If herbalism has ever felt magical to you, your instincts are right -- the herbal path is intrinsically connected to that of green witchcraft. Both the herbalist and green witch share a deep communion with the natural world, and practice the art of healing through their relationship with natural objects.
The green witch is one of various witchcraft traditions. So what makes a witch specifically green? We asked legendary green witch and herbalist Robin Rose Bennett, who describes a green witch as one who maintains a "connection with and love for the Earth and all beings in nature."
The color green refers to the healing herbs as well as "creative energy," continues Bennett, "the life force itself. Green is also a term that implies innocence, (some might say naivety, but that is not the same thing) as in being new at something, a 'greenhorn.'"
Bennett explains that for green witches, this innocence refers to "appreciation and gratitude, wonder, openness to beauty, awe at the Mystery of Life. We like to take delight in the simple things."
In her book Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living, Bennett defines the green witch as having a "special love for the plants and trees of the earth, and are often gifted in working with them as gardeners, herbalists, artists, and teachers."
There are many manifestations of witch that walk the earth. As Bennett says, "witches are also called herbalists, wise women, teachers, shamans, midwives, mischief-makers, healers, artists, wood works, and much more."
Bennett invokes this inclusivity of the witch archetype through the lyrics to Bonnie Lockhart's "Who Are the Witches":
Who are the witches?
Where do they come from?
Maybe your great, great grandmother was one.
Witches are wise, wise women they say,
And there's a little witch in every woman today!
"And of course," adds Bennett, "in some magical men too!"
We're delighted to share Robin Rose Bennett will be at The Alchemist's Kitchen in New York City this Thursday, July 28, for "Green Witch: Plant Magic, Alchemy, and the Wild Feminine", a discussion with writer and esoteric art curator Pam Grossman about aspects of witchcraft and plant energy. Topics will include herbalism and ecology, feminine (and feminist) power, the current rise in popularity of witches, and the ways that witch can teach us how to heal ourselves, our communities, and our planet. Learn more here.