Arin Murphy-Hiscock, author of The Green Witch
Focusing on incorporating nature-based spirituality into everyday life.
My area of focus is incorporating nature-based spirituality into everyday life. Through my books, I try to give you a variety of different ideas to inspire you and make you think about how you interact with nature and your environment. I encourage you to use what resonates with you as the basis for formulating your own practice.
Hearth and home constitute part of your set of roots and connections that ground you, support you, and nourish you. Curating this involves being aware of your environment, both your living space and the natural environment it’s located in.
Green witchcraft is a spiritual path that focuses on healing, balance, and harmony, based in the energies of the natural world.
Being a green witch isn’t about how successful you are at growing plants. It’s about living with the rhythms of nature, looking to be as in sync as possible in order to remove or reduce the obstacles and challenges our crazy modern lives throw at us. The amount of stress we’re under in our current society is unreal. A spiritual path like that of the green witch looks to the natural world to help equalize our energy, refresh ourselves, and in turn support the natural world as best we can. Humanity’s lost the perception of the natural world as a nurturing, magical place; we’re so divorced from it that it’s seen as a consumable resource. It needs to refresh and rebuild, because it isn’t an endless source. As a green witch, we can take the time to look at nature’s needs and help address them, both on a personal level via choices in gardening and purchasing, and on a larger activist level as well.
Nature offers us so much in terms of peace and harmony. In a very simple way, it provides a change of pace and scenery, if we visit a civic botanical garden, arboretum, or state park. It allows us to unplug and surround ourself with a different kind of energy. There are countless studies that underline the health benefits of being out in nature, but it can have a spiritual benefit as well. When you look at trees and plants as being living creatures with their own energies, you can interact with them in a different way. Your spiritual wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. Wandering with an open mind is fine, but you don’t have to hike; you can lie down in a park, or sit in a comfortable chair in your garden area indoors or out, close your eyes, breathe slowly, and expand your awareness to touch the energy of the plant life around you.
People often ask me how I practice. I tend to be a somewhat practical witch. I’ll do things on the fly, weave spontaneous spells. I pick up leaves and sticks, pine cones and pretty rocks, and use them to bring ideas and energies together. I like doing written magic using colour, done on bits of parchment or handmade paper; things like this can be burned, set under a candle, buried, or torn and tossed to the wind, depending on what the goal is. I don’t make a big defined effort to inject or impose magical activity. For me, it’s part of living, part of the everyday, so I don’t work to incorporate it; it grows out of my daily life.
Trust yourself, but do the research to back it up and discover why your intuition is guiding you in a certain way.
Witchery is a way of life, not a sometimes thing. Let yourself see the magic in small things. Blow wishes from your fingertips. Talk to the birds. Breathe love over leaves and petals. Speak your gratitude for what you harvest, both in terms of physical harvests and spiritual or emotional growth. Give back. Say hello to the moon when you see it. You don’t have to perform intricate rituals to mark moons and seasons, although you can if you enjoy it. What counts is how you live your life, and how you treat the people and environment around you.
Honour the land you live on. We are custodians, and speakers for the land when it cannot stand up for itself. Love it, and work to protect it in both magical and mundane ways.
Making a connection with your local environment is key, I feel.
Awareness opens us to so much. Just being more cognizant of the local flora can help guide you toward a more harmonious relationship with the natural environment around you. Allow yourself to notice the plants you see over and over. Are you familiar with them? Are they indigenous, or were they introduced? If they were introduced, did they slowly replace something else that was native?
Actively research the plants native to your area, plants that support pollinators, plants that can work to help reestablish optimal levels of nutrients in the soil once mulched or composted and mixed back into the earth, and try to include them in your garden. Look into supporting local farmers; the produce may be more expensive, but you’re supporting families and the local economy, and eating food that was grown nearby instead of the other side of the continent. If that means not eating a specific fruit during a season when it isn’t available in your region, well… take the opportunity to explore what’s fruitful nearby instead. Working with your region means respecting it and supporting it.
Protection Spells takes that theme and follows it out of the home and into the world beyond. Protection at work, while travelling, and for others are common.
A book about how to weave magic into your gardening, and how to bring gardening into your magical practice, even if you live in a one-room apartment that faces north.
Being an intuitive witch who responds to the energy of a time, place, and situation, records can be tricky things. I’m much more likely to journal if there’s a habit in place and if the experience is as pleasant as possible. I know many people like me in this matter, and that’s part of how The Green Witch’s Grimoire was born.
I think the topic of self-care is really important in general. Part of self-care is knowing and accepting the consequences of something, and going into a situation with your eyes open and with all the facts.
I wrote the book I had wanted to read during my first pregnancy. How could I practice my nature-based spirituality and do energy work safely during gestation? What was a way to explore and appreciate the shifts in my own energy and psyche as my pregnancy progressed? How could I look to the mythology of the triple goddess to guide me from the stage of Maiden to Mother?