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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in garden

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Dubious Balance

For most of us on the East Coast, this has been a long, wintry season to be sure. And I’m certain we are not done with weather yet, March having come in like a wee lamb. We are ready–more than ready!–for spring to arrive in the hills and the hollow places.

I follow a path that teaches me that spring arrives with the snowdrops, in the dark drear beginnings of February. I have learned that spring is still a terribly changeable beast and filled with chaos and longing. When I observe the Vernal Equinox, it will be as mid-spring–just as the Winter Solstice is mid-winter–and I will know I am halfway to Summer, at Beltane.

Most likely, I will balance an egg tomorrow, for fun. And I have a funny package ready to send to my daughter and her beau, to celebrate the season. As you can see from the photo above, the hellebores that are commonly called Lenten roses are blooming in the yard. The daffodils are blindingly yellow this year and the crocus are larger and lusher than in years past. Some things need a long cold rest to do their best work.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks, wild woman.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Just the words I needed to hear today.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_garden_sm.jpgI’ve been building a garden. It’s something I seem to do over and over, so this one is the result of years of experience. But this one is not just about growing food. This garden is about creating planetary change. It is a way to put shamanic, magical energy into my vision of what I think would make life on our Earth better. The principles are broad, and for the most part, I trust deity to move us toward greater health and well-being, although I do continue to educate myself as best I can.

The four areas I am working with are: agriculture and food production, sustainable finance, communication and human connection, and entertainment.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_harvest1_sm.jpgThe human population has passed the 7 billion mark. When I was in high school I took a class with the alarming title of World Problems. Population was one of the highlighted issues, and I could feel the pressure of 4 million people pressing on my Pagan soul and sucking up the planet’s resources. Some of my darkest nightmares revolved around that dreadful movie about pollution and overpopulation that schools were all showing in the 70s.

I have heard it expressed from both the left and the right that some sort of population collapse event is inevitable. I think we feel this way in part because we cannot imagine how all those people will be fed, and what kind of world we will have in the process. Scary as it is, I believe there is hope for us. This is not just blind faith in the goodness of the Universe. In the course of learning about sustainable, permaculture style food systems, I have come across some remarkable pieces of information.

The first is that mixed use, biodynamic farms and other permaculture style integrated farming systems, produce more food per acre than conventional farms. A lot more. In Asia, combining fish production with livestock and vegetable production increased fish output 2 to 3.9 times. David Blume in his 2 acre Silicon Valley mini farm, produced 8 times the amount of food per acrethat the USDA claimed was possible. Blume lays out the math.

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  • Selina Rifkin
    Selina Rifkin says #
    It is my hope that Pagans will help to lead this charge. Our love of the land is a natural match for permaculture, and other techn
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    How fortunate you are that you were able to attend this! Salatin's farm should be put up as an example to everyone who considers p
  • Selina Rifkin
    Selina Rifkin says #
    The Russian people have a long tradition of food not lawns. It is both sustainable and practical in that it provides food security

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Flower Faeries are intriguing to have in the garden. A great way to invite them to move into your own herb garden is to plant an enticing Faerie Chair. Faerie scouts will be able to see this high rise Faerie Garden from a great distance! They will be so delighted that perhaps a whole clan will make their home near this awesome chair garden. You do however, have to make sure that your friends and relatives never try to sit on the chair. Who knows what will happen?

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Begin by finding an old wooden chair. Garage sales are a good source or in my case I remembered I had some chairs up in the top of the barn. Remove the seat part of the chair. And gather the rest of the needed materials:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fruits of the Land

Mmmm…I just love summer. The energies run big, bright, and colorful! My fire rhythm can find herself burnt out easily though if I commit to do-ing too much instead of just be-ing. Taking quiet time is imperative for my system, especially during the vibrant summer months. A recent Saturday night was a be-ing night for me and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate a cool, quiet, rainy summer night than by working in the kitchen with fresh fruit.

Food is incredibly sensual, isn't it? The invitation arrives and we have to give ourselves permission to really, truly experience it! Fresh fruit and vegetables this time of the year are truly blessed gifts indeed and I give myself freely, fully to the sensory-filled experience of the harvest. This is also one of my favorite aspects of traveling and brings to mind a recent opportunity while in Jamaica this past spring.

My business partner and I facilitate women's retreats in a beautiful town off the beaten path called Treasure Beach. A treasure it is! Each night we fell asleep under the gentle caress of Caribbean salt air, the rhythmic drone of the sea right outside of our door, and the thud of ripened mangoes falling from the trees…a few times falling right on the roof of our cottage! So each morning the group of us women would excitedly scour the yard at our B&B, gathering the night’s treasures, and run into the ocean. Mangoes in-hand, we began to peel the leathery skin, exposing the sweet, golden flesh of the fruit, allowing the juices to fully encase our fingers. The entire fruit is then dipped in the salt water…oh, the exquisite taste!  There are no words beyond this point so I will leave it to your imagination...

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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Ashling. I love that you share "sensual" and "poetic" in the same sentence...ahh...that is magic right there!
  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Lizann! You are right about those peaches...like candy they are right now. And you have a copy of that book too? Isn
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    What a sensual, poetic sharing of the season's delights....beautifully done!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Weeds inside & out!

Summer is well into full-swing this first week of August. In this part of Illinois, August is usually very hot and miserable.  Even so, the first slight signs of Autumn can be detected.  The sun is setting earlier and sometimes a cool breeze filters through the window at night. First harvests have been happening in actuality for a while The gardens and fields have been planted, fertilized and in way too many cases fumigated with pesticides to keep out the weeds and pests.  Wheat has been harvested for over a month and those fields are currently planted in soybeans to get a second harvest before winter hits.  Corn is in full tassel which means that the grain is now being formed.  In the gardens, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other summer crops are in full production.  Soon, I will be planting a fall garden to get a new supply of greens and other vegetables that prefer the cool nights.  Now is the time to go venturing into the uncultivated acres to gather milk thistle seed and goldenrod for the herb cabinet. 

This is also the time of year that the weeds in the garden and along the fencerows are coming into full maturity. It becomes obvious that I have not been diligent about keeping the weeds out of the places where I would prefer they do not grow. Well, isn't that the real definition of a weed?  A weed is simply a plant growing where you do not want it.  I have an overabundance of foxtail grass, lambs quarters and ragweed where the abundance is supposed to be blackberries, tomatoes and melons.

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  • Áine
    Áine says #
    Lovely concept, thanks for sharing!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_corntassel1_sm.jpgToday I was touched by Corn. Not corn, but Corn.

As I weeded in the hot sun, the leaves brushed my back and I felt a rush of energy washing away the dizziness and fatigue. A whisper-soft offering to my flushed and sweating body.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Magick Amulet for Gardens

As I’ve written in many articles, gardening is a form of ritual, a work of gratitude and veneration for the gods. It also has some practical sides to it, such as helping feed my family, and providing a source of peace and joy in my life, and it’s a good workout. Feeding my family is an important function of the gardens, so I have many rituals and other methods of using magick to help them. One of those methods is by using amulets. A lot of people believe that a magick amulet is simply something that one wears for protection or something purpose, but that isn’t close to the entire story of amulets or their uses.

There seems to be much confusion or conflicting ideas about both amulets and talismans, how they’re similar and different, and what forms they take. A comprehensive examination of amulets and talismans is beyond the scope of this article, but let me just submit to you that amulets do not have to be worn, or indeed take the form of something that even could be worn. Approaching this method of magick from that perspective certainly opens up a lot of creative possibilities; one of which is what I call the Garden Crop Amulet. This magick amulet takes the form of a sigil created using the A.O. Spare method, but reproducing the sigil, as with any amulet or talisman that may have one, is only part of the task.

Using the Garden Crop Magick Amulet

It is best to manifest this magick amulet when the waxing moon is at its fullest. The easiest way to manifest the sigil is to draw it on a piece of paper to be buried deep in the garden soil, or draw it on or carve it into a small stick that can be stuck into the soil. After drawing or carving the sigil, hold the paper or stick between two hands on visualize the pale lunar energy funneling into your head and filling up your form like a cup. When the cup is full, pour that energy into the amulet you’re holding changing it from a pale white to a vibrant, pulsating green. You should pour this energy not from your hands into the amulet, but from your mouth in the form of a single, committed breath.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Herb Robert - Geranium Robertianum, Homegrown.

Working with herbs has been one of the most magical and rewarding experiences in my growth as a Witch. Not only plants heal our spirit and body – they are teachers, they empower us and they reveal the paths to spiritual realms as guardians and shamans.

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  • Carolina Gonzalez
    Carolina Gonzalez says #
    Thanks so much! More coming very soon .

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_decorated-witchhazel-2012.jpg

 

The old agricultural year is winding down to its usual conclusion. This time of the Long Dying is still vibrant here in the southern highlands of the Appalachian mountains.  Today began in thick fog and reached a temperature nearly 20 degrees higher than the average for this day. Warm, light breeze, perfect for outside work in the garden.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    It has been unseasonably warm here, too -- but we are getting monsoons of hard rain which I can't really object to, since we had a

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