What do we mean by “Green Magic”?
Let’s just say that it’s not easy to divide the different kinds of magic because the line between them is very thin. Green magic is particular and it is distinguished by the use of herbs, leaves, seeds, flowers, branches and all the Nature’s gifts. Most importantly, the “division” between types of magic is just based on your intentions. What I mean is, you cast a spell defined as “white magic” to hurt someone, and that won’t be “white” magic anymore. This division is just a way to make it easier to classify the kind of spells.
History of Green Magic.
Its origin is very ancient. During prehistory, men used to employ some herbs to make powerful poisons to hunt their prey. Archaeologists found on many weapons of that time traces of tubocurarine, a compound that causes an immediate neuromuscular blockade. Despite being so ancient, this magic has been preserved over the centuries, becoming one of the most ancient magic existent. Between the 4.000 and 2.000 B.C., from the East to the West, this kind of discipline developed more and more.
In the East, the Chinese mythology confers to Shénnóng – a demigod farmer- the writing of a list – called later Shénnóng Běn Cao Jīng – of recommended poisons and medicines. The result was quite outstanding. A description of about 300 plants, which is a lot if you think that it was just 3.000 B.C.!
In the West, herbs were used in Egypt by “wab Sekhmet“ or “priests wizards“ to calm the pain in association to magic, that provided the definitive cure. The main document where we can find many pieces of evidence of this is the papyrus Ebers, which is full of detailed descriptions of many plants and their application.
The people that used the most this kind of magic are the Celts, that considered sacred the woods and worshipped the water. Green magic finds its foundation on the worshipping (if we can say like that) of everything related to Nature, the animal realm included. It works through infusions, decoctions, potions and energetic connections with plants and animals. Scott Cunningham, in its book “Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs“, describes Green Magic in this way:
“The basis of herbs magic – and all magic – is the power. This power has worn many names and forms through the centuries; at time even its existence was kept secret; at others, it was common knowledge. The power is generated and maintains the Universe.It is the power that germinates seeds, raisins winds, and spins our planet. it is the energy behind birth, life and death. Everything in the Universe was created by it, contains a bit of it, and is answerable to it.In other words, the power is the life-force, the stuff of creation. it is the very substance of existence itself.”Scott Cunningham
To understand better Green Magic or Natural Magic, we need to go into the consciousness of the fact that Life is connected into a single unit, no component can be damaged without damaging the entire group. Today this is, unfortunately, a concept very far from us where the environmental problems and protection are the order of the day. As Doreen Valiente says, in its book “Natural Magic“ – with which I entirely agree – :
“True magic, the old-wise craft, is one way to bringing people more in harmony with Nature. It teaches its followers not to despite the intellect, but to give it its proper place and no more. It tells us that we are not living truly human lives if we have a very clever brain but a barren heart”.Doreen Valiente
During ancient times, a witch and its flower garden was common in many villages. According to beliefs, these witches used to live with a toad, their familiar, and this was one of the ways “common people” believed to recognize (and hunt) witches. In reality, the purpose of this toad was to keep away the insect parasites.
Almost all witches will work with Green magic sooner or later. For those who are more into it, it’s quite common the use of a “Herbarium“, a sort of the witch personal book, (in addition to the Book of Shadows). This manual is usually complete of descriptions of plants and herbs, spells, recipes and such. I remember when I started following this path, I was totally clueless about the employments and properties of most of the herbs in magic and scared of making some mess. I had load of books to consult and get information, and despite that, some names were absolutely new to my ears. This is normal.
Even after years of practice, I can tell you this: there will always be a spell that will require a plant or a herb you’ve never heard about in your entire life and that you have NO clue where to find them. No fear. There’s a substitute for everything, and you can seek help in charts of correspondences that you can find in almost…every book about green magic.
If you want, you can grow your own herbs and flowers in your balcony or garden. However, some herbs should be harvested in some specific conditions (moon phase, hour…), in order to obtain much more power. If you harvest your own, you’ll put the cherry on top to make them even more effective during your spells.
Most used herbs and plants.
Apple Blossoms: for the ancient, Apple was considered one of the symbols of immortality. In Celtic myths, an apple branch with a ripe fruit, a flower and a bud still closed made a magic key for the Underworld. The apple is used often as a component in love spells, that can be added to make incenses.
Basil: this plant is not just a culinary herb, it has some magical and interesting properties. In some parts of the Mediterranean, basil is spread all over the floors to purify the house. It can also bring a bit of good luck for those who have just moved into a new house. Nevertheless, it’s common to give a plant of basil to wish good luck. Basil is useful during rituals or divination for love, or to guarantee loyalty.
Lavender: the use of lavender has been certified for centuries. In magic is associated with love spells, or to those for calm and peace. Fill a pillow or a cham with brunches of lavender to find a good sleep. Prepare a purifying bath with the flowers of Lavender to cleanse your energies.
Mugwort: this is a very common herb in magic. The Artemisia is an extremely versatile herb, and is also very easy to grow! In some magical traditions is associated with divination and dream. It provokes prophetic dreams and divinatory success. Prepare an incense of Artemisia to burn into your work area, or use the “brunch” in the area where you make divination rituals. ATTENTION: Artemisia can be very dangerous for pregnant women.
Patchouli: Its exotic scent takes into a trip towards far, magical places. It’s commonly used in mixtures of incense, potpourri, and it has a lot of different uses in rituals. Patchouli is associated with love, richness and sexual power, and the leaves are often used to make scented bags. According to some traditions, Patchouli is very interesting for its buffer power against bad energies.
Pennyroyal Mint: Associated with money, power and protection. In Hoodoo tradition is useful to guard against hex. If you need protection, make a scented bag fulfilled with pennyroyal mint and fold it into your handbag. ATTENTION: It can be dangerous for pregnant women.
Rosemary: A famous herb that helps to empower memory and to stimulate the brain, often used also for cooking. The roman priest used to burn rosemary during ceremonies to guard against hex and black magic. In England was burnt into the houses of those who died because of infective illnesses. In magic, rosemary is burnt to set free the house from negative energies, or as incense for meditation. Hang up beams of rosemary at the front door helps to keep away dangerous people and thieves. Also, this is the best choice if you need a substitute for missing herbs during spells.
Sage: my lovely, dear sage. It’s typically used to purify, consecrate and cleanse spaces. Greeks and Romans believed that inhale the smoke would bring wisdom and mental acuity. In magic, it’s common to keep some sage leaves to attract money and success. The most common use of white sage is the smudging around everything that needs to be purified…A loyal and powerful ally, I swear! If you want to know more about sage, please click here. PS: the scent may result similar to Marijuana!!
Yarrow: Known also as “The knight’s flower” for its use as a treatment for battle’s injuries. The hill people from Scotland use it to make a healthy ointment. In the Orkney Islands is used to make a tea that seems to “break up melancholy”. The Yarrow can be applied during healing, love and courage rituals. Having a ritual bath with this herb can help to stimulate your psychic abilities.