The days grow long
We plant our dreams in the ground
Dancing with all those before us
Spiral back, we’re sowing seeds
– The Shroud, Spiral Back
I am a gardener by nature. One of my self-appointed nicknames is Farmer Xiane, even though my “farm” is a bunch of containers for the most part. Gardening hits a lot of important places in my psyche, from connecting with Mother Earth to being self-sufficient, across ecological concerns to the need to nurture something. The excitement and joy of taking a small seed or small seedling and assisting it to grow into something majestic and [potentially] fruitful is one of my favorite parts of life. Planting seeds has been important to me since I was a small girl and I saw my first sprout in a tiny terrarium that I got in a box of cereal. [and HOW COOL is that? Why aren’t we putting those sorts of prizes in breakfast cereal anymore?]
Planting seeds is true Earth magic in action, the alchemy of taking soil, water, seed and will and encouraging new life to burst forth and grow as we tend to it. A garden is the living intersection of intention and action. It is ripe for us to imbue with our dreams and goals, because as we care for the plants we are raising, we reinforce the intentions that we charged our seeds with at the time of planting.
When I am working with intentional magic in my gardening, I try to choose plants that will bolster the energy I am summoning. Health goals are easy: choose veggies that you can incorporate into your diet, and restate your intention as you partake of the bounty. Lettuce, tomatoes, radishes are great for this, especially in an urban-sized space like a bucket or windowsill garden.
Looking for love? Strawberries and violets like Johnny Jump-Ups are nice for both symbolism and edible rituals. Tomatoes are reputed aphrodisiacs – grow cherry tomatoes and feed them one by one to your lover on a picnic and see what happens. Or eat them mindfully to ensure self-love!
Herbs are easy to grow and there’s a whole world of magical lore that goes along with them. I like parsley for health, rosemary for protection, basil for wealth, lemon balm for joy, mint for good luck. [Keep mint in a pot by itself, or you will have ALL the mint!] All of these also make fantastic teas and are good in cooking, so again you get your magic on the inside and out.
There really is endless lore and information on the metaphysical uses and symbolism of plants, and I recommend doing further research as you explore magical gardening. I also recommend trusting your instincts – open your mind and heart to the plants around you and you’ll soon get a sense of what you are drawn to adding to your garden. I recently added Jasmine, which I’ve been obsessing over for a while – and I tried to add Eucalyptus but it didn’t even last two days, which is a pretty rare thing for me as a long-time gardener… so I’d say that it was not the plant for me right now! You’ll often find that you are attracted to a plant, start it in your garden, and then when you look up its properties – it was JUST what you needed in your life. The subconscious is great at that!
Once you have chosen the plants that you want to incorporate into your life and practice, it’s time to get them started and charged with your intention.
Seeds need a good starting medium. Some need direct sowing into the place where they’ll be growing, and others like to get a head start on a peat disc or damp paper towels. Check your seed packet for recommendations, and keep in mind what conditions they need and optimum seasonal times for starting your plants. If you’re growing indoors, you have more leeway, but take note of light and moisture requirements.
If you are starting from purchased seedlings, that’s okay too! They won’t have been germinated with your intention infused into them, but you can still incorporate their help. As a new gardener, I found seeds a little more difficult and relied on starts… and some plants are really difficult to germinate, even with experience. Work with what works best for you.
I use one of two methods to charge my intention with my plants. If I can, I write a few simple words that sum up my desire and place the paper under the seeds/starts. If I’m planting starts, I plant the paper with them – otherwise, when the seeds are ready for planting, I will plant the paper then.
Sometimes you don’t have the ability to do this, or it is inadvisable to put your intention down on paper where it might be discovered. In that case, I start off with an intense meditation with my seeds or starts in my hands, visualizing strongly what I am trying to grow in my life. I ask the potential plant to please assist me in raising this energy – plants are beings too, so I always give them the option to opt out of my plans. I have never felt objections but it feels right and kind to me to ask, not command, as that isn’t my place in the world.
Once the seed or plant is placed, I take time every day to commune with it, sending positive energy and encouraging thoughts its way. I often talk to my plants to do this, and when I water them I always envision strength and healthy energy pouring over them. Playing music has been proven to be something plants enjoy, so choosing tunes that express the energies you are trying to attract is never a bad idea. Simple layers of energetic reinforcement is the basis for any successful work [spell], and plant magic is no different. Watch how your plants respond!
Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t successful with your first attempts at gardening with intention. I find that there’s a sweet spot between overloving and neglecting most of your plants, and that balance can take time to find, especially when you have reasons for growing them. I didn’t even touch on using houseplants for magical purposes, but if you struggle with traditional garden plants in your smaller spaces, try experimenting! I would love to hear about your results.
cover photo: Markus Spiske
organic seeds photo: Eco Warrior Princess
seedlings photo: Markus Spiske
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