by Amy Marienblaume | Instagram
I never used to be someone who was tuned into nature. I respected it and did what I felt was right to protect the planet (cloth-diapered our son, chose reusable products, or ones with less plastic, etc.), but I kept my very pale skin hidden from the sun, and I couldn’t keep a plant alive no matter how much I tried. Though if I’m being honest, I probably wasn’t really trying that hard, because I usually forgot about them – whoops.
I’m not kidding when I say I never used to be able to keep plants alive. Exhibit A: my husbands’ grandmother and I shared a birthday, and when he and I were first dating, his mother and aunt both gave me beautiful plants for my birthday. My heart sank a little when I opened them. I really tried, but by Christmas they were both dead (I’m a Scorpio, you do the calendar math on that one). Neither of them has ever given me a plant again.
Both of my parents have/had the gift of a green thumb. Early in my childhood, my father turned our entire front yard into one giant garden, and every year the amount of grass in the backyard got smaller and smaller. We had a huge vegetable garden that kept us stocked with fresh produce all summer, and my mom would preserve and can so many different things for the fall and winter. She also had a knack for nursing failing plants back to health. Despite watching them for years, I could never figure out why I wasn’t able to do the same things they could. When I embraced my inner witch, I wasn’t sure how successful my craft was going to be, as nature and I seemed to be at odds. Enter Part Two of the New Witches Guide.
Connecting with the Natural World
The guide lays out five ways for new witches to connect with nature: notice nature; connect with the cycles of the earth, sun and moon; connect with the four elements; grow herbs; and honour mother earth.
As part of my meditative practice, spiritually grounding myself is something with which I was already familiar, but grounding myself in nature was a practice that was somewhat newer to me. As a water sun, moon, and rising, being near (or getting in) a large body of water has always been transformative for me, but I never really thought about how I could invoke that feeling using the other elements. Working through Part Two of the Guide, I began spending more and more time barefoot in the grass gardening, playing with my son, or just feeling the warmth of the sun and cool of the breeze on my skin. In doing so, my overall sense of well-being has significantly improved and my anxiety has noticeably decreased.
Tuning into the cycles of the earth, sun, and moon has given me a better understanding of myself. Adding these cycles into my daily journal prompts has helped me tune into my inner witch and strengthen my magick by harnessing the energies all around me. As I’ve watched the land around me come alive through Ostara, Beltane, and Litha, I have felt the light within me grow stronger and more determined. In the evening, sitting in the quiet of the dusk and watching the moon rise, I whisper my secrets to her, knowing that she will keep them safe and help me release my fears.
In connecting with the energies of the four elements, I’ve started building them into my magick. Recently, Julia Faustine (@well.of.starlight) wrote two pieces on connecting with Air and Water. Both posts include a beautiful meditation that any witch, no matter how long you’ve been practicing, can use to tap into the energies of Air and Water and work with them in your magick. Julia’s posts, whether on Instagram or here on the blog, are always so well-written and ripe with educational information, as well as practical tips and techniques. I encourage you to read her blog entries and try out the meditations for yourself.
Meeting my Inner Green Witch
Earlier this year, one of my dear friends (and a talented gardener) gave me some seed babies she had started and had far too many of. I killed the basil almost instantly, but the rest managed to make it to May when the danger of frost had finally passed and it was safe to move these little greenies outside. I bought some good quality soil, a few small pots, blessed them with some incense, and hoped for the best. Amazingly, they lived so I got a bit more adventurous and acquired a secondhand raised garden bed.
Before I knew it, vegetables, herbs, and other plants had taken over my backyard. What started as tomatoes, beans, and cantaloupe, has escalated into 3 kinds of tomatoes, beans, cantaloupe, kale, lettuce, spinach, butternut squash, cucumber, red pepper, zucchini, pumpkin, strawberries, an elder plant, a rose bush, purple irises, forget-me-nots, periwinkle, sweet violets, calendula, basil, dill, parsley, chamomile, thyme, oregano, sage, cilantro, peppermint, lemon balm, mugwort, chives, rosemary, lambs ear, tarragon, and mojito mint (although let’s be honest – I’m growing mojito mint more for drinking and less for witching). I’ve also discovered motherwort and St. John’s wort growing wild on our property, which I’m pretty excited about, and has left me wondering what I’ll come across next.
Honouring the Earth
The earth is mother to us all. She cares for and offers us so much, and as witches it’s important for us to honour her. When I harvest my plants and herbs, or otherwise take something from the earth to use in my magick, I honour her by giving something back. I often use moon water for this, but might also offer eggshell powder for protection, or compost for essential nutrients.
To quote the guide, “nature provides witches with the foundations we need for our magickal work. By aligning ourselves with the cycles of the natural world it is possible to tap into the immense power contained within it. Remember, you don’t have to live in the countryside or by the sea to notice nature. It’s all around you, all the time.” Blessed be.
About the Author: Amy is a newly re-awakened witch living in South-Western Ontario. As a Scorpio sun, Pisces moon, and Scorpio rising, she can be found reading and recharging in the bath when she’s not chasing after her almost-five-year-old Leo son she is raising with her Sagittarius husband. Professionally, as a Human Resources Business Partner, Amy brings her magic into the office by guiding the rest of the team to build self-awareness, compassion, and empathy with the goal of creating a more harmonious and enchanted workplace. You can find her on Instagram at @thewakenedwitch, where she shares her journey into owning the identity of Witch.