In southern Poland, Lake Wessel lies inky and unmoving in the deep. Filling the bottom of an old salt mine, it’s just one component of the UNESCO World Heritage Site which has been a functioning mine since the 13th century. Featuring supreme carpentry, centuries-old brickwork and ornate salt-crystal chandeliers in cavernous dining rooms, this fantastical setting is a favorite for the Polish film industry. The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The older sculptures have been supplemented with new carvings made by contemporary artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.
The Domestic Garden Witch: Gardening Without Plants!
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!
Sand and Meditation
Something that often does not cross an individual’s mind when they hear the word “garden” is the thought of a garden without plants, especially where witches are concerned. After all, witches are sometimes known for the sheer amount of herbs and plants they collect (hell, my boyfriend sometimes criticizes the quantity of herbs I have - not my practice, mind you, just the fact that I have over thirty varieties of herbs in large quantities in my witchy drawers). But gardens take all sorts of shapes and sizes, including that of the zen garden, Japanese rock garden, or meditation garden.
Unlike planted gardens, these are minimalist creations designed to help induce meditative thought and relaxation through the use of flowing patterns and stone placement which often are likened to mountains or islands rising up from the sea. They are generally designed as large features which are raked into different patterns each day, but are easily adaptable for the small amount of room our domestic garden witch might have!
Creating Your Garden
As with any indoor garden, perhaps the first thing to look into is the type of container in which you’d like to keep it. In this case, a dish that is wider than it is tall is recommended. Choose either rounded shapes or rectangular shaped dishes that are shallow yet deep enough to hold sand.
Fill this dish with sand - white is traditional, though colored sands can be found in local craft stores or dollar stores - until it is about half full. Select visually appealing stones and set them on the sand.
With a utensil, trace ripples into the sand - flowing lines reminiscent of water are traditional.
If you feel that you want a bit of plant life, small air plants are definitely helpful. Remember to design your garden based on simplicity. Use natural themes and variations in your design to provide an aesthetic that you find appealing.
Tools of the Rock Garden
Typically when you think of a desktop zen garden, you might envision one of the little kits that you can get as a novelty gift at Barnes and Noble. In these kits, there is of course a couple of little rakes - one for smoothing out the sand and one for providing the patterns.
We’re witches on a budget, though, so let’s take a different approach - one similar to what’s pictured above. While it is completely reasonable to use a fork or a pen to make the patterns, you can take bamboo skewers or chopsticks and turn them into rakes using wire. Using these, you can smooth out the sand and rake patterns into it each day or as often as the whim takes you.
How Can I Witch This?
Unlike all of the gardens I’ve written about thus far, this is a garden whose only maintenance depends upon what you need from a meditative standpoint. Its design is not only decorative, but spiritually functional. If you’re a witch who is still fairly closeted and can’t have an altar, gardens such as these make for excellent substitutions, as they can form a sort of sacred space in which you can meditate and focus your intent.
If you’re a crystal witch, these sand gardens are a dream come true! Instead of placing stones, arrange your grids in the sand and use the rake or skewer to draw patterns in the sand to help focus the energy of the stones in your grid!
Draw sigils in the sand based on your intent and either wipe them away with the rake, or incorporate those sigils into the design of the ripples!
Sands come in various colors and grades. Play around with options for your sand! For cleansing, use a fine black sand. For empowerment, use a fiery orange or red. For healing, use white or light blue! The possibilities are near endless!
Of course, I can’t leave out my fellow kitchen witches! Salt is a key feature of the kitchen witch’s lifestyle. So much so, in fact, that in some circles it is believed that it is bad luck to run out of salt. For this reason, you can replace the sand with salt! This has a couple of benefits: first, it’s inexpensive. Second, it acts as a constant cleanser - much like a quartz cluster or a rod of selenite. When the salt has become to crusty to rake into appealing patterns, it has done its work! Dispose of the old salt and replace it with a new batch! (Do not pour the salt outside! This is harmful to the environment! Instead, find a safer way to dispose of the salt - I usually use the salt to clean out my mortar and pestle, then dissolve it in the sink to drain away).
If you use salt in place of sand, you can take the crystal grid concept a step further! Place the crystals in your “salt garden” and rake as you would if it were sand. This provides a way to cleanse your crystals in a way that is also visually appealing!
Consider different ways to make this plant-less garden a magical addition to the dorm or coffee table!
And may your harvests always be bountiful! Blessed Be! )O(
3 Bay Leaves (cleansing, strength, repels negativity, success)
Clear Quartz (protection, cleansing)
White Candle (cleansing, purity, peace)
Open the jar with the intention of beginning something new.
Next layer each ingredient on top of the other while focusing on all the good things you want to occur in the house. The order is as follows: first black salt, then rosemary, basil, cloves, lavender, sugar, pink Himalayan salt, rose petals, garlic powder, sea salt, oregano, sesame seeds, cinnamon, thyme, 3 bay leaves, more sea salt, and finishing with more black salt
Place the piece of clear quartz on top of the last layer of black salt before putting the lid/stopper on
Seal the jar with the white candle wax and wait for it to harden.
Place the jar somewhere in your home where you feel it belongs or give it to a friend.
Follow up with your favorite cleansing method.
Notes on what I did:
I made this spell jar for my uncle as a gift for his first home. I wanted to make sure that both he and his pupper, Dixon, have the happiest and most love filled home possible. I also smoke cleansed his house with sage prior to him moving in next weekend.
IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM IS MAGICK OR WITCHCRAFT A REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT, MEDICATION(S), OR THERAPY. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM OR THERAPIST KNOWS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO THIS IN CASE SOMETHING GOES WRONG.
Whether it is black salt, sea salt, pink salt or just plain old. Salt has a long history of use in rituals, purification, blessings and magical protection. Salt is created and thrives in the Ocean (or the Womb of the Goddess) It is the taste of Earth in the waters of life. salt is a amazing and versatile natural source for cleansing, and is a must have for anyone.
Regular Sea Salt - sea salt is overall very common, easy to obtain and affordable. It can be bought in either course chunks or fine like sand. White salt is associated with purification, purity, protection and blessings.
Used in consecration
Placed in water to cleanse it
Purification, cleansing and removal or negative energies,
Can be placed around areas to protect them
Commonly used in circles
Used in Curses
Can be made into salt scrubs
Celtic Sea Salt- is a “moist” unrefined sea salt that is usually found on the coastal areas of France. It has a gorgeous light grey, almost light purple color; it is harvested from the clay found in salt flats. This salt has similar properties to regular sea salt however because it is a much more natural and pure salt its properties are enhanced especially protective and cleansing. It also tastes amazing and is filled with vital minerals, I also find that since it is moist it clumps together nicely making it easy to work with and shape.
Used in consecration
Purification, cleansing and removal of negative energies,
great for cooking
perfect in bath scrubs
Black Salt- black salt is as the title says black or very dark in color. It is commonly available at magic shops, and is also very easy to make. Not to be confused with black lava salt or kala namak salts used in fine cuisine.RITUAL BLACK SALT IS NOT FOR CONSUMPTION!!!. This salt is easily the most protective of the four as it is great at Nullifying or returning negative energy.
can be used for darker earthly Elementals & Deities,
the Crone or Triple Goddesses
working with the dark moon
Warding, uncrossings, and binding work
can be spread around doorways & windows to keep out evil
Himalayan Pink Salt- is a pure, hand mined salt that is from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. It is harvested from ancient sea salt deposits, it thought to be one of the highest quality and purest salts available. The salt ranges in hues from white to various shades of pink, and even deep reds; this is the result of the salts high iron and mineralcontent. This salt has the most soothing and loving energizes of the salts and can be used for bringing about love.
promoting love and friendship
promoting positive energizes
baths or scrubs
If working with salt keep in mind that it is a natural dessicating agent meaning it sucks all the water so if your working with it outside and are sprinkling it on the ground it will kill your grass and destroy the surrounding soil making it inhabitable for plants and such.
I can’t help but think about Yuuri being constantly mesmerized but also FULL OF SALT because Viktor, like a fine wine or good cheese, just gets BETTER with age. He is the SILVEREST OF SILVER FOXES. Yuuri can’t handle it.
Like yes his forehead gets bigger, but that just makes him look distinguished somehow? And the lines around his eyes give him this graceful wisdom. The glasses he has to wear later in life make him look like one of those beautiful professor-type men in movies–just looking at them, you know they’ve got to be over the fifty hump, maybe even pretty far over, but you still really want to see them with their shirt off?
Viktor plans a beach trip for their thirtieth wedding anniversary and Yuuri watches as his sixty-year-old husband shakes salt water out of his hair and rubs sunscreen into the freckles on his shoulders. What the fuck. Yuuri is sitting here in a giant T-shirt and shorts with an overlarge sunhat and sunglasses, and next to him Viktor is reenacting the ads for Gucci’s summer 2049 beachwear ad. The only thing missing is a lion cub and a yacht.
“Aren’t you going to swim?” Viktor asks, leaning back on his elbows, legs crossed at the ankles. His whole body is laid out as though to soak up as much sun as possible, and Yuuri is huddled under the umbrella, every bit of him that will fit in the shade folded into it.
“My hip is bothering me today,” Yuuri tells him, mostly as an excuse.
“The water might help with that,” Viktor tells him, and kneads a hand into the meat of Yuuri’s hip. “It’s nice and cool. Aren’t you having fun, Kitten?”
Yuuri bows his head towards him, smiles and butts their noses together. Viktor has a smear of unincorporated sunscreen on his nose that transfers onto Yuuri’s cheek. “Of course I am. I’m with you.”
Viktor makes a weak little sound against his shoulder. “The things you say. Even now.”
“They’re true,” Yuuri says, and takes his hand through Viktor’s hair.
“I know,” Viktor sighs. “But sometimes I still can’t believe that you’re spending your life with me. Thirty years, can you believe it?”
“No,” Yuuri chuckles honestly. “I can’t. But I’m glad it happened. And that it’s still happening.”
“Thirty years and you’re still just as beautiful as they day I married you,” Viktor says.
Yuuri looks at his husband, Number 27 on People Magazine’s list of Fifty Sexiest Men Over Fifty, and blushes harder than he has since he was in his twenties.
“Says Russia’s Golden Silver Fox.”
“I hated that article,” Viktor says. His fingers are tracing patters on Yuuri’s thigh. “It made no sense. Silver and gold clash. Anyone with a brain knows that.”
“I don’t think that was the point, Vitya.”
Viktor grabs his hand. “Come swim with me!”
“No!” Yuuri laughs, halfheartedly trying to tug his hand back. “We’re on a beach surrounded by twenty-somethings and unlike you, I have the waistline of a fifty-six year old man.”
“Then come back to our hotel room and I’ll show you the things your fifty-six-year-old waistline can do to me,” Viktor murmurs, and nips gently at Yuuri’s thigh just below the hem of his shorts.
“Well…” Yuuri twirls a lock of Viktor’s hair in his finger. “We do have a few hours before dinner.”
Yuuri lets Viktor cling to him like an octopus on the walk back to their room. Yuuri may be thirty-two years older than he was in the winter of 2016, but he is still the man who took pride in stealing Viktor Nikiforov out from under Russia’s nose–and he is still the only man who Viktor Nikiforov, Certified Fine Wine, Good Cheese, Silver Fox, has eyes for. It’s enough to make anyone feel good about their love handles.
(Viktor thinks that Yuuri’s love handles are to be celebrated. But that’s another post.)
It pisses me off how nobody seems to care about screenwriters to film as an artform, with a fair few people saying to me that the script doesn’t really matter compared to the rest of the production/what ends up on the screen, which is bullshit.
Like, the reason so many films are garbage is because the execs feel so free to fuck with screenplays and turn the scripts into, to quote Terry Pratchett, “something that had all the hallmarks of being good and then the studio got involved,” and maybe if we actually started giving a shit about screenwriters as critics/audiences, maybe we wouldn’t end up with them being considered the creatively-lowest person on the “Above The Line” section of filmmaking personell
Doubly so for production designers, who aren’t even given the dignity of being caled above-the-line (Ala directors, producers, ect), despite how vital they are for a production’s appeal. Like. can you imagine Blade Runner without.Syd Mead? Alien without H R Geiger? Star Wars without, Ralph Mc Quarrie?!