Monday, May 22, 2017

The Door to Faerie

There’s been a lot written about how to move from one world to another, about portals and gates and doors in hedges. In shamanism, one of the doors to the lower world is often found in the roots of a tree. Most of us danced in fairy rings that we saw in yards as children, wondering if fairies would be invited by the sounds of our laughter or the ultra-tantalizing lawn sprinklers we played in.

I’ve had a few fairy circles around. One showed up in the backyard and stayed for a couple years, then vanished. One was made entirely of mushrooms when a neighbor cut down a tree…I always thought of that as the tree’s spirit still reaching out. And now that I’ve got a pretty lush garden going, other little portals and doors are in the making.

This is one of them. Three or four years ago, I bought a fairy rose in a plastic bag at the local discount store. I am notoriously bad with roses, I should confess. I’ve tried various kinds, but the only ones I’ve had success with are dog roses, prairie roses, and Don Juan climbers. One year, I picked up five or six beautiful white JFK roses, but they didn’t make it over the winter. So…I had some hopes for the fairy rose.

I have never pruned the fairy rose. Now, it’s taller than my head, and its canes brush the ground like a weeping willow. The flowers are flat and tiny and white…just gorgeous. This rose has surpassed all my expectations. It’s hard to see what’s under there; I imagine that this is probably where the backyard rabbits are raising their little ones. It’s hard to see what’s under there…maybe a door to faerie?

Do you have any mysterious gates and doors on your property where fairies might lurk? Have you ever made a fairy garden? I’m curious…perhaps if I build it, they will come! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Magical Garden: Irises

My yellow irises, also called “water flags,” are blooming now. There’s nothing like the dark, sweet smell of an iris, I think. Some of mine are more fragrant than others. I grow some burgundy ones that are the most heavily-fragranced and some blue-violet ones that have a very subtle scent.

Did you know that irises are a magical plant? They’re ruled by the element of water, and great to use in all kinds of water magic involving emotions. I tend to plant mine in the corresponding west area of the garden, though I have some yellow ones coming up in the south. Before I plant flowers, trees, and herbs, I try to figure out what area of the garden corresponds with them magically, and to put them there when I can. Sometimes, conditions don’t always cooperate. But I can usually put them in another direction based on color. Our backyard garden is something of a large (and ever-growing) circle, and I like to think of it as my outdoor, permanent magic circle. The directions are marked out, and I’ve kept areas clear for entrance points at the cross-quarter points.

Back to the iris! Irises are sacred to the goddesses Hera and Juno, especially in their blue or purple forms. They’re also associated with Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, and Isis. I tend to like the blue irises as offerings for Isis. Yellow irises make fine offerings to her son, Horus.

 In magical workings, irises of all shades are wonderful for workings involving love, luck, inspiration, and creativity. When I put a vase of irises on my desk, I swear that I’m more productive with creative work.

They’re also associated with mental focus, clarity, and willpower (especially the yellow ones). If you’re facing a project deadline, it doesn’t hurt to put a few in your work area, especially on the west side of your desk. Blue irises are associated with wealth, and this year I’m going to try to press one of the flowers and tuck it in my wallet.  

Do you grow irises? Where do they grow in your garden? 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Little Rain Magic

We’ve had rain for days now – deluges, sprinkles, and steady pattering of rain on grey days. It’s made me a little cranky, because I haven’t had the chance to be out in the garden.

But rain is great for magical work! I sometimes save a little bit in a bowl and bring it inside for some divination. I sit in a dark room light a candle near the bowl. This tends to be more dramatic-looking if the bowl is black – it really lends that scrying mirror effect. If I get it just right, the flame looks like the moon on water. It’s great for meditation. I zone out and usually get some great insights.

Here’s a little bit of magic that’s good for releasing things that no longer serve you. These can be habits, people, feelings, or pretty much anything else. I have several flat stones in my garden that I sometimes write these things on with chalk. When it rains, the drops wash the words away. I visualize these things being rinsed away from my life. For an extra magical punch, I recommend doing this during a waning moon. You can also put a stone in each of the four directional quarters (east, south, west, and north), plus one in the center for spirit, and write your petition to the elements on each one.

I may snag a bit of rainwater today to put into my bath for a little extra purification mojo. Do you have any rain secrets you’d like to share?