in the pot for too long (often called Pot or Root bound). Once you trim off the excess roots, it may be too much of a shock for the overgrown plant, resulting in its death or stunted growth.

When you are ready to actually transplant, soak your potted herb in water. This helps the plant to come out of the container more easily, helps keep the soil intact-protecting the roots, and ensures that when you do the final watering with the plant in the ground, it is thoroughly wet through the entire root ball as well as the surrounding soil.

Take a look at the root ball before placing in the ground. If the roots are packed together, gently loosen them and spread them apart (I call this teasing the roots), allowing them to grow in a outward, instead of circular pattern. For more aggressive teasing of the roots, it is often suggested that you cut into the root ball with a sharp knife in several spots. For herbs, this hasn’t been my experience, but it is a valid recommendation in the gardening industry.

Be certain to work on one herb plant at a time. Avoid removing a number of herbs from their pots at the same time, thinking it will speed up your transplanting. The herb roots and soil need to be protected from sunlight and air as much as possible. You may end up with stunted plants that were damaged from the 30 minutes their roots lay exposed as you worked on another plant.

Your hole should be twice the diameter as your potted plant, and deep enough that the herb will be planted in its new spot at the same level. Avoid planting too deeply, since this can cause fungal damage resulting in the plant’s demise. I like to moisten the hole before transplanting, to ensure that the top water will be absorbed more readily. Spread out the roots that you have loosened, and place the herb in the dampened hole. Refill the hole with soil and then firmly press the herb plant into place. Your plant will shift once watered, and it may end up lifting out of the ground, if it is not firmly in place.

Water the new transplanted herb well, trying to avoid soaking the leaves if possible. This will help reduce the chance of mildew and disease, as well as sun damage if transplanting during a hot, sunny day.

Place at least 2 inches of mulch around the base of the transplanted herb, leaving a little space right next to the stem. This helps protect the stem from mildew as well, and any critters that like to hide in the mulch to nibble your herbs, will not have an inviting location to move in. Moisten the mulch once it is in place, and you are done!

 

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 21

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 21

“Every thing or living being that exists in this world, be it trees, flowers, birds, grasses, rocks, soil of the earth, or human beings, has its unique manner of existence –its essence, its spirit that makes it what it is. That is what is meant by connectedness.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Scientists are finally realizing what the Elders have taught for thousands of years-every- thing is connected. Because everything is interconnected, whatever you do to any one thing, you do to everything. If you poison any part of the earth, the poison eventually affects everything else. If you poison the plants, the birds will eat the plants, which poisons the birds. The birds are eaten by humans which poisons the humans. The humans will have babies who could be deformed because the plants were poisoned. We must learn to live in harmony with the earth. We must learn to think good things. Every good thought is felt by everything, which causes everything to be happy.

Creator, let my thoughts only be good thoughts.

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Magickal Herbs Use For Exorcism

** EXORCISM  

      * Angelica  
      * Arbutus  
* Asafetida
      * Avens  
      * Basil  
      * Beans  
      * Birch  
      * Boneset  
      * Buckthorn  
      * Clove  
      * Clover  
      * Cumin  
      * Devil’s Bit  
      * Dragon’s Blood  
      * Elder  
      * Fern  
      * Fleabane  
      * Frankincense  
      * Fumitory  
      * Garlic  
      * Heliotrope  
      * Horehound  
      * Horseradish  
      * Juniper  
      * Leek  
      * Lilac  
      * Mallow  
      * Mint  
      * Mistletoe  
      * Mullein  
      * Myrrh  
      * Nettle  
      * Onion  
      * Peach  
      * Peony  
      * Pepper  
      * Pine  
      * Rosemary  
      * Rue  
      * Sagebrush  
      * Sandalwood  
      * Sloe  
      * Snapdragon  
      * Tamarisk  
      * Thistle  
      * Witch Grass  
      * Yarrow  

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Basic Herbal Fumigation

Basic Herbal Fumigation

Burning specific herbs provides magickal and spiritual antiseptic effects. These herbs include: aloes wood, benzoin  resin, bloodroot, cajeput, cinnamon, cloves, dragon’s blood resin, eucalyptus, frankincense, garlic, harmel (Syrian rue), juniper, mastic, mugwort,  myrrh, onions, rosemary, sage(especially white sage), Saint John’s Wort, sandalwood, thyme, wormwood and yarrow. Burn them alone or in any  combination.
Many of these plants also radiate a protective aura: maintaining them as a presence, particularly as living plants but  also as direct amulets, can only be beneficial. Whatever else these plants do (any many, such as frankincense, dragon’s bood and wormwood are extremely  versatile magickally), they alway radiate a cleansing, purifying aura. Although certain methods of our intensify their cleansing effect, those effects are  constant: the more these herbs are used, the more consistent their cleansing power.
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Obtaining Herbs: Collection

Obtaining Herbs

Collection

Walking in the woods, striding through deserts, climbing mountains or strolling along beaches are refreshing activities in and of themselves. When combined with a quest for magickal herbs they can be exciting adventures.

There are some basic ideas to follow here:

*Collect only what you need. Do you really need five paper sacks full of mugwort?

*Attune with the plant before collecting from it. You may do this by placing your hands around it and feeling its energies, chanting a simple rhyme or a few words that describe why you’re taking part of its energy(leaves and flowers), and/or by placing an object of worth in the soil at the base of the plant. If you have nothing else with you, put a coin or dollar bill beneath the plant before havesting. This represents your willingness to give of yourself in exchange for the plant’s sacrifice.

*Never collect more than 25 percent of the plant’s growth. If you’re collecting roots you must, of course, take the whole plant, so be sure to leave other nearby plants of the same type untouched.

*Don’t collect after rain or heavy dew. At least, not until the Sun has dried the plants. Otherwise they might mold while drying.

*Choose your collection site carefully. Never collect plants near highways, roads, stagnant or polluted waters, near factories or military installations.

To dry herbs you’ve harvested, strip off the leaves of flowers and lay on ceramic, wooden or steel racks in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight. Or place them in baskets and shake the herbs daily until dry. Store in airtight, labelled jars.

Scott Cunningham

“The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews”

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Obtaining Herbs: Growing

Obtaining Herbs

Growing

Growing your own herbs is an intriguing art. Herbs can be difficult to successfully grow, but when they do, you’re rewarded with a plentiful supply of flowers, leaves, seeds, barks and roots.

Any bookstore or library will have good books outlining the basic steps in growing herbs. Find one and utilize the information in it, taking into account local growing conditions. Most nurseries and department stores stock herb seeds and starter plants.

Magickally guard herbs when growing them by placing small quartz crystals in the soil. To ensure that they flourish, wear jade when watering or tending them, or put a piece of moss-agate in the earth.

When the plant has matured or is large enough, begin harvesting by using the basic system mentioned above. Thank the plant and the Earth for its treasures.

Scott Cunningham

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews

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Starting the Herbs

Starting the Herbs

Herbs can be grown from seeds, cuttings or roots.

Seeds
If you know someone who grows herbs from seed, see if you can beg or barter a
few seeds from them – why buy a whole packet if you can get just enough for your
needs? Seeds are easy to work with. You can start seeds growing in trays filled
with potting mix – try using egg cartons, paper cups, cut-off milk cartons, or
plastic trays (try take-away food trays, or the kind you buy cakes, etc, in).
Keep the soil damp and preferably have the trays somewhere where they will catch
a great deal of light and be kept warm. Transplant them into a larger container
after the second set of leaves has formed and the seedlings look strong.

Cuttings
If you know someone with herb plants, perhaps they would let you have a few
cuttings. Herbs that grow well from cuttings include rosemary, lavender, mint,
thyme, scented geraniums and oregano. Take the cutting in spring or (preferably)
summer, using a section of stem without flowers which is at least a few inches
long. The stem should be firm enough that it can’t be merely pinched off. A side
branch growing from the main stem of the plant is best. Use shears to remove the
stem, and make a slanting cut below the lowest set of leaves. If you can take a
cutting which has a ‘foot’ on it, so much the better – this means that there
will be more space for the stem to suck up water and nutrients from the soil.
Remove the lower sets of leaves, leaving a reasonable section of bare stem -
this is where the roots will form. However, you should leave a few sets of
leaves at the top of the cutting. Poke a hole gently into the potting mix and
insert the bare stem of the cutting, then press the rest of the potting mix
firmly around it. Water well, and after the first watering keep the soil moist
but not completely saturated. The cutting will be ready to transplant when it
has started to grow more leaves, or when it has formed enough roots that it
resists being pulled out of the ground when you tug very gently on it.

Roots
Certain herbs grow best from root pieces – comfrey and ginger being good
examples. Take a healthy-looking ‘finger’ of root, plant it in the soil and keep
it well-watered and in a warm sunny place. The root will grow into a healthy
plant, which in turn can have more root fingers taken from it when it’s mature.

Care of Container Plants
I suggest you buy, beg or borrow a good book on caring for herbs in your own
country, as what you should do with them does vary greatly depending on
conditions.

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