I want to take my path as a witch more seriously but I live in a city and I have so little contact with nature that I am finding it very difficult?
I sometimes think the practise of Witchcraft has become a little bit too bound up with the idea of nature worship. That is not to say that nature isn’t important – it is, of course it is -but the fundamental principle of following a craft path is learning to use your environment and the energies around you to work magic in the world. Regardless of what environment you live in there are energies surrounding you. I think it is important to realise that as witches we are not limited by the absence of green fields. A witch is a witch whether she lives in a high rise flat or on a farm.
What you need to do is to look at which aspects of your world you can use to inspire you as a witch. When I do work in the cities. I use the history of the beautiful old buildings to meditate on those who have gone before me and to visualise what life would have been like in those days. I call upon the ancestors of Tudor, Elizabethan and Stuart times to bring different values and perspective to my work.
There is also a real history to many cities – who could not walk the Edinburgh catacombs or the killing streets of Jack the Ripper without absorbing some of the remnants of emotion left lingering in the air. As witches these traces of human sentiment are the lifeblood of what we do. Utilise these energies to invoke power and to direct your magic.*
Cities are often filled with the vibrancy of other cultures and big cities have an “energy” all of their own that you can tap into. Watch the people flocking up and down the escalators in subway/tube stations and think about how you can use it. I did a spell once where I placed a small unobtrusive sticker on the moving handrail of an escalator and I charmed the sticker so that every single person who touched it during the day (thousands) would siphon a tiny bit of their energy through the sticker into me. Kind of like a magnet to draw strength from the crowds. Worked rather well but I doubt I could have pulled off a spell like that if I’d stuck my sticker on a country stile. Learn to adapt the spells you work to the place in which you are working them.
Having talked about the value of working magic without the influence of nature, just because you live in a city it doesn’t mean that there has to be an absence of nature in your life. Pot plants, herb seeds on the window sill, clearing litter from the local parks… You can find nature if you are willing to work for it and look for it. Even something as simple as growing watercress in a used yoghurt pot can bring a touch of the outside world into your life. Nature doesn’t need to be on an abundant scale, sometimes it is the small things that prompt the momentary pause for introspection. When I see the cracks in a building start to weaken with an invasion of the oh so territorial ivy plant I rejoice in the reminder of the power of nature and its ultimate ability to outlast us all. Look for it. Even in the cities you will find nature, I promise you…
* There is a place local to me – Eyam in Derbyshire - where the energies are just too much for me. The place was sealed off during the plague and the locals left to die. I won’t be going back, I’m not generally empathetic but this place really knocked me sideways. For the same reason I don’t believe I will ever visit Auschwitz.
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