Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Plant Your Own Sacred Grove

My mother’s best friend passed away over the weekend and they had one of those incredible relationships you rarely hear about. They talked every day, mostly on the phone, but also saw each other often. I realized it would be a lovely tribute to my dear mother’s beloved friend to plant a flowering tree she can see to remind her of the gifts of that special bond. I have planted trees for people who passed and confess I even planted one for Michael Jackson which I can see right now out of the window by my writing desk. Michael’s tree is showy and is exploding in bountiful, beautiful purple flowers.


In much the same way that animals, stones, and stars were totemic to early peoples, so were trees. Greco-Roman spirituality had sacred groves, as did the Aborigines in Australia, Hindus in India, Germanic tribes, and the Celts of Europe. To the Celtic Druids, the oak was the major sacred totem tree. Pliny the Elder pointed out that groves of trees were the first temples.

A wonderful way to celebrate our planet, our tribe and engender the ideals of preservation and ecological sanctity of our precious resources is to return to the sacred grove. Essential elements necessary for the ritual are Tibetan Prayer Flags or colored ribbons and colored markers.


Gather your friends and go to a mutually agreed-upon home, park, farm, or forest. Find the largest oak or largest tree with low-hanging branches and circle around it, holding hands while chanting:


We are the wisdom of the stars.

The beauty of this green Gaia.

To the planet that gives us life, we return the gift.

We are one

We are the stars and the stones and the sea.

We are one.


By casting the circle with voice and action, you create a boundary within which magic can take place. One by one, each member of the circle should speak a wish for universal healing, write the wish on a ribbon, and tie the ribbon on the tree. Each flutter of the breeze will speak of your hope and good wishes for our planet. If you are lucky enough to be on the property of a member of your circle, ask if you can leave the ribbons there as the mark of the sacred grove. If you are lucky enough to have gathered at someone’s home or farm and can plant a tree, do plant one and name it and care for it. I am excited to surprise my mother with her tree dedicated to the life and memory of her devoted friend, Marilyn.


 Blessed be.


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    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  


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