Friday, March 30, 2012

Squeeze My Melons and Plow My Furrow, Part 7: Guerrilla Gardening, Squatters' Circles, and Urban Foraging


As anyone who has gardened knows, gardening is dirty work.  It's sweaty, dirt gets under your nails, your hair gets messed up.  Sounds sort of like sex!  For me, gardening is a very sensual act.  You're plowing furrows and fingering seeds into the warm, moist earth.

Gardening is also a very magical act.  The act lends itself well to sympathetic magic.  You can imbue your desires or intent into the seed and then plant it.  As it grows, so too should your intent or desire.
Magic can also be added to gardening by following the old traditions of planting by the signs.  There are two systems to take into consideration when planting by the signs.

System One is to plant by the phases of the moon.  New moon to Full moon is good for planting above ground crops and seeds and for digging new beds.  The Full moon is best for harvesting.  The Waning moon is best for weeding and pruning.  Root crops should be planted in the dark of the moon.  System One is the simplest system.
System Two is to plant by where the moon is in the Zodiac.  It's more complicated than System One and requires the use of a Farmer's Almanac.  System One and Two can be combined together, but it's sometimes difficult to find compatible days. Just like with most magical workings, timing is important, and folks, especially Old Timers, will swear that plants do better when planted at the appropriate time.  If you can't wait to dig into magical gardening, there are lots of good books out there, particularly by Kate West and Ellen Dugan.
What should you do in the garden when the moon's in Scorpio?
For many people, myself included, gardening space is at a premium because they live in an urban or suburban environment.  Container, balcony, and rooftop gardening are all wonderful options, but so is Guerrilla Gardening.

Guerrilla Gardening is a concept that started in London to fill the empty, arable spaces in the city.  Some of the land was city owned, but most of it was vacant private lots.  The movement has now grown worldwide.

Except for the subversive nature of it, guerrilla gardening is not much different from regular gardening.  Both Wikihow and Guerrillagardening.org have step-by-step guides and tips for beginners.


Seed bombs are a common guerrilla gardener's tool. Made from seeds, soil, and water, the bombs are made to be nonchalantly tossed into vacant lots and will burst open on contact.  They work best if they are made from seeds that do not have to be covered by soil to germinate.  Germination requirements can usually be found on the back of seed packages. Seed bombs are perfect for garden spells, especially if you are without a garden space.  First, figure out the proper timing for the spell.  Then, imbue your seeds with your intent and desires.  Your seeds should be representative of your intent.  To ensure this, consult correspondence charts or a language of flowers guide.  More than one type of seed can be added to the bomb to create a complex and longer lasting spell.  If you want, writing a chant to say while you make the bomb and at launch time will strengthen your magic.  Now choose your location. Ideally, it should be a location near something related to your spell intent or near you.
My god looks like Che!
When it's time, travel to your launch site, and on the way invoke the God and Goddess to aid your seeds and desires to germinate and grow.  Now throw!  If you wrote a chant for the spell and you pass the site often, recite your chant every time you go by.  The more you put your intent out to the Universe, the more likely the Universe is to make it a reality.

In a way, guerrilla gardens are squatters.
Real squatters--not her--use unoccupied land without the owner's permission.  Squatting is common everywhere, and every place has different rules about it.

Depending on your locality's  laws, you may be able to make a guerrilla garden into an outdoor worship area.  Many urban and suburban Pagans don't worship outdoors because they don't have a piece of land to worship on.  Some Pagans utilize parks, but many don't because of the number of people milling about.  However, with some strategic planting, lots of invisibility thoughts, and good site scouting, circle squatting is a much better option than the park.  Before you start your outdoor circle, make sure to research the laws in your area about squatting.  While you're of course going to claim ignorance if a cop stops you, it's always best to know beforehand where you stand legally.
Vacant lots and other "wild" urban and suburban places are also excellent for foraging and gleaning.  Foraging is when you gather edibles from the wild.  This can either be done along the marginally green areas
or in the wilds of the park.
There many good field guides available specifically geared toward foragers.  Make sure to get one that's specific to your area.  Some easy foraging foods are fruits, dandelion greens, Queen Anne's Lace tubers, wild strawberries, and nuts.  If you're not sure if the plants you're foraging from have been sprayed with chemicals, then leave them be.  Treehugger.com has an informative guide for beginner foragers.
Ruth gleaned a rich husband!
Gleaning is similar to foraging, except that it occurs in a cultivated setting.  Gleaners collect the produce that has been left behind by farmers and gardeners.  The produce may be slightly bruised, wind fallen, or simply left by a harvester.  Following old hospitality traditions, many farmer and gardeners will purposely leave behind a portion of their harvest.  There are many aid agencies and food banks that rely on armies of foragers to harvest the extras for the hungry.  However, there's no reason why you can't harvest for yourself.  Many cities now have websites and Facebook pages that have up-to-the minute information about where to get wind fall apples or forgotten tomatoes.  Seriouseats.com is a good starting point for finding free food in your area.

Good food doesn't have to be expensive, nor is a lack of land a good excuse for not growing your own food. Food grown by you tastes better, is healthier, and it puts you closer to the God and Goddess and their holy union.


Sub-Shop.com: http://bit.ly/subshop
Tonia Brown: www.thebackseatwriter.com
Erotic Sensations:  eroticsensations.us