Green witchcraft is a popular path among those called to the craft. Incorporating herbalism, an appreciation of the interconnectedness of nature, and a deep respect for living things, the path of the green witch might be for you if you feel instinctually called to spend time in nature.
Traits of a Green Witch
Do you feel most at peace in nature, whether that be a forest or a garden or a meadow?
Do you feel invigorated when your hands are in the soil and you're working with the plants in your garden to create something beautiful?
Have you ever found yourself just sitting for minutes or even hours at a time, contentedly watching bees, birds, or other creatures as they go about their business, as if it was as gripping as any television drama?
If so, you might be a green witch.
Green witches feel an almost magnetic pull toward nature. They're often obsessive gardeners, at their happiest when they're among plants. That pull toward nature often inspires them to learn as much as they can about certain aspects of it.
They feel, deeply, that all of nature, from the smallest insect to the largest creatures on land or sea, are interconnected, woven together in ways that make every creature precious.
What Is a Green Witch, Exactly?
Green witches are often (but not always) solitary practitioners who draw their power and inspiration from their deep connection with nature. This is a very natural, intuitive path.
Green witches align themselves with their world, with the seasons and cycles of nature. Green witchery is a very hands-on, practical (in the best way) kind of path. If you're not big on elaborate rituals or having lots of tools and specialized equipment, this might be a good fit for you.
It's worth pointing out here that green witchery is not Wicca, just as not all Wiccans are green witches. Wicca is a religion that is closely associated with certain aspects of the cycles of nature. But you do not have to be Wiccan to follow the path of the green witch.
In fact, you need no belief system at all other than a strong veneration of the natural world. Or, if you do have an existing faith, green witchery can work right alongside that. It doesn't require you to give up your religious beliefs, and it doesn't require you to take on new ones, either.
You, and your connection to nature. That's all that matters.
How Do Green Witches Practice?
Green witchery is a very hands-on type of practice. A green witch can have many aspects to their path, or just one major focus. But there are common things that green witches will often find themselves drawn to, and their practices will evolve to incorporate those.
At the core of all of these practices is the belief that everything in nature has a certain type of energy, and by working with those energies, the green witch can raise her own energy and power.
Green witches are often drawn toward the growing, tending, and use of herbs for healing. Whether that means growing herbs for tea, using them as part of kitchen witchery, or incorporating them into healing balms, salves and soaps is up to each individual witch and their focus. They might also create candles, incense, or other items from the plants they grow.
Many green witches enjoy foraging and wildcrafting, including using found natural objects as tools in their practice, or creating tools from responsibly harvested items.
Growing a flower, herb, or vegetable garden (or all three) as well as likely having a few houseplants, is also something many green witches enjoy. Planning and tending to a garden gives the green witch both a strong tie to the land and a close relationship with the cycles of the seasons.
Any activity that lets a green witch enjoy nature can be part of their craft.
Green witches are stewards of the Earth, first and foremost. They're likely to try to live in a more ecologically responsible way, which might include using green cleaning items, eating a vegan and/or seasonal diet, shopping local and organic, and participating in environmental actions.
Is There Magic in Green Witchcraft?
There is definitely magic in this path, but it's a quiet magic, one that ties the witch closer to the natural world.
The magic is in the deep focus a green witch gives to their tasks, whether they're growing something, creating an herbal concoction, or communing with nature. They keep the aspects and energy of the plants they work with at the forefront.
The magic is in the witch's intention, in their deep desire to help a plant grow its strongest or create something healthy from the garden. This focus of intention is what makes the mundane magical, as the green witch aligns her energy with that of the natural world.
The magic is in the way they ask permission, and then thank nature for anything they take from it, either with words, or by leaving a small offering near any plant they harvest from. It's in the belief of Genius loci, which are the protective spirits of a place.
It's a magic of feeling renewed, grounded, and safe. This is the magic of green witchery.
Tools for Green Witchcraft
While green witchcraft isn't a highly ritualistic path, there are still some tools you'll need as a green witch. Like the path itself, these items are often practical and individual to the witch, depending on their focus.
- Gardening tools, such as trowels, shears, pruners, and anything else they need to grow the type of garden they enjoy
- Tools for preparation of herbal remedies, such as a mortar and pestle for drying herbs, jars for storing them, materials for making salves, balms, or soaps (if that's an area of interest)
- Guidebooks, nature apps, and observation tools are essential for most green witches. At the very least, a good guidebook about the natural flora and fauna of your area is a must, because this will help you learn more about your immediate environment, which will create a stronger bond to the area. There are plenty of good apps that will help you identify plants, insects, and birds, and these are also good to have on your phone.
- Journal. Whether you want to call it a garden journal, a green witch journal, or a grimoire, this book (or file in your notes app, or file in your word processing program) is your record of your practice. What you're doing, things you've learned, things you want to learn. This helps you grow as a witch, and helps you make the sorts of connections that deepen your practice.
Green Witch Altars
As with any part of this path, your altar is all about you and your connection to the magic of the natural world.
Altars can be very elaborate, complete with bells, large candlesticks, art, and colored altar cloths. They can be decorated from season to season, and can contain items that connect the witch to their ancestors or spirits.
Other green witch altars are much simpler. An item to represent each of the elements, a candle or two, some fresh or dried greenery, maybe some pine cones or rocks or acorns they found on a walk.
The altar could be in your house, or out in your garden. Or you could have an altar in either space. The only thing that matters is that you feel happy and peaceful in that space and that when you look at it or spend time there, it draws you closer to your craft.
How to Get Started as a Green Witch
Starting down this path is basically as simple as deciding to devote yourself more fully to the practice.
- Decide to really learn about the herbs in your garden, or the wildflowers that grow around your house. Learn how to use them in healing, in potpourris and salves. This (like most paths in witchcraft) is about constantly learning and paying attention.
- Find ways to bring nature into every aspect of your life.
- In addition to the above, you'll want to learn basic witchcraft practices such as meditating, cleansing, and grounding.
- Start thinking about where you'd like your altar, and what items you want to put on it.
- Spend time opening yourself up and connecting to the Genius loci, wherever you happen to live. Sit outdoors, meditate, greet the nature spirits. Express your intentions to the Genius loci, that you desire a connection with it. This should be done fairly regularly, as it will likely take some time before you feel a connection.
- Read and explore, constantly. You'll learn about things you might want to incorporate into your own practice.
- Do what you can to keep the land healthy. Pick up trash, live as lightly on the Earth as possible, and take positive environmental action when you can.
Path of the Green Witch
If you're someone who loves nature and who is very hands-on and practical, this might be the path for you. Like the wise women and men of old, a green witch is tied to the natural world and puts that bond to use in their everyday life.