This Witches’ New Year has begun as of Samhain, and it’s always a good time to review what you want to bring into the new wheel of the year with you. Last year I wrote a short post on my Facebook page about making witchcraft a sustainable practice, and I want to expand it further into a blog post this year. If you want to join me in this challenge, share how you practice #sustainablewitchcraft throughout the year.
~ Get fewer processed products as close to their natural state as possible. Grow your own incense blends and spell components! (Community gardens are a good option if you can’t at your home.)
~ Wild harvest in your area to practice cleansing with smoke. In my area, sweet fern produces a lovely aroma similar to bayberry. Sweet fern was used in incenses, and as tonic to treat toxins such as poison ivy rash (Lacey, L. Mi’Kmaq Medicines Remedies and Recollections, Nimbus, 2012). This cleansing herb could be used to replace those that are endangered or overharvested due to commercialism, and have concerns re: appropriation, such as white buffalo sage and palo santo.
~ Limit buying new! Check out used shops to get your next cauldron or candles. Often you can find whole packs of candles or 3/4 packs. Use those home grown incenses above to cleanse any thrift store ick off them.
~ Choose smart with your product purchases. Ask your local store where their stones come from. Buy from mines that pay their employees a good wage! If you want sandalwood only buy from sellers approved by the Indian government. Fellow Patheos Bloggers wrote amazing articles about the issues with stones in this regard, so I’ll include the link below.
~ Take classes that will teach you how to work with the local materials. Herb walks are quite common in my area, and one in particular (The Bloom Institute) puts up YouTube videos that help with herb identification in Nova Scotia.
~ Use reusable containers. This one might make some witches I know twitch because it’s almost taboo to use some of our witchcraft items again. Unfortunately, that approach is quite wasteful if we don’t finish candles, toss out bottles from tinctures, etc. If you’ve got a witch bottle spell going that’s short term – reuse that bottle! Cleanse it, wash it and sterilize it in boiling water. Voila.
~ Source your magickal components locally. Here I have access to naturally beach-tumbled agates, quartz, carnelian, and dozens of other easily found minerals. I can take one when I need it from tumbled beach stones, and if I have to pry it with a little chisel or something I usually take a very small piece and leave an offering. For herbs I grow them myself, or I work with what is available in my own environment.
~ Remember that Witchcraft isn’t a religion of guilt! Look, I’m not perfect at all. I still have lots of stuff that isn’t local – but I don’t seem to want to buy as much of it now. Just do what you can, and think about what is important in your practice and what’s actually needed. I don’t think I’ve bought a single stone in 4 years. That’s kind of stunning to those who know me as my collection is ridiculous.
~ Read blogs by others who are passionate about the environment, and learn from one another.
Follow Lisa Jade @modernwitchcraftmusings on Instagram and Facebook.
Some fantastic blogs that inspired this one:
From Courtney Weber:
From Keeping Her Keys: