Many people seem to believe that Green Witches do not have “teeth”. In other words, there are magickal practitioners who believe Green Witchcraft is all “love and light.” Why? Because we tend to be Herbalists. Healers. Hippies. Eco-Witches. Our focus leans toward nature, talking to trees, and caring for the planet. Therefore, some people (including Green Witches themselves) do not believe baneful magick to be within their wheelhouse simply because they are practitioners of Green Witchcraft.
I’ve noticed that Kitchen Witches gets this rap too. We all tend to be taken less seriously in magickal conversation as soon as “Kitchen” or “Green” leaves our lips, in a kind of “crickets chirping” or “isn’t that cute” kind of way.
And then, when I say I’m also a Hekataen Witch, there is a kind of “how does that work?” vibe. Trust me, it does. But as a Green Witch, I’m here to tell you, simply because we work with plants and nature as our primary magickal source (or the spice cupboard for those Kitchen Witches), that doesn’t mean we cannot throw a curse or cast an effective binding or banishing. Our magick can have “teeth” when it’s necessary.
Green Witchcraft: Defining What We Do
Nature is our Jam
Green Witches work with local land spirits, trees, plants, rivers, streams, etc (aka. “Genius Loci” or “prevailing spirit/god of a place). We tend to be into all things “green” and develop a working relationship with the “Earth Mother.” Which means I feel “connected” to nature on a spiritual level and work with plant allies, harness the energies of nature in magickal workings. Green Witches work with the Elements (not Watchtowers/Guardians) as forces/energy in nature. Or at least that’s how it is in my experience.
Becoming a Green Witch answered a deep calling within myself. For me, this required taking “religion” or “devotion to deity” out of the picture for a couple of years. Not everyone needs to do this in their magickal practice. Anyway, if your like me, I loved being in nature as a child. I’ve always felt drawn to plants (even before I had any kind of “green thumb”), trees, rivers and lakes, etc. This does not mean I’m a “camper”, so let’s drop that stereotype right now. Although, I do enjoy walking in the woods and was a Girl Scout (so I could be a camper if so inclined). The point is, as a Green Witch I’m tuned in.
For example, my family and I were at the Pagan Fires Festival last weekend. We (3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast) were there to teach a class. The event was held at a beautiful 4-H camp in Ohio. The location for our class was an ampitheater in a shady wood. There was a fire pit (cool vibe!) and hand-crafted plank board seating. Very rustic. Ode and Car went straight to where we were going to stand and started looking over notes. My first instinct was to go to the trees encircling the space, introducing myself and my family to them. I placed my hands on the trunks of the trees, feeling their energy and spirit, letting mine mingle with theirs. I’m sure Witches (and practitioners) of other paths do a similar thing but “connecting” with nature spirits is part and parcel within Green Witchcraft (in my experience).
Green Witchcraft Does Not Require A Green Thumb
There is a belief that to be a Green Witch a person must be good at growing herbs or be a gardener. Even some Green Witches promote this idea but it’s simply not true. There are lots of ways to work with nature other than working with plant spirits. Some Green Witches may have a better relationship with trees than plants or herbs. Some people may work better with a particular element, insects, animals, etc. There is more to Green Witchcraft (and nature!) than plants, flowers and herbs.
You do not have to be an Herbalist or gardener to be a Green Witch. Go into nature. Discover what spirit/energy within nature is your thing and go from there. Find natural materials to create your altar, to use in your rituals and spellcraft. Part of the problem is that people narrow the scope of Green Witchcraft to “Green” as defined by herbs and essential oils. I love and use those things in my magick but nature is so much bigger. There are plenty of options to explore and ways to practice your Craft.
Green Witchcraft Means Respecting Nature’s TeethNature is not fru-fru. Nor are the spirits and/or energies of the plants, trees, animals, insects, et al., with whom a Green Witch works. Nature will poison or bite you in a hot minute if you blunder into something without awareness. For instance, the lovely Foxglove plant. Beautiful flowers. Deadly plant. Foxglove grows all over the place in the United States. You can run across it when wildcrafting. Many people grow it as an ornamental in their garden. All parts of the plant are poisonous, possibly can be deadly, if ingested.
Michigan is known for it’s Great Lakes, as well as many other bodies of water. But there are undertows within those bodies of water which will catch hold if you are not being mindful. There are places all over this planet where people are tempting fate because they live on fault lines (earthquakes) or at the foot of active volcanoes. I visited such a town in Costa Rica, years ago. Beautiful but unnerving to smell sulpher and watch smoke curl from the summit while shopping in the local market.
The same principle applies in Green Witchcraft. There are spirits and energies which can be used to heal or harm. Curse or bless. You get what I’m saying. Sure. A Green Witch can stick with more (seemingly) benevolent plant, land, animal allies. However, it is my opinion the greater wisdom is to understand (and be able to access/apply) both because very few things in nature are completely benign. We all have light and shadow within us. The same is true within the natural world. Better to know how to use and respond to it than ignore reality.
Green Witchcraft: Employing Nature’s Teeth
Since I began this post talking about how people think of Green Witchraft as all “love and light”, I’ve decided to end with a few suggestions on employing nature’s teeth when it becomes necessary. Should you choose to follow the Green Witchcraft path, remember that connection to powerful nature allies is part of your strength. Don’t be afraid to use that relationship.
Snow or Icicle Energy: Excellent to use in a “freeze-em out” spell when difficult relationships (awful neighbors?) need to be managed. This is assuming healthy boundaries are not working. Obviously, freezing water in a bottle or ice cubes work just fine but living in Michigan has taught me the energy of a good snow or ice storm (or long, cold Winter) can be a great ally.
Severe Thunder/Tornado Water: Most everyone knows how excellent thunder water can be to add power to a spell. However, if you have the chance to collect water during a severe storm (high winds, tornado or hurricane energy), you will want to save it for curse work (punishment, banishing) which requires alot of focused fury. Use with great care and only if needed for serious situations which cannot be managed otherwise or justice served.
Breaking Spells: Herbs which can help you if you feel it necessary to cleanse from unwanted energy (or you believe someone has thrown a curse or spell at you) include Agrimony, Angelica Root, Basil, Black Pepper, Saint John’s Wort, Clover, Cedar, Nettle, Burdock, Rue, Vetivert. There are plenty more which offer protection, repel negative energy, etc. Check your correspondences but use the relationship you build with plant/herb allies as a guide.
Binding and Banishing Magick: Use Adder’s Tongue to stop gossip. Black pepper can confuse, bind, and banish. Onion binds, absorbs and removes harmful energy. Many herbs for protection can be used in binding/banishing magick including Basil, Lilac, Mint, Nutmeg, Pennyroyal, Violet, etc.
Cursing/Hexing: Personal ethics dictate whether you employ cursing as punishment/justice in your workings. Some herbs or roots you can work with in this regard include agrimony, boneset, calamus root, chicory root, cayenne, cinquefoil, cumin, lemongrass, lobelia, rue, valerian root, etc. **Notice how many of these herbs have healing properties as well?**