Planning Your Witchy Garden
Spring has sprung and for many of us, that means it's time to plan the garden! What do we witches consider to be essential, must-haves in the garden?
Alternative and holistic medicines are more commonplace today than they were just 5 years ago. People are (re)turning to plants and herbs for remedies. The truth is, these remedies are just the ones that were forgotten in favor of chemical laden, prescription medications. As witches, we not only use these plants and herbs for healing, we are using them in our spell work and rituals.
So what are these must-have healing and magickal plants?
* Sage- Common garden sage is a must have in your witchy garden. It is just as effective at removing heavy energies and purification as white sage is. You can also plant white sage if you feel called to do so. Cleansing is not the only thing this powerful herb does. It is known for promoting wisdom and bringing good luck. Because of its natural aroma, sage is also highly effective at keeping pests out of your garden. Medicinally, Sage contains over 160 distinct polyphenols, which are plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. Sage is linked to impressive health benefits, such as a lower risk of cancer and improved brain function and memory.
*Rosemary- Another common kitchen herb, rosemary packs a powerful punch when it comes to cleansing and protection. Because rosemary is associated with loyalty, it is often used in love
magicks and worn during handfasting ceremonies. Rosemary is for remembrance so it is often used or burned during Samhain rituals to honor the ancestors and it can also help facilitate past life recall. This versatile herb can also help to promote healthy hair. Recent studies are showing that it can actually help with hair growth by improving circulation and stimulating nerve growth in the scalp better than some of the prescriptions for alopecia. Rosemary's aroma is also a powerful tool against stress and anxiety. If that weren't enough, there are three immune boosting components found in Rosemary- anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogens.
*Calendula- This sunshiny flower is an important herb to include in your garden. The positive and cheerful energy makes a wonderful mood boosting tea/ tincture. Its association with the sun makes calendula a powerhouse when it comes to bringing good luck. Prophetic dreams and messages are also brought by the flowers- just tuck them into a sachet under your pillow. Calendula is revered for its healing properties for skin conditions. Petals can be incorporated into oils and salves for healing wounds, rashes, burns, acne and dry skin. Using tinctures taken internally, calendula is known for being an anti-fungal, antibacterial, helping to stimulate the lymphatic system, to stimulate the menses, and as a digestive anti-inflammatory.
*Mugwort- Artemisia Vulgaris honors the Greek goddess, Artemis. Like its namesake, the plant is associated with the moon, cycles, women’s health, and childbirth. Mugwort can be used to help with menstruation and menopause. However, one of the well known and common uses for mugwort is for its capability to bring one into a deep meditative state and to help facilitate prophetic dreams and psychic experiences. Sister herb, Motherwort is also revered for relieving aches and pains associated with headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle sprains. Motherwort is another ally during menopause, helping to ease hot flashes and hormone induce irritability. Motherwort can be used in spell work to promote inner trust and self-confidence. It can also be used in fertility spells/ magick.
*Basil- This common and highly aromatic herb is known for its ability to bring luck and
abundance and prosperity so it is often included in money spells. Associated with Mars and the fire element, basil should be used for spell work or rituals to bring about strength, courage, and protection. This herb is often included in love and happiness spells. In the garden, basil will help to repel pests. Medicinally, this herb is antimicrobial as well as an anti-inflammatory and can be used to help treat illness. It can also relieve stress and anxiety and help one with mental clarity. Holy Basil is close relative and makes a tasty herbal tea (Tulsi). It too has antimicrobial properties and can be effective when treating colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Holy Basil has an uplifting energy bringing you lightness and warmth. This herb is also known for being an adaptogen and helps to protect the body from the negative effects of stress.
*Echinacea- This plant is more well known for its immune boosting capabilities. Roots, seeds, and the fresh or dried flowers can be used to make a tasty herbal tea. Magickal uses include power, success and the ability to strengthen spells.
*Bee Balm (Bergamot)- This beautiful plant is one of the best at attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Its aromatic scent and enticing flavor makes a wonderful tea and can help one unwind and de-stress. One can use dried flowers in a sachet to bring restful sleep
and possibly interesting dreams. Keep dried flowers/ leaves in your wallet or purse to attract money. It can also be sprinkled (dried) or planted outside the home to draw abundance and prosperity. Due to its high thymol content, bee balm has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anesthetic properties. It can be used in mouthwashes, foot baths, and douches to relieve odor and/ or itching. It can also be infused into a wash for minor cuts and scrapes.
*Mint- This herb is yet another powerful ally for prosperity magick. Because it is associated with the planet Mercury and the element of air, mint can be used in spells to help facilitate good communication, whether it is with a person, spirit guide or deity. Mint is wonderful at providing mental clarity either in a spell or taking internally such as in a tea. This herb is known to help alleviate upset or unsettled stomachs, relieve tension headaches and support sinus health and aid in decongestion.
*Lavender- This magickal herb is known and regarded for its ability to aid in relaxation and
promote restful sleep. Use in a tea or in spell work to help with dream recall. Lavender is also known to help bring happiness into a space. Hang or plant near your front door to ensure that negative energies stay away and only happiness, love and joy may enter. Lavender has also been used in love/ fidelity spells. Lavender can be used to treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Additionally, lavender oil can be used to treat skin conditions such as fugal infections, minor cuts and scrapes, eczema, and acne.
Other plants and herbs to consider are yarrow, feverfew, chamomile, stinging nettle, vervain, meadowsweet, hyssop, St. John's wort, comfrey, sunflowers, jasmine, dandelions, and roses.
For anyone considering planting an herb garden or working with them in the future, I recommend purchasing herbal, plant, and flower dictionaries. One of my favorites is Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham. One can also find a wealth of knowledge online.
If you cannot plant a full herb garden, consider plants that might do well in container gardens or windowsill boxes. You can't go wrong by having these amazing plants easily at your disposal. Get creative and Happy Gardening!
**Please note, one should always seek medical attention when necessary and ask their doctor before starting an alternative or holistic herbal regimen.**