I am a spiritual person, but I have good days, and I have bad days. In other words, I’m having a whole human experience over here.
On top of that, I am neurotic. So, now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to more important things like what I do to cope with my anxiety, how spirituality plays a key role, and how I merge the two of those in one of the most inconspicuous of ways.
Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty gritty and get our hands dirty. Literally.
I’m a bit paradoxical in that I aim to nurture the people and environment around me, but my approach is more methodical than it is emotional. My “love language” is acts of service, so I show up for the people in or around my environment consistently. Due to this systematic approach, gardening is a natural fit. I show up for my plants daily and assist them to the best of my ability—please, just don’t ask my money tree.
The overwhelming majority of my plants and I have formed a symbiotic relationship where I tend to them, and they provide me with the mental stability that I need to get through my most hectic days. They seem to be happy with the exchange, but, for the record, I’m getting the better end of that deal.
That said, my garden is no ordinary garden. No, it’s a fundamental part of my practice and spirituality. My magic garden, if you will.
I benefit from my magic garden in a number of ways. The two most essential functions are meditation and connection, but I also use gardening in conjunction with my spellwork and practice in a few varying ways. I will be covering each of these in the following sections.
Gardening for Mental Health
In my article “Ways to Meditate without Meditating,” I speak briefly on how gardening can be used for meditation. In the article, I touch on how gardening can induce trance-like states similar to that of meditation.
When you’re gardening, you are not distracted by the monotonies of daily life or mindlessly scrolling apps on your phone. Instead, you are focused on the task at hand. Being physically immersed in a task is an excellent way to achieve meditative states—particularly if you otherwise struggle to do so. It’s widely documented that meditation has positive effects on our well-being.
Likewise, the act of gardening itself has numerous positive effects on our mental health. One, it typically forces us outdoors or—at the bare minimum—it at least asks us to consider which window is east facing or has the most ideal lighting.
The sun itself has positive and recharging effects. As I write this, my cat is sunbathing on the windowsill. By design, animals instinctively know the powers of the sun, whereas most humans seem to have forgotten. Allowing ourselves time outdoors is, without a doubt, beneficial to our overall health and wellness. That said, remember to wear your SPF.
Gardening for Spirituality
While meditation is a part of my spiritual practice, for this section, I wanted to focus on deepening our connection to both our spirituality and the world around us.
The process of gardening allows us to connect with the earth physically. When we place our hands or our feet directly into the soil, we can ground our energies or seek to be recharged through the soil.
By continually showing up to tend to my plants, I have formed a ritual. A ritual, by definition, is “an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner” or “a ceremonial act or action.” My practice ticks both of these boxes. I am ritualistic in my approach to caring for these babies, and I reap the rewards from this labor of love.
I mentioned above that my plants and I have a symbiotic relationship. Notably, animism plays a large role in my spiritual practice. Animism is defined as the “belief of the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena” per the Oxford dictionary. In essence, I believe sentience exists in more than meets the eye but—specific to this article—my plants.
Gardening for Spellwork
Gardening is a great practice for both deepening our spirituality and achieving meditative states, but it also serves a more functional purpose to practitioners as well. Often, there are herbs we can use in spellwork that are very easy to grow indoors or outdoors, depending on space. Some of these herbs include rosemary, mint, garden sage, parsley, oregano, and basil.
Each of these herbs will have correspondences. For example, rosemary is an herb that assists with mental clarity and brings wisdom, whereas garden sage is great for cleansing and protection. These herbs can be used in herb bundles, meals, teas, spell jars, sachets, tinctures, and more. There is no shortage of ways to utilize these.
The soil itself can be used as an ingredient in spellwork. Since the soil is in a garden you tend to, this soil could be used in protection spells and spells for fostering a happy home. The soil also make a useful location for environmentally safe spells that require the act of burying as well.
Tending to the Magic Garden
Now that we’ve covered the meditational, practical, and spiritual aspects of gardening, let’s talk to the old gods. For this section, I wanted to cover popular offerings to our gardens.
These offerings can come in many forms, and many serve a practical purpose as well.
Blood & Bones
Historically, in many cultures, there was an occasional blood sacrifice to ensure the survival of crops. However, what many might not know is that we still practice this today.
The historical blood sacrifices to the crops had both magickal and mundane purposes. As it turns out, blood has a ton of vital nutrients. As such, we still use this today in the form of adding blood meal and bone meal to our soils. Both of these can be picked up at your local garden center, but some resourceful witches include their own menstrual blood in their gardens.
Blood isn’t the only offering that can be made to our gardens, either. Perlite, an item commonly added to soil, is formed by the “hydration of obsidian.” In short, perlite is to obsidian what popcorn is to a corn kernel.
Obsidian itself is a protective crystal with correspondences of growth and good fortune. So, perlite—or popcorn obsidian—as I like to call it, can be added to our gardens to help with soil aeration as well as an offering to the soil to promote growth and protection for your home.
Often, common kitchen items make not only a suitable offering to the plant but also serve a functional purpose as well. Items like ground eggshells, which correspond with fertility and protection, are wonderful additions of calcium to the soil.
Other items like cinnamon, which is great for success and prosperity work, also serve the function of preventing mold and fungus growth when sprinkled on the soil.
Pennies, which can bring good fortune, are also added to the soil. Particularly those minted before 1982, as they contain more copper than later dates. Copper is a valuable fungicide for soil. These are only a couple of the handful of items we can make use of to both benefit and honor our magic garden in our practices.
Magic Garden Quick Tips
- Use blood meal or bone meal as a sacrificial offering to your plants—both supply plants with necessary nutrients.
- Add perlite to the soil mix for protection. The perlite helps soil aeration.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the soil for prosperity. The cinnamon protects from mold and fungus.
- Add ground eggshells to the soil for fertility and growth. The eggshells supply the soil with calcium.
- Put pennies into your soil for good fortune. Pennies minted before 1982 contain more copper, and copper is a fungicide.