If I had to pick the most accurate label to describe my spiritual practice over the past three years, and really, my entire life – the label that would most accurately describe me and my practice is “green witchcraft”.
That’s a bit shocking to me because I never once thought of what I do as witchcraft, nor as myself as a witch.
To be honest, I am extremely self-conscious about using the terms “witch” or “witchcraft” to describe myself and my spiritual practice because of the unfounded negative connotations these terms conjure up in society.
Both movies and TV shows, not to mention dominant religions, have quite successfully “demonized” a positive, empowered spiritual path that has nothing to do with “evil” or malevolence.
One of the reasons I decided to write this article is because I want to get more comfortable about discussing my spirituality – not to proselytize, but to hopefully connect with like-minded people out there.
Leaning Into The Craft
I have (and always had) a deep connection to the natural world – marking the changing of the seasons and the moon phases even as a small child.
I’ve always felt a deep sacredness about nature – plants, animals, minerals, the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.
I’m an avid gardener. I have 53 houseplants (and counting). Looking around my home office, I have bundles of herbs drying, dozens of jars filled with herbs and natural objects.
I’m surrounded by crystals and stones – each one with a specific meaning and purpose.
I make my own teas. As an aspiring herbalist, I’ve started making my own medicines.
I use found items in nature (pine cones, herbs, acorns, seed pods, stones, sticks, etc…) on my altar, in rituals, and to facilitate my goals and dreams in life.
For all intents and purposes, my daily spiritual practice IS green witchcraft.
I did not set out to practice green witchcraft, or to be a green witch – and I do not use that term to describe myself. It’s just where I ended up after following my heart.
While I don’t identify as a “witch”, nor do I aspire to, for now, I certainly feel that I am on the path of green witchcraft.
What Is Green Witchcraft?
Green witchcraft is essentially a nature-focused practice that works with the energies of nature (plants, animals, and minerals) as well as solar and lunar cycles to balance your energy and assist with goals.
Arin Murphy-Hiscock, author of The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide To The Natural Magick Of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, And More describes green witchcraft this way:
“[Green witchcraft] is a nature-based expression of spirituality that focuses on the individual’s interaction with his or her natural environment. Witchcraft itself is a practice that involves the use of natural energies as an aid to accomplishing a task or reaching a goal.”
She continues – “[Green witchcraft] is a dialogue with nature…through this dialogue, we heal the earth and the earth heals us. We seek harmony through our actions. We look to balance energies that are askew.”
I resonate with that SO much, and it’s exactly how I seek to interact with the natural world though my spiritual/mindfulness practice.
Green witch and author, Ann Moura, (who also created one of my favorite tarot decks) outlines three styles of green witchcraft – Green Craft as Folk Arts, Green Craft as Personal Magic, and Green Craft as Religion.
I identify most with Green Craft as Peronsal Magic. Moura describes the style this way:
“In this style of practice, the Self is elevated to a union with the Universe, enhancing the personal power of the Witch through the energies of herbs and natural objects and directing this to accomplish a goal.”
She continues – “Religion plays no part, save as the Witch and the Unnamed All work together through Nature with honesty, instinct, and intuition… With this style of practice the holidays are lived and experienced rather than observed as ritual Sabbats and Esbats.”
While Moura’s description of green witchcraft may sound a bit more “woo-woo” than Murphy-Hiscock’s, hers does, in fact, fit within my staunch naturalistic, yet pagan worldview.
Even a science-minded skeptic like myself can easily disengage the term “Unnamed All” from any overtly spirit/supernatural connotation.
My focus is on nature, and my own self-growth. I don’t believe in, nor have I any need for, deities, spirits, strict religious or ritual protocols, etc… My approach is intuitive, personal, and personalized.
How Green Witchcraft Has Helped My Mental Health
It took a LONG time for me to make peace with being drawn toward spirituality – specifically nature-focused practices like witchcraft – despite my staunch, naturalistic worldview.
I resisted it for a long time, until a major upheaval in my life a fews years ago finally allowed me to acknowledging the spiritual part of myself.
For me, practicing green witchcraft balances and grounds my energy.
I deepens my connection to the natural world around me, which enhances my mindfulness practice – keeping me grounded in the present moment (and out of dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future.)
My practice actively calms anxiety, and lifts me up when depression hangs on my like a thick fog.
It focuses my attention, while helping me navigate my life with more peace, joy, calm, and connection.
How I Practice Green Witchcraft
So now I’m going to lay out how I practice green witchcraft – my own form.
I am NOT at all saying that this is THE right way, or that you, too, should practice it this way.
It’s simply my way.
A Naturalistic Worldview
I have a staunch, naturalistic worldview which means that I don’t believe in the supernatural – no gods, goddesses, spirits, faeries, ascended masters, etc…
On the surface, it might seem odd that I call myself a pagan, and practice green witchcraft, despite my skeptical, naturalistic worldview, but I am certainly not alone.
I could write a whole, in-depth article that dives into why I don’t believe in deities, or any supernatural phenomenon, but that’s not the point of this article.
I also have absolutely no interest in trying to convert anyone to atheism. I really care less what you believe in – so let’s just not make a big deal of it, okay?
I’m an atheist. I’m still a pagan, and I still practice green witchcraft. If you want to learn more about how this all works, keep reading, and check out some of thought-provoking resources:
- Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans by John Halstead,
- Spinning in Place: A Secular Humanist Embraces the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year by Bart Everson
- The Atheopaganism website by Mark Green & his book,
- Godless Magick: A Brief Guide on Atheistic Witchcraft by Anna Mist
While some people work with gods and goddesses as archetypes, or personifications of natural phenomenon, this is not yet part of my practice.
Magick & Spells
As you read above, I don’t believe in the supernatural. And yet, I practice magick.
While I occasionally perform spells, my day-to-day magickal practice is quite low-key.
However, I also recognize that the effects of this practice is largely placebo – thus I often refer to it as “placebo magick” – inspired by the awesome Placebo Magick Podcast that I’ve been hooked on lately.
So why even bother if it’s all placebo? Well, placebos often have a beneficial effect – even if you know it’s a placebo – as some clinical studies have demonstrated.
I don’t have to believe in magick, but I can still use the process and rituals of magick to yield the same results, which is pretty awesome.
I use plants/herbs, natural objects, scents, the elements (Air, Fire, Earth, Water) in rituals to focus my intent, and to engage my senses – because this feels intuitively right and comfortable for me.
I tune into the natural energies in nature for personal growth, wisdom, and to help me accomplish goals in life.
Wheel Of The Year
The Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year carries my spiritual practice through the constantly shifting and changing seasonal cycles.
Tracy and I celebrate both solstices (Yule & Litha), both equinoxes (Ostara & Mabon), as well as the cross quarter days of Imbolc (Feb. 2), Beltane (May 1), Lughnasadh (August 1), and Samhain (October 31).
Moon Cycles & Lunar Astrology
Tracy and I use the moon as a monthly, spiritual calendar.
While each moon phase has its own meaning and personal/spiritual growth opportunity, Tracy and I focus mostly on the New and Full moons.
I am not necessarily a believer in astrology, however, I use lunar astrology to direct my self-growth and spiritual work during the new and full moons.
I use keywords and themes for each New and Full Moon to focus my rituals, reflection, and spirituality.
New moons are a time for setting intentions, and starting new projects.
Full moons are a time for gratitude and reflection. They are also a time to identify what needs to be released so that I can clear space to manifest at the new moon.
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I am an aspiring herbalist, and life-long nature geek.
Working with plants – especially herbs – is a major focus of my nature-focused spiritual practice.
I grow and brew my own herbal teas. I’ve started making my own natural remedies with home-grown and wild-crafted ingredients.
In addition to gardening, and wildcrafting, I also tend to an ever-growing indoor jungle of houseplants, and I even use houseplants in my own magickal practice – for example, placing pyrite crystals around my potted money tree (Pachira aquatica) to set my intentions around financial goals.
I also study not only the health benefits of plants, but also the folklore and magickal properties of plants.
Tarot is a powerful tool to mine the subconscious, think through problems or obstacles, and gain insight and inspiration.
I do not use tarot for divination. Tarot (and oracle cards) are a great way for me to be mindful, and focus my thoughts and intentions.
Tarot is like a best friend that tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. It gives you a different view of the situation that is impartial because your emotions are not clouding the insights.
I generally do daily/weekly one card draws (like we do each week in our Magick Monday podcast), as well as full spreads during moon phases, sabbats, and as needed.
I work with crystals. While I don’t believe that crystals themselves possess magic abilities, nor do I buy into the claims that they can “cure” diseases, I find them useful and powerful tools to focus intention and practice mindfulness.
I pay attention to the metaphysical properties attributed to crystals and minerals, and reflect on these properties while working with them.
For example, I meditate and do breathing exercises while holding my black tourmaline, which I find helps absorb negative emotions.
I have three pyrite crystals (which are often associated with wealth and financial abundance) placed around my potted money tree (Pachira aquatica) in a perfect example of how I practice magick.
Crystals, like herbs, and other natural objects, can be a focal point for setting intentions. You can meditate with them. You can attribute associations or meanings to them, which then keep you focused and mindful.
My spiritual path is always evolving, and right now, the best label I can put on my practice is green witchcraft.
It has been extraordinarily helpful to manage anxiety and stress, while harmonizing my energy day by day.
And it’s played a significant role in helping me manifest more of what I want in my life through helping me build focus, clarity, and purpose to my thoughts and actions.
Do you practice green witchcraft, or a form of nature-focused spirituality?
Please post a comment below and let me know!