The Witch’s Bedtable

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* This year I cut back my epimedium foliage before record cold that damaged the buds and flowers That makes this a poor epimedium year for me — a major disappointment. We had the lowest temperatures of the winter just before the official first day of spring. Primulas were frozen and both flowers and leaves damaged. Cyclamen coum and C. pseudibericum withstood it all, and my spirits soar once again as I discover that this is a very good arisaema year. Many Arisaema sikokianum have survived without damage, although I admit to putting about a foot of ground-up leaves on their opened flowers. And I also admit that in general I believe that is cheating. I want plants that can take what they must in this climate. But I always want more, and to get more I must get a good seed set.

~ A Year in Our Gardens: Letters by Nancy Goodwin & Allen Lacy

* The core of witchery is about tapping into a creative life-force that is ancient, non-human (though we are part of it), intelligent, daunting, and disturbing at times, and has been the object of natural magic since the beginning of the human quest to understand and even manipulate these forces toward a safe, happy, and healthy life. The spirit beings of witchery show themselves in countless forms throughout the spiritual, mystical, and magical practices of every culture in the world in some form or another. In fact, it is because of this attribute that the witch, ultimately, can enter into any rite, temple, church, synagogue, or other tradition or physical place designed for encountering the forces of creation and be at home. There is no entry into the realms of spirit that us unknown or forbidden to the witch once they have encountered the spirits and powers of witchery. However, it is also because of this attribute that the witch is feared, because he or she cannot by bound to any specific religion while able to access the knowledge and power from all of them.

~ The Flame in the Cauldron: A Book of Old-Style Witchery by Orion Foxwood

* Nature is not malevolent, it is other. No one chooses to be Shaman, it is thrust upon us. It is the bloody head devouring our endlessly regenerating liver. It is the ring-moat of toothmarks on his cheek that marked him out for love. But poetry is getting back up off the canvas when the fight is already lost, when you are already dead. It is the need to fathom out how the disarticulated parts can fit together again, and what is missing. It is all the Goddess. Can you recognize her, when she will not respond to your Come not in that form? The shock of horror is duende, the wound, the critical act in the magickal path. This is something that I have written about and ritualized in ordeal, and commend, insist, that it is undergone. All pacts, all poetry, are written in our own heart’s blood.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey

* While most of the United States first felt the depression in 1929, it started nine years earlier in South Carolina with the crash of cotton. Many economic reasons combined to cause the crash, but one of the problems with cotton was that the plant takes a lot out of the soil. A common practice was to clear a new field and grow cotton for a few years until the soil was depleted, and then abandon the field. This created an abundance of empty fields that just sat around and slowly eroded into the rivers. This soil catastrophe began a few years before the Dust Bowl. Both of these events are among the largest human-made environmental disasters the world had ever known. And both had similar causes: poor land management, poor understanding of soil science, and, quite simply, great farming practices on a huge scale. While this happened in both Georgia and Virginia, it was most widespread in the Carolinas. This led to mass migration — the 1850 federal census showed that more than half of the population of Alabama had been born in South Carolina. By 1920, 8 million of 19 million acres of farmlands in the state were declared “Destroyed.”

~ Deep Rooted Wisdom: Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners by Augustus Jenkins Farmer

Picture found here.

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