how to attract birds to the garden

The Domestic Garden Witch: Don’t Blink

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!

Gardens as Shrines

Okay, so unless you’re a fan of Doctor Who, it’s unlikely that you get the title. That’s okay. And if you do get the title, you get brownie points! Regardless, the container garden that we’re looking at today is one that I see on rare occasion, but I wish I could see a bit more often: using statues or statuettes as a gardening medium.

In this case, it’s a bit less of what the container is made of and more of what the container depicts. But before I get to that, the garden is simple to create. Simply take a statue that has some sort of surface that can be planted in (the picture above is from a DIY site that featured this same type of project, and they used a faerie holding a cupped leaf as the container part of the statue). Using an appropriate drill bit for the container material, add drainage holes and then plant as usual! Gardens like this can vary depending on how deep the planting surface is, but generally succulents benefit most because the majority of statuettes such as the one above are designed to double as bird baths, and so have a shallow bowl.

A Living Offering

The beautiful part of this type of garden, as I mentioned above, is not the type of material the container is, but what the container depicts. When someone says the word “shrine” it can often bring about mental images of small altars dedicated to a deity, or of the little Shinto altars in Japan, or even of the little altars set up to attract business in some small shops (there’s a nail salon near where I live that has an adorable little Hindu shrine right as you walk in, and in all the time I’ve been here, I’ve never seen them struggle).

But many pagans today follow faiths that bring them very close to nature, and encourage finding a balance. Despite this, it’s not uncommon to see altars that are built or set up somewhat apart from nature. They may be made of natural objects or have natural materials placed on them, or may be built in a natural area, but there’s still often some sort of line between where nature ends and human interaction begins. This type of container garden is a great way to try to bridge that gap!

Depending upon your path, select a statue that can be dedicated and devoted to a particular deity. Then plant foliage and decorations that are linked to that spirit in some way. For instance, a very common garden decoration is the image of the Green Man. A container with the Green Man image can be planted with ferns or other forest-type plants in honor of the Green Man or in honor of Cernunnos (the god I usually associate with the Green Man in my path).

Not only can this be a discreet way of honoring the gods, it is also a very respectful way of doing so, as it provides a continual offering as you tend the plants that are growing in the shrine. Water the plants with waters that have been blessed, and every time you tend to the plants, you can turn it into a sort of meditation on which you interact and commune with that god.

But gods are not the only spirits such gardens can be dedicated to. As in the picture above, you can dedicate a shrine to the Faeries of the area. Consider using plants that are pleasing to their eyes, and care for those plants while also leaving the occasional offering for the small folk!

A very common statuette to find is usually of saints. If you follow a tradition that is linked to the saints in some way, you can do the same project in honor of that saint!

So next time you look at that empty statue bowl sitting just outside your apartment door, consider ways in which you can turn it into a magical shrine that is ever-present, right there at home!

May all your harvests be bountiful!
Blessed Be! )O(

oxyalien  asked:

Hi!! I started my garden about a month ago. My lavender plant attracts pincher bugs and I'm not sure how to get rid of them. If you know of anything, it would be a huge help. Thank you ❤️🌷

Ugghh, pinchers are my worst nightmare after a bad Twilight Zone episode when I was seven. I do have a few suggestions that may help you or prevent them from nesting next season! 💞

  • Numerous wild bird species like to eat earwigs, too. Adding bird feeders could net you some interesting bird antics and reduce the earwig populations on your property. Here are some birds that may be tempted to partake of a bug or 10 once they decide they like the menu at your house:
    • Robins
    • Crows
    • Blackbirds
    • Chickadees
    • Nuthatches
  • Remove mulch from flowerbeds. This can be a difficult judgment call, especially if you’re trying to retain moisture for your plants during hot summer conditions. But they looove mulch because they love warm, damp, dark places.
  • Pay attention to anything placed in the garden especially in early/mid spring that will create a moist environment at soil level. This includes lawn furniture and other temporary fixtures like plant pots and decorations.
  • Prefer watering in the morning rather than in the evening. Earwigs like it moist, so reducing the moisture in your garden during the time they’re most active (at night) is a good thing.
  • Two fly varieties attack earwigs(that I know of). They are the Bigonicheta Spinipennisand the Digonichaeta Setipennis. Both are attracted to certain plants and especially herbs, like the ones listed below, if you don’t have any growing in the garden you can always throw fennel seeds or really any of them on the dirt of your garden.
    • Anise (Pimpinella anisum
    • Dill (Anethum graveolens)
    • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
    • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare).
  • Boric acid is another option. It’s a naturally occurring substance poisonous to many insects like earwigs and ants. Check the pH level of your dirt first and what your plants prefer. You don’t want to accidentally kill them!
  • Check with your local Cooperative Extension Office for information about the fly species, birds, frogs and lizards in your area. They’ll be able to supply you with a list but also to help you determine which ones are the best to attract for whatever cause.

Best of luck to you and your garden my dear!

Welcoming Faeries to your Garden

I’ve been talking non-stop it seems like about how to make a garden and organic gardening and celebrating Earth Day. But, how would you like to transform your garden into a Faerie wonderland? It’s actually much simpler then you are probably thinking. 

Welcoming Faeries to your Garden Steps:

  1. Build small houses or caves out of whatever material you have available. 
  2. Craft small chairs and tables, paint them bright colors and wrap them in vining plants. 
  3. Create a circle of stone for a magical place for the Fae.
  4. Make a wind chime (some fae are attracted/associated by the sounds of bells).
  5. Build a bird bath (some fae are attracted/associated with water).
  6. If you’d like to attract them to your flower garden, plant things like sunflowers, tulips, heliotrope and other flowers that typically draw butterflies.

                                             !!WARNING!! 

Be aware that Fae are inherently mischievous and tricky creatures. DO NOT begin interactions with them unless you are completely aware of what you are doing. DO NOT make offerings or promises that you can’t follow through with. DO NOT enter any bargain with Fae unless you know what you are getting into, know what you are getting and what is asked of you in return. And like with any creature respect them and their boundaries. 

(Pictures from Pinterest)

jephuh  asked:

I am a baby witch! Literally started exploring witchcraft today! I'm so pumped and I've been reading none stop. I'm very excited to see how my magick evolves! My question for you is, is there a type of animal witchcraft? I know about green witches which I'm looking towards but my deepest passion is animals and I would love to get even closer to them! Can you point me in the direction of some readings or websites? Thank you so much. Your blog has been very enlightening and you seem so wondrous!

Hello jephuh!  Welcome to the world of witchcraft ^_^  I’m sorry for making you wait a bit for an answer, but I got a little excited when I saw this question because it’s something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently.

HEADS UP - this is a pretty long response!

And a quick reminder that if any one of my followers has anything to add to this, they should please do so - I may be forgetting something, or be unaware of something entirely <3

So for starter’s - from what I have seen, most practices that focus the most heavily on animals are also closed practices - for instance, shamanism and many other cultural traditional practices (ie Native American traditional practices).  A ‘closed practice’ is any style of craft or worship that is either not open at all to outside or non-native practitioners, or one that at the very least requires an invitation, intensive study and initiation by an established initiated member.

Then there is neo-shamanism, but that practice often borrows from other cultures as well, in ways that can be pretty harmful to the source culture.  I should note that one of the most common aspects of involving animals in witchcraft as a whole, the terms ‘totem animal’ or ‘spirit animal’, is culturally appropriative, along with a few other commonly used neo-shamanic practices.  I’m not necessarily talking about having ‘familiars’ - I’m talking about those two specific terms.  It does not mean that you can’t have specific animals guiding you or representing you, but it does mean that you should avoid those terms <3

If you are spiritual, Wicca and beliefs involving animism may interest you, and there are many, many deities associated with specific animals (special shout out to Kemetic witches!), but that doesn’t seem to be what this question is about.

So!  Where does that leave us?

While the practices of woods witchery, sea witchery, green witchery, death witchery and hedge witchery can and often do involve animals, there isn’t one specific practice that is devoted almost entirely to animals that I’m aware of.  The closest that I could think of would be using vulture culture in your craft as often as you can.

Here’s where it gets interesting: This doesn’t mean that you can’t create a practice that is devoted to animals.

Since witchcraft is so personal, unless you are planning to devote yourself to one specific craft, I would suggest simply incorporating animals into all aspects of your practice to begin with.  

So develop your own style of craft - study the existing styles, and see what works for you.  Read up about neo-shamanism and cultural appropriation; see what practices are from specific cultures, and which ones are more universal.  Speak to green witches, and hedge witches, and habitat witches.  Learn about the folklore and legends associated with different animals, starting with the ones closest to you.

And then you can go beyond that.  All that you have to do is let your mind run with the association of ‘animals’ and ‘witchcraft’, and you may be surprised at how many connections you can make.  For instance, you can:

  • Bless the bird seed that you put outside.
  • Use (clearly abandoned) nests in spells for your own house and family. 
  • Make a witch’s garden and plant botanicals that are beneficial to and/or attract your local wildlife.
  • Write love and fertility spells based on the mating rituals of animals.
  • Write communication spells incorporating the call or song of an animals.
  • Create a spell to synchronize your mind with another’s using the concept of a ‘hive mind’ (or how a flock / school / herd / pack sometimes seems to share a mind).   
  • Write travel spells based on migrations.
  • Create offensive and defensive spells based on the attack styles of certain animals.  
  • Create magickal shields using the defense mechanisms of animals (poisons, etc).
  • Create curses based on things that could cause the death of an animal, or the extinction of a herd (or even species).
  • Use the scattering of a flock when it takes off as a form of divination.
  • Instead of using ‘a lion for strength’ in a spell, study biology to find out what makes a lion so strong and incorporate that instead.
  • Research ways to upcycle / recycle old items into something beneficial to wildlife or pets, and be sure to bless it before you introduce it to them.
  • If you are a vegan or vegetarian please skip this suggestion, but if you eat meat: you can use the attributes of the animal in the same way you would use the attributes of an herb.  There’s really no difference.
  • Volunteer with animals, and perform small spells to make their lives happier and easier.
  • Incorporate a ‘collecting’ animal into prosperity spells.  For instance, many birds (such as magpies and crows) collect items that catch their eye and bring it back to the nest.  
  • For that matter, you can turn a cat’s offering of a dead bird into a prosperity spell.  The cat means well lol
  • Weave spells for your family and community based on pack animals.
  • Create a sketchbook for sketches of the local wildlife, and make note of how often you see the same exact animal.  This will probably only help you identify animals that live by you, since unless you keep on seeing a cobra in Colorado for instance (you should probably call the cops for that though btw) chances are the appearance of one exact animal means nothing special.  However, getting to know your local animals intimately will help inspire you, and should be an integral part of any animal-based craft to begin with (imho).
  • Use ethically sourced animal products in your spells (see: Vulture Culture).

Those are a few ideas, and I’m sure that you’ll be able to think of tons more once you get started <3  The most important thing right now would be to research witchcraft and magick as a whole; you may want to approach your studies as an eclectic witch, so that you can learn about how all of the different witchy styles, paths, and practices incorporate magick into their witchcraft.

A few of the more established of the many, many excellent witchcraft blogs that I would recommend for beginners would be:

But there are tons more and I should really make a page for links to other blogs.  I might start that today, actually.

And one final thought on the matter - let’s say that you spend years developing your personal style of witchcraft.  The central focus is overwhelmingly on animals, it is distinct from currently established paths of witchery, it’s not culturally appropriative or offensive, and it covers many different aspects of magick, divination, and general witchy life; it’s unique, yours, and chock-full of paws and claws.

How old do you think Wicca is?  Not witchcraft, but Wicca.  Many new witches assume that the Wiccan practice has been around forever, but it hasn’t; witchcraft has, but Wicca is a specific practice that started somewhere.  For the most part, when somebody speaks of Wicca, that practice as we know it was pretty much founded by Gerald Gardner

Wicca is about as old as my father is (won’t he be thrilled to know that fact!).

I am in no which way suggesting that you just go run ahead and start a fully established path with followers on your first day as a witch (heavens help us, no lol) - I’m merely trying to emphasize how the non-existence of a specialized witchcraft practice relating to your interests does not prevent there from being one; it just has to be created, is all.  And then, if you learn your personal style well enough, if your knowledge grows and your craft and power develops into something solid, then trust me - others will show interest in it, and will want to learn from you.  Just take your time and learn, grow, and get to know yourself, and you’ll be on the right track ^_^

And in conclusion, a few other links and resources for you:

Good luck! ^_^  Thanks for the question, and apologies for the way-longer-than-you-probably-anticipated response lol

erieforage  asked:

Hay, have you ever seen a gardening / permaculture book, or study that embraces animals, not just insects, but livestock, and even native birds and animals? I have been giving thought to using goats and maybe even pigs to get my back acre ready for planting, but can't really find much on that sort of soil preparation. I have an idea of how it should go, but would like to find an example to follow. I would also like to see if anyone has ever enticed native animals to build up a planting area.

The third ethic of Permaculture—”Fair Share“— includes wildlife in my point of view. I share my currant, cherry and strawberry harvests every year, because I don’t net my plants. Most permaculturalists will talk about designing with native species in mind, because non-insect wildlife is an integral part of a sustainable design, biological pest control, and also soil building (I’ve written about how animal wastes and animal parts are a vital garden input). I plant way too many berries, and a lot of inedible or unappetising berries (like Pyracantha and Symphoricarpos) solely to attract birds.

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening by Sepp Holzer, and Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway both touch on Livestock, as far as I remember.

PermacultureNews.org has a livestock tag, which has pieces like “Reforesting with Goats” by Geoff Lawton.

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Goats foraging in an understory to reduce competition

Pigs tend to turn an area into muck, and also host a number of parasitic worms: they aren’t the best choice for site prep where you will be growing things like root crops. However, pigs have traditionally been used to “gley” a pond (seal the bottom with an anaerobic layer that prevent water from leaking). If you are prepping an area for water retention, dig it out and make it a pigpen for a year or so.

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Pigs gleying a future pond

Other uses of livestock include duck/chicken assisted composting: birds forage in the compost for worms and other invertebrates, which fulfills a lot of their dietary protein requirements. The birds also turn the compost while they forage, and leave droppings, which seeds the compost with compost-activating microorganisms. This is something laughingduckpermaculture writes about quite often.

Duck-assisted composting

Indian Runner Ducks are also well-known as being predators of slugs, so they are excellent to integrate into garden sites that are being established, as they will keep pests off of new growth. Plus, they look hilarious.

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Runner Ducks: Yes, they do stand upright

Quails and Chickens both eat small weeds (that’s why they call it “Chickweed”) so in established spaces of cultivation, they are best left to roam around. My partner’s aunt has a huge free-range chicken pen with about 100 cultivars of Rhododendron, which are diligently kept weed-free by the girls.

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Quail chicks

Other multi-functional animals in permaculture include Llamas and Donkeys as livestock guards, and fibre sources/beasts of burden, respectively.

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Guard llama

Guard donkey

I tag all of my livestock posts with #animal husbandry, so you are welcome to check out the archive! I’ll try and write some more in-depth posts about raising livestock; however, I am not writing from firsthand experience.

Hannibal Recap: Contorno

The episode opens with Will and Chiyo sitting in a dark train headed through  a dreary countryside toward Florence and whispering slowly to each other about Hannibal.

Honestly, I don’t understand why people complain about how dark this show is. I personally have rectified this problem by locking myself into a windowless vault and donning night vision goggles every Thursday night at 10. After making this adjustment, I can 100% see everything on the screen most of the time.

It’s easy, guys. Come on now.

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I’ve no idea how this Verbena bonariensis ended up in my garden; I’ve planted Verbena officinalis and Aloysia citrodora (lemon verbena/verveine) but I suppose this one’s seed was blown in by the wind or by a bird. I’m not sure if it has the same medicinal benefits of other verbenas, but it is hugely attractive to the bees and butterflies anyway.