I was reading an article by The Huntress of Ways on crafting your own path. I have found throughout my journey that trying to fit into a box of some one else’s making is never particularly comfortable, and can oftentimes lead to confusion and stagnation because you think you should be doing what everyone else is. I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I’ve read blogs by witches and thought that what they did is what I wanted to do. I tried it and it just didn’t work. For whatever reason, I could not fit it within my practice, this is not a bad thing, other things I have adopted and made work, but more often that not, it doesn’t happen. I know this is because each path is unique; no two people walk the same path or take the same road.
This has become evident to me in its entirety when it comes to my personal observation of the Sabbats. There are those who do the full ritual, call on whatever spirits or entities they work with and have elaborate altars. Personally, I set up a small family altar and cook my family tea; this is how I celebrate them. I might on occasion be moved to burn a little handmade incense and light a candle or two, say a few words but more often than not I don’t. At first I considered it laziness on my part but then I realized, the celebratory aspect, the ‘ritual’, for me was the cooking, the creating of the dinner. It’s funny because I don’t see myself as a kitchen witch and it’s not necessarily a path I would claim but it suits me in how I work. (I’m a hermit homebody at the best of times).
Samhain this year I did the same thing, but this time I went and harvested some Black Nightshade berries to dry. I felt it was the perfect time to do so, leading up to it I also put out some baneful seeds that will hopefully grow. This is what was done by me for this Sabbat and I felt like this was the right way for me to celebrate it. But I’ve not done any ancestor work yet, or personal rituals because I don’t quite feel that the veil is thin yet, I’ll know when I do and work accordingly.
It was not only the Sabbats that brought this realisation to me but also that my practice is so ingrained with the other things I do. My herbalism and witchcraft are tied together; in fact herbs were the first ever ‘witchy’ thing I bought, as is my passion for books. Seriously, I have a lot. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a book witch, I read more than I do but reading for me is a magical experience because it is my passion, the thing I love to do. Moving forward on my herbalist path, creating things is sacred to me; I feel connected most to the green part of myself when I work with herbs.
I probably did the one thing most recommend not to do, I created my own ‘tradition’ as it were, something that describes my path and how I work it as best as I can put it into words. I call it Greenfae Witchcraft. For me it is the practice of working magic with the natural elements of the Earth. Greenfae is inspired by traditional witchcraft, incorporating elements of Hedge, Garden, Green, Fae and Cunning Craft. It draws heavily from the path of Green Witchcraft, working with natural energies, Otherworld and Fae energies and embracing the crossing of the hedge. It also means working with the land and having an animistic viewpoint, of creating things from the land (tools, herbal things etc) and of course having a healthy eco-attitude. It’s similar to Green Witchcraft I suppose but it also covers a few other traditions. I’ve tried not to overly appropriate but I’ve not really taken from established traditions, more so just taken the parts that work for me and put them together to create my own path.
It’s not for everyone but it works for me. It takes in all my interests and moulds them together. If I started a coven or circle it would likely be in this particular tradition but again, I’m flexible and eclectic so things could change along the way.
I’m truly not one for labels but as I move toward trying to build something that can be grown and even used by others if they so desire, there was a need to have a sort of outline of what it is I do. I considered that if I am going to try and build a circle or coven, I needed a working idea of what I would like the group practice to be – although I am one who completely embraces eclectic thoughts and ideas, I felt like if I am going to bring people together, I needed something to say ‘this is what I do’. But also for me, I really do think it shows my commitment and journey as I walk the darkended, winding roads of the Green World.