As the warmth of spring starts to loosen the grip of winter’s cold, the quickening of Imbolc transforms from thought and desire into action. The energies of new beginnings and rebirth are everywhere and seeds are planted, literally and metaphorically, for the coming harvest.
Throughout the agricultural cycle, each of the eight touchpoints of the Wheel of the Year is vital and none more so than Spring Equinox when the seeds go into the loosened ground, full of the promise of an abundant return in the fall.
The quantification of agriculture is amazing to consider. One corn seed produces two full ears of corn. One tomato plant produces up to two hundred tomatoes if they are sown correctly. One bean seed can produce one-hundred and twenty beans. If we do a little, we get a lot.
The Lost Art of the Harvest
Planting is a chore now left to the farmers and the aficionados of home gardening. Gone is the time when a whole village went into the fields to plant, nurture, and reap a harvest. Still, those instincts run strong inside us. For many of us, the rituals and rhythms of planting run in our DNA and sing through our blood.
Eric and I started the CUSP tradition (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway) more than two decades ago and now it is practiced worldwide with the goal being to use the eight sabbats of each year to manifest positive life changes. CUSP takes the idea of planting into proactive manifestation.
In the CUSP tradition, at Ostara, we plant intentions for the year, such as a better relationship, a nicer car, a more rewarding job, a bigger house, or a deeper relationship with one’s family. We plant joy, wisdom, strength, friendships, an opportunity to travel, or a greater understanding of what motivates us.
From Ostara through Lughnasaad, we tend our crops by working on our goals and tuning into the wisdom of the Universe to accept guidance on how to best proceed. From Lughnasaad through Samhain, our goals reach fruition and we harvest the rewards.
Over the years, we have learned some strong lessons about how to plant. For instance:
- Do not plant a negative. We never go into the garden and plant “not corn,” or “not potatoes.” Likewise, when you are planting life changes, focus on what you want to gain, not what you want to lose. Plant “Health” or “Strength” rather than “Lose Weight.” Plant “Wealth” and “Abundance” rather than “Overcome Poverty.” Plant “Courage” rather than “Overcome Fear.” My experience has been that the Universe hears nouns, not modifiers, so if you say, “Lose Weight,” it hears “Weight” and gives you some more. Put your focus on the positive, not the negative, and that is the energy you will attract.
- Distill your goals. When we make a list of the things we want to change in our life, sometimes, we can group several goals into one umbrella goal. “I want a better car,” “I want a bigger house,” and “I want prettier clothes” can all fall under “Financial Abundance.” “I want kinder friends,” “I want a closer relationship with my parents,” and “I want to connect on a deeper level with my partner” can all fall under “Healthier Relationships.” If you see a theme to what is missing from your life, combine goals so that your energy is less diversified.
- Do the Work. We can throw seeds out into the field and trust that a few might take hold and grow to maturity to produce something we can use to the goal of nourishment. If, however, we do the work to maximize the seed’s potential by breaking up and nourishing the soil, pulling away the weeds, providing sufficient water, and fertilizing appropriately, the result is so much grander. Likewise, we can make a wish and send it out to the Universe and then sit back on our laurels and wait, but the more we do to make that wish a reality, the greater our return will be in the fall. “As Above, So Below,” applies just as easily to the energy needed for healthy and complete manifestation. Do not make your gods do all of the heavy lifting.
- Do not lose faith. I drove past a church sign once that said, “Do not dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” Once you plant a seed, you do not go outside every day and dig it up to see if it is growing. Plant your seeds of change with confidence and let them grow. Tend to them. Give them what they need to flourish, and then let them do their thing, trusting the process completely. Worry is where magic goes to die.
Macrocosms & MetaphorsWhile that describes the primary act of creating positive change, a side hustle of this practice is that we become more mindful about what we plant in different ways in the world. What are we sowing out there among our fellow people? Are we spreading seeds of hate and divisiveness? Are we so involved with criticizing how someone else presents in society that we fail to tend our own garden? Are we sowing seeds of fear and worry? What are we planting in life’s garden?
Just like the garden metaphor shows, we get out of life what we put into it. That does not mean we are exempt from floods, locusts, fires, and drought. Life happens. What it does mean is that if we truly want to optimize our life experience, we need a blend of our own efforts with the blessings of the Universe.
Katrina Rasbold is a professional working witch who lives in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Her shop, Crossroads, is in Shingle Springs, CA where she and her husband, Eric, perform spellwork and spiritual cleansings for their clients, as well as offering handmade magical products. www.crossroadsoccult.com.