"At her core, the green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman, and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws energy from the Earth and the Universe; she relies on natural objects like stones and gems to commune with the land she lives off of; she uses plants, flowers, oils, and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance; and she respects every living being no matter how small.” - Arin Murphy-Hiscock, Author of The Green Witch.
Witches have been a part of human history for centuries. They have been the subject of fascination, fear and persecution. Even today, many people today view witches as evil and dangerous, yet they have primarily been misunderstood and unfairly targeted by society.
History and Persecution
The history of witches dates back to ancient times. Witches were revered in some cultures for their ability to heal and provide guidance. However, as Christianity gained prominence in Europe, they became associated with the devil and were accused of practising dark magic.
During the Middle Ages, the persecution of witches reached its peak. Thousands of women (and some men) were accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. These witch hunts were fueled by superstition, fear and misogyny. Many accused were simply women who didn't conform to societal norms, such as being unmarried, outspoken or practising herbalism.
The persecution of witches continued into the 17th century, with the famous Salem witch trials being one of the most well-known examples.
Green Witches or Nature Witches
There are many different types and practices of witchcraft. Green witches, also known as nature witches, practice with a strong focus on the natural world.
These women were often healers who used their knowledge of herbs to connect with the earth and its energies. Unfortunately, this connection to nature was viewed as a threat by those in power, leading to fear and mistrust. Even today, while a connection to nature is considered valuable for individual wellbeing, connecting to the earth’s energies and living harmoniously alongside our natural world is still often viewed with scepticism and even contempt by many, particularly those in power.
However, it's time to change this narrative. Witches often have a deep connection to the earth and understand the importance of living in harmony with the land. They understand the interconnectedness of all living beings and strive to respect and honour the environment in all that they do. By learning from their practices and incorporating them into our lives, we can work together to create a world that respects the natural world and all those who call it home.
Finding Your Inner Green Witch
If you’d like to bring a little bit of witch energy into your Halloween and beyond, here are a few simple tips to get started:
Spend more time outdoors. Green witches spend a lot of time better understanding, listening and connecting to their natural surroundings. Take a daily nature walk, practice gratitude for nature, and give thanks to the natural world all around you.
Journal and record your experiences. Take notes, draw, paint, write poems and jot down observations about the flora and fauna, cycles, what you see, how you feel and any dreams you have. Keep this close, and let it teach you.
Grow herbs and plants. Herbs and plants are fundamental to your spells, remedies, or even lovely cups of tea, and you only need a few small pots, some sunlight, and soil to get started. Rosemary, sage or mint are a great place to start.
Create a green altar. This can be in your home, or you can give the neighbourhood kids a scare and make one in your local forest or green space. Add some symbols of the elements of water, earth, fire, and air and add greenery symbolic of your favourite trees or plants.
Learn more about the rituals, mythology and symbolism. As you find your witch within, you might want to learn more about some of the beliefs and history of the practice, including its pagan roots, connecting with the Green Man (protector of the forest), Gaia or Mother Nature. There are many books and online resources to learn more and continue your journey beyond the spooky season.
Celebrating Witches Everywhere
Witches have been misunderstood and persecuted throughout history, but their practices are more often rooted in love and appreciation for the earth and its cycles. Understanding the importance of living in harmony with nature and striving to respect and honour the environment is something every human should embrace.
So here at TreeSisters, we stand with witches everywhere and ask you to get involved, tag us and share on social media how you are embracing your inner witch this Halloween and beyond.