Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Inviting Fairies to Your Garden

Inviting Fairies to Your Garden

Fairies. How has it taken me this long to cover these amazing magical beings? As a hedgewitch, working with the spirits of the land is just one of the many things I do, and fairies are a pretty important one. I'm not going to go into too much detail about fairies in this post, but if you are interested in learning more about fairies, please refer to W. Y. Evans-Wentz's book The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. This amazing piece of literature is just one of several texts on which Traditional Witchcraft, including hedgewitchery, is based and is a must read if you wish to work with fairies or even understand the history of witchcraft and folk magic. But I digress! Today we are going to look at how you can invite fairies into your garden to help it grow and add a bit more magic to it.

Grow Specific Flowers

There are several ways you can attract fairies to your garden. They are pretty picky creatures, so making them happy is the key to keeping them in your garden once you have invited them. First, make sure you have the flowers they love. Anything bell-shaped will attract fairies to your garden, as well as hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Not sure what to include? Try adding these plants to your garden:
  • Lamb's ear
  • Yarrow
  • Coneflower
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Lilac
  • Morning Glory
  • Foxglove
  • Thyme
I planted almost all of these in my garden. I'm only missing coneflower (which I will plant next year) and lilac (which I will likely plant next year too). The best part of these particular plants is they are also ones you will often use in magical workings, recipes, and herbal remedies. Foxglove and morning glory are toxic, so don't use those, but the others are safe!

Set up a Fairy Altar

Have all the flowers but want something more? Try setting up an altar specifically for fairies and make regular offerings. You can include a fairy statue, tea lights, electric fairy lights, and crystals such as quartz, rose quartz, or moonstone on a flat rock or surface in your garden. Once your altar is set up, be sure to leave offerings on the altar or in small walnut shells. Offerings include:
  • cream or milk
  • beer
  • wine
  • cider
  • honey
  • nuts
  • chocolate
  • flowers (see above)
  • shiny objects like coins and jewelry


Fairy Invitation Ritual

If you want to specifically invite fairies into your garden, try the following ritual.

What You'll Need
  • flowers (see above)
  • white candle
  • the offering of quartz and cream/whole milk

What to Do
This ritual is best performed around Beltane or Midsummer but can be performed any time of the year your garden is blooming. Begin by setting your flowers, candle, and offerings on your garden or fairy altar. Light the candle and say,

"Fair fairies from near and far,
I invite you to dance in my yard.
Please stay awhile,
And brighten my garden with your smiles.
Bless these herbs and flowers,
And fill them with magical powers.
Use your magic to help them grow,
By the light of the moon's glow.
Accept these giftes I give to thee,
By my will, so mote it be."
Once you are finished, spend time with your altar until the candle burns low. Try and sense the fairies you have invited. You may feel the hair on your arms stand up or as if something is playing with your hair or ear. Leave the offerings on the altar overnight. Do not consume any of the food offerings you leave for the fairies. It is considered rude and disrespectful. Also, don't expect the offering to disappear. Fairies consume the astral or spiritual essence of the offering. Leave the quartz on the altar indefinitely.

Remember to record the ritual in your BOS or on your ritual log worksheet.

Why You Did It
This spell, as mentioned, is best performed on or around Beltane or Midsummer. The reason for this is because these are two times when the veil for fairies is thin and therefore they are most likely to come out and be willing to take up residence in your garden. However, fairies can be called upon any time of the year, so feel free to use it whenever you get the change.

The candle helps to focus your spell and gives the fairies a light to use to guide them to your garden. Your candle will burn in this realm and the Otherworld, acting as a beacon to draw the fairies to you.

Fairies don't like to be thanked, but they love to be shown respect in the form of food and shiny objects. Milk, cream, beer, or any of the other food offerings mentioned above are fairy favorites. Including such an offering in our ritual will likely attract fairies to your garden and act as a thank you without you verbally thanking them. You want to make sure the fairies are happy, otherwise, they are prone to cause mischief. The flowers are used for the same reason.

Word of Caution

Fairies are fickle and mischievous. Upsetting them can result in problems for you and anyone who steps foot on your property. Do not use pesticides in your garden. This will scare them off and keep them from coming back. Be good to the environment and animals. Fairies are creatures of the Earth; if you disrespect Her, fairies won't come to your garden, no matter how much milk and honey you offer them.

If the fairies become unruly or you wish them to leave, tell them to. Cleanse your garden and home and tell the fairies you no longer need their assistance. If they still will not leave, try placing iron in your garden and around your home. Iron burns fairies so it's a great deterrent.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

As I mentioned in my Graden Bless Ritual post, I have been working on putting in a garden since March. This has been a long time coming and I am proud to unveil what I have done so far. This is by no means the completion of my gardening tasks but is a huge step in the right direction. I still have plans to redo the planter around my mailbox, put in a large vegetable garden, plant some fruit trees and blueberry bushes, and rework both the side yards, but those are all things that will begin taking shape this fall when some of the plants die back and I can easily dig them up.

Anyway, let's take a look at what this witch as done thus far. Unfortunately, I don't have a true before picture because my butt forgot to take one, but here is what the yard looked liked when I moved in. Under the front windows was heavily overgrown. I mean, the weeds were starting to reach the roof...yeah...I'm lazy, what of it? At least its cleaned up now!

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

The bushes along the front of the house had huge stumps, some of them 2-3 feet across. My dad and I tried to pull them out with a truck, but it ended up snapping the cable they were rooted so deeply. Ultimately my dad and boyfriend used a saws-all and a pick ax to cut the stumps out. Once they were removed, we set to tilling the yard. Thank goodness I didn't do that part because it was a beast. Once the ground was ready, I began planting tons of different flowers and herbs. You'll notice I didn't go for a bunch of bushes, other than hydrangeas. I didn't want to have to cut back bushes with a trimmer or worry about large stumps again. Plus, I wanted flowers, lots and lots of flowers, that would grow and fill in all the empty space in the yard. This year it looks rather "sparse," but next year it should fill in nicely. So let's take a look at what I planted!

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

So you can see I completely ripped out all the previous bushes, plants, and grass, and replaced it with flowers covered with black mulch with brick edging. I can't wait for it to fill in, especially along the front of the house. Under each window is a hydrangea bush accompanied by a dwarf hollyhock. The hydrangeas up front aren't doing too well. I think they end up getting too much sun, despite the front of the house being in the shade in the afternoon. If they continue to do poorly I will move them to the side of the house that is mostly shade and replace them with limelight hydrangeas that LOVE the sun. Everything else, however, is doing awesome.

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018
A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

A Hedgewitch's Garden: 2018

So what all did I plant? Well, here is a short list of some of the plants in my yard currently:
  • Limelight hydrangeas 
  • Goldstum Black-Eyed Susan
  • Red Fox Veronica
  • Pomegranate Yarrow + Moonshine (Yellow) Yarrow
  • Marigolds (which will be replaced by Coneflowers next year)
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Black and Blue Salvia
  • Eden Roses (my favorite)
  • Purpleleaf Sage +  East Fireland Sage
  • Guardian Blue Larkspur
  • Camelot Rose Foxglove
  • Dwarf Lilac Hollyhock
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Painted Hostas
  • Rainforest Sunrise Hostas
  • Blue and Pink Hydrangeas
  • Begonias (mixed)
  • Morning Glory
  • Torenia, Blue Daze Evolvulus, Pink Phlox, Butter Daisies, Sweet Potato Vine, Creeping Jenny, White Petunias
  • And some assorted iris varieties my mother gave me. I'm not sure what they are yet.
So far I would say a pretty successful garden! I'm not going to go into detail in this post about the witchy reasons behind some of the plants I planted. There are just too many. However, some of these plants I planted simply because I thought they were pretty and they are great for pollinators. Not everything in a witch's garden needs to be used in some spell or ritual. Sometimes the best magic is keeping local bees, butterflies, and birds fed throughout the year.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Garden Blessing Ritual

Garden Blessing Ritual

Since March, I have been working on changing the landscape in my yard. While I'm not yet finished (I own over an acre), I have managed to put a large dent in the front yard around the house. I still have a lot of work left to do, but it is coming along. Before I reveal what I have done thus far, I would like to share my garden blessing with you.

This particular blessing is designed to do two things: 1) bless the garden so that it flourishes and 2) to establish a garden guardian. Garden guardians will help protect your garden from just about everything, including pests, but that doesn't mean you don't need to take the proper precautions to avoid an infestation.

Garden Blessing Ritual

 

What You'll Need

  • Incense (blessing, purification, or cleansing incense will work great)
  • 1 tea light or small candle
  • 4 quartz crystals
  • Representations of the elements: carnelian (fire), star anise (air), shell (water), flower/herb/leaf (earth)
  • Red wine or juice
  • Statue of Garden Guardian 
  • Matches/lighter 
  • Flat rock, tray, or another flat surface to place your tools on

 

What to Do

During the Full Moon, gather your supplies and head out to your garden. Find a quiet place to perform your ritual where you will not be disturbed. Set up your miniature altar on the flat surface of your choice as shown below.

Garden Blessing Ritual

Light the incense and walk around your garden three times. As you do so, visualize your garden healthy and flourishing. If you want, say your desire out loud as you walk about. Once you are done, return to your altar and light the candle. Then say,
"I call on Gaia and the spirits of the Earth,
To assist me now with my garden's birth.
By the powers of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air,
Combine our magics to undertake this garden's care.
I ask you to make this garden sacred space,
With your help, I bless this place.
Whether sun, rain, or snow
This garden of mine will flourish and grow.
Through winter, spring, summer, and fall,
Bless each flower, one and all."
Pour the red wine or juice over your garden guardian and say,
"With this wine I offer my thanks,
For blessing my garden and this place.
You are now the guardian of my garden,
Protect it faithfully until pardoned."
When you are finished, let the candle burn out while you meditate on the garden growing nice and lush. If you are short on time, meditate for 5 minutes and snuff out the candle.

Garden Blessing Ritual

Why You Did It

Why was this ritual set up the way it was? This is something new I decided to do for each of my spells and rituals posted on this blog because I felt a lot of times we find a spell online and go through the motions without really understanding why it was done the way it was.

First, why the full moon? The full moon is a great time for blessings, which is what this ritual is, makes sense to use it to aid in your magic. Furthermore, when the moon is at its fullest, its magic is more powerful, and thus increases the potency of your own magic.

Next, the incense, if you used one that is for blessing, cleansing, or purification, was to clear the space to unwanted energies and help get you in the mindset for working the spell. As you walked around the garden three times, three being represented of birth, life, and death all things your garden will have, you visualized the garden growing healthy and lush. These visualizations set your intention for the ritual to come, infuses your magic into your garden, and empowers your garden.

Garden Blessing Ritual

So why the altar set up? The candle helps to focus your spell intentions and gives reverence to Gaia, our Mother Earth, that you are asking to assist in your garden blessing. The element representations call forth the power of the elements and their spirits to also aid in your garden's growth. You will need earth, water, air, and fire for your garden to be healthy. The earth provides a place for your plants to take root and with the nutrients they need to grow strong and lush; water provides them with support so they can grow tall and is required to make food; air provides the plant with oxygen and carbon dioxide so it can carry out basic cellular processes such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration; and fire, in the form of the sun, provides your plants with an energy source so they can grow and reproduce. The quartz crystals amplify your magical workings, enhancing the spell's power.

Gaia was chosen as the archetype or goddess for this ritual because she is Mother Earth. What better deity to call upon for a garden than our own Earth? I believe the words spoken in this ritual are fairly straightforward. We called upon aid, asked for them to bless the garden, infused the garden with our own magic, and asked that until we release the spell, their help is needed.

Red wine or juice was chosen for this ritual to represent blood, which is representative of life. When you pour the red wine over the garden guardian, you are giving it life to protect your garden. If you don't have red wine or juice on hand, you can use water, which is also a life giver. When choosing your garden guardian, pick something that speaks to you. As you can see from my ritual I chose a fox as my garden guardian. Surprise, surprise right? Because the fox is one of my animal guides, and the animal that speaks to me the most, I felt it was the perfect guardian for my garden. Other options could be a gnome, fairy, or human statue. Whatever you choose, make sure when you are done you place the guardian someplace where it can easily watch over your garden for you.

Garden Blessing Ritual

Looking to break this spell? Thank your garden guardian for protecting your garden and say they are released from their duty. Pretty simple!

Remember to record your spell in your BOS or on your very own spell/ritual log worksheet.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Magical Properties of Rowan

Magical Properties of Rowan

Note: Rowan is THE tree of hedgewitches, helping to open the gateway for spirit communication.