So how do you “interpret” an herb, or any plant for that matter? Well, I discussed my personal connection to cacti, but for green witches it goes a little deeper. In the same way a sea witch will draw strength from the ocean or a hearth witch will feel strongest in their home, a green witch will have an intimate connection to the earth. Many green witches I’ve spoken with have mentioned talking to their plants and having relationships with them. In the same way I might jabber to my dog about my day, a green witch will treat their plants as sentient spirits with feelings. Some green witches even name their plants and fill their homes with these little green friends. Plants can protect a witch, soothe or comfort, and even empower. Each plant will have an essence that a green witch will be able to tap into and nurture or else pull influence from. This is where green witches get their true power — being able to channel the energies of the earth itself!
So how do you do that? Well, these plant spirits, just like people, will have different personalities. For a green witch, a certain type of tree may feel more “right” than another. There will be a deeper connection there. This tree, therefore, will have a special symbolism for that green witch and they can then organize these different symbols into correspondences and use them in spells and magic. And it’s not just trees and plants! The green witch’s ties to the earth extend to pretty much all of nature. Animals, stones, elements, and weather will all be important links to the green witch’s craft, and will all have specific energies of their own.
How do you go about channeling these energies into your magic? The short answer is, it takes practice. I suggest starting out with the plants in your home. Because you care for these plants daily and give them everything they need, they are already primed and receptive to you. They’re feeding off your energy as much as you’re feeding off theirs. Be mindful of that. When dealing with them, be aware of what kind of energy you’re giving back to them!
I’m assuming that because you’ve chosen certain plants to bring into your home, you’ve already got a natural connection to that plant. If that’s the case, choose one plant at a time to work with and just relax near it. Make sure you’re physically comfortable and get into a good state of mind. If it the plant isn’t touch adverse, touch the plant in some way, either by lightly putting the tips of your fingers in the dirt or gently touching a part of the plant. To channel the energy of this plant, you first must understand it. What traits does this plant possess? Is it easy to keep alive or does it require a lot of special attention? Does it need constant sunlight or does it live in shade? Is it smooth to the touch or does it protect itself with spines or furry leaves?
Now, this isn’t just about looking at the plant. This process is about understanding who the plant is. It’s about knowing it. Just like you, this plant is a miracle of evolution. Every curl of its stem, its exact shade of color, every tiny detail of this plant has taken millions of years to perfect. It looks and behaves a certain way for a reason. If you’ve done your research, you’ll know more about why this “simple” plant is the way it is. It, like you, is shaped by DNA and its environment. So where’s it from? How would this plant survive in the wild? How do all these pieces of data connect? After studying each small detail, now is the time to look at the big picture. Is this plant a survivor? A parasite? A provider? What is its physical energy?
Once you’ve got a clear understanding of its physical form, it’s time to go deeper. What feelings are you receiving from this little green life-form? Is it a calm plant or is it exciting? Is it protective or does it attack? As a green witch, it’s up to you to interpret exactly what the soul of this plant feels like. Connect with it! It may feel strange at first if you’re not used to doing this, but try to really lose yourself in this exercise. Be receptive. Pinpoint the qualities of this plant’s energy and get used to how it feels. Try to mimic these energies yourself.
When the time comes that this same energy will be useful to you, you can remember how this plant felt and call on it. If you’re being targeted at work by a coworker, you may recall that your plant never let a little shade bother it — it blooms happily, anyway. Or maybe you’ve got a plant that flourished in sand and rock with little water and nutrients. When you’re feeling hopeless about a situation, you can call on this cool energy and find the power to thrive against all odds.
Put in the work now, listen to your intuition, and take the time to make this connection as strong as possible. This plant that you protect and keep healthy can become your ally. Depending on whatever energy it’s giving off, you can channel it into different situations and spells. You can ask it for protection, health, positive energy, and you can give those same things back to it.
The important thing to remember here is that allyship with a plant isn’t the same as ownership. In order to build a deep relationship with these plants, mutual respect is needed. We like to view ourselves as above nature, as separate from it, but a key realization for all witches is that we are not. In truth, we are just one small puzzle piece in the grand picture of the natural world and we rely on it to live and thrive. Allyship is a means of building with nature on equal footing, as someone who has plenty to give to and plenty to learn from these natural spirits.
Once you get a good grasp of connecting and channeling, you can expand your practice from houseplants to the world outside. The trees and animals in your area can recognize you just as you recognize them, and you can work with them for mutual benefit in the same way. Give to them and they will give back. Protect them and they will return the favor. Do you see the power here? You’ve learned your environment, you’ve connected to it, and now you know how to channel its energy. Never let them tell you green witches are softies! You may talk to plants and hug trees, but, with the very earth on your side, you are certainly not to be messed with!