Happy Shadows Saturday, friends of B+S! It’s been a while since I posted on my “witchy” side of the blog, and it’s high time she started getting more love. I mean, my days are guided by my spiritual beliefs, so it’s only right that I express and teach as much about it as I can, which is actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to create Books and Shadows in the first place. Well, one thing I’m actually really passionate about is my love for gardening and nature in general. I will admit, I don’t practice the art of “Earthing” as I did when I lived in the “trees” because there’s really nowhere to stick your feet in the dirt when you live in a condo in Midtown, Atlanta. But the need to feel connected with Terra is an urge that I could never ignore for too long, and I decided that this Spring, while we’re stuck in our homes, would be the perfect time to allow my Green Witch to step forth and take the spotlight and not let the city hold her back any longer. Let me just say that she did not disappoint, and she has me feeling more empowered than I’ve felt in a long time. Every witch deserves to feel this way, so I’m going to show you how to be a green witch even when you’re living in the city.
So What Is A Green Witch?
For me, plain and simple, a green witch is someone who shares an innate, intense connection with nature (plants, animals, and everything in between) and desires to protect and nurture nature with everything in his or her being. That’s just my perspective on my own inner feelings about Earth and how she should be treated. I get upset when she’s hurting, and I’m anxious when I realize there is very little that I can do to ease her pain. I cry when her animals are in despair because they deserve just as much as a safe and fulfilling life as any human. I try to limit my footprint here on Earth as much as I can, but I still know there’s much more that I can be doing, and I strive to be that Bri every day. That’s what makes me a Green Witch. I know I’m not perfect, but I never stop thinking about how I can play my part in protecting Terra and all of her inhabitants. And I bask in all of her Glory.
According to this amazing site, Witchcraft 101, that breaks down the science of being a Green Witch a little further:
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 by developing a close connection with the plants, animals, and herbs.
I think we share the same sentiments on what it means to be green:
Loving animals and protecting their best interests, connecting with and using nature’s energy to harness new energies for the betterment of the Earth and her inhabitants, being a badass environmentalist that dances naked in the woods while squawking like a bird.
Yeah… that’s what’s being a Green Witch is all about…
How To Be Green In The City?
Being green in the city isn’t something I’ve completely mastered, and only recently did I decide to put in a real effort to figure out how to bring out more of that country living that I grew up on into the city. This need to go back to my roots (hehe) became apparent when I started to feel suffocated in the middle of the metropolitan and the realization that I only really “breathed” when I was in the mountains of North Carolina, visiting my Mother-in-Law. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that what I was missing in my life was a stronger, personal relationship with nature because all that surrounded me in the city was large concrete buildings and interstates.
The quarantine didn’t help either. Yeah, I could sneak a nice walk in an empty park with the hubz and my dogs some days, but most were spent inside, and believe when I say that the walls were starting to close in on me. Well, one thing I remembered, back when I lived in more rural areas, is that whenever I started to feel like my energy center was no longer aligned with that of the rhythms of the Earth, I would go outside to a nice wooded area with plush mossy undergrowth or one with nice rich dirt still damp with dew, and I would walk around barefoot and just enjoy being in that space. Just being one with the trees, observant of the sounds of the forest and feeling the watchful eyes of the woodland creatures who called the woods their home. All the while, I was recharging my harmony and balance battery. I always left those woods feeling my best… almost like I was able to take on any and everything that I faced. A feeling that has been absent in my life for the past two and a half years since we moved back into the city.
So, thinking on how to somehow “ground” myself here in the city without wandering around in the woods, I figured the next best thing in comparison is to get my hands down in some Earth. Rekindle my flame that way. Well… the most rewarding way to get your hands down in some dirt is by gardening! I mean, the revelation couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m stuck in the house because of the quarantine, so now I have plenty of time to pay attention to the garden. We are done with the last frost in my zone, so it’s the perfect time for planting. I’ll be able to have the most bountiful season because I will be starting at the very best time for the most yield.
I mean, c’mon… the stars literally aligned for me on this one. You take heed to the signs when they’re presented to you, and you do even more so when the Universe practically hands you the signs on a silver platter. So I researched some herbs that every Green Witch should have in her arsenal, bought some, and began planting. Some started as seeds, others as wittle baby plants. All equally loved and cared for.
My hands in the dirt, feeling the cool, dampness of it… smelling the rich and nurturing organic soil we chose to grow our plants in… watching the baby plants’ leaves spring into delight when they were placed in their forever homes and quenched of their thirsts left a feeling of satisfaction and glee that I haven’t felt in years. Something in me smiled, sighed, and said, “this is right… this all right.”
Witchy Herbs I Added In My Garden:
All the herbs I chose to have in my garden I wanted to grow so that I can further my practice with their assistance. It’s much better to grow your own plants and breathe your love and positivity into them vs. buying them from the store already matured; not knowing how well they were treated before you retrieved them or the true state of their health and purity when you do buy them.
If being more green in your practice is something you wish to achieve, growing your own herbs is like one of the first essential steps.
If you ask any witch about the importance of basil, I’m sure you would receive a million different reasons why you should have it in your cabinet of magical herbs…. and every single reason is absolutely valid, I’m sure.
Basil is unanimously known to be used to bring happiness, peace, and love into your home or space. Known to ensue sympathy in others, and ensure loyalty surrounds you. The fact that there are just as many different ways to use it in cooking as well isn’t lost on us either. This is one all-around herb, and she’s so pretty and graceful, don’t you think?
Ahhhh Rosemary, Dew of the Sea, Elf Leaf… my love. I can go on and on about some Rosemary, hunty! I mean, I love it in food, but it’s a power herb in the magical realm as well.
Rosemary is a powerful herb used for it’s negative energy cleansing effects, as well as being a powerful herb of protection for women; often used in protection spells for women and girls in the Craft. I actually have a smudge stick made of rosemary sitting in my abalone shell right now.
Rosemary and the wonderful nature of her properties are no secret among us witches , and the history of her use goes back into ancient times. Yeah… Rosemary been that bitch.
You don’t have to be a witch to know how sought after Lavender is, and the reasons we all love her. Lavender is everything you would want in an herb: Great for aromatherapy, relaxing and calming properties… but did you know that lavender is a powerhouse herb to work with in spells? If shadow work is your thing, then lavender is one of your right hand herbs.
Lavender, in all her sweet glory, is used to promote passion, romance, harmony, friendship, and cooperation with a lover according to Witches Halloween. Not to mention that it helps keep certain pests away from your home during the summer, and looks good and smells great whilst doing it. Lavender is a win on win on win.
How To Work With Your Garden Space:
Considering this post is directed to those of us who don’t have much room to grow because we live in the city, let’s touch base on how to best utilize the space you have, to grow as many plants as you possibly can.
Like many who live in apartment buildings or condo high rises, I only had my balcony area to use for my garden space. If I had it my way, I would’ve had a few raised beds lining the entire thing, but to be practical, I had to find a better way.
We decided to grow our basil and lavender in individual small clay plots and will adjust the size as they grow. We put our hot peppers in a 3-foot trellis, giving the 3 pepper plants a foot of space between each other so that they have plenty of room to stretch. We have our cilantro and lettuce in another trellis of the same size; creating 3 rows of each plant. We put our 2 large heirloom tomatoes in their own large plastic pots… I would say about 5 gallons. We put our vine tomatoes in a smaller one, I would say about 3 gallons. We have our bell peppers and our spicy bell peppers and the lavender in 3-gallon pots as well. We have a 10-gallon pot for our carrots because their roots need a little more wiggle room.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not and we have more than enough room for all the plants to be on one side of the balcony with room to walk around to spare. Our trellises are up on our patio table and the bell peppers are on the chairs. We have our smaller pots up on a little stand used to hold different potted plants, which helps with room by keeping things vertical. The rest of the plants are sitting on the ground. Our balcony gets more than 6 hours of full sunlight, so no problem there and we’re on the 6th floor, so we get plenty of good wind to help the babies breathe.
If you have a balcony, even if it’s not as big as mine, you’re pretty set with getting a decent garden going. You just need to research what to grow and how big of a container to grow it in, based on how much room you have to utilize.
If you don’t have a balcony, you’re still not lost, there are a ton of grow lights that you can order from Amazon that are relatively cheap, and will yield great results for your plants just as if they were grown outside. Just pick a spot in your home that will be your garden space, time the lights to give the plants the same amount of sunlight they would get outside, set up a fan to ensure they’re getting fresh air blown over them at all times, and watch your indoor garden grow. I actually started my basil and lavender inside, under one of these full-spectrum lights I bought off of Amazon, and it caused them to grow fast and grow strong. They had a great start because of this light.
Now, starting out, you may have to water your plants in the tub or sink to prevent overflow of the water dish which will cause a big mess on your floor, but if you work out the kinks and figure out what works best for you, even that won’t be an issue.
Bottom line, you can use what you have to and make the most of the space you have to get your garden going. You just have to think outside of the box, and have the desire to want to do more. Hey… it’s definitely possible to do, and the feeling you’ll have after getting those baby plants established will be one that can’t be expressed in words fully.
Just imagine how you’ll feel when you begin to harvest them all!
Gardening, however, is only one of the many ways you can do your part in connecting to your Green Witch, wild side. More blog posts are soon to follow as I continue to grow and nurture my Green Witch path.
Now.. Gone and get yo Green Witch on!
I hope my experience can help ignite your inner green witch, and make you go out there and get started on your own garden. As I said before, the feeling of putting my hands down in the dirt with the intention to grow bountiful, flavorful and useful herbs and veggies was one full of empowerment and pure love. The act of creation or taking part in creating is one of the most fulfilling acts you can ever wish to accomplish.
So what’re you waiting for? Go! Grow! Come back and let me know if you need any help on getting your garden started, or come back and tell me what your garden looks like. I would love to hear about it!
Until next time, guys…