Before deciding that becoming a green witch is right for you, it’s important to know more about this path as well as Paganism in general. The evolution of green witchery doesn’t follow a linear timeline from our prehistoric Pagan ancestors to today’s green witches. Rather, it was a very gradual adaptation of practices and traditions over many centuries, culminating in modern Paganism and its green witchery path.
Green Witchery: Then
The historical predecessor to the modern green witch was customarily a woman. She was a gifted gardener or plant gatherer who was very knowledgeable about the properties of plants, particularly herbs. She used this knowledge to help members of her community in many ways, such as by providing them with midwifery and healing services. She may have also been consulted on more arcane matters such as crafting love potions or removing curses.
Consequently, she was both esteemed and feared. As such, she typically lived alone, away from others, close to the forests, fields, and water sources whose energies she summoned to work her magick.
Green Witchery: Now
Today, a green witch is someone of either sex and any gender identity. While she may be a medical professional, she is equally likely to be a cashier or a police officer or in any other career. He might live in a city apartment, a house in the suburbs, or in a country cottage. She lives alone or with a partner, children, and/or pets. He may or may not have an herb garden. In essence, absolutely anyone could be a witch and chances are, there’s at least one in your neighbourhood or at your place of employment.
Lifestyle differences aside, what all green witches have in common is that they are followers of contemporary Paganism, a peaceful polytheistic nature-based spirituality which is one of the fastest growing faiths in the world.
As with other religions, there are many different branches called traditions or paths in Paganism as well as offshoots thereof. Although Wicca is probably the most well-known major tradition, not all Pagans are Wiccan, just as not all Christians are Catholic. In fact, although there is a green Wicca offshoot, most green Pagans are eclectic solitary witches who do not belong to Wicca or even to a coven, for that matter.
Green Witchery: Beliefs
Not all green witches beliefs are the same. Any witch’s beliefs depends on the individual and her/his distinct life experiences. However, green witches follow a basic rule that virtually all witches adhere to, Wiccan and otherwise, as famously stated by Doreen Valiente, “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” As such, green witches should never knowingly cause anyone including themselves any harm, whether emotional, physical, psychic, or spiritual.
Also, a part of essentially all Pagan paths is the belief that what goes around, comes around. Therefore, any good or harm that a witch puts out into the universe will come back to affect her/him in some way, though not necessarily immediately nor in the same manner. However, at some point in time, the universe will always balance life out.
With regard to deities, some green witches believe in Goddess and God as the divine. However, others believe that the universe itself is divinity. And yet others believe in God and Goddess as deities and in the universe as the manifestation of their energies. Many but not all green witches petition the Earth’s nature spirits when working magick, especially faeries and ghosts.
As well, some witches have relationships with a familiar, typically a pet dog or cat, whose magickal energies complement and amplify the witch’s own magick.
Perhaps the only universal truth about witchcraft and Paganism is that witches do not worship satan nor do they typically even believe in this largely Christian construct. Learn more about this myth as well as other Witch & Paganism Myths.
What does differentiate green witches from some other types of witches is that they often have a stronger connection to the Earth itself. For the green witch, all nature is sacred. As such, she respects our planet in day-to-day life, making a conscious effort to reduce her environmental footprint, in addition to harnessing nature’s various energies for spellwork. He will work with herbs and other plants as well as other natural objects such as crystals and metals. She will choose tools and ingredients crafted from non-synthetic materials such as beeswax candles and authentic essential oils. He will make use of the diverse energies of the four elements, the moon’s phases, and the cycles of nature to enhance his magickal outcomes.
So, while not a Pagan tradition in the formal sense, green witchery is a deeply personal path that merges individual life experiences and ecological responsibility with age-old practices and beliefs.
For more in-depth reading on the green witchery and the history of Paganism, please refer to our Bibliography.