Green/Hedge Witch Altar Project
I’ve come to understand something about myself. My road, my journey is the Green Path. I am a Green Witch and I am a Hedge Witch, I firmly base myself in the natural world, I am not ceremonial, I am not even mildly ritualised in my practices. I work intuitively and when the mood moves me. I am deeply rooted in the country around me; I am deeply rooted to the green within me. I try to emulate this in my world around me by creating and growing beautiful gardens filled with herbs, flowers and trees, the sorcery of the Green. I adapt to suit and I change with the seasons. I am fluid; I am ever growing and before lay twisted, gnarled roads – powerful, infinite and waiting to be explored. They are obscured by the bramble, thorns prick my skin as I move forward, reminding me that I am climbing toward a wild place; I accept this and let it bleed because it feeds the earth and nourishes the spirits. I journey to the Otherworld and meet with those who have wisdom for me, those who know I am there to learn, to grow, to change. Is it a feral nature within me? I don’t know, I’ve yet to fully embrace this part of myself but I know that when I do, the spirits of the Green will welcome me and enfold me in their embrace.
I haven’t yet fully realised this in my life. I sat wondering what I could do to firmly show my commitment to this path. I looked to my altar, and although it is lovely, it doesn’t truly represent the path I walk. I don’t have the things of the wild, green world that remind me of my path. I want to change this; I want my altar to truly reflect the journey I am taking. My project is to take the time to explore this all further and to create the altar I want now that I have completed the last of my Tafe for this semester and can breathe easy. I have always said that your personal altar should reflect your path, your practice and your beliefs yet mine doesn’t and it has become glaring obvious that I need to remedy that. I’m not sure what will end up on my altar. I think subconsciously I knew this change would be coming sooner or later; I have a lovely little corked bottle of herbs, a charm or talisman if you will – my own little herbal witch bottle. I felt inspired to make it one day – would be a few months ago now. It had no real purpose, but I feel it was there to remind me what was important; my pursuit of an Advanced Herbalism diploma and the pursuit of finding the Green.
|My altar as it was.|
I think the first thing I am going to make is an altar candle that encapsulates the Green. Earth herbs and barks, green dye and scented with earthy, mossy essential oils, it will be the first representation of my new road. My ‘earth’ bowl (representative of the elements) might be changed to natural terracotta and filled with salt and herbs also representing Earth. I’m not sure how I will address the other elements – likely patchouli incense stick and leaving the water as is, I feel the elements are important to represent, however you do it and prefer it on your altar; beyond that, I think that things will be added as new revelations and journeys open to me. I may keep my flying ointment on there as well; this is representative of the hedge witch in me. I don’t know, I think this is going to be a long term project that will grow with each new discovery, each new step along the Green road. That is the thing about the Green road; you never know what will lie ahead until you come across it.
|The little Herbal Witch Bottle.|
I am wondering about putting images from my decks that have the Green feel. I have a few – there is the Tarot of the Secret Forest, Wildwood Tarot, Druidcraft Tarot, Druid Plant Oracle, Faeries Oracle and Heart of Faerie oracle (and that isn’t even the complete list of decks I have). And I just bought the Green Man Oracle – couldn’t help myself. All of those decks are deeply rooted in the earth, the Tarot of the Secret Forest is a recent acquisition and quite lovely, certainly a deck a gardener and green witch can connect to. I’ll have to get new ink for my printer though…..
I wrote about it previously, one of my projects – perhaps the largest of them – is to create my own forest on my block of land. It is not a short term project, it will likely be long term, lifelong I would imagine. I am going to be planting trees of Yew, Oak, Elder, Ash, Maple, Rowan, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Juniper, Lucerne, Gum and more. I will be planting herbs to grow wild such as Mullein, Mugwort, Patchouli, Sage, Thyme and more, I will add bulbs to bring forth a carpet of colour and scent, flowers of Snapdragon, Foxglove, Daisy and more will adorn the space bringing together scent and feeling so powerfully magical that it will echo on the landscape for a lifetime to come. This is not just for me, or a gratuitous ode to my green path, it is something that will sustain the landscape, inviting in insects, birds and more. It will stand as a new habitat hopefully growing and changing over time. It will stand for the Spirits and Old Ones, a doorway, a green oasis.
|My altar as it is now.|
My altar stands rather empty now, the candle on it - not the candle I am going to make, it is the one I made previously to connect with earth energies but the one I make will be similiar. I am passionate about this and I know that as winter turns to spring, my forest will begin to grow. My altar will show my path of green and hedge, my life will begin to change to be what I want it to be. I will greet, with joy, the completion of my Advanced Herbalism certificate, knowing I am one step further toward my dream. I will continue to craft for my business and begin the baby workings of a new dream – to create a small plant nursery. With time I hope this is my life, as witch, herbalist and nursery owner, writer, teacher and diviner. There is a reality to change to the way I wish it and I slowly, hesitantly take the steps to lead me there.