palo verde trees

Desert plant + planet correspondences brainstorm:

Sun (warmth, power, strength) - Palo Verde tree, for it’s unique photosynthesizing trunk, it’s golden flowers, and spring warmth. Chia seeds for their life-sustaining protein and hydration; lots of power in a small package. Honey Mesquite for it’s sweet golden bean pods, nourishing and plentiful.

Moon (dreams, emotion, mystery) - Datura (TOXIC) for it’s hallucinogenic powers, and dangerous visions. Star Jasmine for it’s white, sweet smelling blossoms, which bloom at night. 

Mercury (healing, communication, magic, travel) - Cottonwood tree, for it’s wind-borne fluffy seed dispersal (good for wishes). Aloe Vera for it’s soothing healing properties. Citrus trees, and their acidic, immune boosting fruit. Encilia for it’s healing tea. 

Venus (love, beauty, art) - Cactus blossoms for their brief but radiant beauty. Citrus blossoms, the sweetest flowers in the world. Prickly Pear fruit for it’s nourishing sweetness. 

Mars (war, aggression, bravery) - Cactus thorns, for their sharpness. Cheesebush (ambrosia salsola) for it’s pungent chemical protection. Ocotillo spines for their spear shape. Mormon Tea for it’s energizing caffeine-like zing.

Jupiter (Growth, prosperity, Increase) Juniper Berries, powerfully protective like their cousin cedars. Desert wildflowers like Sand Verbena and Evening Primrose, for their lush seasonal abundance after rain.

Saturn (Purification, Binding, Reduction) -  Century Plant (agave americana) for it’s rebirth-focused life cycle. Creosote, for it’s powerful antiseptic cleansing and emetic purifying properties. Mistletoe for it’s diligent, parasitic hunger. Chiles, and their cleansing capsaisin.

Uranus (Inspiration, invention, individuality) - Lantana flower clusters; source of childhood divination games. Various succulents, with their ingenious water saving adaptations. Tumbleweeds, for their famously unique method of seed dispersal.

Neptune (Intuition, empathy, adaptability) - Ocotillo leaves, only drawn out by rain. California Sagebrush, for it’s (especially menstrual) pain relief, reliance on the rain/dormance cycle, and pleasant smell.

I’m unfamiliar with Pluto, and unsure what to associate it with. Gonna leave it out of this list.

Give me feedback, desert witches/folk!! What do you think of local plants, and the planets. Do you have correspondences different from mine? Argue them with me; I had a hard time placing sagebrush. Let’s pool ideas.

5

Imbolc was beautiful. I hiked a mountain to honor the favor of Brigid for higher degrees. The hills were abundant with new cresote bushes, baby palo verde trees, and budding succulents. Following a nice meditation at the summit, i came down to the Circle and set up a nice altar of palm leaves, creosote, quartz, and fallen cactus flesh. I said a prayer and meditated in this sacred space. Such a beautiful time.

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10

I cannot do this anymore, brother, Hades thinks, watching from the sidelines as Persephone, who has given him a false name to match the one he gave her, kicks her hiking boots off and steps into the rain-swollen creek that slices through the desert landscape. His phone is in his hand and both are hidden in the pocket of his jeans, jeans he had to go out and buy when she asked him on this hike. He imagines the conversation.

What do you mean, you can’t do this? You do your duty and always have.

My duty is to my realm, not this fool’s errand you have me on. She is laughing now, a girlish shriek at the cold water that is already up past her knees. And there goes the dress, bunched in her hands up to her hips. This is they’re fourth, what, date? Here where he pretends to be mortal just as she does, where he pretends he does not know who she is. What she really is, she who makes flowers bloom when she walks by, who makes palo verde trees stand all the taller when she gazes at them.

Your duty is to me, and I have asked you bring the wandering girl back here where she belongs. Hades can hear the boredom in his brother’s voice, even though it is a mere phantom, an echo in his head. That is how well he knows Zeus, despite spending most of his days in his own lair, his own thoughts, far from the fickle whims of his brother.

She is no girl, he thinks, smiling despite himself when she turns and beckons he join her. She is a woman, and every day in her presence I feel less the god and more a man, only flesh and blood, only want. I will not snare her as you ask. I will never give her to you.

You will do as I–

I am drowning in her. I am drowning and I do not care. I will do as I please. I will do what she wants.

“Are you going to stand there staring or are you going to get in here? It’s the hottest day of the year so far, I’d think you’d be swimming already,” she says, voice bright like sunlight winking off metal. Hades has never so much as walked his backyard barefoot, and suddenly he is compelled to remove his shoes and join her. He imagines stripping himself to the bone for her, wonders if she’d ever ask it of him.

“Coming,” he says, and the smile she gives him is vivid and red, and when he stands before her in cold mountain runoff, she flings her arms around his neck and pulls him down for a kiss, for the first he’s ever had. He can feel creek water drip from her fingers down his back, can feel the wet cling of a sundress against his thighs. Drowning.

Because if she did ask him, ask for his skin and his heart and his lungs, for sinew and blood, he’d oblige.