Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Witchcraft and the Virid Road: Revisited

We must understand the witch as a being of nature. Witchcraft is the Venus-Craft of the countryside. Constant communication with the Fairy realm as well as the knowledge and wisdom of nature's gifts is typical of witchcraft.
Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, Craft of the Untamed p.166

Green Witchcraft and the Virid Road: Revisited

The Garden of the Gods

Urgently moving beneath our feet is the embodiment of life itself; in all its various cycles and stages of evolution and destruction.  The beauty that emerges from the depths of our world is not always obvious like the towering tree or the beautiful lilly, and it is not necessarily a pestilence, as dandelion and hedge morning glory are often believed to be.  The green world is more than the plants and trees, the low shrubs and creeping vines.   It is more than river water, fungi, ocean spray, yellow dune grass or soft emerald moss.  It is the entire function of the world, of nature.  It is the sacred balance between the sun, our atmosphere, the rotation of our planet, the position of our moon, the ocean pulled by the moon, the seasons controlled by the tilt of our planet as she warms her broad, round face against the light of the sun.  The world as the system of nature we are dependent on is mistress of functions,  cycles, rhythms, random order and evolution of life.  In this way, she is EVERYTHING that matters in the end for our species of animal, and all others she has spent the last few billion years working at. 

To the typical animist; emanating and pulsing within all living things is some kind of life, a soul, a spirit, anam, flame, spark- something alive in its own mysterious way.  To many pagans and perhaps traceable through the reasoning of anthropology, the cultural entities we've called on through history may have began their existence as embodiments of nature, given their humanity by mankind.  Agricultural deities, seasonal deities and gods of natural functions are a part of every old mythology, and I personally believe this speaks to our deepest animal roots.   Nature and how she works is divine.

The green path is not merely a buzz word for the “eco-age” nor is it an interest in pretty flowers or a talent for working the garden- it is a spiritual understanding and reverence for all the aspects of nature that we draw our lives from.   Stone, sea, herb and tree- it is the foundation for life as we know it, and in this way, green witches are stewards of the land, workers of plant spirit medicine and witches who work for the wild spirit. Green witchcraft is a modern term that has no set definition or style. In no way is it a survival of an ancient magical system or tradition, but it is the modern interpretation of many practices from lore that center around the witch as herbal sorceress, as wild woman, as land venerator and for some, plant shaman. The roots of herbalism extend far before agriculture, but the two are entwined as the witch may be both a wild woman of the forest and a gardener. I can only speak of green witchcraft as I've come to know it, and how it's come to be, in my opinion, a means by which some may resurrect the religion-of-the-land in their practice. For me, it is not only my practice, but is the way I live my life. I can only speak of witchcraft as a practice that extends to many cultures and civilizations, and when I speak of the spiritual aspects of this craft I do not speak for all green witches or the cosmology or cosmogony of witches in general who are diverse and varying, I only speak of the roots and links I see between things.

From the Roots of Man

The neolithic revolution brought about the beginning of the end of the hunter-gatherer societies for the most part, and ushered in the domestic era. At this point, the wild is no longer the only doorway to the underworld, but the boundaries of the farm land marked by the edge of the wild suddenly become the doorways between our lives and the otherworld. Some of the first vegetation man learned to cultivate were wheat, flax, peas and lentils, and some of the original animals of husbandry were of course bovine, goats, sheep and avians. In the last 10,000 years and quite possibly even before that (in the time of forest-gardening and selective hunting/gathering), mankind has been able to sustain growing societies and alter forever the fabric of spirituality. When man began to exert his control over the land and animals through agriculture, he began to alter the nature of spirituality and the agricultural deity was born from this evolutionary and mystical discovery. The land began to encompass the field and local forest, rather than the dangerous and deadly wild wood alone.

Later, hedgerows would be planted of elderberry, bramble and ivy. These places would serve as a protection for the home, a place to gather savory herbs and herbal simples for healing, and would also be home to many forms of life; birds, hares, mice, squirrels, small predators and various insects. In this way, the barrier of dense forest or an old hedge would be both a representative of life and life's diversity, but was also the appropriate market for a more domestic kind of witch, or a wild witch who was not too inclined to move far from her homestead during dangerous and wintery times. At the stone walls that separated wild from domestic or the rows of thick bramble that shielded one's pastures from predators life was abundant, as was death. The superstitions behind the belief in gateways barriers and roads to the otherworld begin the encompass the hedgerow and fence surrounding one's farm or garden, and the hedge or wall acts as a manmade manifestation of the gateway. A wild witch may lean her back against the spider infested, moss covered wall or lay before the sparrow-haunted huckleberry bushes some time during a liminal hour (like twilight or dawn) and wait for the spirits who visit the home or village during these veiled hours. This can be dangerous; many fall prey to the allure of the otherside and find themselves in the other world without meaning to be. Some witches however, master this meditation and cross the boundaries quite successfully. Offerings are best left at these places, as well as messages to the dead in the form of parchment, hanging wishes or talismans.

On all the tombs of their dead the Romans inscribed these names: Manes, inferi, silentes, the last of which, meaning the silent ones, is equivalent to the term 'People of Peace' given to the fairy-folk of Scotland.  Nor were the Roman Lares always thought of as inhabiting dwellings. Many were supposed to live in the fields, in the streets of cities, at cross-roads, quite like certain orders of fairies and demons; and in each place these ancestral spirits had their chapels and received offerings of fruit, flowers, and of foliage. If neglected they became spiteful, and were then known as Lemures.
-W. Y. Evans-Wentz, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries

Herbalism had early beginnings and we are not the only animals to accomplish rudimentary understandings of the medical nature of plants (chimps, dogs, chickens, sheep- even some insects have been known to have some understanding of the healing use of a particular herb), though so far we alone are those who have attributed magical functions to herbs, trees and fungi. The use of herbs for medical reasons goes back long before civilization began, but the first civilization we know of to record studies on the medicinal use of plants are the Sumerians (the Egyptians and South East Indians would later make their own discoveries, and Chinese herbalism would later become one of the most medically useful studies in this field).

In the middle ages, herbal sorcery- bred from the folklore and cultural superstitions of plants would play quite a big role in the witch trials inevitably.  In England the writings on herbal medicine AND herbal mysticism from Greece and Rome survived into the middle ages and became the broad template for herbalism in the life of the village healer. This person who may have been the distributor at an apothecary or worked as a wise person in the rural areas was usually ascribed spiritual powers by the locals and was thus set-apart from the village to be viewed as a cunning man or woman who may converse with magics and faeries unseen by the common man. While some authors of herbalist history maintain that the link between witchcraft and herbalist maybe overplayed, I cannot disagree more as history, lore and legend from even early Greece draw strong links between the sorceress and healing/harming herbs. In the middle ages, the sorceress was different from the village wise person or cunning-man- all this changed during the witch trials where both were for the most part seen as interchangeable in nature (and there is quite a bit of evidence to support the notion that a witch and a cunning person may be capable of varying degrees of helping and harming regardless of title). Herbal folk medicine as practices by the village wise-person or even local midwives became synonymous with herbal sorcery and there is no doubt that the herbal sorceress would have a working knowledge of plants for their medical benefits just as she had knowledge of their souls and spiritual qualities.
Given the ambivalent nature of early modern cunning folk, therefore, when we are presented with trial records describing them performing both good and bad magic, it is difficult to establish with any certainty whether the cited practitioner was a cunning woman or a witch.  Similar difficulties arise when it comes to identifying their familiar spirits.  
-Emma Wilby, Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanic Visionary traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic p.55
Today's green witch likely counts herself to be an herbalist of some sort (whether by training or on an amateur level) and is most definitely connected to plants on a spiritual level. I do not equate herbal witchery with green witchcraft, I think the word “green” has considerably more meaning to it than one's interest in herbs- it extends into all facets of nature as mystical and even to the function life, the sun and moon and our entire ecosystem which is an evolutionary wonder. Herbalists work only with herbs, solely for their healing properties, whereas a witch or sorceress of the green or wild draws her workings from the use of plants, the land, the weather and wood (healing is not always the point). 
The healer is a source of hope in the community.  But his power is two-edged. If he should fail, demand extortionate and uneconomic returns for his services, or become hostile, then he became a source of menace and a focus for anxiety,  The refusal of Canon Law, to distinguish between black and white magic... regardless of whether is is intended to heal or harm, in fact reflects a peasant reality: that the healer can be dangerous.

-C. Larner, Enemies of God: the Witch-hunt in Scotland
 Though the term “green witch” has been used in many ways, from describing a “lineaged tradition” to “forest druidry” the most reasonable view of this term I've come to find is defining it as a type of practice and perhaps a religious ideology centered around the veneration of or magical working relationship with nature/the land (as well as nature deities, faeries, spirits etc).

The Undefined 

Because this path is not some set tradition and differs from person to person, one cannot know what the truth is. The definition of green witchcraft in the eyes of the wider pagan world seems to be the object of some confusion.   I can't speak for all green witches, but I do know there are some definitions out there that don't do this green path justice or outright confuse it with new-age or contemporary movements like neo-wicca and Wicca.  Despite what you may read in popular literature sold at major book-chains, green witchcraft is not necessarily the "path of faery and faery magic", nor is it some sort of blend of ceremonial/high magic and wicca. It is not a tradition in the sense of having a founder (which I believe is the most popular notion out there). While green witchcraft may mean many things, it certainly doesn't mean “ancient family tradition” to me or any practicing wild sorceress I am acquainted with.

While I think Moura is an excellent author and I've appreciated her books in introducing me to some interesting ideas, I would classify her literature as green wicca, not green witchcraft.  The reason for this is simple: there are no set laws, rules, regulations or dogma in green witchcraft- which is not a specific religion as much as a practice, and for some of us, a lifestyle.  Her books reflect wiccan liturgy that is not universal or widely used in greencraft.  For example, green witches in general do not automatically adhere to duotheism, which Moura broadly assigns to GW.  Though it may refer to her tradition, it doesn't quite apply to all traditions of greencraft.
The Green Tradition of Witchcraft sees the aspects of the Divine All as separate and united as Goddess, God and Both.- Ann Moura, Grimoire for the Green Witch, p.5
The arbitrary "Wiccaning" of greencraft is probably due to a poor understanding of witchcraft itself or an unfortunate amount of non-acceptance of traditional witchcraft which makes it hard to market literature geared towards the broader world of practice.   One thing I am certain of in my own research and my own practice is that green witchcraft is not comparable to Wicca, it does not come from the same sources,  it does not include laws, rules or spiritual beliefs unique to Wicca and is definitely not ruled by the same religious cosmology. The path is more abstract than that.
 The Rules of Conduct
1. Be careful what you do
2. Be careful who you trust
3. Do not use the Power to hurt another, for what is sent comes back
4. Never use the Power against someone who has the Power, for you draw front he same well.
5. To raise the Power you must feel it in your heart and know it in your mind.
[Words repeated through my maternal line since 1890] - 
Ann Moura, Grimoire for the Green Witch, p.8
Respectfully, I don't think these statements are representative of green witchcraft- which has no particular moral compass.  Spiritual morals in the craft of any kind is up to the individual or their tradition.  And if the above statements were meant to apply solely to her line of tradition, I don't believe it's accurate to attach these neo-wiccanesque beliefs to green witchcraft itself.  
Arin Murphy Hiscock, author of The Way of the Green Witch is another popular author I appreciate, and I think she has a more realistic view of non-Wiccan greencraft than many popular GW authors:
A green witch usually works alone, interacting primarily with the natural world. Historically, a green witch lived apart, using the energies of plants and trees around her to heal others.  Those who needed her services traveled to see her. These days, a green witch is more likely to be living in the middle of a city or in the suburbs, and her garden is likely to be small.  -Arin Murphy HiscockThe Way of the Green Witchp.1

Simply put, green witchcraft cannot be defined in a religious context or compared to other traditions: it is sorcery or magic, devotion and spiritual stewardship that revolves entirely around nature, the phenomenon that effect our planet (the moon, sun), the cycles of our seasons and the medicine (both spiritual and physical) that comes from plants.   

The green witch does not have a passive interest in "magical herbalism"; they have an intense focus on the lore of the trees, the animal story tellers in the wild, the sacred uses of minerals and waters, and the spiritual medicine of baleful herbs. They typically also have a desire to seek healing from plants in the garden and in the wild, and devote to the rhythmic movement of ever-changing life.  The seasonal markers; solstices and equinoxes would hold more value to a green witch than the cultural festivals of the Wheel of the Year, though through circumstance and personal interest, some of us, myself included, do incorporate a wheel of the year in our own individual way (my wheel has many spokes).  This is something in GW that I fell in love with, your freedom to choose the way we practice this natural energy without restraint, laws or made up dogma.  
Folkloric Witchcraft and the Forest Doorway

In my path, green witchcraft is a folkloric tradition of witchcraft- combining our primordial relationship to the green growing world with supernatural or "magical" practices that usually reflect a devotion to the spirit world through the doorway of nature; shapeshifting, crossing/traveling, walking the land, spirit flight, spirit-aided healing, cursing, etc.  The door to the otherworld lies along the Ghost Roads, which cross each other in sacred lines along the land.  It is a place of power that is utilized by green witches who are keeping-the-weald, performing a devotion to a piece of land, sacred grove or natural spring.  The otherworld mirrors our own, and we are a pale reflection of that otherworldly beauty.  I believe the otherworld, a place we are so intrinsically drawn to, is the pure truth of things which illuminates our own world.  We are reflecting the light like the moon to the sun, and oh how beautiful the otherworld must be if our own lush land is so exquisite.
For the Fae-world is the fire, and our world the pale luminescent halo of the fire... 
The Fae-world contains the pureness of things, the reality of things, the perpetual pure fountain that is matrix to things, and everything that spontaneously leaps from the unseen into the seen is only a passing simulacrum, a ghost, a fraction of its source. -Robin Artisson, The Resurrection of the Meadow, p.82
Through nature, some of us find a swifter and more spiritual root to the inner darkness, the illumination of the soul and the otherworld.  Folklore and faery tales from around the world encompass tales of how the otherworld may be reached through travel in the forest, or getting lost in the woods: be it Goldilocks, Gretel or the Golden Key, each found their way the otherworld or underworld which is usually characterized in folklore as elphen, fairyland or pharie.  The mystical relationship between the other-worlds and ours has not disappeared.
Forging a special relationship with some piece of land or aspect of the garden is important to me and other GW's I know.  It can be called protecting the grove, meadow-watching, guardianship, tree-tending or, for me, keeping-the-weald.  Every forest has a heart, or sacred wells of energy that may want or even need protection from the every-day person who lacks any respect for the forest... and that's a lot of people.  Witches by nature form relationships with the spirits or with a familiar or in medieval witchcraft- faeries and demons. A wild witch who works in the green of the land may be more inclined to form relationships with the dead-in-the-land (the dead who are connected to certain places) and the genius loci rather than an astral being or demon. A green witch may have some special plot in the woods or special tree in the garden that they clean, feed offerings, till, tend, prune- any number of caring.  This isn't done in expectation of demanding some power in return, it's done to protect the beauty of that place and revel in its bounty and to maintain relationships built with the spirits of the land.  This draws from our pagan roots in worship of sacred groves:
Amongst the Celts the oak-worship of the Druids is familiar to every one, and their old word for sanctuary seems to be identical in origin and meaning with the Latin nemus, a grove or woodland glades which still survives in the name of Nemi.  Sacred groves were common among the ancient germans and tree worship is hardly extinct amongst their descendants at the present day. -Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough
Tree and grove worship takes place in the history and myths of many cultures; from India to West Africa, from the coastal people of the Northwest to the indigenous people of Japan.  It's easy to see why we value trees, meadows and sacred springs even today.  They are wells of life, wells of knowledge, the spiritual fountains of the land.
The native peoples of European lands knew the sacred had manifested most profoundly among them as the tree-beings, their benefactors, and therefore a great magic was associated with them and paramount importance given to their well-being.- Rosa Romani, Poppy Palin, Rae Beth, Green Spirituality: Magic in the Midst of Life, p.12
Part of being a green witch is becoming as skilled in wildcrafting as you'd like and being familiar with the land you live on.  Wildcrafting for medicinal herbs, edibles, and materials for magical practice will always be more powerful than purchasing ingredients through a middle-man because it forces you to take responsibility for your actions and to face the plant you are crafting from, or killing, face-to-face.  There is a lot of honor in facing your prey.  Americans and most first-worlders are so far removed from the gory reality of death or the end of life in general that the idea of going out and facing our prey is incredibly repellant on any level.  I don't share this view the way I did as a teenager.  Now, I craft my own supplies or buy from other witches who collect/obtain their herbs respectfully.    There is something primally satisfying about eating something you grew in your own garden or dug from the wild.  There's something deeply captivating about drying and brewing your own teas, boiling herbs in animal fats for your own salve, grinding powders from flowers you collected with permission from the earth.  It takes skill, time, and education to be able to masterfully wildcraft, wild-harvest or forest garden, and it's an ongoing process.  I am still working on it myself.
...she dreamed that henceforth Life and Death and all Nature were shut within her body, that at the cost of oh!  infinite travail, she had conceived in her womb great Nature's self. 
-Jules Michelet, The Sorceress 
Inner Roots, Liminal Places and Spirit Roads

The witch is a liminal being who  must be connected to nature in order to feel content and complete.
Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, Craft of the Untamed

The Green Path in witchcraft is not something I believe you can learn only from books; it's experiential, requiring trial and error, practice and patience.  It takes place in the wood and valley, in the garden and hedge, and so it must be discovered in it's habitat- not in the home. So many new-age witches these days are not prepared to explore the intrinsically dark and sinister side of witchery as the very word itself demands, and there is no greater teacher than the harsh reality of nature. I don't believe that it is wholly good or wholly bad- I believe it is reflective of nature- neutral and incapable of choosing one extreme above the other.  Nature functions as destroyer and creator, a cycle of life that is not evil because a hurricane destroys a city, or good because sun warms our crops, it is simply pure in its balance of endings and beginnings- life and death.  Experiencing greencraft means a lot of things; studying plants and plant lore, learning to wildcraft,  knowing your environment and the animals there, applying the beauty of herbs to your rituals, communicating with the flora and fauna, offering some sort of service or sacrifice back to the earth, being a part of nature rather than living apart from nature.  

Though green witchcraft is a magical practice, it can manifest itself as a religious practice and a private tradition.  A green witch may be a polytheist, or an atheist, a worshiper of nature spirits (which for some involve the fey and the dead), or worship cultural deities who represent functions in nature.  Shamanism, particularly plant shamanism is often utilized (with care and respect), because who better understands animism and the spiritual calling to plants than the shamans of Siberia, the curanderas of Central America, the ayahuascero of South America and various other spirit-workers and soothsayers in the indigenous world?  Shamans (in the common non-cultural use of the term) are those in some tribal cultures who understood the spirituality of the herbal world, not just the magic. They are not witches, though witches have always combined their indigenous/shamanic practices with their own necromancy and energy work.  The shaman is a mediator between spirits, and plant spirits are among the most revered for their abundant healing and harming abilities. 

Liminal spaces in both the wild and the domestic frontier like hedgerows, fences, walls or the forest line, are sacred doorways by witch the witch, like a shaman, may pass between the worlds. The doorway of nature stands dual faced like Janus, and is also known as the twilight veil, the grey veil or simple the veil. These boundaries, like the hedgerow, are of mans creation and a relativity new aspect of journey magic. Before the hedge, often low stone walls were build right at the edge between the cleared farming land and the wild yonder and even before the wall, there was the simple boundary of trees that separated the farms of a secluded village from the dangerous, predator filled forest that was known by the lay men and wise women to be the place where faery world meets our own.

As villages and landowners cleared the forest for agriculture, they would leave the last few feet if forest standing to mark the outer boundaries of their land. A traditional witch will know that these boundaries have a spacial magical significance, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Melusine Draco, Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows, p.3

The boundaries separating civilization and wilderness were seen as not just physical barriers but often had lore attached to them, depending on the area. The woods itself and it's natural wonders are part of these liminal spaces, these power sinks found along faery-ways, corpse roads and the crossroads. In these sacred spaces which make up quite a bit of familiar lore in old English folk-tales and legends, the land is a doorway where mischief and death are often found, and so the witch is tied intrinsically to the lore of these passages; as the bean sidhe or the hag or a wailing ghost who travels along the road at night. Perhaps the devil or man-in-green who is magister of night and bones is the witch himself, a crooked man. Indeed the travel of the spirit from the body is long linked to the devilish practices of the night-wandering witches of old.  Often, these sabbats took place in the wild or in some distant field which served as a liminal space where deity or spirit can transport us through the land and the worlds.

Those who want to become witches go forth at night to the sabbat, and there they perform three somersaults, but first they call upon the devil, to whom they all give themselves; they renounce their faith in god three times, and then spit into their hands; after they have rubbed their hands together three times, they are carried off by the devil in spirit, and leave the body behind bloodless and dead, until the devil returns the spirit to it.”
-words of Maria Panzona, Carlo Ginzburg, Night Battles: Witchcraft& Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries p.101

The heart of the forest also has a long history in faery lore as the place where our worlds meet or where the rainbow falls. This place is where the great god-wells of the forest is located, and where the spirits and gods are said to meet in their queer and seductive dance. Those lucky enough to be invited to join this wild place stand between the worlds in a state of oneness with both nature and the spirit of nature. Those unlucky enough to lose themselves in the wood face more dangers than the occasional cat or bear- they face the black court itself.

The spirits have a special place in any animistic faith, and green witches are by nature, animists.  The spirits of the world who were once living and those who have never shared the fleshy form are still a part of our world, and many of us believe that they move with us as we pass between worlds.  Faith in the spirits has a unique place in earth-worship, because we are tying the seen and the unseen together by worshiping the invisible through the visible realm. We utilize special places in nature like megaliths and hedges, as well as non-manmade spaces like springs, caves and groves to act as the temple where our green land and the green land of the other side meet in unity for certain times (or perhaps all of the time for some places; like a nemeton). Those who find their calling as dirty-nailed, wild-haired, fiery eyed mistresses and masters of the land may become devoted to the sacred places that speak to them personally. The gathering of pagans, druids and even witches (for the supposed sabbat) in a sacred grove is a common motif we find in the history of our animist ancestors. The act of making sacrifices and offerings or performing magical rituals or witcheries in some forested area (like Medea in her spellwork) is an old practice, and those of us who tend these sacred areas may be found making our dark offerings there in the wooded wild or at some sacred crossroads. I honor the spirit of the tree by feeding honey to it's branches, milk and wine to its roots.  

We all have our own interests and skills on the Virid Road, in the Green Woman's Garden. Some of us bridge the green garden with the kitchen (kitchen witchcraft) and bind these compatible practices into a factory of creation.  Some of us see the personal garden as a microcosm of the great garden and seek to make it as whole as we can.  Some specialize in physical healing, others in spiritual hexing.  Some of us master divination through plants and their spiritual guidance.  Some traditions of greencraft follow the road of the pharmakeia, poisoning or sorcerous drugging . Others follow the seasons and the tides of magic of the wheel.  Some, like myself, are more spiritually focused in this practice, and intuitive in their knowledge gathering, while others start with medical science and work with the biological functions of a plant before seeking the spirit. Green witchcraft, in essence, describes the collective nature-venerating practices that modern witches feel drawn to- from the wisdom of the ancients to the concerns of the future.  There is no "one" green path, there is only the ideology of connection to the divine and spirits through our progenitor; earth. I honor my ancestors through nature by walking along crossroads and leaving gifts for the beloved dead there. Through the doorway of the land, we pass into the otherworld and back again, never forgetting to serve both worlds through nature.

The maiden fair
Through the forest went.
Evil she muttered,
Herbs she collected,
Roots she extracted,
The moon she stole,
The sun she ate.
Aroynt her, hag!
Aroynt her, witch!
-Songs of the Russian People by W. R. S. Ralston [1872] SACRED TEXTS

Shroomery and a ladybird
Angelina Nelson-J, September 2011

Mentioned, with thanks:
  • Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanic Visionary traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic by Emma Wilby
  • Enemies of God: the Witch-hunt in Scotland by C. Larner
  • The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries By W. Y. Evans-Wentz 
  • Green Spirituality: Magic in the Midst of Life By Rosa Romani, Poppy Palin, Rae Beth
  • Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft by Ann Moura
  • Grimoire for the Green Witch by Ann Moura
  • The Golden Bough By Sir James George Frazer
  • Night Battles: Witchcraft& Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries  by Carlo Ginzburg
  • The Resurrection of the Meadow by Robin Artisson
  • The Sorceress by Jules Michelet
  • Traditional Witchcraft for Fields and Hedgerows by Melusine Draco
  • The Way of the Green Witch by Arin Murphy Hiscock

  • Earth, Air, Fire & Water by Scott Cunningham
    • Whispers from the Woods: The Lore and Magic of Trees by Sandra Kynes
    • Mastering Herbalism: A Practical Guide by Paul Huson
    • Wildflower Folklore by Laura C. Martin
    • Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody
    • Garden Flower Folklore (Insiders Guide: Off the Beaten Path) by Laura C. Martin
    • The Folklore of Trees and Shrubs by Laura C. Martin
    • Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees (Dover Pictorial Archives) by Ernst Lehner
    • Earth Magic: A Wisewoman's Guide to Herbal, Astrological, and Other Folk Wisdom by Claire Nahmad
    • Wildcrafting: Harvesting the wilds for a living : brush-picking, fruit-tramping, worm-grunting, and other nomadic livelihoods by Jack McQuarrie
    • Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean
    • Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness by Pam Montgomery
    • Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul by Ross Heaven
    • Plants of the Gods by Christian Ratsch
    • Nightbattles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by Carlo Ginzburg
    • The History of Domestic Plant Medicine by Gabrielle Hatfield
    Books related to the bridge between nature and spirit world:
      • Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch and Wolf-Dieter Storl Ph.D.
      • Nature Spirits & Elemental Beings: Working with the Intelligence in Nature by Marko Pogacnik

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