How to Become a Green Witch: 11 ESSENTIAL Steps
Have you been called to the realm of green witchcraft? Maybe you’ve always had a love for trees and all things green. Maybe the forest was your safe place as a child. As an adult, you long to be in Mother Nature more than anything else. The trees’ whispers calm you. The plants seem to talk to you too. Even the local wildlife brings you messages. But you’re wondering how to become a green witch. It’s not difficult, but I will lay it out for you here in 10 essential steps.
First, What is a Green Witch?
We should define this special path before getting into the steps on how to become a green witch. A green witch is someone who works with the elements, the local land spirits, and all things green. The green witch is able to harness the energy of the natural sources around him or her by developing a close connection with local plants, trees, and wildlife as well as with the earth itself. Let’s learn how to become a green witch next.
How to Be a Green Witch (Ways to Practice)
1. Genius Loci
What is the genius loci and why is it important to a green witch? The genius loci are the spirits of the land on which you live. This includes the spirits of local trees, bushes, flowers, rivers, soil, stones, oceans, vines, elements, and wildlife. It is essential to learn all about your local genius loci in order to harness those energies in your craft. Get outside as much as possible. Go into the woods and take notice of the trees, plants, and animals there. Write them down. Take pictures of them. If there’s a tree or plant you don’t recognize but seems to call out to you – take a photo and google it! Just by familiarizing yourself with the genius loci in your area, you are forging a connection with the land you didn’t have before.
2. Keep a Record
Get yourself a journal or composition book. It can be fancy or basic. This will serve as your grimoire or Book of Shadows. Keep all your notes on the genius loci in your journal. Write about your experiences in the woods and on your local land, any dreams you have, and document the local plants and trees along with their folklore, medicinal properties, and magical properties.
3. Grow GREEN Things
When learning how to become a green witch, growing things is crucial to your growth (pun intended). Start with a couple pots, a couple bags of seeds, some soil and a watering can. You can purchase these items at local dollar stores, Walmarts, and Home Depots for fairly cheap. If you only have a balcony or front porch, that’s okay too! Choose a spot that gets ample amounts of sun. I suggest growing herbs like rosemary, sage, and mint for beginners. To learn more about herbs click here. To learn how to make your backyard a sanctuary, click here.
4. Build a Green Altar
Because a green witch’s practice revolves around plants and trees, create a green altar to honor the local land spirits, fairies, and elements. This can be a small shelf on a wall or the top of a large credenza. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Choose objects that represent the elements: cup of water for water element, bowl of salt or stones for earth, candles for fire, and incense or feathers for air. Add greenery from your favorite local trees and plants, for example pine needles, acorns, evergreen boughs, flowers, etc. Allow them to dry on the altar or replace when you feel like it. You can also add photos or figurines of fairies and the Green Man.
5. Work With Herbs
One of the vital steps in learning how to become a green witch is learning how to work with herbs. Herbalism is a HUGE topic and one that will take an entire lifetime to fully learn and then some! Start small with the herbs you decided to grow. Learn everything about those herbs that you can and then begin using those herbs in your cooking and teas (if edible) and also in your magic. Then move on to learning the medicinal properties of herbs. After you learn one or two herbs inside and out, move on to a few more. Then keep building your herbal knowledge from there.
6. The Green Man & the Sidhe
Because green witches practice their craft outside and in nature, it’s only natural to forge a connection with the Green Man and the Sidhe. The Green Man is the protector of the forest. He is ancient and can be found in nearly every forest all over the world. You’ve probably seen his face on plaques or motifs in gardens. Give natural offerings to the Green Man on your forest walks and have a healthy respect for the wildness of the Green Man and the forest itself. Your connection with the earth and the genius loci will make it easy for you to connect with fairies, also known as the Sidhe. Learn how to attract fairies to your garden here.
7. Green Magic
Being a green witch means using natural materials in your craft. You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of herbs from a fancy metaphysical store. Most of the materials you need for your magic can be found in your backyard! Click here to learn more about free items in your backyard. In addition, most people have a plethora of magical herbs right in their kitchen pantry…think herbs and spices like cinnamon, oregano, pepper, cumin, thyme, and more. If you don’t know where to start with magic, try a simple candle spell and use herbs and natural materials to dress the candle.
8. Get Outside
The most important thing when learning how to become a green witch is to get outside as much as humanly possible. In modern times, people spend over two-thirds of their lives indoors. What a shame when nature has so much to offer the human spirit and body! By going outside, you’re not only connecting with the earth and the elements, you’re cleansing your aura of negative energetic debris and supporting your overall health. The rest will come naturally.
9. Working With Wildlife
Being a green witch means being in tune with the wildlife in your neighborhood. Once you’re in-tune with Mother Earth, animals and insects gravitate to you. Reach out and communicate with them. Help injured or sick animals when they need it. Provide a place in your yard or garden for the pollinators to feed and for butterflies to reproduce. In addition, learn how to read bird and animal omens and signs…the most natural form of divination.
10. The 4 Elements
The four elements are the foundation for green witchcraft. Without earth, air, fire and water, there would be no magick. I’ve found most new witches don’t put in the time they should when it comes to learning the four elements. It shouldn’t take 2 days to learn all four elements. In fact, I’ve dedicated entire years to working with one individual element at a time. Start with one element and completely immerse yourself in it. Eat it, drink it, wear the colors, work with it in your magic, etc. etc.
11. Try This Plant Manifestation Spell
Intention: Manifest Your Dreams Plant Spell
Timing: New Moon and Full Moon
- A healthy, growing plant (preferably blooming)
- Some of your hair (take from a comb or brush)
- Water (and a vessel to hold it)
- Wine (and a vessel to hold it)
- Knife or garden shears
- Small sachet or muslin bag
Plant Manifestation Magick Instructions:
NOTE: This spell is 2 parts. You’ll perform the 1st part on the New Moon, which is preparation, and then on the Full Moon the 2nd part will be completed which is manifestation or the harvest.
- On the New Moon, gather a bit of your own hair (from a brush will work). Take your hair and a cup of water with you.
- Go to your garden or nearest forest.
- Walk in silence. Choose one plant, preferably a blooming plant, that calls to you.
- Kneel down and place your hair around the trunk/stem of the plant. Say, “as I offer a bit of myself to nourish you, dear _____ (insert name of plant here, i.e. rose, dogwood tree, etc.), I ask that you nourish my intention to ___________________ (Insert your intention here, i.e. manifest my dream job working for _______ field). With each inch you grow, with each seed I sow, my dream manifests and comes true.” (Your hair serves as a personal offering/sacrifice to the spirit of the plant and thus gives it energy to do your manifestation magick.)
- Cover your hair with dirt, so that it’s not visible to any passersby. Then take your water and water the plant. Say, “this water acts as a conduit of manifestation.”
- Wait 2 weeks. On the Full Moon, you’ll revisit the plant by the light of the moon. Take a basket or small bag with you. Also bring a cup of water or wine and a knife or garden shears.
- Harvest a bit of the same plant – be it a flower, seed pod, bark, etc. While you harvest, thank the plant for nourishing your dream and growing it to reality. You are symbolically harvesting/reaping your dreams.
- Put the plant in your bag, then pour the water/wine onto the ground in gratitude.
- Go home and in the light of the Full Moon, place a bit of your plant into a small sachet or muslin bag.
- Charge it in the Full Moon light and carry it on you (or put in appropriate place) until your dream’s manifestation comes to light.
- Once your dream manifests, bury your spell bag in your garden or yard.
A Warning on Manifestation Magick and Plant Spells
First, just because you do a spell doesn’t mean your dreams will come true in real life. A. they have to be realistic and within reach. and B. you have to put in the work behind them to make them actually manifest. For example, you’ll never got the job of your dreams if you never educate yourself, network, or apply for the job! Second, always be careful with what plants you work with in nature. Some may be poisonous and some may be endangered. Research the plant before handling it, and always handle unknown plants with gloves. Never consume or use unknown plants topically. Only take a small amount of what you need, not the entire plant.
Further Reading on Green Witchcraft:
- ‘The Green Witch’ by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
- ‘Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs’ by Scott Cunningham
- ‘Earth Power’ by Scott Cunningham
- ‘The Magic of Trees’ by Tess Whitehurst
- ‘The Witching Herbs’ by Harold Roth
- Grimoire for the Green Witch by Ann Moura
- Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic by Amy Blackthorn
- Incense Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
- Earth Air Fire and Water by Scott Cunningham
In Addition, Some Green Witches Are FOREST Witches
1. Forest Witchcraft: Connection
As a kid, did you roam the woods with your friends? Climb across fallen trees and discover hidden creeks and waterfalls? If so, the forest might be where you find serenity and spiritual connection. Maybe you live in the city and there are limited forest areas. Find a local park or nature preserve. Take a hike and observe. Take note of the trees, plants, birds, insects, water, and other wildlife. Keep a log of your observations. I even take pictures of trees and plants for identification purposes. There are mobile apps that help in plant identification. By studying your local forest-life, you forge a connection with the land you didn’t have before.
2. Grounding for the Forest Witch
The forest witch hikes in the woods to connect but also to ground him or herself. To amp up the grounding effects of the forest—take off your shoes at a grassy or soft mossy spot and let the forest-floor’s energy permeate your feet. Sit with your back against a tree and just be. Listen to the wildlife all around you. Feel the breeze against your face. Smell the aroma of the forest. Being here is enough to cleanse your aura and bring you peace. And while you’re in the forest, hug a tree! Sounds crazy, but this is another method of grounding that’s simple and effective.
3. Magical Forest Foraging
If you’re a lucky forest witch and live close to the woods, forage for magical items in the forest. What is foraging? It’s the action of gathering or collecting things from nature for food, medicine, or magic. Be aware while many plants are edible and medicinal in nature, there are also those that irritate the skin or are toxic if ingested. It should go without saying whatever you forage in the forest, be able to identify the plant with 100% certainty. If you don’t know the plant, use gloves when handling and NEVER put it in food, medicine, or use it topically without consulting a local herbalist first.
Examples of Foraged Forest Witchcraft Items
By gathering bits from the forest, you add powerful ingredients to your magical inventory. For example, gather pine needles from the forest floor, wrap it into bundles, and burn in smudging rituals to purify one’s space. Gather pinecones, acorns, and other seed pods and place around the home to bring success and abundance. They also make great decorations on your altar for the Autumn and Winter months. Bring a bag and knife for collecting, and make sure to never take more than you need. Forest witchcraft is fun but respectful.
Tree Branches and Soil
Forage tree branches that have fallen from their trees. Branches make great wands, staffs, walking sticks, and more. In addition, I’ve used pine branches as make-shift, natural besoms to cleanse my space before ritual. Ever used dirt in your magical practice? Gather a bit of the forest floor to use in spells for grounding, primal instincts, fae magick, and more.
Wildflowers and Herbs
Pick wildflowers and arrange in a bouquet on the kitchen table or altar. Or dry them, press them and hang on the wall. The forest witch uses wildflowers to make cheery spring and summer wreaths to hang on their front doors. Once you know your local plants well, use the safe herbs and plants in your magical endeavors. Dry the herbs and use them to dress candles for abundance, success, opportunities, friendship, matters of the family and home. Tie them up in mojo bags or sew into poppets for healing and love.
4. Work with the Spirits of the Forest
If you’ve ever hiked or camped in the woods, you know the spirits are rampant there. From the genius loci (land guardian spirits) to the fae and forest gods, you’ll feel their presence among the trees. How do we work with spirits of the forest in our magical practice? Be in the forest and be with them, first. Then leave biodegradable offerings and prayers of gratitude. Build a natural altar to Cernunnos or Pan, honor the Green Man, and invoke goddesses like Artemis and Flidais.
5. Go into the Forest!
Go into the forest and there’s an entire, huge magical cabinet right at your fingertips! Not to mention connection with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the genius loci (land spirits) of the forest. The forest’s energy is unlimited and reminds us we’re not separate from nature, we’re part of nature. The forest may seem outside of us, but in fact, it is inside of us. It’s something we can’t separate ourselves from. The forest will lend its magic to you, forest witch, if you’re ready to harness it.