Sometimes people ask “Do you believe in magick?” and I say “No, I use it.”
When we get to the important part- defining what I mean by magick, I point out that everything has an energy field, and those interact. Sentient beings have the ability to mentally sense and direct their energy to help influence the things going on around them, and sense information from other energy fields to learn things they might not be able to through the standard senses. “What would you say if I suggested that I could take a piece of a plant that had died, apply earth, air, fire, and water to it and reproduce the entire plant? That’s magick, right?” What would you call taking a seed (admittedly a specific part of the dead plant), put it in the ground, water it, and make sure that the soil is properly aerated. A cell that grows inside one person meets a cell from another person and an entirely new person grows from it? Magick happens all the time! It keeps us, and everything else on the planet alive.
Until a little over a century ago, 90% or more of people lived on the land, growing food for themselves and others. This is where we got this year’s theme: Harvest. Harvest means enough to get you through the next year, plus something to replant and start the cycle anew. Every part of the cycle is important. We have just finished the resting period. As we approach planting we need to be aware of the important parts for this phase. We select the seeds to plant. We prepare the soil, make sure it is turned, nutrients (fertilizer) are turned in, and the soil isn’t compacted.
All this year I expect to use the analogy of creating a harvest to explore aspects of life and magick we might not otherwise consider. Those who don’t garden may not be aware that digging up the soil does more than disrupt the weeds. (BTW, weeds are nothing more than plants you do not want in a particular place. We’ll think about weeds as magickal symbols later.) The soil needs to be soft and moist, welcoming. You don’t plant a seed on concrete or compacted dirt, while some plants can push their roots in through concrete, most prefer soft soil. You don’t plant them on sand dunes, where there’s no moisture, you don’t plant them on seaside sand, it has no nutrients, and the pounding surf would destroy the seedlings before they could withstand those pressures.
When you are planning any new project, whether it’s a spell or anything else, consider both the goal (pick the seeds that will produce what you want), and the conditions needed to help that happen. This is why so many magick users create a sacred space, meditate, ground and center, and collect materials before they start to cast a spell. There are times that promote growth, and times when growth is naturally slower. For example, people gripe a lot about Mercury Retrograde, but while it’s not a great time for direct action, it is a great time for internal work and self examination. Understanding conditions of that sort is like a gardener understanding the soil Ph levels.
Also, as some times are better, some places are better, some young plants are hardy, others need more shelter or pampering. But often those that need extra care produce more or sweeter fruit. During your planning period, you need to think about what your goals are and become aware of what things you will need to do at different stages to help. Beginner gardeners have “magical thinking”: buy a seed and put it in the dirt, come back after the number days on the envelope and pick the flower or fruit pictured. It’s not quite that easy. Similarly, when you start nudging energy around, yes, you’ll be changing things, but to get your intended result, you need to know what you’re doing, and how to create the effects you want.
Think about growing the harvest, you have to start with preparations. Prepare the soil. Dig. Select your seeds. We’re starting with pieces of what’s gone before. They are our seeds, our templates. We learn about what’s to come by learning about what’s gone before. That’s why there’s so much ancestor work during winter. We bury their gifts, their wisdom, and up springs new life.
Magick? You’re soaking in it.