Murder and Curses: A Case of Planticide

So, I was leaving my house to get bread and cigarettes (don’t judge my life), and stumbled upon the horror of horrors right outside my front door.

broken gladiolus
Broken gladiolus stalks.

That’s right. I found my gladiolus babies broken and strewn about like errant garbage after a windstorm. My first thought was, “Is there another witch around here that I have pissed off?” I haven’t met any other magickal people in my neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t here. Then, I wondered if I had somehow ticked off the nature spirits and thought this was their way of letting me know I messed up. I had a recent run in with a rose bush found growing on an abandoned property, and I damaged one of it’s branches; completely by accident, but damaged nonetheless. A good-faith attempt was made on my behalf to correct the gross mistake (I went back to bind the torn branch with twine). The idea that nature was kicking my ass didn’t seem right, though, because why would nature spirits destroy their own? Also, these stalks were the only casualties from the stone planter situated just in front of my porch. It seemed odd that the gladiolus would be made to suffer alone for whatever error I could have done.

As I drove away from my house and towards the nearby convenience store, I cursed the person who did this horrid thing. I can’t remember verbatim, but I definitely know the words “plague” and “pox” were used. It’s a good thing I included a clause to indicate that target of my revenge would be any and all who meant ill for my household, property, and loved ones. I’ll tell you why shortly. Also, I’d like to note that I do not consider the plants I am nursing/raising as property; they fall in either the category of household or loved ones.

Newport Longs and Bunny Bread acquired, I made my way back home, all the while my rage and sadness growing within me like a smoke cloud after a nuclear detonation. It felt like the damage had been done to my physical body, which, I guess, is a clear sign that I am definitely emotionally tied to this plant-growing endeavor.

As I mulled over the feeling that seemed to me like finding one of my human children lying hurt and damaged in a forgotten corner, my intuition let me know that I needed to find out how this happened. Mental images of my pendulum and tarot cards flashed within my mind’s eye. These thoughts were quickly followed by the thought that it was done by someone in the household. I never thought it would be my two children, boys ages eight and five. They often take to the outside with me as I toss out birdseed and tend to my plant children. The boys are just as fascinated by my reaction to discoveries of new growth as they are to the new growth discoveries themselves. Then, another lightning thought: It was my mother!

About a month or so ago, some tall, blade-like grasses that grow around the edges of the house proper and sidewalks came up torn. My son said that he saw some man ripping up the grass, which I later confessed to my mom, who also lives with us. She, in turn, confessed to me that she had torn up the helpless grasses because they were weeds. So, it only made sense that she was the culprit I’d just cursed. I’m sure she meant well, and this senseless act of planticide was not malicious in nature. So, I’m pretty sure the curse will have no effect on her at all.

I got back home and stopped at the planter to pour some condolence-filled positive energy toward the remaining bulbs and the garden in general. I imagined that the sick and empty pit that had taken residence in my stomach is how the Fae/Fairies/Feri and other nature-dwelling entities feel when they witness the violent destruction against unassuming flora and fauna. I confirmed my intuitive suspicion as soon as I walked through the door. My mother confessed that she had, in fact, torn up the growing gladiolus because she thought they were weeds. This gave me comfort in only one aspect: Now I knew there was no malevolent mage specifically out for my demise lurking somewhere in the neighborhood. But, on all other points, there was no comfort, and I could do nothing but lament the death of my babies.

I am now researching to find out what I can do, if anything, with the severed stalks. They seem to have been broken off at bulb level, and I can only hope that the bulbs themselves are not too traumatized to sprout life again. Thankfully, she didn’t manage to pull the bulbs out of the planter.

A few things I have gathered so far from this experience:

  1. Even in justified vengeance, I should always take a moment to consider the implications of any curse. True, my plants, and by extension, myself was damaged. I took it as a personal affront, as well as an outrage against nature. But, I spoke from a place of hot, blind rage, and nearly endangered someone whom I love in the process. In the future, I will wait until I have all the facts and make my decisions to bless or curse from a knowledgeable and calm vantage point.
  2. Working so closely with the land somehow indelibly ties you to it, though that link is not always so obviously felt. I started growing the plants in my front yard because I wanted to somehow contribute to the growth and creative processes of the Earth. I wanted to give back to the planet who has nurtured me to this point, and continues to do so. What I did not realize is that I would become so aligned and intertwined that I would come to think of the plants as my children, that I would mourn their demise so deeply.
  3. I am great at germinating things. It’s the growing and maintenance I need more skill in. Now, I’ll have to add healing to that list.
  4. Wards and shields of protection from outside danger are ineffective and useless when the threat lies within.
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