Why I ended Plants Are Magic magazine: the longer story

In May 2020, I shared the news that I would be ending Plants Are Magic magazine, which was my independent publication sharing plant crafts, amongst other topics. I would like to once again thank all the contributors for their time and effort, and for all the readers for supporting independent publishing.  Read my original announcement here.

 {Spring flowers from my new garden}

For almost a year, I’ve wanted to write a part two to that blog post, but I haven’t been able to find the words. Today I’m going to tell the full story. The reason I’m sharing all of this with you, is because I wish someone had given me this information. I’m not trying to offend or upset anyone and I apologise if this is sensitive to you.

Life changing words

The country had just locked down, and I was trying to make sense of it all, and watching lots of videos online.  One day, in April 2020, I heard this portion of the Bible:

[Deuteronomy 18:10-12 NIV]
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; …”

I realised that I was guilty of a lot of those things – I often used divination cards and I’d gone to mediums and astrologers for readings. My mind suddenly turned towards Plants Are Magic magazine and I began to feel sick. As the word “magic” in the title suggests, the magazine wasn’t just about plants, but also explored the mystical side of nature.

I set the “magical” tone with my opening article, Colours That Heal, in Volume 1. I posed the idea that we could set intentions when dyeing clothing and imbue fabric with our energy. Here I believe that I’d accidentally stumbled into the territory of spell craft.

After reflecting on all of this for a day or so, I knew that I needed to end the magazine. I didn’t want to let down too many people, but now I was more concerned about upsetting God. I wanted to pull the magazine immediately, but knew there was still such a demand for it and I feared that people would be upset for not getting any notice. I’m not sure if this was the right or wrong choice, but I decided to set a date on which I would stop selling the magazine, and stuck to this date.

 

Suspicions were confirmed

Maybe you’re wondering why I would even care what the Bible said, since I wasn’t Christian at this point. I believe that God had been working hard to reveal Himself to me over the past few months, or years perhaps. I knew that there was something bigger out there and kept searching for answers, and it didn’t take very much for me to suddenly believe in God and Jesus.

Also, I have my husband to thank, as he was doing lots of reading and research and showed me the evidence for God and how this fitted in with what was happening in the world right now.

I’d had slight suspicions about angel cards. Looking back, I could see that these cards weren’t giving me particularly loving answers to my questions. Similarly, I also had my doubts about manifesting things using the Law of Attraction. In the past, I’d manifested a job, which turned out to make me extremely miserable. It made me wonder if we really knew what was best for us. The world tells us to trust ourselves, so up until now I’d been dismissing these concerns.

I’d also spent the past year deep into the Medical Medium diet and lifestyle, and interestingly, my doubts about this kept getting louder and louder. In a nutshell, the cleanses cost a lot of money with specialist food and vitamins, and take up a lot of time with lots of juicing and special recipes. I felt like I’d been trapped in an endless loop where my time and money were being drained. So when I heard Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (which is quoted above), it was the last piece of the puzzle.

The same can be said of other healing modalities I’d tried – they were all wasting my time and money, with little to no positive results! I’d been trying to work out this puzzle of time and money for a while and God had finally answered it for me. I’m so thankful that I didn’t experience false healing from any of those things, as it would have simply led me deeper and deeper into the New Age (more on this term in a moment). By not experiencing any “miracles”, God had actually protected me.

 

Angels, demons & the spiritual world

I realise that some people don’t believe in a spiritual world. Personally, I knew that the spiritual world was very real, but what I hadn’t realised up until then, was the kind of spirituality I’d been led into was the dark side. The warm, cosy things I was doing, such as using angel cards were actually quite sinister in nature. Please stick with me here and I will explain.

[2 Corinthians 11:14]
“…for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

What I’m going to say next may come as a terrible shock to you, or you may just think that I’m crazy (which is fine, because I can see how it may be hard to believe), but these spiritual beings are actually fallen angels, or demons. When I realised that I’d been taking dietary and lifestyle guidance from demons, everything started to make sense. I realised that my suspicions had been right all along, and I honestly believe that God was trying to warn me. None of the things I was doing were giving positive results, either for my health or relationships. After this massive life changing realisation, I sifted through my home and made a big bag of things to dispose of.

[Acts 19:19 ESV]
“A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.”

'New Age'

Over the next few days, I learnt that I’d been sucked into 'New Age' spirituality. The New Age borrows ideas from lots of different religions from around the world; it’s like a patchwork of recycled ideas. Concepts such as reincarnation are established in culture now, and it’s easy to get drawn into these beliefs without knowing or questioning where they come from. Now I realise how easy it was to fall into the New Age, as it’s all around us – films and TV shows are full of New Age ideas. When I learnt what it was all about, I knew that I wanted to get out right away.

No one ever showed me the other side of things – Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate spiritual experience – he died and was resurrected. He spent his time on earth driving demons out of people, healing the sick, and carrying out countless miracles. Satan can only offer counterfeit spiritual experiences, which can never match what Jesus did. The biggest revelation was that I didn’t need to ask angels for help anymore; in fact I should go directly to God, as Jesus tells us here:

[John 14:6 NIV]
“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

New Age proponents talk a lot about ‘your truth’, but it was time for me to find ‘The Truth’.

Next, I watched lots of videos by Doreen Virtue, who made the angel cards. Doreen left the New Age in 2017 when she found Jesus. I’d stumbled upon her videos the previous year, when I’d started using the cards, but it didn’t make much sense to me then. When I listened again, I could totally see things from her perspective. This is one of my favourite interviews with Doreen, on Steven Bancarz’s channel.

After this, I started listening to the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – read by David Suchet (New International Version) which you can find on many Bible apps; here's a link to a web version. This quote from Matthew 12:30 gave me the chills:

[Matthew 12:30 NIV]
“Whoever is not with me is against me…”

I didn’t want to be against God. I didn’t want to make Him angry and disrespect Him. But, really, why does any of this matter, anyway?

 

God’s judgement

Well, I learnt that one day, we will be judged by God.

[Acts 17:29-32 NIV]
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead." When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."

As a child, I wasn’t raised with any Christian teachings at all, and didn’t know anything about Jesus. I even thought that the “story” of Jesus had been proven to be incorrect. However, I’ve since learnt that Jesus’ death is one of the most firmly established facts in history – this is a really good analytical video. There is a huge amount of evidence for Jesus’ death and his resurrection.

The passage in Acts 17:29-32 shows that Jesus’ resurrection is proof that the Bible is true, God is real, and one day we will be judged.

I know it’s not a nice thought to hear that we will be judged by someone one day. I like the way J. Warner Wallace sums up his feelings in his book Alive: A Cold-Case Approach to the Resurrection (2014):

“…I initially denied my need for a Savior, even though I accepted what the Gospels told me about that Savior…
If Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven as the eyewitnesses reported, He is alive today, He is God. As an atheist, however, I enjoyed being my own god; I liked being the only judge and jury I would ever require. I was unwilling to submit my authority to anyone or anything bigger than myself. As you examine the evidence for Christianity, ask yourself the same question I eventually had to ask of myself: “Am I rejecting this because I don’t want there to be evidence?” Are you denying the resurrection on evidential grounds or simply because you are stubbornly biased against anything supernatural or pridefully unwilling to submit your authority?”

A few days later, I started watching videos by Ray Comfort on his channel, Living Waters; this is my favourite one – please take a look! He interviews people and takes them through the 10 commandments and shows us how we have most likely broken them all, and demonstrates our need for Jesus as our saviour.

Why had no one told me this before?! How had I reached over 30 years of age, and no one shared the gospel with me? Did no one love me enough to share this vital information with me?

The Gospel and why it’s important I share it with you

Because I care about you, I need to share the gospel with you. “Gospel” means good news, and when I first heard it I thought it was the best news ever. I kept wondering, why had I never heard this before?! Seriously, why aren’t people talking about this?

[John 3:16-18 NKJV]
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

[1 Corinthians 15:2-6 NIV]
“By this gospel you are saved… : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephus, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters...”

[Rom 10:9-10 NIV]
“If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Without Jesus, we are heading to Hell. I know that this is a frightening thing to hear, but many people don’t even believe that Hell exists. I simply ask you to examine the evidence for Jesus for yourself.

I can’t make you believe what I believe, but I can offer you the facts which I believe to be true, and you can make an assessment for yourself. It would be unloving to not share this with you. No one shared it with me and I wish they had. So even if there’s just one person who connects with what I’ve written here, then it’s worth it.

What is repentance?

I feel devastated that I circulated material that was unloving towards God. The ethos of my magazine was to glorify nature, not glorify God, our Creator. As Ray Comfort sums up in his videos:  imagine you’re gifted a car by someone. If you lavish the car with your love and attention, and ignore the person who gave you the car, wouldn’t that be disrespectful? This is what I encouraged with the magazine. I showered my love and attention on nature, totally ignoring God.

To repent means to turn away from sin, and to turn back to the God.  It has three parts: a) new knowledge; b) regret for the previous course, displeasure with self; c) a change of action. (Strong, James. 2010).

Do you have a contrite heart for your sins? You can repent: turn from sinning and towards God.

God’s commandments can be summarised as follows:

[Mat 22:37-40 NIV]
“Jesus replied: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””

Can we trust our “intuition”?

Many of the ideas for the magazine came from my “intuition”, but what does this even mean? I would wake up early in the morning and ideas would flow onto paper. Society tells us to trust ourselves, follow our heart and listen to our inner voice. But the Bible tells us that our heart is deceitful:

[Jeremiah 17:9]
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…”

The world tells us to do what we want, but Jesus tells us:

[Matthew 7:12 NIV]
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

This is just one way that the world tells us something contrary to the Bible. If you start reading the Bible, you’ll find countless other examples.

At the time, I loved working on Plants Are Magic magazine, and I respect the writers very much, but the overall concept of the magazine is disrespectful to God.  I know that the magazine was (and still is) cherished by many people, but I couldn’t continue to distribute it.

Why didn't I just take "magic" out of the title and continue with the magazine?

Actually, that's exactly what I did! In August 2020, I released Plant Dye Zine, which has the same format as the old magazine (just a little taller and wider, to match my other dye book) but now focuses entirely on plant dyeing. It even has the same layout and typefaces - if you've bought a copy you've probably noticed that it's effectively a continuation of the old magazine. So if you like natural dyeing, then I think you'll enjoy it! For now, there's only one edition, but if time allows, I will add more editions in the future.

 

Thanks for reading this far!

This was a hard blog post to write, but of vital importance. I hope you realise that I’m not trying to force any ideas upon you; I’m simply writing what God led me to share.  I pray that you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

In my next post, I hope to share some progress on my dye garden – in my new home! – so keep an eye out for that. I’ve been quiet over the past 6 months or so, as my family and I did a cross-country move and understandably, life has been very busy. Now we’ve settled in and spring is finally here, I would love to start sharing dyeing (and gardening) projects with you once again!


References:

Strong, James. 2010. The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, G3340 (4), Thomas Nelson.

Wallace, J. Warner. 2014. Alive: A Cold-Case Approach to the Resurrection, p 43, David Cook.