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Archive for June, 2017

Plant Familiars


Midsummer greetings from The Magickal Cottage! Our coven celebrated Litha here at Crow Hollow on June 20th, and we made herbal charm bags to capture that intense solar energy for channeling towards our individual purposes. Midsummer is the most magickal of times for harvesting herbs. It’s really quite logical! The longest day of the year will be giving our plant companions a super jolt of solar energy. What better time for an herbal harvest?

This brings me to the topic of personal plant familiars. Most magickals have heard of animal or spirit familiars, but plant familiars? Yes, indeed! If you work with herbal energy or even magickal oils it just might benefit you to consider working with a plant familiar. How do you discover which plants are your familiars? You might begin by considering which plants you are drawn to intuitively. 


I know one of my plant familiars is a rose. Roses make my heart sing. They always have, and I have grown hundreds of them. Roses are a great favorite of many people, but, on the other hand, I have seen people rip out entire rose beds to replace them with gravel or cement. This I can’t fathom. But that’s me….


I have other plant familiars besides the rose, but the rose has followed me to every home I have ever lived in. What do I mean by saying that it has followed me? That brings me to another way to find your plant familiar. If you have success growing a certain plant, then it might be your plant familiar. In Texas I at first couldn’t grow the usual hybrid tea roses I had grown in California, but then I discovered antique roses and a whole new world opened to me. So the roses taught me some wonderful lessons during those humid Texas summers.

Back in California I am discovering more wonderful plant familiars. I’m learning that your familiars can change by location and it’s not always dependent on growing conditions. In Texas rudbeckia reseeded itself and thrived all over our property. I had planted just a few plants and they took off, much to my delight. Back in Cali I can’t seem to get those lovely daisy like plants to grow. Other people grow those yellow and orange beauties just fine but not me. However, look what is thriving now:


Shasta daisies sprang up from wild flower seeds and are all over the place! So consider this: my new Shasta daisy familiars have that same solar shape as the rudbeckia but are a luminous white. That’s something worth meditating on! What changes have occurred in my life that are reflected in my plant familiar? 

A wonderful California native is familiar to magickals for the purpose of smudging. Salvia apiana, or white sage, grows in the dry canyons near where I live now. Lots of people around here try to grow white sage in their gardens, but it curls up and dies. It’s just a wild child and doesn’t like being told where to live! Lucky for me it has chosen to be my plant buddy.


White sage is all over the place, along with its cousins blue sage, purple sage and black sage. I may never buy another smudge stick!


My most recent adventure into the green world of plant familiars is High John the Conqueror. 


This magickal lovely is hard to come by as a garden plant. Cherished by hoodoo practitioners, the root is used a lot like mandrake root. I managed to purchase 5 seeds at a steep price and 2 have sprouted and look happy. They do resemble morning glories which can be invasive. So we shall see what comes of this new relationship. High John may have lots to teach me!

So what does one do with a plant familiar? My first impulse is to explore the meanings and properties of the plant. In sympathetic magick the plant’s shape, scent, color and texture can tell a lot about the plant’s energy. Remember the solar shape of my daisy like friends? Sun energy with its forceful yang quality will definitely play a roll in this plant’s gift to you if you have such a plant totem. Does your plant familiar have round leaves suggesting a lunar energy? Are there mars like spines on your plant suggesting protection? First consider your initial impression of the plant to see what qualities it may lend to your charm bags, candles, incense, etc..

A way to cross check your plant familiar’s energy is to do some research. Witchipedia has some wonderful resources.

The realm of plant familiars is enchanting to explore! You can find tree familiars (think wand making) and commune with the dryads. The flower fairies in your cutting garden will delight and adorn you. And the aromatic properties of your herbal friends will add some powerful aid to your spells and charms. 

Enjoy the warm days and store up the energies of our present growing season if you live in the northern hemisphere, for they will serve you well when the days grow darker.

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

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