Plant Magic: Wisdom from the Green World

Whether you live in a city or the countryside, the magic of plants can be found everywhere and sometimes where you least expect it. Be open and explore the magic that surrounds you.

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Sandra Kynes

Sandra Kynes

The author of over a dozen books, Sandra is an explorer of history, myth, and magic. Her writing has been featured in SageWoman, The Magical Times, The Portal, and Circle magazines, Utne Reader and Magical Buffet websites, and various Llewellyn almanacs. Although she is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, she travels a solitary Goddess-centered path through the Druidic woods. She has lived in New York City, Europe, England, and now Maine where she lives in an 1850s farmhouse surrounded by meadows and woods.  

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The Cailleach Lingers

In northern New England we’re used to long winters and lots of snow, but on May 9th? Perhaps the Cailleach has not gone away.

Known in Scotland as Cailleach Bheur, she was the personification of winter and ruled the weather from Samhain to Beltane. One of her tricks was to pound the earth with her long wooden staff to make the ground too hard for plants to grow. She especially liked snow, but by the beginning of February her store of wood ran low which meant that it was time to collect fallen tree branches. If the day was bright and sunny she would gather wood and be all set for more cold weather; but if the weather were cloudy and wet she would stay home and work her magic to bring winter to an end. Where grass doesn’t grow under a holly tree, it was said to be the spot where she threw her staff when spring arrived.  

To protect your garden, walk around it three times as you say three times: “Cailleach, great crone of winter; mother of darkness whose stories are told. Bless these plants, keep safe my garden; protect us through the storms and cold.”  

 

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A Powerful Plant Ally in Stressful Times

Lavender is a beloved garden plant that is widely known for calming nerves, balancing emotions, and fostering a sense of peace. The scent of this plant aids in getting restful sleep, which is especially important during stressful times. Lavender essential oil is the easiest way to use this plant.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Full Moon Winter Garden Blessing

As the days grow longer, a mild breath of air brings the promise of spring. In some areas receding snow reveals a soft haze of greening grass, while in other places droplets of ice shimmer light fairy lights on tree branches. Seeds that have been resting in the womb of Mother Earth will slowly make their way to the surface and unfurl into the sunlight. But not yet, they must be softly roused.

 

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Birch and the Turning of the Year

The magical month of the birch tree, and its ogham character Beith, began on December 24th.  Beginning just after the winter solstice, this period (from December 24 to January 20) prepares the way for renewal in the New Year. Birch is associated with new beginnings, protection, purification and the increasing sunlight.

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Elder Tree - Time of the Crone

Following the wheel of the year through the Celtic tree calendar, November 25th begins the time of elder tree and its ogham character Ruis. While the tree calendar is a modern construct, it holds meaning because of the concepts it has come to symbolize and the significance it has for twenty-first century magic, ritual, and everyday life.

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In the Celtic Tree Calendar, it’s the Month of Reed

Following the wheel of the year through the Celtic tree calendar, October 28th begins the time of reed and its ogham character Ngetal. This period (until November 24) can be a time of unexpected changes and challenges that require adaptability. It a time for grabbing the bull by the horns and taking control. Through focus and determination, we can restore our worlds to harmony.

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Ivy Leads Us into the Dark of the Year

Following the wheel of the year through the Celtic tree calendar, September 30th begins the time of ivy and its ogham character Gort. Ivy teaches us about strength and endurance, death and immortality. It is a symbol of the knowledge of things that are hidden and mysterious. This is a time (from September 30 to October 27) to enter the darkness within and explore our most meaningful inner truths.

Ivy is associated with the Goddess because it grows in a spiral. Ivy symbolizes the spiritual journey through the wheel of the year: in winter we follow the spiral of energy down and within, and in the spring, we follow it back up into the light for our own symbolic rebirth.

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