“Witch, witch where have you been?”
“Out in the garden gathering green!”
While I am on holiday and have had more time to write, draw, and garden, I get called away by spirits, books, plants, and the need for small adventures. It is only natural for one who has been confined by illness and work to break free and leave behind the shackles of cellphones, social media and the constant need to have something to say.
I don’t always have words. Sometimes I just have notions and strange inclinations. I have drunken dances in that half-dream state with Belladonna leaves and Black Nightshade berries seducing me. I conjure devils and sweet spirits and drink tea of Artemisia afra laced with alcohol and honey.
I go out to the garden and speak with the plants, mesmerized by the beauty of all the green after all the rain. The Datura is fruiting and the Yarrow is flowering. I can’t help but sniff and touch my cherished African wormwood and its new baby companion – Artemisia absinthium Their scents and leaves so different but harmonious as they dance in the wind.
The Tobacco is coming and so is the Bittersweet nightshade- slowly, slowly they come up from the ground, my witching allies which I am getting to know… slowly, slowly.
When I long for adventures, I take some flowers and fruit and trek to semi wild places in the city and surrounds with The Hedgehog and the hellion, leaving offerings for the fae and land wights.
I search for my allies in the wild and often see Datura in the grass, along the side of the road. I find the Fairy Iris in protected areas under soetdoering trees. Proteas I haven’t seen since I was child grow alongside the mountain aloes. Their song is familiar to me and reminds me of old photographs which my Oupa used to take and develop in his own green room.
The spirits are calling from books and wild nooks. I read fairy tales and I can see myself in the wicked witches, who only want to protect their homes, gardens and wild allies from the evil of society.
As the holidays come to an end I am saddened by the prospect of returning to my “normal” life. A soul cannot survive let alone thrive in boxes and cages and 9 hour- a -day work weeks. I can feel the silly summer happiness wane into dread and sorrow, and with sorrow comes the bones.
I am called by dead birds whose bodies have been devoured into nothing but bone, and clean them off laying them on Anubis’ altar for protection.
The tears roll down my face, as the incense floods the room and the bird wings become a part of me. I have restored and found some bits of me that were lost. I long to keep them close, under lock and key.
I whisper my sorrows and worries to the bones and lay water at the altars. Sometimes they respond with sweetness and sometimes with snark. “Sacrifice” is a big word I am hearing from them. “Courage” is another.
I give them flowers and sweet lavender infused vodka while I sip on bitter herbs grown from my own garden.
I follow the moon in waxing and in waning. Some days are for joy, some for sorrow, others are for rest.
“Follow your heart, follow the wild track, follow the deep drumbeat under foot, follow the flowers, and the bees, and the birds. Get lost a little, in words, in pens and pencils, in flowers and soil, in bones and feathers, in wild secluded places. ”
And so I do.