secular green witchcraft

Social Justice Witch

A core value of many witchcraft practices regardless of your traditions hinge on finding a balance with the Earth. They speak of paying respect to the earthly elements and using it to manifest your goals. I'd argue both the Earthy view is important, but so are the things of the earth. This means not just plants and stones, but people. To that extent social justice and fighting for equality should be core to the witch's craft.

Healing Crystals

Many "healing" crystals are obtained through unethical highly problematic means and we've seen an acceleration of that as the trend of crystals has become popularized. Not only can obtaining these crystals be harmful to your fellow human, but they can also be harmful to the earth [1]. There are ethical means for getting these crystals yourself, but it can be hard and requires doing actual research. I understand the appeal of a beginner witch to want to grab whatever is easiest, but careful ethical selection is its own sort of spell.

Smudging and Cultural Appropriation

The term smudging comes from various First Nations and Native American ceremonies and they have very specific meanings and practices. It's another practice that has been appropriated by new age healers. Specifically it's yet another case of demand harming the ecosystem [2] as demand suddenly sky rockets by new practitioners looking for a quick and easy way to feel better.

Smoke cleansing [3] is not only a more appropriate term for this practice, but also opens up the door to more herbs to source to cleanse your space. Taking time to carefully select the correct herbs for the effect or feeling you want allows you to be more mindful with this practice and allows it to have more meaning to you.

Gender Binaries

One of the biggest problems I found when I first started reading about witchcraft was the strict adherence to a gender binary. Male god, female goddess. I was even finding herbs and colors being gendered across these strict lines which to me was absolutely baffling. Why introduce gender into it. Binarisms feel limiting to me in general, but then applying it to items that don't actually have gender is then moving those limitations into things that did not previously have them. This also feels incredibly insensitive to our non-binary siblings. Casting a Queer Circle talks about ways we can have a more inclusive practice.

Gods

This one is on me. It's not an ethical problem. It's that I fundamentally struggle with the idea of a god. My "higher power" if I were to select one is the world. The universe. The natural laws. Death and life and what falls between those two states of being. There's enough magic in nature for me to be satisfied with that. A rational thinking god to me likely seems cruel and uncaring, but nature is just that. It's not thinking. It's not rationalizing. It just is and how can I possibly be angry about that?