Thinking of starting down the path of the green witch? Do you want to learn to live closer to the Earth and cultivate a more natural, harmonious life?
Like any magical pursuit, an herbalism-based spiritual practice requires, patience, dedication and time.
But it’s a great foundation for almost any witchy or natural living practice.
Let’s take a look at some of the basics, as well as some common-sense practices to help you get started.
(Interested in learning more about magical herbalism and green witchery? Check out Moody Moon’s School of Metaphysical Arts and enroll in our Magical Herbalism 101 Certification course).
What is a green witch?
The answer to this question varies depending on whom you ask.
But very generally, green witchcraft places a primary emphasis on on herbalism, natural living and taking spiritual lessons from the natural world.
The spells, rituals and personal practices of the green witch tend to center on the idea that nature provides everything one needs to transcend the mundane.
“Nature is my temple.” This is a common mantra of the green witch,
Although green witches may work in covens, like other forms of modern witchcraft, green witches have no central doctrine or governing body. They tend to rely on highly personalized forms of magic and ritual and draw insights from personal experience.
But with so little in the way of formal institutional structures, how does one start down the path of a green witch?
Start with the basics.
Like anything else, learning herbalism begins with the basics.
I recommend a broad overview with an (affiliate link —->) introductory book on green witchcraft, and then going back to study specific subjects that interest you more deeply.
But some people do the opposite, beginning with something specific within herbalism, learning it thoroughly and then, moving on. Whatever works better for you.
Here are some articles and resources to get you started.
10 Tips to Beginning an Herbalism Practice
Green Witch: 17 Books for the Beginning Magical Herbalist
A Green Witch’s Guide to Holistic Wellness
9 Sacred Protection Herbs & Spices to Know
9 Stress-Busting Herbs for Anxiety
The Drunken Green Witch: Drinkable Potions From Your Garden
Learn to garden.
Even if you never picked up a bag of potting mix in your life, I promise, you can learn.
You just need to learn a few basic principles to start a garden.
Only so many things kill plants. Mostly, it comes down to giving them enough water (but not too much). Enough light (but not too much). The right soil conditions. And the right climate.
Even if you live in as an apartment-dwelling witch or a city witch, your balcony or even your kitchen window likely provide enough space and light to grow at least a few things well.
But why bother? Well, you can buy your own herbs. And certainly, most herbalist do buy some, especially those that don’t grow well near them or are especially exotic and specific to their purposes. But learning to grow them yourself:
-Teaches you new and valuable skills.
-Helps you to value and appreciate herbs in their natural state.
-Forces you to learn the plants you work with intimately.
Which brings me to my next point.`
Develop a relationship with your plants.
I know. It sounds a little flakey.
But working with herbs for magical purposes isn’t like working with them to make your pasta taste great (although kitchen witchcraft is its own kind of magic!)
Selecting appropriate herbs for spell work means learning to read herbs intuitively. And a major part of that is getting to know them on a psychic level.
But how do you get to know a plant?
Start with one. That’s right. Just one.
Either something you can grow yourself, or something that grows wildly and abundantly in your region.
Learn to identify it by smell, even blindfolded. Learn its cycles, especially when its various parts are best harvested.
Do some research. Find out what its traditional uses are, and the folklore attached to it.
Then, learn to work with it. Add it to ritual baths or spell bags. Place it on the altar and meditate on its energy. Whatever helps you to really connect with it.
Once you really absorb its energetic properties, you’ll know when to incorporate it into spell work intuitively.
Make natural living a lifestyle.
Taking the path of the green witch means more than just memorizing plants and learning to garden.
It means growing closer to the Earth, its natural cycles and its needs.
By connecting with nature on a regular basis, you begin to tune your own rhythms to those of the seasons, which brings harmony and balance into your life.
Begin by checking out these 10 Ways to Live Closer to the Earth.
Make small, but consistent changes.
Converting your life from a synthetic existence to a pure, natural, earth-based one takes time.
It takes awareness.
And it take consistency.
Little changes over time make a big difference.
While it is tempting to overhaul your entire approach to living, sustainability is crucial to making it as a green witch.
Pick something that interests you and work on that aspect first. Stick with it for at least a full moon cycle before moving on and adding in more. Here are some examples:
-Commit to making at least one trip a week to the farmer’s market during the spring, summer and fall to incorporate more seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in your diet.
-Switch over from synthetic cleaning products to making your own healthier versions with essential oils.
-Try making your own vegan soap.
-Learn to make your own cough and cold remedies from natural and herbal ingredients.
-Commit to going on at least one nature walk per week.