Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Harvesting Joy: A Hedgewitch's Herb Garden

Basil is beloved because it’s so delectable and versatile. It is easily grown in pots. Take care to remove the growing tip when the plants are 15cm high for bushier growth. Plant out in the garden when the weather gets warmer. Basil prefers full sun and a sheltered spot.

Chives come from the onion family and have slim, pointed leaves. You should sow seeds directly in the ground in early spring, late March or April. Chives grow best in a sunny spot with rich soil, so keep the plants watered. Chives produce pretty purple or pink and perfectly round flowers. Gorgeous in the garden and palatable on the plate Sage is a marvelous cooking herb and is truly easy to grow.

Coriander is a very versatile herb for the kitchen and grows well in the garden or in pots. Seeds can take weeks to germinate and the plants are fairly short-lived, so sow seeds every few weeks to get you through the season. Coriander is a bit fussy and can “bolt” when stressed, which means it produces flowers and seeds and not enough of the flavorful leaves. You need to make sure it is well watered and reap regularly before it goes to seed.

Mint is a marvel. It spreads beautifully once it has really taken root. If space is a concern, plant your mint in pots to contain the roots and stop it taking over. Keep it in full sun or partial shade and pinch out any flower buds to encourage more leaf growth.

Oregano loves a Mediterranean clime. Plant yours in warm, sunny spots with light soil. Oregano has pretty pink flowers and makes great ground cover at the front of borders. Don’t allow this herb to get too tall so make sure to pinch back and you’ll get more of this tasty treat to harvest.

Parsley is the gift that gives for two years. This herb can be slow to germinate; try soaking the seeds in water overnight before planting and this will speed it up.  The best place to grow parsley is in rich, moist soil in full sun or partial shade.

Rosemary is useful for so many culinary and healing teas and brews. . Lucky for us, it grows vigorously. Rosemary can be trimmed in early summer to keep it in shape and stop it getting too woody. The scent is so wonderful in dishes and in bath salts, too!

Sage doesn’t like is wet ground, so plant it in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. There are several sage varieties to choose from, including some with colored leaves. Harvest the leaves regularly to encourage more to grow. This versatile herb is a major culinary pleasure.

Thyme is a cousin of mint and grows much lower to the ground; it is one of the most fragrant of herbs and really adds flavor as a culinary herb. Plant this to remove melancholy from your home and garden. If your front yard and door get afternoon sun, plant wooly thyme and you’ll come home after work to a perfume paradise that immediately lends cheer and comfort.

All of these herbs will grow happily in containers on a patio or balcony, and even on the kitchen windowsill. Start an herb garden this year and you’ll never look back.

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    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

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