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What do you call a witch who harnesses the energies of the Earth and natural sources all around? A green witch! Whether you’re wondering if green witchcraft is for you, or you’re just interested in all the awesome witchy work they do, keep reading and we’ll give you the complete description of green witchcraft.
Green witchcraft is a practice that focuses on magickal energies direct from nature, using materials gathered from Mother Earth like herbs, plants, seeds, and crystals. Green witches’ pursuits include healing, gardening, casting magic, wildcrafting, cooking, and caring for the environment.
Read on to find out more about the background, goals, and nuances of this fascinating branch of witchcraft.
Green Witchcraft Explained
This type of witchcraft harnesses natural energies for magickal objectives. It commonly uses natural tools and implements like herbs, spices, seeds, wood, and other Earth-bound items like crystals and gems.
Arin Murphy-Hiscock, the author of The Green Witch, explains that green witches’ practices and outlook involve the primary concepts of healing, harmony, and balance, which encapsulate three distinctive emphases:
- Mother Earth
- The human race
A significant part of the green path involves using natural energies in plant life to achieve one’s magical or medicinal goals. Green witches infuse these energies into their daily lives to maintain equilibrium within themselves, others, and the universal flow of energy.
They also harness the energies to amplify intent within rituals and spells.
Green witchcraft focuses on seven elemental energies that permeate everyday life: health, love, happiness, peace, harmony, protection, and abundance.
Magic and Herbs
Green witches are different from other types of witches, because the magic they practice is a natural and organic part of their daily lives. It is constant. They view life itself as an all-encompassing magical encounter.
The fundamental body of knowledge in green witchcraft is magical lore based on the green environment. Green witches integrate the natural world’s elements into their magical and practical spells, crafts, and applications.
Murphy-Hiscock outlines their methods of energy extraction from herbs:
- Maceration—they soften herbs by soaking them in solvents to produce tinctures
- Infusion—they soak the leaves or flowers of plants or herbs in liquid
- Enfleurage—they soak herbs or flowers in odorless animal or vegetable fat to extract essential oils, perfume, and energy
- Decoction—they boil or heat bark, twigs, and roots in water to extract their essence
Green witches use natural energy to understand their surroundings better and be in harmony with the planet’s energies.
Marian Green, the author of Wild Witchcraft and a supporter of the green witch philosophy, views magick as harmonizing oneself with nature’s forces—the exact framework of the green witch’s existence.
You may have heard of the “green witch tradition,” but in reality, there is no formal tradition. There is no dedicated program of study. There are no initiates preparing to be ordained.
Green witches don’t have established rules and regulations or follow dogmatic principles. Instead, modern green witches practice a mosaic of varying practices from different backgrounds.
Since green witchcraft does not follow a formal approach, its followers tailor their knowledge to their particular circumstances. They may adopt other witches’ practices and amend them according to their needs.
The main focus in their efforts is to always consider the greater good. They are flexible in their craft and are responsive to other people’s needs and those of the environment.
Since the practitioner path is individualized, the various pieces of literature on green witchcraft are personal interpretations of the practice.
There is currently no established physical record of formal knowledge that needs to be passed on to future generations. There are no initiation rites or sacred ceremonies for inclusion. There are no established groups of elders with which to connect, either.
Some eclectic branches of witchcraft may base their practices on green witchcraft ideology, but these are far from uniform or formalized. So a green witch may choose to pass on personal knowledge to another practitioner.
If you want to learn the craft, you may read green witches’ books. This is a kind of apprenticeship wherein you gain a different perspective and learn techniques to connect you more extensively with the natural world.
These are the green witchcraft books we recommend:
So What Are Green Witches?
According to Murphy-Hiscock, green witches are those whose practice revolves around nature. They harvest materials and energies from nature to use in their work.
The major elements of green witches’ practice are gardening, herbalism, and wildcrafting (gathering fungi, herbs, and plants from the wild). They cast spells not just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and for the environment around them.
Green witches attune themselves to the cycles of nature and dedicate their lives to serving their local communities. They care about keeping their surroundings clean and preserving local flora and fauna.
Green witches are often eco-conscious and adhere to an environmentally friendly lifestyle. They aim for a small environmental footprint and try to leave the Earth in a better condition than how they found it.
Modern green witches can live anywhere and aren’t necessarily surrounded by greenery at a folkloric country cottage. They may live in an apartment building or a high-rise with concrete all around. However you might notice herbs growing on their balcony, a terrarium inside their apartment, or a small vegetable garden in their yard.
Green witches observe an Earth-based energy practice, but may or may not subscribe to any religion. They may be pagan, Wiccan, or any other religion. Or even no religion or atheist.
Modern vs. Ancient Green Witches
Gone are the wizened old crones from childhood fairytales, crafting potions in a cast-iron cauldron in the forest.
Now, modern witches don’t just live in the countryside. They live in cities and suburbs. And with modern heating and cooling, we can easily bring the outdoors in.
Green witches today aren’t limited to just local plants and herbs. They can find an exotic herb in an ethnic grocery, order a bamboo plant from China, or find a desert cactus at the local nursery.
Green witches serve as conduits between the old and the new, the past and the present. They aren’t defined by their spiritual expression, religion, places of residence, or anything else. Instead, they are defined solely by their relationship to the world around them, ethics, and affinity with nature. They live the green path.
Green Witches and Plants
Green witches work with plant energy in different ways. They incorporate plant, tree, flower, and herbal energy into different modalities, such as homeopathy, herbal medicine, and other plant-based applications.
Each witch has her own method of energy absorption and administration. Plants and herbs often form the basis for much of the green witch’s magickal work.
Green witches’ primary interests include:
- Essential oil preparation
- Folk magic
Green Witches and the Four Elements
The basic units of green witches’ affinity with the natural world are the four physical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. These are nature’s raw materials. Each one has dedicated energy. Their interaction with each other forms the foundation of environmental growth and evolution.
Green witches’ perception of each element influences their practice and interaction with their environment.
Green Witches and Stones
Crystals and stones are essential components of green witchcraft because they have many uses in their magic. Witches can assign power to them, charge them with energy, or leave or bury them in certain locations.
Green witches also wear them as jewelry or use them as additives to other green magickal work. Crystals are great additions to essential oils, potted plants, herbal concoctions and tinctures, potpourris, and alongside incense.
Green Witches and Gardens
The powerful personal and spiritual connection of green witches to nature is based not only on growing and cultivating herbs, but also on ancient agrarian cycles.
Closeness with agriculture allows green witches to be attuned to the seasons. It allows them to get familiar with climate, soils, terroir, fertilization, and cultivation.
Agrarian pursuits also reinforce the seasonal planting-growing-harvesting cycle which repeats year after year and is symbolized within the Wheel of the Year. In addition it’s symbolic of the Goddess’s fertility.
Also within agriculture we find practicality in green witchcraft. Aside from providing raw materials for spells and herbal concoctions, herbs and plants provide food to us, just like the harvest.
Green Witches and Healing
A primary objective of green witchcraft is healing, not just of people, plants, and animals, but the entire natural world.
Green witches view healing as a means to restore the balance of misaligned energy. They heal either by cleansing the negative energy or substituting it with a positive one.
Healing in any form creates a synergystic effect within the greater world. If one person is better, then we all benefit, as does the environment.
So what can regular folk learn from the philosophy of green witchcraft? Perhaps that despite the imperfections of our world, it is possible to live in harmony with all its residents, whether plant or animal.
Let us learn from the generous path of green witches and apply their magnanimity in our daily existence. Let’s start asking ourselves: what will our friendly neighborhood green witch do?
- The Green Witch: What Kind of Witch Are You?
- Green Witchcraft: A Practical Guide to Discovering the Magic of Plants, Herbs, Crystals, and Beyond
- Wiccan Spells: The Essence of Magick
- Rae Beth: The Green Hedge Witch
- Arin Murphy-Hiscock: The Green Witch—Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More
- Pinterest: Wicca and Witchcraft Beginner’s Guide
- Reddit: Green Witch Homemade Spell Jar Recipes
- Lola Medicine Keeper: Do you have any resistance to the word “witch”?
- Spoonie Witches: Which Witch Are You?
- Etsy: Green Witch
- Wandeth Gonzo: The Different Types of Witches Creating Magic All Around You
- The Guardian: The witching hour
- Wild Witchcraft by Marian Green
- Julia Phillips: History of Wicca in England—1939 to the Present Day
- Citadel Press: The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism
- Scott Cunningham: Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
- Paul Beyerl: A Compendium of Herbal Magick