Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
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The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Lesson from my Garden
Article ID: 15195
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 527
Times Read: 1,704
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Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: September 30th. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,704
This year I have a much deeper respect for my ancestors! For quite a while now, I have been dying to have a garden. When we lived in the city, a garden was limited to the little stretch of dirt directly in front of the house with the front porch cutting it in half. I tried to talk my landlord into letting us take a small patch of the backyard and create a raised garden bed. He refused and so I had to be creative. I tried my hand at container gardening, with mixed results. Sometimes container gardening can be a bit more fussy than open-air gardening. You don't have insects churning the soil for you. You have to give it lots of water and ensure it gets plant food, etc. Some plants I had grew fairly well, but others just did not have enough container space available to be successful.
When we were ready to move, we stumbled upon the home we have now and the first thing my husband told me was the size of the garden. He had already seen many features of the house and really wanted to convince me to come and look at the property. He knew the word ‘garden’ would catch my interest. I have to confess the sight of the 30x30 garden plot and two mature apple trees sold me! We moved in February and so I still had to wait for ‘gardening season’!
Week after week, I watched the weather forecast, waiting with baited breath for spring to arrive. I remember one day we had a terrific snowstorm in March. All around me people were grumbling about having to shovel their walks, drive in the wretched conditions and brave the cold. I could not stop grumbling about how long it was taking for my garden to thaw out! Weekly, I cruised by the hardware store and picked up packages of seeds.
Slowly our Canadian winter melted into spring! With the snow gone, we could see that it had been a few years since somebody had tended the garden. It was overrun with weeds and I had to hack a bunch of dead weed stalks in order just to see the dirt. We did not have a tiller so we attacked the soil with shovels and a weed weasel. The sun was already gathering its force and was making it warm enough that I was uncomfortably sticky, and that was only 15 minutes into it! My husband was a trooper and was turning the soil at the back of the garden where things were packed in rather tight. After an hour of slugging away at it, as we took a rest break in the shade, a neighbour came by and offered us the use of a tiller.
Our neighbour and my husband then took the tiller and, after another half an hour, they were able to get the garden tilled. We were all exhausted and filthy. I only smoothed over the soil on the top and called it a night. We barbecued and I sorted my seeds. The next week, we had rain non-stop. I was sick for the next week and then had more rain. By the time I was able to get to plant, I was well behind the rest of the province. Not wanting to waste time, I planted all my seeds in one day. Take my advice... don’t do that! My back was killing me for days!
After the planting comes the tending. What a tedious task that is! Pulling weeds, watching the weather for appropriate rain levels, keeping harmful insects away, more weeding, watching the weather again, and weeding again! I also had to make sure that I wasn’t pulling out the new shoots of my plants. I put some mesh fencing up to help the beans grow upwards and will have to put more up for the peas soon. I am in the garden several times a week working away at it as time and weather allows.
The work has been far more than I can even begin to adequately express in words. Sometimes when I come in after pulling weeds, my hands are raw (mainly because I don’t wear gloves as much as I should) . My back aches and I some days feel a touch of sunstroke after a while in the sun. Or I am soaking wet from fighting our hose to get the garden watered in a heat wave. My arms are often tense and sore after dragging a hoe through all the weeds and around the plants. And the harvesting has been no picnic either… bending and stooping… checking the plants for readiness… All this work and pain for a hobby? However, I do enjoy eating the fresh food and sharing it with my family and friends.
So how does this make me ‘appreciate my ancestors’, you may ask? Well, I was picking some raspberries and munching on them and I dropped one. I was a little bummed out because it looked rather juicy and delicious but figured "Ah well, that's what a supermarket is for". My own ignorance and arrogance came back and kicked me square in the assets! Duh! I was holding a gift from the very land that holds my home, that has nourished the seeds that I had placed into the ground and kept the trees I was planning on making apple pies with growing strong. This land embraced me as I sat upon it to watch the sunsets and had offered healthy nourishment.
This brief flash of ignorance and arrogance made me realise just how disconnected that I had become from the land. Me, a pagan, a follower of an Earth Religion, who considers the earth to be divine… who follows the seasons and makes a point of learning about the plants in my area… who watches the migrations of birds and the way a tree shifts in the seasons… who tries to meditate and get in touch with the earth! It seems almost ludicrous, but it is true… and very embarrassing. It made me think.
I thought about all the produce in a supermarket and of how many times I let something rot in the fridge because I didn't want to bother cooking. I thought of the person who took the time to watch the weather and plant his seeds with care. The time and work he put into keeping the earth healthy, the plants healthy and strong. And then all the work he put into gathering the ripe vegetables and fruits and getting them ready to be packaged and sent to market.
I then thought about the beef I had cooked the night before. Cows surround me; we live smack dab in the middle of cow country! I can count at least three herds during the 20-minute drive to town. But for the first time I really thought about it. In the early spring, early February for that matter, ranchers are out in their fields, calving in the cold night, ensuring that the cows deliver their calves well, keeping the coyotes away from the herds and taking care of the new calves. After that, they stay up with the sick ones to see if they can recover and call the Vet to keep the herd safe from disease. They are there with the calves from birth until they send them to market.
Countless hours, money and hard backbreaking work is done by farmers to ensure that there is always produce and meat in our supermarkets. Although I do not live near the sea, I have seen some television programs about living on fishing boats… the dangers and work that goes into the catching and preparing of the food that grace my plate. Even with my 30x30 garden plot, I could not feed my husband and I for a full year off just the food I will grow.
My ancestors lived in Ireland; they were farmers and ranchers. They worked day and night to feed their clans, to ensure that they were healthy and had enough left over to barter for household goods they could not produce. Later in the years, they moved to the cities and opened shops. But for centuries, millenniums even, they were farmers. They had no supermarkets, no refrigeration. They had to rely on the earth every second of the day to keep themselves alive. The toils and tasks that are my hobby were once the difference between life and death.
The Readneck Pagan
The Redneck Pagan
Location: Lacombe County, Alberta
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