If you feel drawn to nature, you might want to include natural elements in your craft. There are many different ways in which you can do so, and green witches can attest to that. But what exactly is Green Witchcraft, and how do I begin? In this article, we will cover the basic aspects of this ancient practice.
The origins of Green Witchcraft
Over time, many civilizations have considered nature to be sacred. This is the case for Druids and Celts, for instance. There is no saying exactly when this practice originated, as it seems to have been around since the beginning of time. For example, there’s an ancient Greek myth involving Hecate, the Goddess of Witchcraft. This myth explains how Hecate’s daughters taught witches how to use plants, both for medicinal and magical purposes.
What is Green Witchcraft?
Simply put, this is an area of witchcraft in which practitioners work very closely with nature. At the core, green witches embrace the power of nature. They use wood, plants, herbs, and flowers. However, they can also resort to other natural objects, like crystals and stones. Green witches work closely with the Moon cycles and the seasons. They also connect with everything in nature, including animals and the Earth itself. Lastly, Green Witchcraft is also about respecting every living being.
According to Green Witchcraft, all plants contain spirits. Every plant is unique, with its special energy and uses. As you might already know, plants, especially trees in a forest, communicate among themselves. They also react in different ways to seasons and Moon cycles. This means that everything you do or say to the plants will affect them in some way. For instance, it’s been scientifically proven that plants grow faster when you talk to them or play peaceful music.
The importance of trees
Trees are the backbone of the green witch’s practice. Traditionally, green witches have worked with wood, especially when they want to attract stability. Many protective amulets include twigs, and many sigils can be carved into wood. Green witches use different woods in ritual fires, particularly at Yule, the pagan celebration of the Winter’s Solstice. Depending on the purposes, a witch can use the tree’s bark, leaves, and/or inner wood.
There are many things to keep in mind when working with trees. First of all, each one of them has a different power. For instance, Apple Trees are connected to abundance, love, creativity, and fertility. In a similar way, Ash is associated with strength, protection, intellect, balance, and justice. Oak is related to strength, courage, longevity, protection, and good fortune and is the traditional wood for a Yule log.
Secondly, if you cut fresh wood from the tree, you must first ask the tree for permission. Be careful and respectful. Finally, you always have to thank the tree and leave an offering for it.
The power of flowers
The flowers are small parts of the plants that carry essential reproductive information. This is why flowers carry a very special energy. They are commonly used in spells. Green witches use fresh flowers or dried petals. The energy in fresh and dried herbs is the same, but the expression is different. For example, certain rituals work better with fresh flowers, but amulets work better with dried flowers.
In general, when they perform a spell, green witches combine two or more flowers that offer the properties they need. As with trees, all flowers have different properties. Chamomile, for instance, has calming qualities. Roses symbolize love. Sunflowers are related to good luck, prosperity, and fertility.
Please keep in mind that some flowers that have strong magical powers are also poisonous and even deadly. Steer clear of dangerous plants such as Wolfsbane or Foxglove, or handle with extreme care. Don’t let these plants touch your skin and don’t consume them in any form.
In witchcraft, a plant referred to as an herb possesses medicinal or magical value. Some of them are commonly used for cooking, so maybe you already have them. As with flowers, each herb has unique energy and unique properties. Angelica, for example, improves digestion and is a protective herb. Ginger, on the other hand, is a stimulant that increases the potential of each spell. You can even use grass – yes, the common grass you can find almost anywhere! Grass helps you be more flexible. If you are interested in herbs, you might want to check out our previous post, 12 Non-Toxic Herbs for Witchcraft Beginners.
How to Become a Green Witch?
First of all, it is important that you connect with nature. In order to practice Green Witchcraft, one must connect with plants on a spiritual level. If you live in a city, this can seem difficult. However, there are many places in which you can be in touch with nature. If you have the possibility, you can choose to start your own garden. If this is not an option, you can visit parks, greenhouses, or botanical gardens. Another good idea is to visit places in which nature is more present, such as a town in the middle of the countryside or a national park.
Regardless of where you live or which places you visit, there are many other ways in which you can work more closely with nature. For instance, try the following exercise to connect with a tree. First of all, choose the tree that you wish to connect with. Then, stand next to it. Do not touch it yet, just feel its energy. Next, touch the bark. Explore how it feels in contact with your skin. You can also look closely at the tree and observe it for a moment. You can smell the tree and listen to the sounds that it makes. If it has fruit that you know is safe, you can eat it. Think about all that you can sense. How does the tree feel? How does it smell? How does it sound? How does it taste? Repeat this exercise with different trees and compare them. Don’t forget to write down your findings.
Other things you could do to start practicing Green Witchcraft are...
- Learn more about native plants from the place where you live.
- Learn about the cycles of the Moon and their relation with plant growth.
- Read about trees, herbs, and flowers, and their medicinal and magical properties.
- Try to grow plants at home. Choose the ones you feel most drawn to and do research on their properties. Handle toxic plants with extra care, i.e., wear gloves when manipulating them. Don’t own toxic plants if children or animals have access to them.
- Start your own garden, if possible. Learn about each plant or vegetable that you grow there.
- Spend time noticing nature. Take pictures of your plants and see how they change during the day.
- Visit a place surrounded by nature, if possible. Gather all loose leaves and petals for your spells.
- Grow or buy herbs –fresh or dried– for your medicinal beverages. Once again, do extensive research on every herb before acquiring it and never consume anything unless you know it is safe.
- Carry herbs or flowers with you for protection or luck.
- If you have an altar, keep plants, herbs and flowers on it.
- If you enjoy cooking, experiment with different vegetables, fruit, herbs, and spices.
- Everywhere you go and see nature, take a moment to appreciate it with your senses: what can you touch, smell, see, touch, or feel?
- Remember that every living being is relevant: notice how insects behave. Take pictures of animals. Learn about the mating seasons of the animals that you’re interested in. If possible, keep animals around you.
- Be more involved in environmental issues.
- Take your time to learn, explore, and practice your craft.
We hope that this introduction has been interesting and useful for you. If you are interested in Green Witchcraft, honor the Earth and Nature, and truly connect with them. Also, this is an ancient practice that honors all living beings, so be mindful of how you use trees, plants, and herbs in your craft.
The Modern Guide to Witchcraft: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Covens and Spells (2014), by Skye Alexander.