If you have an interest in living a life that is inspired by and in tune with nature, then you may be interested in this book. I really enjoyed The Green Witch Your Complete Guide to the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils, and more by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. I’ve always been drawn to the path outlined in this book, long before I knew there was a term for it… and bonus points for a beautiful cover.
“The way of the green witch is the path of the naturalist, the herbalist, and the healer. It is a free-form, flexible, and personalized practice for anyone who wants to explore the gifts of nature and use them to find balance and harmony in life. […] She is not, as people might assume, defined solely by the particular way she expresses her spirituality or by the religion she follows. A green witch is defined by her relationship to the world around her, by her ethics, and by her affinity with the natural world.” — from the intro
As a naturalist, botanical perfumer, and aspiring herbalist, I feel I could certainly call myself a green witch by the definitions in this book. It’s more about a way of living than a title though. This pretty little book is a positive light in the world. It is filled with soul-strengthening, enriching practices that celebrate the Earth and our connection to it. It is a good intro guide for the modern green witch and has suggestions on how to use herbs, flowers, essential oils, crystals, stones, etc to find balance within. Also recipes for herbal blends, foods, etc. and working with green energy 🌿 With each chapter I found myself smiling, underlining passages that filled me with joy and a kinship with what the author wrote.
“Is brewing a cup of rosemary tea for a headache a spell? Or is it natural medicine? To the green witch, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the conscious use if the energies of the rosemary to help heal a temporary imbalance.” p.25
It is divided into two parts (Discovering the Green Witch and Walking the Green Path). Part one contains chapters on what it means to be a green witch, embracing your power, attuning to nature, and manifesting the power of the seasons. Part two contains chapters on living closely to the earth, keeping a green witch garden, creating and crafting with green witch magic, basics on becoming a natural healer, and a few green witch kitchen recipes (the infused sugars being my personal favorite).
One of the things I really appreciate about the approach of this book is that it is very free-flowing – as is the nature and practice of the green witch. The author encourages you to experience things for yourself, get to know the energy of a plant or stone by communicating directly with it without preconceived ideas/expectations, and celebrate the solstices and equinoxes on the days that you feel the energy of the new season, not necessarily on the day the calendar tells you to.
Though the book suggests thinking for yourself, it of course also contains many guides, recipes, and lists to get you started in working with green energy. The recipes for the Herb Peasant Bread, Herbal Milk Bath, and Marshmallow Tea are at the top of my list! Also love the Grounding Meditation on page 64.
The Green Witch is full of useful knowledge to help you on your path and then you make it your own. You will learn the difference between an infusion, decoction, enfleurage, and maceration, and how to properly store herbal incense for example – but the book is a guide, not a rule book. There really is no right or wrong way to be a green witch (though do of course take care when using essential oils as they should be used ethically and responsibly and with consultation with your naturopath or doctor if you have any health concerns).
I love this book and think it is a great resource to have in your home, as you walk the green path, or even if you are merely interested in becoming more mindful of nature in your daily life.