Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Long Overdue Witch of This Place Essay

A while back, I read about plants being sorcerers, meaning they have their own magick and don't need any human to activate or use that power. It was a totally DUH moment for me. I talk to trees. I listen to the wind. I move storms. But it never once occurred to me to communicate with a plant. Sure, I ask for permission before harvesting, but asking the plant what it could teach me? I was overly closed minded. I can't believe I was so dense for so long.

Monday, I sat on my front steps and began reaching out to the plants with my mind. I got a GREAT response from my snapdragons. I planted the bed to protect the house. The only reason I picked that plant was because of a short story I read years ago about a witch with a pussy willow. Each night real kittens appeared on the tree. The neighbor had a dogwood and every night white pit bulls barked and growled at the kittens, so the witch planted snapDRAGONS in her yard. Charming story, and wouldn't it be cool if dragons were guarding my house?

My snapdragons told me they were female, and their power lies in sex- the power of physical love, of wanting to protect what you desire, the abundance of reproduction, fiery passion but earthly powers too. I checked my Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, where snapdragons are described as masculine, ruled by Mars and Fire, and are protection against lies and bewitchment. There is not one word about sex, love, desire, or babies. And why the heck are they classified as male when mine are so clearly female?

I've got nothing against Scott Cunningham. I use his books all the time. I love my herbal encyclopedia, it was one of the first witch books I ever purchased. But this is what we feeble humans do- we fail to trust our experience. We don't want to find out, we want someone to tell us. If some authority gives direction, then we know we are doing things the 'right way.' How often to we read something and then test it? Passing along information is great, but what if that information wasn't true or complete in the first place? What if time and place itself makes a difference? What if snapdragons growing in America have a different magick than the ones growing in England? Would my plants become more emotionally driven if I planted some by the river? Would they then become more about lasting love and less about burning desire?

Turn off the computer. Close the books. Go outside right now and listen.

1 comment:

ditzydruid said...

I would suggest trusting your own UPG but also looking into what other authors say - if anything. Like dreams, I think working with spirits is very intimate. No one book will exactly nail what you feel and see. Scientifically, some plants are only male or female. Many contain both parts but that doesn't mean the plant might not identify with one aspect over another or reach out to you with only one. Don't let one author distress you but also be sure to question yourself and continue to experiment and explore. I like that you're able to disagree with a "big name Pagan." Some people seem incapable of that!