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Author Topic: The Use and Treatment of Plants for Magic  (Read 2570 times)
Aisling
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harvestmoon13


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« Topic Start: June 06, 2008, 11:13:58 pm »

I'd love to hear from other Cauldronites their take on some magical plant related questions:

  • Is it acceptable to use plants/herbs for magic workings? If yes, do you feel there are any restrictions or limitations on what plants may be used or how these plants should be harvested?
  • If you grow your own plants, do you treat or handle plants used for magic different than the mundane plants in your garden (such as the way you plant, care for, and harvest them)?
  • Do you feel it is necessary to pay respect to a plant when harvesting it? If so, how is this accomplished?
  • Are there any guidelines or rules that you personally follow regarding the raising and use of magical plants (religious, ethical, legal, etc.)?
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rose
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« Reply #1: June 06, 2008, 11:52:47 pm »

I'd love to hear from other Cauldronites their take on some magical plant related questions:

  • Is it acceptable to use plants/herbs for magic workings? If yes, do you feel there are any restrictions or limitations on what plants may be used or how these plants should be harvested?
  • If you grow your own plants, do you treat or handle plants used for magic different than the mundane plants in your garden (such as the way you plant, care for, and harvest them)?
  • Do you feel it is necessary to pay respect to a plant when harvesting it? If so, how is this accomplished?
  • Are there any guidelines or rules that you personally follow regarding the raising and use of magical plants (religious, ethical, legal, etc.)?


I think it's just as acceptable to use plants/herbs for magic as it is to use them for eating. The only restrictions I put on how plants should be harvested or used is to know what my intention is for the plant, whether I'm eating it or doing magic with it, or both-I don't just pull stuff out b/c I'm tired of it, or whatever. I am very careful about what I take on in my garden, b/c of that. I respect the plants I harvest by the way I care for them and tend to the earth they are in, generally. I communicate with everything and everybody I work and play with, plants are no different.
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  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
Mandi
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« Reply #2: June 08, 2008, 12:00:33 pm »

I'd love to hear from other Cauldronites their take on some magical plant related questions:

  • Is it acceptable to use plants/herbs for magic workings? If yes, do you feel there are any restrictions or limitations on what plants may be used or how these plants should be harvested?
  • If you grow your own plants, do you treat or handle plants used for magic different than the mundane plants in your garden (such as the way you plant, care for, and harvest them)?
  • Do you feel it is necessary to pay respect to a plant when harvesting it? If so, how is this accomplished?
  • Are there any guidelines or rules that you personally follow regarding the raising and use of magical plants (religious, ethical, legal, etc.)?


Kewl. 

Number one important on my list is the health of the plant.  Using a buggy, wilted, fungus infested barely surviving plant for magical working would in my opinion at best contribute buggy wilted sick energy to whatever workings you are attempting.

So you planted a Passiflora in full shade because it was at the west side of your yard... 

If you are connecting to your associations for west, using this plant as an avatar, then how is that going to play out in your connection?  Will your connection shrivel and die - or just fail to thrive in accordance with the plant?

How would you go about severing that tie without feeling that both your practice and the plant had been negatively impacted without much benefit to offset the invested energy? (rhetorical) This is one of my *irritations* with some aspects of plant practice.  People feel that because plants have been seen by 'humanitarian' types as an acceptable food source that they are disposable and lack individuality.  So in the same vein then we could say that cows are disposable and lack individuality.  Going right up the hierarchy eventually allowing us to say which types of humans are disposable and lack individuality.

With this in mind the health of the plant is paramount to me.  If a plant seemed to be experiencing negative effects as a result of our workings I would shut down the working right away.  You wouldn't treat a familiar WORSE than your other animals, if anything you would treat them better.  No different with plants - then again with equal treatment of all children in mind, I'd try to be fair to everybody and give equal care.

My mundane ornamentals and Magical Plants get the exact same care.  I've had some things go awry with the plants I was pumping a lot of energy into with magical intention, so I've stopped pouring the *grow baby grow* energy into them and started treating them more mundanely.  I'm locked in debate as to whether to remove a rose that is in a location that is not suited to its growth habits, and that is showing the same mutated growth patterns as the morning glory.  I would prefer to move it, but the location of its roots makes it nearly impossible to get enough of them out without killing the plant.I may just end up cutting it way back and starting over with it.  It's trying hard, but it's a loosing battle.

Right now I've got a 'sympathetic magic' experiment in the works.  I have a section of plants that are 'one each' of some of the plants I've put in other peoples gardens.  Through working with these plants as a representation of my clients plants I am seeing if their plants have any measurable result in improved health in accordance with the maintenance of the 'totem plant' residing in my garden.

Harvesting...  Depends on the plant.  Pure silver blade by the light of a full moon?  Naw.  Nothing that complex.  I just try to make what I take beneficial to the plant.  Cut your roses?  You bet.  Go back roughly 5 'elbows' (bud eyes under leaf bracts) and make a clean cut on a 45 degree angle, with a clean cutting tool.  Plants like and need to be cut back.  Usually a few days after a carefully done pruning you will see new growth in the area of the plant that you cut from.  I see this as the plant saying 'we're good, no worries' and I water and fertilize accordingly for good return.

Cutting rosemary I try to cut what is laying on the ground rather than taking the core of the plant.  Never take more than 1/3 of a plant at a time, because this can shock the plant.

Lately I've been avoiding chemical insecticides, because I've got a nice population of lizards and beneficial bugs, so I don't want to risk loosing or damaging any of them.  More magic is done with the lizards than the plants sometimes, so it irks me that the neighborhood kids get into my front garden to try to catch them - which makes them skittish and less willing to hang out when I'm out working in the garden.  I found this morning, very exciting, the Texas Banded Gecko that I put in my morning glory last year survived, and has at least tripled in size.  He was in the garage this morning when I took out the trash.


I think I would wait till a plant is well established before using it in magical workings as well. 

Gathering done in hiking and the like...  I dunno.  I try to remind myself that if everyone who went to the park or walked a trail cut a branch off a tree, there would be no trees left at the park.  So I hesitate to forage wild plants.  If I see something I would like to work with, then I grow it myself.

If it's already fallen to the ground, I have less a problem with this though. 
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
Aisling
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« Reply #3: June 13, 2008, 04:41:16 pm »

With this in mind the health of the plant is paramount to me.

Agreed.  If I'm growing plants for any purpose, this is priority one. Sometimes there's a learning curve involved, trying to get the plant in the place that it will be happiest and healthiest.  I'm finally getting pretty good at getting it right the first time, although there's an occasional transplant that needs to be done. 

Right now I've got a 'sympathetic magic' experiment in the works.  I have a section of plants that are 'one each' of some of the plants I've put in other peoples gardens.  Through working with these plants as a representation of my clients plants I am seeing if their plants have any measurable result in improved health in accordance with the maintenance of the 'totem plant' residing in my garden.

Keep us posted on this one.  I'd love to hear how this turns out.

Gathering done in hiking and the like...  I dunno.  I try to remind myself that if everyone who went to the park or walked a trail cut a branch off a tree, there would be no trees left at the park.  So I hesitate to forage wild plants.  If I see something I would like to work with, then I grow it myself.

If it's already fallen to the ground, I have less a problem with this though. 

I'm the same way when it comes to gathering from the wild.  It's very rare that I do it and when I feel I absolutely must (which is about once a decade), I use the old rule of thumb to only collect the third specimen you come across (leave the first two alone and only take from the third one you find). I never harvest the entire plant, just what I absolutely need to do a particular working. 

I think the last time I took from a plant in the wild was sometime in the mid-90s, when I wanted to use a cutting from a specific tree that had a significant link to the work I was doing.  In then end, I took just one leaf because I want that particular tree to survive as long as possible.

Fallen branches, fruit, seeds, or leaves, I don't have a problem with collecting (again, usually following the skip two rule when it comes to fruit and seeds). 
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Syrbal
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« Reply #4: June 13, 2008, 04:54:29 pm »

I'd love to hear from other Cauldronites their take on some magical plant related questions:

  • Is it acceptable to use plants/herbs for magic workings? If yes, do you feel there are any restrictions or limitations on what plants may be used or how these plants should be harvested?

I use plants a lot.  I make herbal condensors.  I harvest most of these plants in my own half acre of land....some grow wild and some I planted.
Quote
  • If you grow your own plants, do you treat or handle plants used for magic different than the mundane plants in your garden (such as the way you plant, care for, and harvest them)?
No difference, really.  I don't draw very hard lines between magic and mundane, to be honest.  The small difference?  I might tolerate a wild plant that would ordinarily get pulled as a weed if I know I can use it in some potion or other. 
Quote
  • Do you feel it is necessary to pay respect to a plant when harvesting it? If so, how is this accomplished?
I think it is a nice sentiment, but in my own yard, I am respecting the plant quite sufficiently by caring for it, nurturing and watering it.  In the wild, I do usually walk past the designated plant for a few days before harvest, talking to it about why I need it.  Sometimes, I find a piece has simply dropped or been knocked off and don't have to cut the plant at all.
Quote
  • Are there any guidelines or rules that you personally follow regarding the raising and use of magical plants (religious, ethical, legal, etc.)?

I do have some poisonous ones, and soon will have some more.  I try to be careful where these are located so as to not pose a danger to children or animals.  But that is about it.[/list]
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« Reply #5: June 13, 2008, 05:49:08 pm »

    I do have some poisonous ones, and soon will have some more.  I try to be careful where these are located so as to not pose a danger to children or animals.  But that is about it.[/list]

    I've got a few toxics, and I have a hankering for Datura, although not for it's psychoactive properties, but because I would like to experience the plant as a plant.  The vibe of the plant.  I've been around one before that was huge, and it had an amazing vibe to it.  It acted like it owned the world, gorgeous green foliage, and the pods looked like something that would eat you rather than the other way around.  It was downright savage, and powerful.  It knew it's own worth.

    I wanted to touch it, but it wasn't mine and I wasn't comfortable asking, so I was able to brush up against it when I walked by, but not really do what I wanted, which was to feel the leaf veins between both hands. 

    Doing so with one at a plant nursery just isn't the same. 
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    I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
    And games are just another way of life
    And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
    Because for every truth there are half a million lies
    And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
    Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
    -LIz Pahir
    Syrbal
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    « Reply #6: June 13, 2008, 06:07:40 pm »

      I've got a few toxics, and I have a hankering for Datura, although not for it's psychoactive properties, but because I would like to experience the plant as a plant.  The vibe of the plant.  I've been around one before that was huge, and it had an amazing vibe to it.  It acted like it owned the world, gorgeous green foliage, and the pods looked like something that would eat you rather than the other way around.  It was downright savage, and powerful.  It knew it's own worth.

      I wanted to touch it, but it wasn't mine and I wasn't comfortable asking, so I was able to brush up against it when I walked by, but not really do what I wanted, which was to feel the leaf veins between both hands. 

      Doing so with one at a plant nursery just isn't the same. 
    We had some friends about eight years ago who took the greatest pleasure growing these.
    They do have spectacular foliage and the ladies went nuts with glee when the things blossomed.  But somehow, that one never appealed to me and just as well, it is so cold here in my little micro-climate that I'd never keep one healthy or happy.  Too close to that cold-hearted mountain![/list]
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