Seasons of Witchery
by Ellen Dugan
I have been working in my gardens non-stop for the past few days,
getting ready for a full moon/sabbat celebration with my coven. I
always enjoy having the ladies from the coven over, and we end up in my
gardens for Beltane every year, which is wonderful. The best thing
about having a garden is to share it with others.
This is a great season for magickal gardening. My roses are
flourishing, the foxgloves and yarrow are in bloom, and my snapdragons
are trying to outgrow the foxgloves at the moment. The snaps are huge
this year—some stand taller than the foxgloves. Even my
twenty-eight-year-old son commented on them when he came over to cut
the grass for his dad the other day.
While I weeded the perennial bed my son took a break in the shade,
looked over at me incredulously and asked what sort of spell I had done
to the snapdragons. My answer was a slow and secret smile, which he
returned with a serious stare. Then I tipped my sunglasses down to look
at him, asked him if he was new or something, and we laughed for a long
time. "Good grief, mom," he said. He rolled his eyes at me, and went to
the shed to dig out the string trimmer. It does my heart good that my
children, who are now all adults, accept the magick in our lives so
easily. They did grow up with it, after all. Before my son started up
the trimmer he walked over to the perennial bed I was working in and
bent over to look at the snaps a bit more carefully. At the moment they
stand close to three feet tall.
"These are the same plants from three years ago; I thought they were
annuals. Did your coven do some crazy full moon magick to these
snapdragons last year?" He asked with a grin, while he ran his hands
over the blooms.
"Absolutely," I told him, with my tongue firmly in my cheek, and
continued to pull weeds. Then he asked me if I knew that the full moon
this coming weekend was a "Super Moon." I reminded him that the correct
lunar term was actually perigee, meaning the time when the moon was the
closest to the earth during the calendar year.
He only grinned at me, slipped his sunglasses on, and started the
string trimmer with a flourish. He shouted over the string trimmer that
he hoped we would behave ourselves, and with a laugh he went off to
trim around all the perennial beds.
I sat back on my heels and chuckled as he moved around the lawn with
the trimmer. A breeze blew in and brought a bit of coolness to a
near-ninety degree afternoon, a bit warmer than typical for early May.
But, if I have learned anything over the years, it is that nature has
its way. We can either hang on and enjoy the ride and work with her
cycles and seasons or fight against them. I personally prefer to
embrace the magick of each season. There is always something new to
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1. Your new book, Seasons of Witchery,
addresses the Wheel of the
Year with a fresh focus. Why did you feel this needed to be done?
I have always been a creative type of
person—gardening, landscape design, interior decorating, and floral
design… it’s a sickness. Seriously. Some women go crazy over shoes; for
me, it's plants and flowers. Over the years when we would have visitors
to our home, people would go insane over our gardens and then the
interior seasonal decorations. The decorations in the house were subtle
enough that non-magick folks figured the floral designer in me had run
amok, but still full of symbolism that witches immediately recognized.
I posted some of the pictures of my gardens and of home during the
holidays on Facebook, and the fans went wild. I had so many requests
for a book on the sabbats that I started thinking. Then I started to
2. The book is divided into
eight chapters (one for each sabbat), each of which includes crafts,
rituals, recipes, and more. From where do your ideas for celebrating
each season come?
the gardens, and from my own
personal experiences as a wife, mother, witch, and high priestess. I
have been a practicing witch for almost thirty years now. I have plenty
of creative ideas to share for your magickal home, your own enchanting
gardens, and of course for your Sabbat celebrations with friends and
3. You are known as the
Garden Witch. Does Seasons of Witchery include a lot of tips for the garden?
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