Spring has made it to Michigan!
Well, I live in modest hope that sunshine and warmer temperatures are in my near future. The sun made a grand appearance after several weeks of rain and chilly temperatures which even by Michigan standards are unusual by this point in May. Oh, we’ve had a smattering of sunshine pushing through the clouds. Enough for me to begin harvesting dandelions and newly discovered common blue violets in my back yard, anyway.
Don’t get me wrong. Rain is a blessing. And as a Solitary Green Witch I love the rhythm of rain and thunder rumbling its way through March and April to draw out those long-awaited May flowers. My feet, however, appreciate being able to touch the grass and feel the energy of the earth as the weather becomes more temperate.
The seedlings and plants I’ve been nurturing throughout the cold, gray days of Winter long for the days of heat as well. I sense those little plant spirits drooping, bending longingly toward the window whenever sunshine is meager. I can practically hear the sighs of relief when warmth and light embrace their leaves, stems and blossoms, even if the breeze through the window is cool.
My son laughs at me when I talk (he would say “coo”) to my plants, saying things such as “How are my babies today?” or “You look so beautiful. Thank you for blooming for me!” whenever I water, prune, or ask individual plant spirit’s for permission to harvest. I have to laugh and smile because I must seem kind of strange to the casual observer when I am working out in my yard, flower beds or container garden.
But for me, that is who I am as a Green Witch.
Those plants which I nurture from seed or seedling are my allies in life and magickal workings. They are both gentle and fierce spirits with so much to offer when asked. I love my plants and all things green. Getting to know them and learn their energy, along with the ones which volunteer in my yard, or the trees which tower over my home is one part of how I live my path.
As Erin Murphy-Hiscock says in her book The Green Witch, green witchcraft is more than a spiritual practice or a formal tradition (such as is offered in Green Witchcraft by Ann Moura) but is a “total-immersion experience wherein all of life is a magical experience.”
You could say as a Green Witch, I’m a free-form practitioner who is an herbalist in training with a desire to bring healing and balance to those within my sphere of influence and myself through a variety of avenues. And through our 3 Pagans and a Cat Facebook Page and Group, I’m seeing more people expressing an interest or being drawn to the green path or self-identifying as a Green Witch.
Now, I’ve heard Green witchcraft compared to Hedge witchery.
There are similarities to be sure as Hedge Witches work with herbs and home remedies but there are differences. Hedge Witches “ride the hedge” between the mundane and spirit worlds. Their focus is to lift the veil and cross into the realm of the dead and the gods then come back. While a Green Witch may work with spirits (as I do as a psychic medium), crossing the veil is not a vital part of the Green path.
So what does Green Witchcraft look like? Allow me to give you a basic idea:
- Green Witches are focused on the Earth and nature in their life and practice.
- Green Witches have a good understanding of plants, herbalism, how to grow and use a plant’s bounty when harvested for a variety of purposes both mundane and magickal.
- Green Witches use natural objects in magickal workings such as stones, bones, plants, essential oils, flowers, etc.
- Green Witches are likely to invoke and work with the spirits of the Four Elements
- Green Witches may or may not have a deity. Green Wiccans most often honor/worship a deity as a key element of their spiritual path/tradition.
- Green Witches may or may not work with the Good Folk/Neighbors. Green Wiccans are more likely to do so.
- Green Witches are earth friendly, conservation conscious, recycling and re-using as much as possible.
- Green Witches will fill their homes with plants and have a garden, flower beds, or container garden as their space allows. They are also wildcrafters when the opportunity strikes.
- Green Witches work with the Earth Mother and her energy. When an outdoor space is available it is preferred but indoor workings are just as effective because plants in the house make a wonderful addition to a spell-crafting and ritual area.
Now, here is an important note – Everything listed above is a general description of Green Witchcraft and how one might walk the path. Here’s the thing – Green Witches are Solitary. This means the above list may be true of some but not all who follow the Green Path.
I’ve had people say to me, “I’m called to be a Green Witch but I kill plants!”
Okay, so you don’t grow your own herbs and flowers. You can still be a Green Witch. Take a course on basic herbalism or read books about the subject. Try to reduce your carbon foot-print by recycling and re-using.
Learn how to wildcraft, use essential oils to create specific blends for wellness as well as magickal workings, or become an herbal tea afficianado within your magickal working. Find a good resource and stock your personal apothecary with herbs to use in your spell-work and rituals.
Work with the energy of the Earth, the trees, the Moon and the seasons. You can also incorporate releasing intention and energy through the spices you use while cooking. Kitchen Witches do not have the corner on that market, by the way. We can all share that table and to prove the point I’ve included a recipe below.
Also, do not believe for one minute that Green Witchcraft is all “love and light” or a “fluffy bunny” practice and set anyone straight who is of that opinion. Sure, some Green Witches may approach their path that way, however, to see light without shadow is not a balanced way to live and is a misunderstanding of nature.
For in nature, where there is a gentle rain, there can also be a hurricane. A breeze can be turned into a tornado. Where there are snow flurries, a blizzard can arise. While the Summer heat can be soothing, it can also burn and blister. And where there are sweet berries on the bush, delicious flowers for salads or herbs to season your meals, there can also be poison.
Nature has teeth.
The Green Witch is one who learns to both respect and wield that power.
Lastly, there is no formal initiation into Green Witchcraft (although there may be for Green Wicca as it is a religion/tradition) so you work out the path. Remember, to be a Green Witch is to live as one and what a magickal journey it is.
Peaceful Meetings Lemon and Lavender Cookies
(Adapted by Gwyn from Culinary Lavender, Herbes de Provence & Recipes – Lavender Hill Farm)
1 cup Butter (softened)
½ cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups White Unbleached Flour
1 ½ tsp Culinary Grade Lavender Blossoms
2 – 3 tsps Lemon Juice
Preheat Oven to 300 degreees
Cream the butter by stirring deosil (clock-wise) while focusing your intention of peace and harmony. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, continue to focus on your intention. In a separate bowl mix flour and lavender blossoms then add to the butter mixture. Speak these words or better yet, create your own incantation to match your intention:
As I mix these cookies fine
Bring lavender’s peace to me and mine
So mote it be.
Add lemon juice. If dough is too sticky add ½ cup flour and mix until dough forms a ball. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough until ¼ inch thickness. Use cookie cutters or small juice class to cut shapes. Sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of sugar while saying these words or use your own words to match your intention:
Sugar sweet, add to the peace while we meet.
So mote it be.
Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 14-15 minutes or until just golden brown.
Let cool and then serve with favorite beverage. Good recipe to share with family or friends when a room is charged with difficult energy or emotions.