We keep reassuring the neighbors ~ I’m harmless…Really!
We keep reassuring the neighbors ~ I’m harmless…Really!
|(South end of the Old Garden)…It’s the middle of the Old Garden that I’m still working on– the girls and I just picked up another large load of mulch and stones today. I’ve purchased so much mulch and garden supplies from our local Menards this year that one employee asked me if I do landscaping.
Below are some of the flowers and plants that grace our gardens and grounds:
|(Our Large Rosebush)
|(from underneath looking out)
|(My neon hot pink geraniums, up close)…My sixteen-year-old daughter took this photo right after I watered the geraniums.____________________
We have tiki torches all over the yard in the various garden spots, and on Monday, June 4th, the night of the Full Moon, we lit all of them and wandered around the yard for a while enjoying the magickal night while I tried to take pictures of both the full moon and the gardens, just the gardens, and just the moon– the moon photos being mostly unsuccessful, they really didn’t give you the full effect (no pun intended).
Following are pictures that I took:
|(The newest garden spot, which I just created this May,
slap-dab in the middle of the front lawn)…I’ve often noticed that so many people have very bare front yards and create their garden space only in the backyard, out of sight. I didn’t want to do that; I wanted to be able to see a garden from my front door, and I wanted everyone else passing by to see my garden as well. I wanted to be different, and this is something I generally succeed at, just ask my family.
|(Follow the Yellow Brick Road)…I’ve always wanted to create a “Magickal Threshold” into the backyard, and I decided to do just that this year with a grape arbhor and grapevines. The plants are hard to see in the dark, but there are grapes planted on either side of the arbor, and the leaves are suppose to turn beautiful colors in the autumn. We’ll have to see just how much they grow this summer. The Yellow Brick Road in daylight:
|(The Patio Court)…I posted one of the photos of the patio court at Facebook. It was absolutely loaded with orbs. The girls and I love to sit out here in the dark of the evening, with candles lit at the table, sometimes under moonlight, and sometimes by the glow of the tiki torches. The Patio Court, daytime:
The Chicken Corner:
This spot is just inside the backyard, at the end of the brick path, and this is where we have Cletus’s kennel.
The Front Yard Garden in daylight:
I’ve been working like a crazy woman this spring redoing garden spots, adding new garden spots, planting, mulching, planning, shopping, and creating. It’s been a hoot, and I’ve loved the bonus of this early growing season. I’ve added several photos to a new garden slideshow, and I’ll be updating this slideshow from time to time with new pictures. Welcome!…
|Customize your own slideshow|
I’ve been working like a maniac the last couple of weeks redoing the flowerbeds, landscaping, and cleaning up the yard. I wish I would’ve kept track of how many large bags of mulch and soil I’ve gone through; I can tell you that it is a lot! I told my husband that I must have been bitten by some sort of ‘landscape bug’. I’m even fixated enough by it that I notice the landscaping everywhere I go– outside the Dr’s office, in front of the post office, you name it. I think I’ve spent close to $1000 dollars, and I still have the front yard left to do. I bought so much mulch at our local Mennard’s that the guy helping us this week asked me on one of my daily trips…”Do you do landscaping?” I thought a minute, and then I told him, “Yes, I guess I do.” My girls laughed about this all the way home.
I’ve taken a few photos and started a slideshow, but keep in mind that I’m a long way from done yet. As I complete new projects and areas, I’ll take more photos and update this slideshow. We have a large project planned for the front lawn.
|Photo slideshow created with Smilebox|
I was just talking to my girls the other day about flowers and foliage and the seasons. I mentioned that it seems, after that first brilliant ‘coming to life’ in the spring, there is a hot and lazy period. Everything seems scorched and beaten by the summer sun, wilted and tortured by the elements of the dog days of summer; and then comes autumn, blessed autumn. It’s like a second birth, a brilliant blossoming, a breath of cool fresh air that seems to revitalize the world of flora. Everything in the garden throws itself into color and beauty with renewed energy, just in time to begin turning for a glorious autumn show.
Many of the flowers that highlight this time of year are also some of my favorites, and it’s these flowers and plants that I’m going to look at from a magickal point of view. What are their connections to the elements? the planets? magickal intentions? How can I use them to work my magick in order to promote positive change?
Acacia: It’s gender is masculine (projective), it’s planet is the Sun, and it’s element Air. Acacia is used for protection and to promote psychic powers. Burn a small amount of the wood with sandalwood before practicing divination. A sprig from this tree kept in the home will ward off evil and protect the inhabitants from negative outside influences.
Allium: It’s gender is feminine (receptive), it’s planet Venus, and it’s element Water. I use allium in spells for feminine empowerment, to heighten intuition and psychism, and to promote feelings of love and well-being. I’ve used it both in mojo bags and magickal oils.
Alstromeria: White/pink/peach– the gender is feminine (receptive), the planet Venus, the element Earth; yellow/orange/red– the gender is still feminine (receptive), but it carries a bit of a punch; the planet is Mars, the element Fire. I use the milder more gentle form to work gentle magicks, the more robust colors I use in protection magick and self-empowerment spells, when you need strength and good dose of moxie.
Amaranthus: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planet Saturn, and the element Fire. The deity for amaranthus is Artemis– the feminine warrior/huntress. The magickal powers contained within this plant includes healing, protection, and invisibility. Amaranthus was used in pagan burial rites.
Anemone: It’s gender is masculine (projective); the element is Fire, and the planet is Mars. Deities associated with anemone are Adonis and Venus. This plant is also used for health, protection, and healing. To prevent disease, carry the blossoms from this plant in a red cloth upon your person. This plant can also be used in spells dealing with health issues involving blood and the reproduction organs. To keep an enemy at bay, place their photo in a red bag with a handful of the blossoms, or the root of the plant– and leave the dirt in place.
Baby’s Breath: The gender is masculine (projective), the planet Mercury, the element Air. I use Baby’s Breath for magick encompassing communication and creativity. I’ve also used this plant in love spells to instill good open lines of communications between couples, or to loosen the tongue of a shy partner– just be careful how much and how often you do this, you might be surprised at what’s released– or unleashed.
Bittersweet: The gender is masculine (projective), the element is Air, and the planet– Mercury. The most popular magickal use for bittersweet is in spells for protection and healing. I’ve also discovered that this plant, connected to the energies of Mercury and Air, is wonderful for issues of communication, clear thinking, powers of deduction, and the spark of creativity.
Carnation: The energy is masculine (projective), the planet is the Sun, and the element is Fire. Use the magick of the carnation for protection, strength, and healing. Use carnations in healing spells. Place carnations in a sick room to give strength to the one who is ill. Use this flower in healing rituals, mojo bags, and oils.
China Berry: This plant is used for luck. The seeds are considered good luck charms, so use them as thus, particularly in bags or lockets, where you can carry them upon your person. The China Berry can be used in spells to precipitate change.
Chrysanthemum: It’s gender is masculine (projective), the element is Fire, and the planet– the Sun. Chrysanthemums are used primarily for protection. Grown in the garden, they are reputed to keep evil spirits away– and in this case, my garden should be totally free of evil spirits, because I’ve accumulated a mass of mums this autumn. I take this one step farther by color associations– yellow blossoms for spells meant to help you find your voice; magenta blossoms for a good strong dose of pure love, and white blossoms to throw an honest light on any situation.
Cockscomb: The energy is masculine (projective), the element Fire, the planets Jupiter and Mars. The no nonsense energy of the Cockscomb can be used to discover and unleash the masculine side of yourself, when aggression, strength, and courage are called for. The most beautiful cockscomb flowers I’ve seen was in Iowa, when we were traveling through Amish country.
Cosmos: The energy is feminine (receptive), the planet is Earth, and the element is Earth. I use the lovely petals from this plant for goddess magick; to highlight feminine energy– for maiden, mother, and crone; for healing spells dealing with female issues; for safe childbirth; to celebrate those rituals geared toward women and their life milestones, including female puberty rites and a croning.
Echinops: The energy of the thistle will be found within this plant. It’s gender is masculine (projective), the planet is Saturn, and the element is Fire. Use the Echinops in spells for protection and self defense. This plant will also be used in hexing and cursing spells, added to poppets or mojo bags.
Freesia: The planet– the Moon, the element is Water, the gender is feminine (receptive). The Freesia contains the constantly mutating and fluid energy of the Moon and the element of Water. Use this plant according to color correspondences for a surprisingly wide array of magickal intentions. White, for those things of spirit and spiritual energy; red for passion, including not only physical passion, but passion for many things of life; pink to inspire friendhip and loyalty; yellow for God energy, and healing.
Gerber Daisy: The gender is masculine (projective), the planet Saturn, the element Fire. The daisy and the gerber daisy both possess strong energies for love spells, the gerber daisy being more ‘hot-blooded’, meaning there will be more animalistic passion in love spells done with the gerber daisy. This plant can also be used in spells when the energy just needs to be riled up a bit, when you need to light a fire and get people and circumstances moving.
Hypericum: The gender is masculine (projective), the element Air, the planets Mercury and the Sun. The beautiful yellow flowers of this plant can be used in mojo bags and spells to enhance communication, for god energy, for healing, and for spells of self-empowerment.
Juniper: It’s gender is masculine (projective), the element is Fire, the planet is the Sun. The magickal powers of Juniper include protection, protection against theft, love, exorcism, and health. I also use Juniper berries for spells geared to the Winter Solstice, youth & immortality, and spiritual rejuvenation. Juniper is reputed to promote male potency when used in love spells– though I have not personally put this theory to the test.
Kangaroo Paw: It’s gender can be both masculine (projective), or feminine (receptive), depending upon what type of magick you’re using it for, and which planet you’re using for the correspondence. The planets are Mercury and Venus, the elements Air and Water. I have primarily used Kangaroo Paw for fairy magick.
Kalancheo: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planet Venus, the element Earth. Magickally speaking, use the pink blossoms for friendship and healing, the red blossoms for love, and the white blossoms for healing.
Liatrus: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planets Venus and Jupiter, the element Water. This plant is best used for all of its connections to the element of Water, which includes the promotion and growth of your psychic abilities, intuition, dreams and visions.
Gloriosa: The energy of this plant is most decidedly feminine (receptive), its elements both Water and Earth, and the planets Venus and Earth. The Gloriosa blossom is representative of the female anatomy, and its magickal energies are best used for female health issues, fertility, female sexual issues, and female self-empowerment. This plant can also be used in spells, magicks, and spiritual practices to glorify and worship the Mother Goddess.
Misty Blue: The gender is feminine, the planet is Water, the element Water. Use this plant for spiritual practices, for spirit contact, and to promote contact in general with the unseen world and the entities which inhabit it.
Orchid: This is a very versatile plant, magickally speaking. It’s energy is masculine (projective), the element Air, the planet Mercury. Use the orchid in your spiritual practices and spell crafting according to the color of its blossoms: red/love and passion, pink/friendship and well-being, white/spirituality and healing. Personally, I use the speckled blossoms when change is needed and desired.
Pepper Berry: The gender is masculine (projective), the element is Air, the planet is the Sun. The red berries and green foliage from this plant make beautiful additions to wreaths. Magickally, I use Pepper Berry in mojo bags and magicks that deal with the Winter Solstice, God energy, and especially new beginnings.
Protea: It’s gender is masculine (projective), the element Air, the planet Jupiter. The primary magickal use for protea is for spells and magicks that move a situation along so that a final conclusion or decision can be reached. The various methods will include mojo bags and candle magick. This type of magick works best when worked over a period of three to seven days.
Queen Ann’s Lace: It’s gender is feminine (receptive), the planet is Venus and Jupiter, the element Earth. I primarily use Queen Ann’s Lace for issues of fertility, and this can mean not only fertility in the physcial world, but fertility of ideas and creative energies, creativity concerning unusual opportunities, etc. This plant is also used in magicks for Goddess energy and self-empowerment.
Roses: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planets are Venus and the Moon, the element is Water. Roses are most strongly connected with love spells. Use the energies of the various colors for different types of love– red/passionate affairs with lusty sex, or soul mate connections; pink/for strong bonds of loyalty, friendship, and fidelity; yellow/for peaceful partings, to say good-by; white/to honor a love who has passed, or to honor a relationship that has come to a natural conclusion. The white blossoms of a rose can also be used in spells and magick to contact a deceased partner.
Rowen Berry: It’s gender is masculine (projective), its planet Mars, and the element is Fire. Use the warrior energy of Mars and the fiery passion of Fire with the rowan berry in spells and magickal workings that require strength, concentrated doses of high energy, courage, passion of intention, and a strong will power. The poisonous berries are also potent when used in spells and magicks for hexing and cursing. Added to mojo bags and poppets, they work with a vengence.
Salvia: The gender is masculine (projective), the element is Water, and the planets are the Sun and the Moon. Salvia is part of a large family of plants which includes Sage. The primary use for salvia is for cleansing and smudging. Use the smoke from saliva to smudge your home and personal space, your person, your vehicle, or your land. Tie up dried bunches and hang them in the four corners of your home for protection, or hang a bundle of salvia by the front door to prevent anyone wishing you harm from entering.
Solidago: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planet is Venus, the element Air. Solidago, more commonly known as Golden Rod, is used for magickal workings involving money and divination. Carry a sprig of goldenrod in your wallet or purse to insure enough money to cover your needs. Place a piece of pyrite with it. Put a sprig of this plant in a small wooden box large enough to hold your tarot cards or set of runes to enhance the magick of divination and your intuitive powers.
Statice: This plant’s gender is masculine (projective), its element Air, it’s planet Mercury. I personally use statice in magick which highlights or incorporates group events, the gathering of people, peaceful conclusions to group debates or disagreements, as well as to promote peaceful cohabitation and successful growth within an organized group.
Star of Bethlehem: The gender is masculine (projective), the planet is the Moon, the element Water. I use the six pointed white blossoms of the Star of Bethlehem in spells and magicks involving spirituality, personal empowerment, and cleansing. I’ve also found it wonderful for Goddess invocation and feminine magicks. It is energy is inspiring and purifying.
Sunflower: The gender is masculine (projective), the planet is the Sun, the element Fire. The magickal powers of the sunflower includes fertility, wishes, health, and wisdom. Use the seeds from this plant in fertility spells, the yellow blossoms in magicks geared to gain your wish, and to inspire wisdom when wisdom is desired and needed. Carry a mojo bag containing various aspects of this plant for good health.
Yarrow: Yarrow’s gender is feminine (receptive), it’s planet is Venus, and the element Water. The magickal powers of yarrow includes areas of courage, love, psychic powers, and exorcism. Place a bouquet of yarrow on your table during divination sessions, in the four corners of your house to keep evil entities at bay, or place a sprig of yarrow in the pocket of the person you love. I’ve used yarrow in dream bags that I’ve placed beneath my pillow to inspire prophetic dreams and visions. You might want to add a marigold blossom to this bag and a stone of amethyst.
Zinnia: The gender is masculine (projective), the planets Mercury and Jupiter, the element Air. Use zinnias in spells and magicks where courage, fortiude, and strength are needed. This is also a good plant to use in healing spells, and spells of protection. As the zinnia stands strong and tall, so shall it inspire these attributes when you tap into it’s magick.
The photographs in this post that are framed are all original photos taken by Amythyst Raine. These photos are copyrighted, © Amythyst Raine 2011.
Some of the information above may have been taken from the books listed below; but the bulk of information above was taken from my own Book of Shadows, which includes my personal magickal practices and correspondences.
“Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs” by Scott Cunningham
“Green Magic: The Sacred Connection to Nature” by Ann Moura
“The Green Wiccan Herbal” by Silja
I don’t know how Laura Ingalls Wilder survived the pioneer age through summer heat and humidity with no air-conditioning and not even one lousy electric fan. I would’ve died. I took my camera outside to capture some of our flowers and stuff this week and was amazed when the lens fogged over. I guess you can tell how cool we keep our house.
This is my new birdbath. I wanted something large enough for the larger birds to be able to get in and really enjoy– and they do! I make sure that I empty, rinse, and refill all birdbaths at least every other day, so that the birds always have fresh clean water and so that mosquito larvae will not thrive in this standing water.
My Virginia Creeper is running amok in this small garden space at the east side of the house, and I let it have it’s way– love it! The Day Lilies and the Echinachea are still blooming. Everything seems a bit later than usual this year, I suppose because May was so darn cold, everything got a late start.
Lily: The gender is feminine (receptive), the planet– Moon; the element– Water; deities include Venus, Juno, Nepthys, Kwan Yin. It’s magickal powers include protection, especially against the evil eye, ghosts, and unwanted visitors. (And I’d have to say that they’ve done an exceptional job on a couple of these points!)
Lilies are also used magically to break love spells (keep a note of this!) and to help bring clues to light in criminal cases.
Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower): This plant was used by American Indians to ensure and strengthen spells. It’s also used medicinally to treat infections. It’s an extraordinarily popular flower, and it grows like gangbusters here in Nebraska. I started years ago planting it in my virgin flowerbeds and it has since spread on it’s own, coming up in some rather unusual places; and me being me, I let it stay where it wishes to go.
Summer wouldn’t be summer without a pot of petunias sitting around somewhere. They bring to mind childhood memories, when my Aunt would buy large boxes of a lavender petunia they called “Sugar Daddy”, and my sister and I would each be given our own little spot of ground to plant them.
My daughters enjoy these vibrant blossoms just as much as my sister and I did.
The treehouse deck is very cozy and private this year, the tree limbs have grown down around the front of it so that you feel very hidden and protected, magickal and empowered, when you sit up there. It’s also very peaceful, and if it weren’t for the large swarms of mosquitoes that we have right now, or the stifling humidity, you’d find me up there more often. But that will change with fall and the color of the leaves.
I have a birdbath and feed platter, as well as the cats’ water bowl and food dishes up here. I know that those two things don’t sound like they go together, but so far, everyone has gotten along. (It must be a special place, where nature can call a truce.)
The girls, and some of the cats, have enjoyed the carpeted treehouse this year– the entrance is above the chair, to the right side of the photo.
My sunflowers surrounding a bird feeding station in the front yard are tall, waaaay above my head, and they’re blooming now! Sunflowers (and lilacs) are my favorite flowers, so I’m always tickled to see these large cheerful blossoms. I leave all plants stand until spring, so during the winter birds enjoy the natural food of seeds, right from the stem. It’s taken me a while to convince my ex-farmer husband to let everything just sit and do it’s normal and natural thing in the autumn and winter, but I think I’ve won him over.
Mother Nature knows best. There’s a rhyme and reason for everything.
Sunflower: the energy is masculine (projective); the planet is the Sun; the element Fire. The seeds of the sunflower are said to enhance fertility, and women wishing to get pregnant would benefit by eating the seeds. (That’s easy– they taste good!) Sunflowers make wishes come true, reveal the truth, guard against pests (all varieties), keep you virtuous ( if you wish to be :), and give good luck to their gardener. What more could you want?
This is the remnants of my Elemental candles. Skry the wax and tell me if you see anything. We have fun doing this at our house, and some of the unusual observations have really hit the mark, more often than not. Some people are actually very gifted with this type of magick. I don’t always allow my candles to burn down this way, most of the time I burn the votive candles in glass candle holders; but once in a while, I’ll just let them pool. I burned these candles over the course of several evenings, a week or two ago.
Online tarot classes: http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/onlineclasses.htm
I’m working on one of those in-depth 36 card tarot spreads. I’m not sure anyone really knows how much work they are. It virtually amounts to a written interpretation for each card, plus a general overview, and a summation for any specific questions that the client might have. Like I said, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also a fascinating process. As I draw cards and squint at the varied images, colors, shapes, and archetypes, a stranger’s life begins to unfold before me. Weird. At times it makes me feel like a voyeur, often hesitant to reveal too much, less the client feel that their personal space is being invaded. Wouldn’t want that.
For anyone who doesn’t know already– we have a pet chicken. A white hen named Miss Cletus. She was actually just plain Cletus when she was a chick and we thought she was a rooster. We kept watching her scaly little legs for the development of spurs, which never arrived, but one day her first egg did. That’s when she became “Miss”. She generally lays her egg in a large carrier box that is her home in the house, or in the doghouse that’s in the kennel she inhabits when she’s outdoors. But one day I found a present left for me in a kitchen chair. It was bound to happen…
My pot of violas dried up– drat. It’s my fault, I didn’t get out yesterday to water them, and with the tearing hot wind we’ve had, everything that’s in a pot has to be watered everyday. Of course, I felt bad and so I over compensated by watering the whithered plants until the water ran out the bottom drain hole in a steady stream. When I checked on them just a little while ago, I was delightfully surprised to see that they have actually perked up and look almost hopeful. I feel guilty, like I’ve neglected something helpless, so I’m going to go out later this evening and water them again.
We have three cats in our barn who were raised there over the winter by their mother. They are very wild, and we’ve never gotten a chance to get up close and personal with any of them, though we’ve had a lot of fun watching them and their antics from the kitchen window. Two of them are on the adventurous side and have gone off on their own, to return now and then in order to rest up and fill up on large bowls of cat food we put out for them. The third one is not so adventurous. In fact, it looks as though he may become a permanent fixture to Hedgewytch Hollow– our resident ‘Wild Cat’.
One night my daughter went out to check his food and water and make sure his box and bedding were dry, when she discovered his hiding place– the rafters overhead. She could hear him up there, and even see a pinch of his black fur peeking through a knothole. We decided to take my camera out to the barn, leave the flash on, and see what we got.
This is the result:
This cat is a beautiful black angora with a gray tinge to his long fur, and he looks suspiciously like my black angora, Pyewacket. I’ve sat Pyewacket down and had a long talk with him, but he seems to be following the old rule: admit nothing and deny, deny, deny.
Uncanny, isn’t it.
I packed up tubs of magickal merchandise Friday evening so that all I’d have to do Saturday morning was load them in my vehicle and take off for our yardsale. I had a helper– my boy, Salem. He is the Prince of Cats at our house. He is the most personable in-your-face intimate cat that I’ve ever had. Actually, he acts more like a dog, which includes coming when you call and snap your fingers. He’s either sitting on us, laying near us, watching us, or sleeping between us. He follows us everywhere, and he was extraordinarily curious and interested in my tubs and my stuff. He crawls into every box and container that is open, and this has included my jewelry box and the kitchen cupboard. I had to keep lifting him out of a tub and shooing him away from the herbal spell bags. Salem woke my husband out of a sound sleep the other night when he almost fell out of bed and instinctively caught himself by grabbing my husband’s bare foot with extended white claws. It was a rude awakening.
I love hearing from all the interesting people out there. We have a surprisingly diverse Pagan community in the country, and it’s fun to compare notes on all sorts of things, not only magickal practices and spiritual paths, but the more mundane issues which center around being Pagan in a largely Christian society. However, I don’t do spells for people— the personal energy you have invested in whatever it is you’re whipped up enough to work magick on is going to be ever so much more powerful and successful than anything anyone else could do. Believe me. I also do not take business calls on the weekends– especially holiday weekends, before 9am, or after 6pm. Otherwise, I love ya’. 🙂
In honor of “Wicked”, which was playing at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha, I went “green”. My daughter went to see the play and *Loved* it, she also loved the live theatre experience.
Till next time…
I have a new dream to add to my journal, it’s incomplete, one scene out of an entire adventure, most of which can’t be remembered, but it’s visually memorable: An Indian (Native American) village is burning. I don’t see the flames, but the smoke is thick and curling, sulfurous, twisting through the air like dirty gray clouds. I feel appalled, and yet can do nothing but watch, from whatever invisible perch I’m allowed to view this scene from.
And watch I do, though as an unseen outsider watching a disjointed scene develop. Occasionally the clouds of smoke will part, and I can see the steep sides of a teepee constructed from buffalo hide. Other times the thick smoke separates to reveal the wall of a modern home…and this is shocking and unexpected.
And that’s the extent of what I remember, though I know that there was a much broader scenario, lost now in my sub-conscious.
Tarot Card of the Day
White Buffalo woman
Daugther of Stones in the West
Princess of Stone
I feel a theme here, unintentional, yet somehow connected to the scheme of things.
From this card, I get…strength; individualism; great effort under duress; quiet fortitude; power that’s understated. Also, I sense a grounding to Earth, to the Mother Goddess, creativity, and manifestation into the physical realm.
Night before last we had heavy rains here in Nebraska, which resulted in a flooded basement for us. This sounds awful, and it certainly wasn’t fun, but it’s been worse. This time the floor was completely soaked the length of the room and all the saturated area rugs had to be drug outside. We’ve had flooding before that’s left us with ankle deep water downstairs, so I’m not going to complain about this episode. It was actually fairly easy to get cleaned up.
I took a picture of the ditch ahead of our house about mid-morning the day after the rain. On the night of the storm, this ditch was filled to the brim with water. As you can see, it had already gone down quite a bit.
Welcome to Hedgewytch Hollow:
You can see two of our feeding stations here, at either end of the front yard. These will become much more interesting and ‘wild’ looking as the season progresses because we allow the seeds from the birdfood to sprout and grow beneath and around the feeding stations. These plants include milo and towering sunflowers.
The center of our front lawn remains uncut. My husband mows around them, creating a sort of ‘wild island’, where a gorgeous bed of clover is allowed to grow, along with grass, dandelions, and my beautiful wild violets. There are also large stones in there– I mean ‘large’ stones– that he brought back from Iowa, and a barrel containing columbine and marigolds, along with a statuette of a white sow (for the goddess, Cerridwen), and a black cauldron in which I plant something different each year– this year, it’s marigolds.
So funny– just last week there was a man going door to door in our neighborhood trying to drum up business for a local lawn service. I answer my door, and he points to this ‘wild’ area in our front lawn and says, “I see you have a few ‘trouble spots’ there.” I told him that we certainly don’t have any ‘trouble spots’, and that stretch of lawn is just exactly the way I want it. He looked stunned.
We allow plantain to grow throughout our yard, wherever it may have a hankerin’ to do so; and this plant seems to favor a large area of our front lawn. Not only is plantain edible, a nice wild green you can add to your salads or cook up and eat with a little butter and salt and pepper; but it has magickal properties as well.
I use plantain to create mojo bags for safe travel, which we keep in our vehicles. In my old Suburban– the ‘She-Sub’– is a black bag containing plantain, calamus root, a pinch of sea salt, and a stone of tiger’s eye.
For plantain the planet is Venus; the element Earth; the energy feminine (receptive); and the magickal energies are geared towards healing, strength, and protection.
This is the columbine that’s growing in my barrel in the center of our uncut area of lawn. It seems to like this spot. I only wish that it’s blooms lasted longer through the season; I think they are so beautiful. Columbine also has magickal purposes, but if you use it, you should be aware that the seeds to this plant are poisonous.
For columbine the energy is feminine; the planet is Venus; the element is Water; and its magickal energies include courage and love.
When we first moved here, fifteen years ago, there was a huge gorgeous cotton wood tree in the front yard, on the east side of the house. It faithfully shaded my daughter’s bedroom window throughout three seasons of the year. In the autumn we were treated to a beautiful golden display of large leaves that made the most magickal sound when the wind moved through it. But alas, the tree eventually died, and we had to have it cut down for fear of the brittle tree damaging the neighbor’s house, should it go down in a windstorm.
I told them to leave the tall stump, and here it is, yet today, wearing a garland of virginia creeper, standing as the centerpiece in another wild garden spot. This area, towards the back of the front lawn and to the east of the house, is overrun with virgina creeper, as well as day lillies, dahlias, purple cone flowers, and a baby lilac bush, as well as other foliage that decides to make this magickal spot its home.
I have a magick wand made from a twig saved from the majestic old cotton wood tree. It’s served me well, as an old friend, which of course, it is.
The growing season is just getting under way in our area, so this space has just begun to fill itself in with this year’s growth. I took the bottom part of the metal bunkbed I turned into a bird feeding station, and I put it here, using it as a trellis, in anticipation that the virginia creeper will cover it by mid-June.
I have two potted plants hanging from the bunkbed birdfeeder in the front yard. One of them is pansies, which remind me of my daughter, Anne. When she was a little girl, I called her ‘Annsie Pansie’.
The planet for pansies is Saturn; it’s energy feminine (receptive); the element is Water; and the magickal energies include: love, rain magick, and divination. It’s said that if you carry this plant upon your person, you will draw love to you.
The other potted plant is violas. This plant reminds me of springtime in South Dakota, knowing that a long summer was just around the corner; my grandmother’s house; paved walkways; morning sunshine; and cold dew. Childhood memories.
This is clover that covers much of the ‘wild area’ in the front lawn. I took this photo the morning after the rain storm, and as you can see, raindrops still sit upon it.
This clover holds an attraction for the wild things. I was coming out of the kitchen one day, and there were my cats– Salem & Pixie– frozen in awe, watching something out of the glass on our front door. I looked to see what was holding their attention, and sitting in our clover patch, watching the cats with just as much curiosity, was a very large rabbit, one of the largest I’ve ever seen.
We’ve spotted this rabbit in the clover patch now and then, but each time I run for the camera, I come back to find it has disappeared. I’m beginning to think, half whimsically and half seriously, that this rabbit is not just any ordinary old rabbit, but perhaps a magickal creature.
The cat is Baby (aka Duchess), sitting on one of the large rocks in the front yard. This photo was taken the night of the thunderstorm, during the evening, before the storm hit. This photo is full of orbs; not only is there a large one on the barrel, the sky is full of them.
This is a photo of my latest aquisition– a goddess ring. It’s sterling silver, citrine, blue topaz, and the goddess’s face is carved from bovine bone. And no, this one is not for sale– it’s a keeper!
Jewelry is my weakness, particularly rings– no idea why– and my daughters know that someday it will be passed on to them.
The energies for this ring will include:
Citrine…the energy is projective (male); the planet is the Sun; the element Fire; and the magickal energies protction and psychism.
Topaz…the energy is projective (male); the planet is the Sun; the element Fire; and the magickal energies include protection, healing, money, and love.
From Hedgewytch Hollow
I feel like I’m waking from a fog. This past week I’ve been sick with the flu, in bed most of the time, filled up on Ibuprofen and cold medicine, sleeping off and on, and waiting for the moment I would feel normal again. Well, that moment has finally come– ta,da!– and none too soon; because I’m scheduled to be at Next Millennium tomorrow to do another book signing and tarot readings. (That’s Saturday, May 7, noon-4pm, at http://www.next-mill.com )
I really didn’t know, as the week progressed, whether I’d make it or not, so I’m thrilled to be back up and at ’em! I hope to see you there. 🙂
When I snapped out of my fog and re-joined the world of the living, it was quite a sight to behold. Our apple trees had seemed to snap into bloom over night. The air is fragrant with apple blossoms, and so is the house, as we fling open all the windows and let the fresh air run throughout. This is my favorite part of spring, and I wish that these trees could stay magickally blooming for about three times longer than normal. I snatched up my camera– and the following photos were taken today, by me, in our backyard:
I’m not the only one who enjoys our apple trees. As I worked at the table on the back porch today, this was my secret companion. He made a couple attempts to join me on the porch rails, but the sight of all the cats curled up asleep around me seemed to put him off (wise bird).
I discovered that the small lilac bushes I’d planted in the herb garden right next to the porch were finally going to bloom– I’d planted them a couple years ago and they seemed to take forever to settle in and get comfortable. But it was worth the wait…
My carpet of creeping charley (ground ivy), which I just started last year, has taken hold and is growing like gang busters, providing a lush carpet in my secret garden…
So many of the other plants, from my hostas to the clematis, are very busy and in the process of creating leaves, they’re not ready to bloom any time soon. But I don’t mind– patterns of leaves in a variety of colors are just as beautiful to me as a hoard of blossoms…
I’m never alone…if I don’t have a child following me around the yard, I have a cat. Pyewacket, my eccentric black angora, was enjoying this day outdoors just as much as I was, and every time I turned around, there he was…
It was a good day today. I finished up a good-sized magazine article and got it sent off way ahead of deadline. I caught up on laundry that I intended to catch up on before I got sick. I had the opportunity of spending some quality time with my kids and my katz on this gorgeous spring day; and my girls and I even managed a quick shopping run.
Today reminded me of a plaque that belonged to my Uncle, a beautiful plate that my Aunt use to have hanging in her kitchen when I was a child. It said:
“Good Lord, just give me good health, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
It seems like Spring has had to labor especially hard to make its presence felt this year, but I found hard evidence that it’s finally arrived when I checked one of my flowerbeds this week. The last time I’d looked, these daffodils were timid little sprouts shivering beneath last year’s dried oak leaves.
We had new visitors at our bird feeding station this past week, a bird that we’ve never seen before. It took a bird-book from a friend to put a name to these lovely creatures: orange-headed blackbirds. The regular blackbird is my favorite bird, and when these guys were all together and everyone was busy eating with their heads down, rear-ends in the air, they looked like one big flock of blackbirds. You can imagine my surprise when their heads popped up.
Since I’ve had two witchlets move out of the house and into apartments of their own, the remaining girls have been able to spread out and claim their own rooms– finally– meaning that they’ve outgrown their bunkbeds. I was going to give these metal framed beds away, but a friend gave me a better idea…Much to my husband’s delight (*cough*). I’m using the frame and the top platform to create new wildlife feeding stations in the yard, the bottom platform is going to become a trellis in the flowerbeds. And since I have two bunkbeds, I’ll have enough for the front and the backyard.
I’m going to get a couple more hanging flowerpots for this station, along with a second hummingbird feeder; and I’ve planted morning glories in the pots sitting by the ladders at either end. Also, as the birds knock all that seed around, I’ll have sunflowers and other cool plants sprouting spontaneously beneath it. I’ll take more pictures as the season moves forward.
We love being able to have Sunday morning coffee on the back porch, and we’ve been able to do that in early April this year, which is not always the case. This was our first Sunday morning outside earlier this month. Although it sounds like the weather is going to turn nasty this weekend, and I think I’m going to be dragging all these plants and pots indoors. That’s what I get for being in a hurry!
“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”
The following slide-show is made up entirely of original photos of what’s growing in my gardens and on my grounds right now– May of 2010: