Witchcraft in the City and Suburbs

Being a Pagan or Witch in today’s world means adapting to our modern lives. Though many of us wish we lived in the forest or at the edge of a little town, and some are lucky enough to, it is more likely to find the modern Pagan in the city or suburb. Which means that for most of us, we live in a very modern world, with cars, phones, washing machines, and pre-packaged food. I personally love the modern conveniences, I can wash my clothes quickly, and have a meal ready and warm in just five minutes, but how is this magical? Simply put, it is not, however this does not mean that it can’t be!

Social media, smart phones, and computers consume many hours of our day. For many it is a place where they can connect with other pagans, find spells, learn more about paganism, and shop for pagan books and ritual items. However, with all the good comes the not so great. Have you ever found yourself on the computer too long? Or sucked into social media? Empaths that use electronics continually throughout the day may find themselves tired, drained and empty at the end of the day.

Social media plays a huge part in the modern pagan’s everyday life. If it is reading pagan blogs, or searching for ingredients to buy for your next spell, you can run into what I call internet negativity. This can be anything from simply being on the internet too long, or getting in useless arguments in chat rooms. Fluorite can help to relieve you of the electromagnetic energies and you can protect yourself from the evil eye and negativity that comes from social media with obsidian or black tourmaline hung around the neck. Working on the computer for hours at a time can make you feel ungrounded and spacey. Drinking Nettle tea can ground you, nourish you, and bring you back to the earth and a more grounded state of being.

Tea Spell- Image by Annwyn
Tea Spell- Image by Annwyn

If you still struggle with these energies this try spending time creating a protection sigil or bind runes for your phone, pad or computer. You can draw them onto the case or directly to the computer, you can even use a blank label and use it as a sticker with your design. Remember that intent is everything, so if you are using runes, or a personal sigil that is intended to block out the negativity of social media make sure to charge it and refresh the magic often. Of course it is important to follow up in the mundane world by removing yourself from groups and social media platforms that cause you emotional distress.

Public transportation and driving can be risky depending on where you are going and your mode of transportation. For those that drive a car, create a protection talisman to hang in the windows of your car. You can also tuck crystals into each corner of the car creating a protective space. Garnet is an excellent stone for protecting one while traveling and can be carried or incorporated into the protection talisman!  For those that ride public transportation create a similar talisman to carry with you on your bag or bicycle. You can use the above Sigils and Rune suggestions on your shoes or even sewn or written in your socks.

Try visiting a local nature preserve or park, one that is close to where you live and often drive. Look for natural objects and ask the local land spirits for protection and in return bring them offerings. Organic bird seed for the local birds, and fresh organic fruit or vegetables for local critters would be a fantastic offering.

plants
Plants- Image by Annwyn Avalon

For the Green Witch that is stuck in the city, it can seem as though your plant and animal friends can be so far away and hard to connect with. Plants are resilient and will pop up even in the cracks of a side walk. You will be surprised what you might find growing. Dandelions and wild lettuce are often found growing in the crack of a side walk. Comfrey, Milk Thistle, and Red Clover can be found growing in an untrimmed yard or in a sunny patch by your front door.  Try looking around your home or work place and get to know the local plant life and remember Weeds are magical too!

Consider looking for a public garden, a park or even a local nursery you could visit, see what grows well in these nurseries and then try to find them growing locally in your everyday life.  Try connecting with the plants in public spaces. They have so much to teach, and though different wisdom than the old oak tree in the forest, they have much to offer. Perhaps it will be advice for the busy pagan, and plant knowledge to use in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Perhaps you keep seeing a particular plant growing in the most unlikely places, urging you to begin working with it. Take care of where you take plants from, and make sure that you know what you are taking before you do. If it is considered a weed in a crack, most might be very happy for you to harvest it and take it away, while other places may have strict rules about where and how you interact with nature.

It is also important to note a few things. First, living in the city means toxic fumes, pesticides and the like, do not ingest plants if you do not know what has come in contact with them; it is always best to protect your body. However, this does not mean that you cannot work with them magically. Take note of where and how they grow as that can impact their message to you and help you decide if you can grow them in a window box or porch. Chances are, if you are working with a local plant it will grow well in a flat, apartment or home window box.

It is always important to understand your plants, if you want to learn more about growing plants try getting involved with your city gardening club or volunteer for park clean up. Many Universities have local garden clubs and many cities are committed to having a strong connection with nature, such as Seattle’s Food Forests, Chicago’s Urban Forest Agenda, even the largest cities have large parks with old trees and an abundance of wild animals such as London’s Hyde park and New York’s Central Park.

Not everyone is a Green Witch though. For those that focus their energy on other types of magic that are less involved with nature, make sure to set up a sacred space in your flat or apartment. Some may prefer a space around their bath for watery meditations, while other may dedicate a full room to magic. Whichever your preference is, it is important to make sure that you have that working space.

No matter what your flavor is, the important part of being a practicing witch, is that you practice. Get out to your local park or stay indoors, but make sure that you practice. Use the sacred act of Altar creation and Ritual to connect with your Deities and Ancestors. You may also feel at home with divination such as Tarot, which can be easily carried and can be used almost anywhere. Traveling altars are also fantastic ways to connect with your spirituality anywhere. Old cigar boxes fit nicely in a back pack and are just big enough to hold several crystals, mini tarot cards, candles, a few herbs, talisman, and other ritual items. The box itself can then be used as an altar and you can enjoy a nice lunch break in a park while practicing magic.

The most important thing to remember is be creative, and be bold, don’t let the concrete jungle or sky scrapers intimidate you or make you feel less magical. Magic is everywhere, and it comes from you. No matter where you live, create magic to suit your environment.

Learn more about Annwyn here

 

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