I spent my childhood picking wild fruits and herbs in garden centres or in the untouched lands near my home, for Mum to cook with. I was deeply heartbroken when I returned to this childhood home years later to find it mowed down by high-rise flats on cold concrete landscapes.
The opportunity to connect to Earth and her gifts in modern times is often waved away as a childish fantasy or an outdated practice, yet the impact of this disconnect is creating huge problems in our environment and mental health. To those who wave away our connectedness with Earth as a fantasy, I offer you an alternative way to consider these practices.
Our brains are naturally wired to notice, decode and interpret symbols, even better than the confines of language. From a technical viewpoint, a ritual can be considered a form of intentional reprogramming for your mind to perceive a situation differently, notice appropriate opportunities, or behave in a suggested way.
Here we begin to understand how ritual work may not directly affect the world around us and those within it, per se, but instead alter our internal world to be more aligned and receptive with what we want to attract. This internal shift will change what we project externally and therefore create a new way of being. True personal change can take time and patience, so focus on participating in the beautiful transformative experience of the working itself, not the eventual outcome.
Live in the moment and be present.
Listen to your Inner Self.
Learn all you can.
Live in the moment.
This is true magick.
— Pip Stoneham, The Serenity Oracle
Relationship Between People and Plants
The botanical world is my passion and I can not imagine a day without eagerly getting my hands dirty in my garden, being lost in an old botanical science text, or wandering about my local garden centre chatting with locals about plans for a coming season.
My love is sharing with you my enthusiasm for plants and nature, especially those of you who may feel they have two brown thumbs. Some of us may have an easy talent for gardening and plant-based work, but make no mistake: it is all skill-based practice and can be learned or, I believe, relearned. There was a time we were all foragers and gardeners and our daily survival depended on our ability to live well in a relationship with the plants in our environment.
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For as long as there have been people and plants, there has been a relationship between us. I strongly believe in co-evolution and the growth, through time, of plants' attributes in order to make them more appealing and beneficial to us, ensuring the survival of many botanical species.
If a plant gives humans something they want or need, then humans will in turn replant it, tend it and care for it. No more strongly is this evident than in the plants we call herbs.
Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular,
is indulged in by those who like a subtlety to their plants
in preference to brilliance.
-- Helen Morgenthau Fox (1884-1974)
botanist, author and gardening lecturer
Developing Your Own Relationship with Plants
I would advise that you take time to develop your own relationship with herbs so you may strengthen your bonds with Nature Magick. If you do not have the space or the experience with gardening, or you have been unsuccessful in the past, I would love you to try again.
Herb gardening is the very best place for anyone to begin, and for those of us who already dedicate ourselves to growing botanical treasures it is a place to find the sort of quiet corners one needs to uncover what we may have lost or may be seeking.
May Nature bless you always, but I hope that you too be the blessing that Nature needs!
©2018 by Cheralyn Darcey. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Rockpool Publishing.
The Book of Herb Spells
by Cheralyn Darcey
Along with 60 sacred herb spells from Cheralyn's personal nature grimoire, The Book of Herb Spells shares with you spell casting and spell crafting basics, magical gardening, supply sourcing, and dedicated lessons on how to write and cast your own spells. To complete your treasury of herb nature magick, a beautifully illustrated personal grimoire journal section is provided as a place for you to keep your herb spells.
The Book of Flower Spells
by Cheralyn Darcey
Along with 60 sacred flower spells from Cheralyn Darcey's personal nature grimoire, The Book of Flower Spells includes spell-casting and spell-crafting basics, information on magical gardening and supply sourcing, and dedicated lessons on how to write and cast your own spells. To complete your treasury of flower nature magick, a beautifully illustrated personal grimoire journal section is provided as a place for you to keep your flower spells.
About the Author
Cheralyn Darcey is a botanical alchemist, organic gardener, independent natural history scholar, artist, educator, and the author of several books and oracle decks of nature magick, folklore, witchcraft, and ethnobotanical traditions, including Flowerpaedia, The Australian Wildflower Reading Cards, and Florasphere Calm. Her artwork has been featured in galleries and art prizes across Australia and the US including the Australian Museum and Manly Art Gallery. Cheralyn was an Environmental Artist in Residence during the International Conference of Eco Ideas 2011 and has a long association with many environmental organizations creating eco artworks, educational workshops, and presentations as well as working as an administration volunteer. Inspired by her pagan family upbringing and her passion for nature and magick, her work focuses on the spiritual, cultural, therapeutic, and physical connections between humans and plants.