the Conjurer's Garden, Inside and Out
Stephanie Rose Bird
1. Set apart for worship or veneration.
2. Space devoted entirely to a specific purpose.
3. Regarding religious objects, rites, or spiritual practice.
I am a sacred gardener.
Through this activity I have gained pleasure, sensual delight, and
metaphysical insights, and witnessed a miracle or two. My garden draws
energy from daily spiritual practices as a yogini, Green Witchery, and
modern day Hoodoo. To assist others who may want to engage in sacred
gardening for conjuration I have developed some ideas and items useful
for crafting a conjurer’s garden. Naturally, these garden
designs ideas share my spiritual grounding and creativity in a single
vision, inviting you to utilize your background as well when it comes
time for your garden’s actual layout.
1. To summon using supernatural power.
2. To influence or effect by metaphysical means
A sacred garden is typically
imbued with animals, spiritual objects, flowers, and trees designed to
conjure or invoke energy of specific deities, nature spirits,
elementals, deva, ancestors, and varied other orders of beings. By
conjuring deity and knowing the language of flowers, trees, certain
deities, and elements, a magical garden is within your reach. This
article is designed to share some ideas with you so that you, too, can
create a magical garden, and perhaps learn some new things about the
rich traditions of continental African and African diasporic beliefs in
the process, thereby expanding the scope of your current practice.
As symbolized by seeds,
bulbs, and the egg, spring is a season of great potential. It is a time
tilling soil, revealing hidden secrets, dusting off memories, trying to
meet promise, and harnessing the messages of ashe.
We plant seeds, both
metaphysical and physical. Growth of herbs, flowers, trees, and other
plants render the opportunity to cultivate many redeeming qualities
within the self as well, such as increased patience, increased
awareness of your local region’s climate and seasons,
knowledge of the moon’s cycles and how they relate to
gardening, creative visualization, and appreciation of the beauty of
your garden and the fruits of your labor during harvest season. Tip:
refer to Llewellyn’s
2008 Moon Sign Book for specifics concerning moon
position and significance of astrological happenings and how they
relate to proper planting times and good harvest days this year.
In many parts of Africa there are elaborate planting rituals with
specific musical renditions, praise and invocation songs, and focused
dances designed to stir plants to fruitful yield. Many West African
ceremonies or rituals begin with an offering to the deity Elegba to
assure success. Identified with St. Anthony and St. Michael,
Elegba’s colors can be red and black or black and
white—his symbolic caminos, or paths to
knowing him, are
canes, staffs, and pipes.
To begin your conjuring garden it is
important to recognize Elegba. He owns the crossroads and controls
fortune and misfortune—he represents death, an integral element
of the wheel and planting season. As a trickster, Elegba can present
difficult options during vision quest. It is wise to devise a way of
paying tribute to Elegba before beginning your sacred garden; do this
reverently at the nearest crossroads to your house.
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An Interview with
Stephanie Rose Bird, author of Four Seasons of Mojo
do you personally define “mojo?
To keep it all in English
and not break into various African languages that I believe truly
define the source of the word, I would say the closest words we have
are “magic” and “universal
energy” or “collective energy”. Mojo is a
concept reflected in numerous African spiritual practices that was
condensed and made suitable to the New World lifestyle from enslavement
to the present day.
You write of your rustic
upbringing in your book, Four
Seasons of Mojo.
How did growing up in the country influence your spiritual path?
Growing up in a farming
community on a lake in the forest may be the most influential aspects
of my spiritual path apart from my family. Within a farming community
as fecund as that in South Jersey, you become acutely aware of the
seasons, of the interplay of plants, animals, and humans as they
intersect in a desire to survive. As a child, you grow to revere the
land and its fertile nature; you listen and hear its magical language.
Growing up literally on the water surrounded by forest is probably one
of the most magical places you could call home. Water and forest are
abode to numerous spirits, angelic beings, deity, animals, spirit
animals, deva, elementals, and ancestors. Staying open to these
collective entities means your life is rich beyond compare; it is a
gift that far exceeds living someplace like Orange County, for example.
The only missing element, personally, would be a mountain. I love
mountains and now visit the Smokies as often as possible.
do your spells work?
As long as my intent is
directly focused they work very well personally, and I’ve
been told by many others that the ones presented in my books work well
for them, too. Typically they involve plants, minerals, deity, animal
spirits, and, depending on the work, ancestors to gain greatest
much does believing in a spell affect its outcome?
and faith are important; also (and this is a warning to the
un-spiritually grounded), many spells call on age-old magical herbals,
powerful stones, and other power objects with a venerable history and
high success rate. Those are the types of elements I incorporate in
spells shared in Sticks,
Stones, Roots & Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo
and Conjuring with Herbs. I also employ or invoke powerful
Orisha, gods, and goddesses. The person who uses the spells needs to be
prepared to meet with success, and sometimes that is not what is truly
desired on a soul level. I have had people hurt by the “not
knowing what I really want” syndrome. One of my favorite
quotes applicable to this question is “Be careful what you
is it important to make the home a magical environment? How can
the use of herbs help accomplish this?
is spiritual base and center for holistic health—if it is
sick, you and everyone else in it will be as well, including visitors.
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Vampires in Anime and Manga
Magnolia Clark (D. Davidson)
Vampires are ubiquitous; from vampires that walk among us (psychic and
otherwise) to the mythology and media of every culture, we encounter
vampires. As our own, Western ideas of what a vampire is evolves,
however, these images are continuing to show up in Japanese culture.
Ritual: Tending the Garden of Your Soul
It may be a cliché to compare spirituality to a garden, but
there really is no better analogy because our lives come into blossom
and grow lush when we cultivate spirit. With springtime unfolding, this
is the perfect time to pay attention to our spirituality, and a good
way to do this is through ritual. Sandra Kynes, author of Your
Altar and A Year of Ritual explains
the importance of ritual.
A Time to Recreate
Ostara, that magical time of renewal and balance, is just around the
corner. Use this magical time for personal recreation, and to become
the person you truly desire to be.
Soul Portal, Your
Astrological Rising Sign
Astrology can be understood in many ways, since it is a multifaceted
subject. On a very deep level, we can learn what our spiritual,
archetypal, or mythical astrology path should be, once we better
understand the symbolism and deep inner meaning of our Rising Sign. By
taking a look at our Rising Sign and understanding the deep inner
meaning attached, we may understand a bit better what our life path is.
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