Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springtime Seed Blessing






This article was presented at
April 2012 meeting.

Spring is here early this year and that means many Pagans are giving some serious thought to what they will plant this year. While it is still too early to begin the planting of most things in our area, that doesn’t mean we can’t start preparing for the planting season.  Now is a time for planning, purchasing of seeds (to be started indoors now or to plant outside later), and the perusing of gardening catalogs to order things that couldn’t be ordered in the fall. 

There is a step you may want to add to your gardening process if you don’t already incorporate it.  Try blessing your seeds/seedlings/bedding plants before you plant them and don’t forget to bless the earth where you will be planting.  This simple practice can transform your garden from the mundane to the magickal even if your garden isn’t intended for magickal use. 

Just for fun you may want to split a bed into two sections one where you’ve blessed the seeds and land right beside one where you haven’t.  I’ve done this on more than one occasion and found some pretty consistent results.  Yours may or may not be the same.  Keep a journal and see what differences you find over the growing season. 

While faith by definition means that you believe in the intangible it is nice to see the correlation between how blessed plant beds tend to do better than those that haven’t been.  This of course isn’t scientific, we can’t say that the blessing of seeds and earth definitively caused better results, but it does give one hope.  Also, the blessing of seeds and earth doesn’t mean that you will be able to grow a nasturtium in a bog, you still need to employ the right plant/right place philosophy.

Deity and Themed
Gardens

Those who have themed gardens, try to petition an appropriate deity to call on to bless the seeds for each theme. 

Herb Garden ~ Cerridwen or Hestia
Garden Dedicated to Potion Ingredients ~ Cerridwen
Magickal Garden ~ Hecate Faery Garden ~ Dana
Garden of Healing/Herbalism ~ Airmid
Night-blooming Garden ~  Nyx
Grain ~ Ceres
Garden of Ingredients for Ointments or Perfume ~ Bast
Water Garden ~ Boann or Branwyn
Vegetable Garden ~ Ceres
Garden for Attracting Wildlife ~ Brid or Cernunnos
Garden of Ingredients for Beauty Products ~ Iduna
Romantic Garden ~ Aphrodite
Culinary Garden ~ Hestia
Garden of Sleep Pillow Ingredients ~ Morpheus

This list is my no means all-inclusive.  There are an endless number of garden themes you could have and just as many deities to petition for their blessings.


Including Witchlings

Gardening in general is a great chance to involve children in the Pagan faith and philosophy, as we are largely an nature based faith.  Having children help you bless the seeds and earth can be a great introduction to ritual.  These blessings are simple, short, and, with the exception of lighting candles, easy for little hands to help with. 

Choose a simple circle casting that your child or grandchild can help you with.  Remember that children, especially young children, have short attention spans.  When including children in any ritual you need to have age appropriate expectations of them and tailor the ritual so that they get the most out of it.   Allow them to place the seeds on the altar and hold their hands over the seeds with yours for blessing.  Try having them anoint the candles with the Growing Oil.  Perhaps you can let them help you decide what deity would be best to petition for the type of garden you are planting, help them to do some research on a few so they can make an informed decision.  If you are interested in doing the experiment that compares a blessed bed to one that wasn’t you may want to put your Witchling in charge of keeping the journal over the growing season.

The more you can let them be hands on the more they will enjoy the experience and gain from it.  Including them has so many benefits; they get to spend time with you, they learn about nature, they learn about the God/dess, they get to be a part of ritual, and whether they choose to be Pagan or not later in life they have learned to connect to Spirit however they come to define it later.


During the Growing
Season

While the purpose of this article is the initial blessing of the seeds/seedlings/bedding plants and earth at the beginning of the planting season, you may want to do additional blessings throughout the growing season.  This could be a full ritual or the act of leaving an offering to the deity you petition and asking them to continue to look over your garden.  Remember to tend your garden well.  When you petition the Divine to help you bless your seeds you are also making a promise with that deity, a promise that you will do your part to nurture and care for what you have planted.  Hopefully keeping that promise will be a much loved activity for you (and your Witchlings).

Blessing for Seeds/Seedlings/
Bedding Plants

Place the seed packets/seedlings/bedding plant on your altar with a green candle anointed with Growing Oil (a mix of olive oil and red grape juice to help gardens grow).  You can cast a circle if you choose but it is not mandatory.  Now visualize your garden in full bloom while you say the following:

Blessed ______, mother of us all,
Make these plants grow strong and tall.
A bountiful harvest is in sight,
With flowers sweet and bright,
Blessed by the sun and pale moonlight.
*Prayer adapted by Rev. Raven Rin from Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
*Ritual by Rev. Raven Rin

You can place the name of any goddess you choose in the blank or simply call upon  “The Goddess.”  Here are some suggestions of goddesses who might be well suited for this endeavor; Airmid, Ceres (if growing grain crops or farming), Cerridwen (if growing herbs), Dana, Hecate, or Gaia.

Hold your hands about one to two inches over the object of the blessing.  Close your eyes and visualize a divine white light emanating from your hands (most folks will feel the palms of their hands getting warm or itchy) and flowing into the object of the blessing.

It is helpful if you follow this with the Blessing the Earth for Planting ritual.

Blessing the Earth for Planting

You can start by casting a circle but it is not a requirement.  Pour an offering of milk and honey over the patch of earth you plan to plant in.  This may already be an established bed containing perennials, but you will want to do this before planting your seeds or adding any new plants for the year.  Place a green candle anointed with Growing Oil (a mix of olive oil and red grape juice to help gardens grow) on your garden altar if you have one, otherwise place it where the energy feels best to you.  Light the candle and recite the following while picturing your garden in full bloom.

The earth is cool and dark,
and far below, new life begins.
May the soil be blessed with fertility and abundance,
with rains of life-giving water,
with the heat of the sun,
with the energy of the raw earth.
May the soil be blessed
as the womb of the land becomes full and fruitful
to bring forth the garden anew.

*Prayer from PaganWiccan.About.com
*Rritual by Rev. Raven Rin

)O(Blessings Witches)O(

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