Saving snapdragons from the Old Woman


The wind came whipping through early last evening and with it a front of biting cold that would have frozen a popsicle into permafrost, so out I went with my basket to strip away the last of the snapdragon blossoms. It was quick and rude. It was me and the cold and flower blossoms quickly freezing. I found myself apologizing to the plants as I quickly peeled away the flowers from their stalks. I know they would have frozen to death on their stalks and I know that when dealing with plants, all are magical and have life and breath of their own. I felt horrible hastily tearing them off while the wind cut through me, I felt like I was being rude. I’m not much of one to let things go to waste and letting the remaining snapdragon blooms freeze and be wind tossed seemed the wrong thing to do. I had earlier carefully harvested only the bottom mature blossoms in proper ceremony with offerings and thanks, but this, this was something different and their response vexed me at first.

When you go to a pound and adopt an animal, that animal knows it is be saved from certain doom. They can smell death linger in that place. It’s fingers slowly winding around their throats every moment that kennel remains closed with them in it. They flee and pull at the their ropes as soon as the door is opened to their release and you can see the relief wash over them as the car door shuts moves away from the death smell. As I was walking up the path back into the house, I felt that from the flowers in my basket. They knew they were going to die a wicked, tearing death being scattered into oblivion and lost to any magic that could have happened with them later. They were witness to the earlier rites I did while harvesting their siblings. They knew as the door opened and the wind stopped biting and the warmth embraced them, that they were going to be safely preserved and used in a magical manner.

So what are the magics hidden withing these little blossoms of dragon joy? First just as the name implies, they are said to attract the spirit of the dragon. How very appropriate for a witch who loves the company of dragons? They are associated with Fire and the planet Mars so harvesting on a Tuesday afternoon is a perfect hour. I suppose if you want to get even more persnickety about harvesting you could label not only the date you harvested them but the moon phase and sign. . . timing has magic unto itself. Time is an ever fleeting thing and to catch it standing still in a husk of a plant. . . well that’s another blog post entirely.

It is said that if you walk widdershins while holding a dragon blossom that all hexes against you will be broken, of course, here the number of repetition is three? If you have any part of a snap dragon on you, it is said all deceptions will be revealed to you. I remember asking a friend a few years back what the reason he had snapdragons in his garden. I knew that he wasn’t one to grow anything in vain and since I was not familiar with the spirit of snapdragons at the time the question had to be asked. Protection from angry and troublesome spirits, it made sense to me after he responded because I knew he and his wife were also into graveyard work. I tucked that note in the back of my head and planned to make friends with snapdragons of my own.

The Old Woman is coming, laying a blanket of cold upon her realm. Button up, light the hearth fires, and prepare the feast!

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