There are three things that I feel are vital to being a tree hugging dirt worshipper. Or Green Witch, Wild Witch, whatever title you’ve chosen to go by, if you’ve chosen one.
A Nature Witch needs to know the land, to understand Nature. Not necessarily in an esoteric magickal sense but certainly from a practical perspective.
A Nature Witch needs to be able to set aside his or her own ego and not make everything about their self.
A Nature Witch needs to realise that they are going to get dirty, sweaty, hot, cold, wet, bitten and scratched. The Nature Witch needs to be able to suck it up.
Let’s say a couple of witches have just walked into a nice clearing that will be perfect for a ritual. Only it’s swarming with mosquitoes. Many people will think this must be because Mother Nature is telling that this is not the right place or time for ritual.
Somehow, it doesn’t occur to them that they have just walked into a low lying and shaded clearing near a body of water. If they paid attention to the land, to Nature Herself, they’d know that mosquitoes congregate in low lying shaded clearings near bodies of water. Therefore this spot is not perfect for ritual, because it is the natural habitat of bugs that like to bite you and not for any esoteric reason at all.
This is why it’s important to set aside one’s ego, and to also actually learn a little something about Nature. It’s also important to understand and accept the fact that you’re going to walk into areas full of mosquitoes. While you may wisely choose not to do ritual in such a place, you are still likely going to bit as you pass through the area looking fro a more suitable location.
Mother Nature did not put in mosquitoes into your path. You happened to walk into a place where there were already mosquitoes. If you know a little something about the landscape you’re in, and a little something about mosquitoes, you might be able to avoid most mosquito ridden areas. However, no matter what you do, you will always have at least a minor run in with the local biting wildlife.
We all have limitations and obstacles. Some people are not going to be able to do hardcore backcountry hiking, for others even a walk in the park can be difficult. Folks have asthma, diabetes, allergies and so forth. The thing to do is to find a work around not to give up. You do what you can. Often, especially in this day and age we can do more than we think we can.
My own obstacles are not great but they are something I have to take into consideration. I sun burn very easily. I am allergic to all kinds of anti-bug spray and many kinds of sun lotion. I also have flat feet, which means that my feet don’t have proper arches. These arches are needed to properly distribute your weight through out your body, especially you skeletal structure. Having flat feet causes all kinds of foot, knee, leg and back pain when you are on your feet for long periods of time.
I wear clothes to protect me from the sun, suck it up and deal with bug bites and wear decent footwear, especially on long hikes. I also take lots of breaks to sit down.
People are spoiled, lazy and out of shape. I’ll admit that living in the city these last months has softened me up considerably as well. But the fact of the matter is the human body is designed to be able to out walk a gazelle across the African savannah. If only we were willing to actually do it.
Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes the land, Momma Nature, the gods (or whomever) are trying to tell us something. Magick does happen. Finding mosquitoes in a low lying, well shaded clearing near a body of water is not magickal. Finding mosquitoes in a dry and sunny spot, mid-day, with a raven feather lying on the ground just beneath where they are buzzing about, might just be however. Walking into an area that is low lying, shaded and near a body of water and knowing to look for mosquitoes is its own kind of “special”, even if its not very magickal.
Any gardener worth their salt knows dirt gets under fingernails, splinters happen and thorns will get you on occasion. Any farmer worth their salt will tell you to accept fatigue, stepping in manure and getting kicked by a horse now and then. Any Nature Witch worth their salt should also expect and accept such inconveniences.
Romanticising the wild is not only downright silly but it can also be downright dangerous. This is how people get eaten by bears, lost in the woods and walk into hornet’s nests. In the grand scheme of things you are just another animal moving through the bush.