I am part of a group of luminous beings: creatrixes, kitchen witches, and plant witches. We worship the Triple Moon Goddess, the elements/nature/earth, the four directions, and Baba Yaga. We gather together for birthdays, dinners, art openings, healing practice workshops, cocktails, and most magically we gather to celebrate each stop in the Wheel of the Year - the equinoxes, solstices, and cross-quarter days in our solar journey. Imbolc, February 1, is next in the Wheel, and we have agreed to do a seed exchange. Gathering and exchanging seeds while we are still in the midst of Winter will give us time to set some intention into our seeds before we plant them in our gardens at the birth of Springtime, or Ostara.
Seeds have so much potential resting and waiting to spring forth from within them. I will be going out to my garden soon to finally put some remaining plant beds to rest and gather seeds from the marigolds that my grandmother passed along to me a few years ago. Additionally, I will look for a few more handfuls of calendula seeds - gathering these particular seeds is a year-long devotion as it is the first plant that asked me to look more deeply into their potential, and learn to use it for plant medicine - and I’m hoping to see some nasturtium and borage seeds in the mix as well as some surprise seed gifts.
And then there are all the seeds that I already gathered this past Summer and Fall, from their assigned place on my studio’s seed altar they gather momentum: chives, daisy, arugula, hollyhock, skullcap, mugwort, wormwood, blue vervain, valerian, and burdock. They rest in their separate seed envelopes: named, dated, and whispering dreams to one another of their renewed lives in my garden, as well as the gardens of my friends, this coming Spring, Summer, and Fall. I love assisting in the rebirth of these plants that are so special to me, and I can’t wait to find out which seeds are shared with me!
Seed saving is a tradition that predates industrial agriculture, and is something that big agriculture would prefer we not practice. They would rather we purchased their genetically modified seeds year after year. This modern model, however, does not promote biodiversity, a healthy food system, and it disempowers the farmer or gardener from participating more directly in these systems. Honoring preindustrial seed saving traditions and celebrating the 8 solar moments in the Wheel of the Year gives my own solar journey more meaning. Planning to share those seeds and celebrations provides me with an intentional community that shares their own processes of choosing, sharing, and planting actual and metaphorical seeds.
A great guide that I have been using recently to assist more intentional living throughout the year is The Book of Houses. It is “an astrological guide to the harvest cycle in human life.” Authored by Robert Cole and Paul Williams, they use the 12 houses of an individual’s astrological birth chart to determine how your own annual growth cycle mimics various qualities of the growth cycle of plants. I am currently in my House of Germination, whereas my partner is currently in his House of Harvest. Thinking about my annual development as related to a plant’s growth, death, and rebirth cycle helps me anticipate and be more mindful of my own changing needs.
My birthday was yesterday, and according to the Book of Houses, my Resurrection Day is tomorrow. I actually feel like I could burst open into a power-packed radicle soon, but for today I will make space for more dreams of dark, rich soil and then my next above earth encounter.