This Blog has become a forum for a number of serious Pagan women to post and create. Our object is to provide a voice.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Anomalous Summer

My gardens stand today as a mere shadow of their former selves.   Heat, draught, the wind that almost always follows draught, and insects which increase in virulence with hot weather have taken their toll. 
The flower featured here is Monkshood – Latin name Aconitum napellus.  The bloom should be larger and a very deep purple.   Its reduced size and faded color are, in my experience, the results of heat stress. 

A word of caution, Monkshood should not be planted in gardens where children or plant eating pets play.  It contains a powerful alkaloid poison that was used in earlier times as a sedative and antispasmodic.  In combination with Belladonna, also identified as Deadly Nightshade, Monkshood was used topically in ointments to treat skin injuries and ailments.   Under no circumstances are either of these substances recommended for use by the untrained, the unskilled or the uninitiated. 

Aconitum napellus is often found in Witches’ gardens as a tribute to a time when the practitioners of the Craft of the Wise were skilled in and freer to practice the Goddess’ healing arts.  In addition, Monkshood is sacred to the Goddess Hecate and with its cousin Wolfsbane, is often used non-medicinally at the Waning or Dark Moon in the practice of ceremonial and ritual high Crone magic known to the ignorant as Black Magic.

To return to the discussion of the garden, I have received a number of emails from gardeners who follow my blog or my Facebook page asking me what they have done wrong.  They have followed my advice or the advice of their local gardening professionals.  They have planted appropriately, watered, fed and protected from insects and disease.  Yet, their gardens look as if they have been neglected and allowed to burn up in triple digit heat for two full seasons. 

I answer them in a word – nothing.  You have done nothing.  The season is anomalous and excessive – excessive heat, excessive dry, no spring and excessive summer.  This is apparently happening all over the world if my correspondence is anything to go by. 

Whether we in our stupendous arrogance believe in Climate Change or not is irrelevant.  It is what it is.  No amount of name calling, proselytizing or pontificating from delusional partisan hacks or contribution whoring politicians will make it into something else.

Most evenings of this brutal summer I stand in my gardens at sunset when the light is less harsh and the damage less visible.  I hear my grandmother’s voice sailing out of the West on the swelling red-gold light filling the Rocky Mountain sky.  “Little Witch,” she reminds me, “A gardener proposes, but the Goddess disposes.   She is in charge.  If you forget, let Her remind you.”

Friday, July 6, 2012

As the Moon Grows Dark

As the Moon grows dark,
            The Goddess gives birth to new possibilities gestated in swollen fullness,
            The Goddess nurtures a world full of new hopes and dreams, siblings of all possibilities.
As the Moon grows dark,
            I look back in the Goddess’ silver light and growing shadow to the path I have traveled,
            I look forward in waning radiance and deepening mystery to the path ahead.
As the Moon grows dark,
            The lessons learned shimmer on the whitewater streaming beside me to my right,
            The lessons to be learned whisper from the dense forest of the unconscious to my left.
As the Moon grows dark,
            I see and sense Goddess’ newly birthed and splendid possibilities,
            I give thought and voice to a Her world full of immaculate hopes and dreams.
As the Moon grows dark,
            The gift I offer in return is devotion to Her Craft practiced with or without ceremony,
            The path I walk and lessons I have learned were ordained in Her sight and by Her grace.

The Herban Goddess, © 2012