Friday, February 4, 2011

So what makes magickal gardening, well, magickal? (Part 1)

There seems to be two (at least) avenues of thought on this question. One is that everything in the Universe is inherently magickal. The cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth is one of the main principles of Wiccan (and some Pagan) religious philosophy. Most of us would agree that life, death and rebirth are completely magickal and totally natural all at one time. This cycle of life is what magickal gardening is all about. We sow, we reap, we process, we eat and use the products we have helped (we hope) the Earth, our Mother, to create. To our ancestors, this was big magick; this was their very survival.

Unfortunately, we have now distanced ourselves so far from our Earth/dirt/nature-centered origins that we have lost that breath of magick. Even in 2011, it is still true that survival depends on a successful harvest. Without a good grain harvest, there is no bread. Without healthy soil, there are no vegetables or fruit. We can live without meat, but we can't thrive completely without protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients, so we still depend on the land around us for our existence the same as did the ancients.

Sure, we can eat man-made "food" chemically manufactured in a pollution belching factory, sustenance nearly devoid of nature or natural qualities, but is that living? We are gardening magickally when we consciously intend to rise above living life on auto pilot and realize our connection to the food we eat, to the land we harvest it from and even more, its connection to us. When we realize the connection between every particle/atom/quark in the world--man, animal, plants, trees, factories, airplanes, good things and bad, then we realize that nature is a type of magickal force all its own. We truly are all ONE as the popular New Age saying goes. The question is: do we choose consciously to be one with a beautiful forest full of trees furnishing us fruit and nuts or a factory producing toxic waste to kill what's left of the healthy Earth around us?




  1. When we started we had red clay.You could take and squeeze it together when it was wet and it would mold into whatever shape you wanted. I dare say that we could have made pottery from it. We started adding some dead plants, leaves and whatever we had in the kitchen that would have gone out with the trash. Within one turn of the wheel, we had worms and the earth started a transformation. It wasn't deep at first, only maybe an inch or 1/2 inch. In that inch, the earth stopped being inert clay and fell apart and started to live. It is magickal what takes place.
    On a philosophical note, life is a circle. You must have life and death to start life again. We may have garden spirits and forest god(dess) and even sky gods that watch the weather. But I think the ultimate test for any god is to create life from where there was no life before.
    Life itself is a ferocious self-eating thing. It has no mercy on the innocent, has no emotional connection to the young, beautiful or the weak. In fact the weak are it's easiest prey. And yet, life always finds a way. It sends grass up from under the concrete slab and the crabgrass breaks the best built walls and even crumbles mountains. Magick and religion is our only means to try to have control over the inevitable process of life. Science has not found a way to halt the cycle, and allow us immortality.
    We march forward in the march of life and death, occasionally we fall out of step in that march to smell a flower, or pet a pup. In a garden we can temporarily elevate ourselves to the role of drum major for that grand march. And that is what magick does.