The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Roses and relationships - a metaphor

Good Evening,

Tonight's post is brief, as this witch is tired!! A good tired, as I worked in the yard today, uncovering one of my gardens and trimming back some large overgrown rose bushes.  As I was pruning I started to get philosophical, as I'm wont to do while working in my gardens.  I started to see comparisons between the rose bush and relationships. 

The rose has the magickal properties of protection and love. These properties figure prominently in ones social and personal relationships.  Like relationships, rose bushes need to be trimmed, boundaries set, deadwood removed and over-growth controlled and with enough care, roses,  like a relationship in your life,  can be refreshed and blossom anew. 

At times, especially over a long, harsh, cold winter we might lose a rose bush or two.  This also happens in relationships that have run their natural course. Every living thing, has a birth, life and death. This is also the case in the relationships in our lives.

  As a witch I am often asked questions regarding spell work that will help an existing relationship, or to end one. Even to help a person get over a past relationship that seems to linger emotionally within them. I often explain my concepts of the birth, life and death of a relationship.  I feel, that whether it be the 5 minute relationship you have with the clerk of a convenience store you may never visit again, or a life long relationship with a best friend or a family member, each has a birth we may or may not remember, a life, and an inevitable end. The end may be simply your walking out of the store, wishing the person well, or a grief-filled tragic end of a life long friend with the person passing away.  Not knowing how long a friendship will last, causes one to work carefully to nourish and cultivate a good relationship and to tend it with love and care. 

Those few lucky ones will experience a  relationship that will  last a lifetime and end with our passing, but many won't. Looking at a relationship as one looks at the rose bush can help us in many ways. Some relationships are as the floribunda rose. High maintenance, stress and drama and still at the end of the day you have a weak, unsatisfying and unhappy rose bush. This is when the gardener needs to decide if the rose is a healthy one to have in your garden.

Floribunda roses, those that grow upright and are used for long stem rose bouquets are the most difficult, least satisfying rose to have in your garden. They are easily susceptible to black mold, fungus, black spot, rust, pests and a number of issues making it necessary to use a lot of poisons and chemicals to try to keep this beautiful, but difficult rose flourishing. Have you ever had a relationship like that? Everything about the relationship is difficult, challenging and stress filled?  Sometimes it's necessary to remove unhealthy plants to make room for the healthy ones.

I have done this by cutting out of my garden the roses that bring disease and may infect the other plants. Instead I plant and love bush roses, shrub and climbing or rambling roses. They are more native in their nature, more resistant to most of the ills that befall the fancy, uptight, floribunda rose.  They are beautiful and many still retain their natural sweetness of smell, where the floribunda roses  have been crossed and refined so much they often no longer have their smell.   I have even had floribunda roses I have planted in the past years that seemingly would die after a few years then make an appearance the next year having reverted back to their natural state and they are many times a rambling rose that grows long limbs that reach out everywhere. 

Today I trimmed a rose garden in my yard, I have included a picture with myself standing in front of it, in full bloom.  As I'm 5'5" tall, you can get some idea of the height of the bush. I'm also wearing flat shoes in this photo.

What had been a large bush, made up of three separate bush roses is now trimmed to about 1 foot above the ground. I know!! A pretty intense trimming, but every five to ten years they can benefit from this treatment.  Of course they won't grow to their full potential in the next season, but that's o.k..  I trim them this time of year because to trim them in the fall, I find the winter chill can enter and actually kill the heart of the rose. The crown found right above the ground or above the dirt in the container that you purchase before planting.

When you have a new rose bush, notice the enlarged knob on the main trunk of the rose. It's right on top of the dirt and this dirt  level needs to be maintained when planting the rose. For to cover up this oxygen breathing part of the plant will suffocate it and cause it to die.  The entire plant breathes in the air around it, but this knob is like the lungs of the rose. It needs to be clear of dirt and heavily packed mulch so that it can take in the air and water the root system requires.

By trimming my roses this time of the year, I am re-directing the life energy of the plant, that is about to burst forth for the spring, into the root system and the main body of the plant. The growth will be compact and stronger.  I cut out the dead wood and any damaged stems that could further harm the main bush later in the season.  When the rains start this month I will put some granular fertilizer lightly worked into the soil around the plant.  It;'s important to note that if you have just planted the plant wait at least 2 and better 4 weeks before fertilizing. Fertilizing right after planting can in effect 'burn' the plant and kill it.  Allow it to settle in and start some new growth before fertilizing. Then follow directions carefully as over fertilizing can also affect the plant.  Hmmm, how do we over-fertilize the relationships in our lives?  Or do we not fertilize them enough. Do we fail to give the nurturing, care and gentle love needed for a relationship to grow and flourish, assuming that the relationship will do just fine on its own?

I finished by raking the leaves and the top layer of mulch away and find myself waiting for the rain, which will start the growing season and if its a good year, the rains will stay for a month or two and then we will have a lush, abundant and green summer season.

I find that I surround myself in my personal life today with the shrub roses, the strong, resilient and healthy friends I've acquired that nurture and enriches my life.   If you look at your life as a garden, what have you cultured? What flourishes in your life and what could possibly be considered a weed and may need to be yanked out?!

Please check out my newest blog  The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @

© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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