Hello my friends. And I hope everyone is well. We are just a couple days from the full moon, so I hope everyone’s full moon intentions are in order. If they’re not, don’t panic. There will be another full moon next month. We have to practice patience with ourselves sometimes. If we don’t have the energy to pour into a moon ritual or whatever the case may be, then we need to respect that. Sometimes we do need to push ourselves, sometimes that is the right thing to do, but when it comes to the craft, our practice should be something that we look forward to. It isn’t meant to be another task on the to-do list. It’s important to cultivate habits and to have discipline, I do whole-heartedly believe that, but we need to recognize when we’re just going through the motions.
If your heart isn’t in it, then the magic isn’t going to be very magical anyway and you’re better off saving that energy for another time. We can still make moon water though! That’s definitely a low-effort way to recognize the cycle. Put a jar out and charge that water and save it for another time when you’re feeling more zesty and you’ve got a spell in mind for it. Or, you can just drink it and allow the energy of the moon to fill you up and replenish you. Use it to make a cup of coffee or tea, it doesn’t have to be a big production. It really doesn’t. Anyway, that’s my PSA for the week.
Now I wanted to start this episode with a message I received from a witch called Delilah.
“Hi Eli! I love your podcast – you make things so simple! I have listened to nearly all your episodes and don’t exactly remember this being addressed – my apologies if you have. I was wondering how you tell the difference between say a ghost, a land spirit, fae, etc?
The reason I’m asking is because I feel like I’ve been privy to seeing fair folk all my life but I’ve heard they’re a little….difficult lol…but I don’t want to mistake them for something else.
I think there is a fae in my home, but I’d rather find a way to be sure that’s what they are. They are kinda creepy, but I think it’s because I’m becoming receptive again where I’d blocked it for so long…but I know it’s just observing us. One night I woke up in the middle of the night and my bf’s eyes were shut, but I could see it’s big blue eyes looking at me through his eyelids. It doesn’t feel threatening, but I also don’t know how to engage it. We’ve offered sweet treats, flowers, etc and I’ve declared several times that I just want to live in harmony with it if we can have a mutually beneficial agreement.
Do you have any thoughts?”
Well do I ever have thoughts. And we did do an episode on the fae, but it was a while back, I think it was in December I want to say, because I remember when I was putting my notes together on that one I kept getting the sense that our house fae was really interested in our Victorian holiday village that we set up for Yule, and I thought it was cute.
But anyway, I love Delilah’s question, I love the whole scenario as she describes it unfolding, and what I told her was:
To me it sounds like, because she is very sensitive to fae and always have been, that the reason she sees and feels them so much around her home is because she has initiated contact with them, and they’re responding. She is doing everything someone should do if they want to encourage a lot of fae activity around the home.
I let her know that if she’s cool with this and she wants to continue to live harmoniously with them, by all means keep doing what she’s doing. And if she wants to go further to try and communicate interactively with them, I’d recommend casting a circle and inviting any fae living in her home to enter (but ONLY fae) and try to speak with them. This is typically easier to do with eyes closed because fae don’t generally like being looked at dead-on. They tend to hang around on the edges of your peripheral vision. But the fact that she has seen them looking at her eye-to-eye makes me think they might approach her even with her eyes open.
Anyway, I’d do a sort of meditation-style session and see if they’re open to talking. It might take a few sessions before they trust her enough to give her impressions and direct messages, but again they seem very interested in her and her boyfriend, so it could happen quickly.
I did warn her that if she feels like something negative starts trying to come through, she might want to quickly close the circle, command the entity or entities to leave her home, and lay some strong wards. But, if they just feel creepy or odd, this isn’t necessarily indicative that they’re malevolent. Fae are just so different to humans that they can seem extremely ‘other’ and it can definitely be disconcerting. They have different morals and ethics and codes of conduct, but this isn’t a bad thing. Just different.
I have asked Delilah to keep us posted about how things progress, she is in such a unique position and I would love to know how things shake out once she and her house fae get on the same page. Now let’s get on to today’s subject!
We are not talking about our birth charts this week, we are instead going to be talking about garden magic. Now, I know gardening is not everyone’s bag, some people could not care less about gardening. I know that some of us who would like to garden maybe don’t have an outdoor space for it, maybe we’re in an apartment. Or we don’t own the home we live in so we can’t go digging up the yard. All of that is valid and I understand and I get it.
But we are gonna press on anyway, and we aren’t gonna talk about growing beets or anything like that, because there are a lot of ways to perform garden magic that won’t get dirt under your nails if you’re not into that, and that don’t require five acres of waterfront property if you don’t have it. But we can still get all the benefits of that robust earth magic, the grounding properties, the mental and emotional healing that it can provide, and if all that wasn’t enough, garden magic is a great way to build relationships with nature deities and nature spirits and build a little sweet, sweet, nature karma.
So what is garden magic and what do I mean by it? Garden magic, to me, is just magic that works with and/or serves nature in a close-to-home sort of way. This might be work that benefits the ecosystem in your own yard or your own home, this includes work that serves the animal population right in your own property or your own neighborhood. This also includes work that channels the natural energies around you to a specific magical purpose, or it can be as simple as planting specific herbs and flowers that will encourage specific results.
Herbal magic is something that we have spoken about at length before, in fact I did a whole episode on herbs and plant magic but I didn’t talk about plants to grow in and around your home for the literal purpose of having a witch’s garden. I won’t talk about lavender or chamomile because I have already done almost everything I can think of to try and convince people to grow those, so we are going to branch out today. You can weave a strong spell of protection over your house, your apartment, even just your own bedroom using nothing but plants, flowers, and herbs that are considered ornamental by Muggles.
And what’s so great about that is that, if you can put any of these outside, even just on a balcony if you’re in an apartment, is that these attract beneficial pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and the goddess loves that.
And the first plant on my little list here is violets. I’m choosing violets because they are perfectly happy in containers on a window sill and they just look like happy little potted plants to people who don’t know how incredibly magically powerful they are. Violets are first and foremost a flower of protection, so when they’re kept near the windows, they act as a ward keeping negative energies and entities at bay. They also promote peace and they invite luck.
Another plant that can be kept inside or outside the home are roses. This seems obvious, I know, but roses are dual-purpose witches’ allies. They invite and promote love, luck, and divination abilities, and their thorns are excellent at repelling negativity, especially evil eye or any negativity being aimed in your direction. Now, there are those mini-rose bushes that frequently come in small pots and those are perfect for apartment witches or those who share a home with disapproving non-witches. And of course large rose bushes, and especially climbing roses are brilliant for catching and redirecting malevolence and negativity.
Anemones are an ornamental flower that is really beautiful and also promotes health and healing. The cool thing about anemones is that they’re so beautiful and when you grow them yourself, you’ll always have them when you need them for healing spells and rituals.
Peonies are another flower that you can keep in your garden and no one thinks twice about it. They’re inexpensive to buy at the nursery to plant in your flower beds or in a pot in a sunny room, and what’s so interesting about peonies is that they’ve been used historically for protection specifically against evil spirits. They’ve even been used in exorcism rites in some cultures. So if you feel as though you have a particularly negative spiritual attachment, consider keeping peonies. And if you don’t, well it’s a good defensive flower anyway.
On the flipside of that is the gardenia. These are gorgeous flowers and they actually attract benevolent spirits during rituals. So you could actually go for the peony/gardenia combo to keep the bad guys away and the good guys nearby.
Honeysuckle is one of my all time favorite shrubs. The smell of my childhood, truly. Now this isn’t one that can really be grown indoors, but I felt like it should be included because you never hear about it much in witchcraft, but it’s so powerful. Honeysuckle enhances psychic ability and it’s also used for money spells. This is one you will want on your property in some way, shape, or form. And of course, nothing smells as good as honeysuckle. And for the record, jasmine smells amazing too and is also used for money magic. So it’s a solid alternative to honeysuckle if that’s what you prefer.
Ivy is another protective plant. And I believe I talked a little about ivy in the baneful magic episode because of its binding abilities. It can be used readily to bind people from doing evil. But it’s just very protective in general, and this is one that can obviously be grown outdoors, but is also found in pots of miniature English ivy that grows well in the home. And this category includes Devil’s Ivy, also called pothos, which grows inside with almost no effort and is such a commonplace houseplant that no one gives it a second glance. And I feel compelled to mention that devil’s ivy is really invasive, so please don’t plant it outside.
Another great flower for the witch’s garden is the geranium. Now, I know I’m in the minority here because I don’t really care for the way they smell, but I have geraniums anyway because they promote love and good health, AND they are also used in fertility rites. I’m not using mine in this way, there will be no more babies forthcoming, thankyouverymuch. But if you’re interested, geraniums may help.
And the last one I’ll mention is the marigold. Marigolds are another protective plant, and they’re actually also good in the garden for protecting other plants against pests and this is cool because then you don’t have to rely on chemical pesticides which I try to avoid because they’re so harmful to the beneficial insect population. But even better than that, marigolds promote prophetic dreams and psychic ability and, of all things, are known to be helpful in legal matters.
So, if you are interested in starting your witches’ garden either indoors or outdoors, or if you’re just looking to add a few new plants, consider some of these. They’re again so beneficial and they just look like beautiful plants and flowers. There’s nothing overtly witchy about any of these.
If you would care to add bird feeders or a bird bath, this is also something that can be a tribute to Gaia, to Demeter, Artemis, Freya, Inanna, Isis, the Morrigan, Rhiannon, Venus, Apollo, Bacchus, Mars, Odin, and Saturn. When done with intention, the simple act of caring for and providing for birds means a lot to so many different deities, and it’s a great intentional practice that can turn into a habit and become a regular way to commune with and cultivate a relationship with any of these deities, and also a lot of other entities. Brownies, elves, fairies, and pixies are going to notice and hold you in much higher regard if you’re regularly making it a point to serve these animals in this way.
Honoring earth spirits by caring for plants and flowers, by feeding and making your property a safe retreat for birds, by intentionally planting flowers to attract pollinators, all of these acts are building earth magic equity. And what did we talk about waaay back in the earth magick episode? Earth magick relates to the here and now in terms of our physical health, our stability, and our financial security. So while we are performing acts of service for nature and the animals in our own local area, we are also calling in that earth magic abundance. It is symbiotic, it is mutually beneficial. If we can be diligent stewards of all the life forms around us up to and including plants and animals which have their own spirits and their own life forces, we are weaving ourselves into the great tapestry.
Spiral gardens, cairns, and garden pentacles are a lot more openly witchcraft-related. But if there’s nothing stopping you, these are cool additions to a witch’s garden. Spiral gardens are kind of moving more mainstream these days, you can find a lot of cool results online if you want to see what this looks like, and of course spirals in witchcraft symbolize birth, life, death, and regeneration, so they’re very powerful symbols and of course a garden itself represents this every single year beginning in the spring with new life, blossoming into a full, lush garden in the summer, producing fruits and vegetables for the autumn, and finally dying back to rest for the winter. So that would be cool to include.
A cairn is just a pile of stones built as a landmark or to denote some kind of religious significance and these can be as small or as large as you’d care to make them and you can make just one or several as you see fit. These can be dedicated to a specific deity or an ancestor, or as a tribute to the property itself, you may use several to create and define a liminal space or a ritual area. The purpose of these cairns is to really be a point of focus for whatever purpose you intend to use them for. And again, there are a lot of reference pictures online that you can use for instruction and inspiration, but the point is they’re a fun, interactive form of earth and garden magic you can use in your own practice.
And garden pentacles are just that, they are pentacles demarcated on the earth with stones or paving bricks or you could make a temporary one using seasonal garden debris like pine cones and I’ve seen a really beautiful one made of seashells. These temporary pentacles are especially interesting because you don’t have to devote a permanent space for something like that, and they can be used in a customized way to coincide with the change of seasons or to coordinate with a sabbat. For example you could make one using spring flowers for Ostara or fall leaves for Samhain. And then after your ritual or once the sabbat ends, you can just let nature retake those materials.
If you do have the space and the freedom to make one that’s more permanent, you can even plant certain herbs or plants in the open spaces of the pentagram. We have one in our backyard that we made using river rocks, and I’ve planted purple and white alyssum in the star, for protection and to promote peace, and then in the outer circle we have thyme for health, love, and to promote psychic power. I would like to have been able to use a wider variety of herbs for ir, but my neighbor has this huge bastard of a willow tree that hangs directly over that space and it never sees the light of day, so I can’t really plant anything else because it just doesn’t get any sunlight. And yes I suppose I could move the pentagram somewhere else, but then I’d have this whole area under the canopy of that tree that I can’t use for anything else. So we make do with what we have. That’s the witch way. And how could I even complain about such a minor issue? I am really fortunate that I can even have a garden pentacle at all. It was a dream of mine for a long time.
And that’s really all I have to say about this topic. For now. I always do an episode and then spend the following week remembering a bunch of stuff I wish I had said. But that’s okay, we can always revisit this topic another time. I just hope I’ve been helpful. And before I go today, I have to take a moment to thank, sincerely, everyone who has gone to Anchor and become a supporter of this podcast. I don’t advertise, and I don’t have you know, tiers or anything for paying subscribers, so if you are or have donated at any point to this podcast, I am really thankful. Because you’re not getting anything extra! I endeavor to make this show as accessible as it can be to everyone who wants to listen, and when people who have the means make it a point to donate to the cause, it really helps. So thank you again for that.
You can message me anytime on facebook or instagram at @middleagedwitch, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or we’ll just talk again next week. Enjoy the full moon this weekend. My name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.