Domestic Garden Witch: Eternal 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!
The Eternal Rose of Jericho
I have been writing and teaching on this blog for almost a year now, and it honestly surprises me that I haven’t yet written about this inexpensive, easy-to-grow, and magic-laden plant! At roughly $8 US, resurrection plants are virtually incapable of breaking the bank, and so long as there is access to a small amount of water, these plants can easily live forever.
They have earned their name from their ability to survive long droughts by drying out and curling up into tight balls, going into dormancy until their roots are moistened again. There are two species best known - the true rose of Jericho, and resurrection fern. The difference between the two is two-fold: true rose of Jericho is native to Western Asia and requires undisturbed root systems in order to revive itself, while the resurrection fern (pictured above) is native to Southwestern United States and Mexico and has the ability to revive even with disrupted root systems.
Despite being two different plants, they are frequently used interchangeably due to their similarities. Covering all of the lore related to resurrection plants would take quite a long time, as many cultures have developed myths, legends, spells, and rituals related to the plants over the many centuries. So, bear with me and consider this article to be more of a spring board to jump off of in your own exploration regarding these wonderful greens!
Easy Care, Holy Waters
Caring for a resurrection plant is extremely simple. Place the bulb in a shallow dish with water - don’t drown the plant; you only need enough water to cover the roots. Over a period of a few hours to a week, the plant will unfurl its leaves, regain its green color, and grow out to nearly a foot in diameter (depending on the size of the bulb). If the plant is forgotten for a while, and the water evaporates, it will return to its ruddy yellow-brown color and curl up again, to await the return of water.
Unsurprisingly, waters collected from the bowls of resurrection plants are often considered to be blessed simply by contact with the plant. These blessed waters can be used in the same function as holy water or other blessed waters, and some witches encourage using moon water to hydrate resurrection plants so as to have blessed moon water.
A Spirit in the Home, Protection For Rent
While this subtitle is somewhat in jest, it has merit. In some traditions, resurrection plants are believed to contain a spirit or fey. In these traditions, offering water is done as a petition and as a way of welcoming the spirit into your home. So long as the plant is hydrated and open, the spirit will invite prosperity and happiness into the home, while banishing negativity and protecting your space. As such, it acts as a natural, living space cleanser and ward. As with any other spirit, it’s recommended to provide offerings of fresh water regularly and to thank the spirit for its help and presence in your home.
Ongoing Money Spell
One of the more creative uses for resurrection plants is as a continuous money spell. Place silver coins either in the water being offered, or place coins in the center of the plant when it is open in order to invite money into the home. This type of spell can be done as needed, allowing the plant to dry when coffers are full, and rehydrating it and making offerings when funds are low.
Collecting some of the leaves or debris from the plant and using them in sachets or other money spells is not an uncommon practice, and is believed to add an extra punch to the spell!
Easily one of the best ways in which the Rose of Jericho can help in witchcraft is in reminding us of the cyclical nature of the world. Before our very eyes, a resurrection plant can grow, flourish, die, and be reborn again. For this reason, it is often associated with life and healing. However, it can also be meditated upon, helping us consider and discover ways in which we are also like the plant, experiencing our moments of growth and happiness before withering and going through our turmoils before being reborn stronger and more vibrant again.
Disposal of the Rose
Many witches abhor disposing of the resurrection plant for varying reasons. The first is that it is a self-reviving plant - disposing of it sometimes seems to be a bit of a disservice. Another is that, being a spirit helping in the home, disposing of it would seem ungrateful. However, not all traditions follow these viewpoints. In such cases, when a spell is done and the rose is no longer needed, it can either be saved or buried, where it can ground and decompose, nourishing the earth.
In conclusion, the resurrection plant is useful and beautiful. For the budding garden witch, it is an exceptionally easy plant to start with, and for those who are limited on space, they make a great addition to the home without taking up much space! In terms of magic, resurrection plants are versatile, their energies being great for cleansing space and being a natural and low-effort way of creating blessed waters. Whether a garden witch or not, consider the usefulness of having one of these plants in your home!
May all your harvests be bountiful! )O(