Green witches will sometimes rely on astrology for the timing of their magic, especially the phases of the moon. There are stories of green witches harvesting plants by moonlight and only planting when the moon was full. In fact, witches of all magical paths perform their spells according to the moon’s phases. Green witches, however, will use astrological positioning to determine the best time to plant, harvest, and use their herbs. Plants have planetary correspondences as well, and this can be taken into consideration when figuring out which plant to use for a spell, or perhaps just a plant that will work well with your energy. For example, those born under the sign of Gemini have a natural tie to the planet Mercury. Corresponding plants are cinquefoil and juniper. As a Gemini myself, these herbs are go-to’s for me and work well with my style of magic, but as a Gemini green witch, planting or harvesting juniper when Mercury is rising would be an example of tending to your garden based on your plants’ ruling planets and astrological associations.
Because of your garden you’ll see firsthand the effect that weather has on the world around you, and you can use this to your advantage in your magic. You can learn when to include a water element, for example. Many witches, myself included, add water to spells because of water’s ties to deep emotion. This is one of waters traditional associations. As a green witch, however, you’ll have watched the rains come in the spring and turn the whole world green. You’ll know the importance of water in relation to your garden and the genius loci. Water is a life-bringer. It’s the very thing that sets our planet apart. Water nourishes, cleans, and renews.
So when would you use water in magic? Well, when you need to grow and change, of course! Fire and air are no different. Fire is traditionally seen as passionate and even destructive. But you know that the sun also warms the earth and feeds your plants. It’s not destructive; it’s essential. Air is light and is linked with thought and enlightenment, but for the green witch, the wind lifts seeds from their pods and blow them to new ground. Bees travel through the air, visiting flowers and shifting pollen around, ensuring seeds are fertilized. Air is transportive. It brings change and new possibilities. And what about the air itself? Is it not breathable because of plants? Thanks to their ability to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, every living thing on earth is able to survive. Without plants, the world would be dead.
Each element takes on a different meaning when seen through the eyes of the green witch, and as such, you should think about this before incorporating these elements into spells. Think about what each element really means to you, and how it best serves your purposes based on its relation to your green witchcraft. This is another opportunity to bring planetary magic and astrology into your practice, as each planet is of course aligned with an element!
Another way to use the weather is by getting out in it and performing spells. When it rains, the earth seems like a different place. It’s moody, it smells amazing, and, unless you live in a particularly rainy place, it’s fleeting, which makes this shift in the weather even more special. Directly after rainstorms, go outside to one of your sacred spaces and perform spells tied to the water element. This is also a great time for cleansing. I chose rain because it’s my favorite, but you can apply the same idea to any type of weather. If it’s sunny, get out there and do some healing or regeneration spells. Snowing? Why not try banishing or reset spells, since the world is now a perfect blank slate? However you’d like to use the weather is up to you, but get out in it. This is another way you can explore your surroundings, be with nature and the genius loci, and channel these energies into your spellwork.
Aeromancy is a form of divination using patterns in the sky or weather. It can be broken down into specific atmospheric phenomena such as a focus on cloud formations (nephomancy), observing shooting stars (meteromancy), thunderstorms and lightning (ceraunomancy), wind patterns (austromancy), or rare occurrences in space, like comet tails (chaomancy).
It is a very old form of divination, known to have been practiced by Babylonian priests. The practice of divining the future from the weather is clearly rooted in ancient civilizations’ need to predict coming droughts or rain in the interest of their crops, so this form of divination is a natural fit for green witches. The weather could be cruel or it could be kind, and it was usually the will of the gods that made it so.
An aeromancer green witch would pay close attention to the color of the sky, the direction of the wind (often aided by the release of smoke), and certainly shooting stars to glean good or bad omens. Learning to read these signs takes time, of course, but I suggest keeping a notebook and charting all your observations in relation to your garden and your environment as a way to better understand these signs. If you’re reading certain signals in the clouds or thunderstorms, write it down or draw pictures, but be sure to keep track of exactly what’s happening in the natural world around you as well. How do these two things relate? What’s happening to your herbs, the trees, the animals, etc. while these signs are unfolding before you?
Geomancy is another excellent form of divination that takes its roots directly from the earth (hence, GEOmancy). In the earliest days of geomancy, Arabic diviners would make marks in sand using a stick and using the resulting marks, they would create symbols that they then used to answer questions. Unlike astrology, which relies on the energies and movements of the heavens, geomancy is a method of reading the energy of the earth, of our very planet. This makes it a perfect tool for the green witch!
There are only 16 geomantic symbols which make the basics a snap to learn but the methods of interpreting and divining meaning from the symbols allows the skilled diviner to extract incredibly detailed and precise information. Another benefit of geomancy is that it relies on a method of binary numbers which means it can be done anywhere, at any time, as long as you have a piece of paper and something to write with. There are plenty of other tools that can be used but paper and a pen will always get the job done.
For those who are interested in this earth divination, I highly suggest The Art And Practice Of Geomancy by John Michael Greer. It’s one of the best modern works on the subject and provides information that is both comprehensive and easy to put into practice.