Are you a witch of the woodlands? If you live in or near a wooded area, get to know the sacred natural temple that is your local forest.
Walk barefoot between the trees, gather falling leaves or take a dip in a natural body of water.
Here’s a few ways to learn to love, care for and get connected to the power and magic of the forest.
Developing a responsible relationship with the woodlands.
Before reading any of the suggestions below, please carefully note that a respectful relationship with your environment trumps any other magical priority.
Never forage protected items, know the laws in your area, make sure food offerings are safe for wildlife and get permission to access private lands.
I know this is common sense for most of you, but there’s always that one girl.
Incorporate leaves in spell craft.
When you think of spell components, you probably think of candles, oils and herbs.
But almost anything found in nature vibes with magical energy.
For example, consider all the ways to use leaves in witchcraft. Notice the ways in which the leaves change in the fall, winter, spring and summer, and use their life cycle accordingly in your rituals.
Know your trees.
This sounds pretty obvious. But if you asked 10 people, I bet 9 of them don’t know what the most common tree in your area is.
Know your trees.
Once you get know the dominant trees in your area, begin to work with their energies and incorporate them into your practice.
For example, when we lived up North, I discovered the Virginia juniper. Once I learned where they grow (the answer is, everywhere in that region) I started using the leaves in my incense blends and smoke sticks.
Knowing and caring for the trees in your area pays off!
Learn to forage.
Foraging finally went mainstream a few years ago, but the practice predates even the earliest human civilizations.
Humans originally lived as gatherers, which is really just another word for foraging.
Learning to forage responsibly not only connects you to the land, and your ancestors, it teaches you to use local resources, live more holistically, and cut down on commercial purchases.
Check Facebook and Meetup.com for foraging groups and classes.
Take a swim in a creek. Cleanse. Heal.
If you know a safe creek in the woods (unpolluted, not downstream from any dump sites, gentle current, ect) then by all means, take a dip.
Swimming in a natural body of water is a deeply healing experience.
In particular, creeks of the woodlands are charmed with the spirit of retreat, calm and solitude.
Consider it a cleansing ritual, and bring some incense or an herb bundle to smoke yourself with afterwards.
Leave a natural offering.
If you are struggling with something in your life, leave a natural offering in the woods for inner peace and tranquility.’
Gather pine cones, stones or other items on your nature walk, arranging them in a pleasing way.
Meditate on your natural work of art for a little while, then walk away and imagine yourself leaving your worries behind.
Find a secret spot for ritual.
Know at least one spot in your woodlands for ritual.
Taking your ritual in to nature exponentially enriches your experience.
Look for circles of trees or large, flat rock to use as a natural altar.
The more often you return to your natural ritual space, the faster and more solidly you build a relationship with it.
Give something back.
Your relationship with your local woodlands means nothing if you give nothing back to it.
There are many lovely ways to return something to the forest and the ecosystem.
Volunteer for your local wildlife refuge, donate to environmental groups the prevent deforesting and take a stand when commercial developers threaten established forests in your area.