The Domestic Garden Witch: Souper Recycling Ideas!
So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.
For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.
This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!
Soup and Coffee Tins? Perfect!
So spring break is over and students all over the country are hunkering down for another quarter (or semester) of frantic studying, testing, and praying for sleep while pulling all-nighters. However, what’s likely also on the minds of these students is the need to have access to fresh ingredients on a budget. Well, college witches, search no more!
Chances are that in packing up some food for your dorm, you’ve also managed to amass a sizeable collection of soup cans and coffee tins. Whether your diet is exclusively cold Spaghetti-O’s and coffee or if you’ve just never gotten rid of the can from your sick day chicken noodle soup, these tin cans are useful as seed starters, herb planters, and rustic decoration.
Like any container garden, the process is simple. Carefully puncture a few drainage holes at the bottom of the can, provide a layer of gravel, add soil and seedlings/seeds, and water. But the fun is in what you can do to make these little DIY planters have a bit of personality! For that, we jump straight to some witchy talk!
How Can I Witch This?
I know, this container seems fairly self-explanatory. Sigils, symbols, runes and whatnot painted or drawn on the can to promote health and whatever else the plant corresponds to, and crystals added to the soil for the same reason. But I wanted to take a step back and consider the container itself for a moment.
In previous Domestic Garden Witch articles, I’ve focused on what you can do with the containers rather than what the containers might link to in witchcraft. In this case, I would like to change that. Tin cans, while inexpensive, are produced today not from tin (usually), but from aluminum or steel. Depending upon what the can stores, it could also be tin-plate steel. Regardless, these metals have some influence in what you can do on a magical level.
First, tin is a wonderful metal with a bit of history in witchcraft. In many traditions, it is most strongly associated with healing, prosperity, and money spells. Consider growing plants such as basil or rosemary in containers made with tin, allowing the metal to correspond with the uses of these herbs in your spells.
Aluminum is inexpensive, fairly plentiful these days, and actually does have a use in modern witchcraft despite its lack of historical magical attributes. Today, it can most often be associated with thriftiness, reflection, malleability, and travel. If you’re looking to work spells which encourage financial responsibility, or introspective thought, consider using aluminum cans with the appropriate plants and crystals.
Man has used steel quite a bit throughout history, and while we tend to have a stronger bond with iron (iron having been one of the first metals we’ve worked with, after copper and bronze), steel does have a few magical properties that have survived. Like iron, steel is most strongly associated with protection (so much so that in a few practices where metals are significant considerations, it’s acceptable to use an athame of steel in place of iron). If your tin can is actually made of steel, as many coffee cans are, consider growing plants such as rosemary or tomatoes (as starters) whose properties resonate quite strongly with iron and steel.
Not sure what your container is made of? Check to see if it’s magnetic. If it sticks, chances are that it is made of steel or has a high content of iron. If not, then it is most likely aluminum. Ultimately, however, you’re going to want to work with your gut feelings. If you don’t feel that your container brings anything to the magic, then don’t incorporate it into the spell, opting instead to just make use of the thriftiness of the idea. If you have a steel can but feel that it works best for love spells, then by all means grow that lavender in it!
May all your harvests be bountiful!
Blessed Be! )O(