Updated: Jan 2
Mindfulness Before Magick
The rise of the witch is here and as we shift from Earth energy into Air, the universe is holding space for something new to fill the void. Green Witches alone can tell you that Eco Witchcraft is by no means a new concept; they've been making use of the land for centuries while maintaining a balance of give and take that's sustainable, frugal, and harmonious.
As practitioners on this planet, we have to acknowledge, to some capacity, that we have a moral obligation to protect it. Mindful consumption and living a green lifestyle is, in effect, the most pragmatic way we can honor Earth, rather than strip her of her natural resources so our altars can look Instagram worthy.
Eco Witchcraft won't be a huge shift for some; but for others, it's good to have a launch pad from which to ascend. In this article, we'll be talking about the different ways in which you can practice your craft mindfully and sustainably.
WORK FROM THE INSIDE, OUT
Again, we're talking pragmatically. Spiritual and emotional health are obviously a huge part of our goal, but what I'm talking about is your diet. Clean eating is the first step to holistic clarity: clarity of the mind body and spirit. And as much as I don't want to be preachy about veganism, I will personally attest that, since I've converted to 95% vegan, I have more energy, clarity, and resilience than I ever had as an omnivore.
When you think about food as an energy, you have to think about the source of that energy. When you eat chicken that's been raised in a cage, covered in feces for it's whole life, and then shoved into the slaughtering line, well, you can imagine the energy going into that chicken. Now imagine eating it. If it still sounds appealing on a vibrational level to you, then by all means eat up! I won't deny that chicken tastes good, but I made a conscious choice to not go there anymore, and we all have a right to that choice.
Now, if eating meat is part of your spirituality or you just don't want to give it up, maybe consider finding locally sourced, free range options. We have a plethora in the valley that a lot of practitioners go to. I even know a handful who slaughter their own animals if that's your thing!
My point is: what you eat affects how you feel on a vibrational level. Or at least that's what I choose to believe. Interestingly enough, that's also why I don't eat funeral food! To wrap it all up, eat consciously. I'm not asking you to convert to vegetarianism or veganism, but if you do (and you do if right) you WILL feel amazing and your Magick will be more focused.
CRYSTALS AREN'T EVERYTHING
In the past year, there's been a pretty apparent boom in the crystal and mineral trade. I've seen everyone, from outdoorsmen to 3 year olds, cashing in on the vibrational benefits of these shiny babies. We're all just a bunch of fucking crows, if you ask me. But, like all things we consume from the earth, we need to take a step back and really LOOK at the environmental impact mining has on the planet.
The crystal and gemstone industry is largely a by-product of metal and ore mining. A lot of that type of mining includes the dessimation of land through strip mining, fracking, and a plethora of other questionable means of extraction. If that weren't enough, child labor and forced labor (slavery) is a HUGE problem in the mining of crystals. You've heard of blood diamonds? Well, it's the same concept.
Of course, I'm saying all of this at the risk of my own business, but I'm speaking from the heart and not as a business owner today. I've also made it a point at Pyramid to eliminate even the risk of contaminating my demure collection with these grossly unethical practices. But I don't think that's enough; which is why I'll be pairing my selection down even further to crystals that are obtained from more innocuous mining practices, or completely labratory-grown.
Am I saying you can't have crystals or indulge yourself with something that's vibing just for you? Of course not! But I want you to hear something and hear it well: The only tool out there that will get you closer to The All is your mind. Tools are just that, and I have my fair share of tools that help to "get me there", so to speak. But when that tool comes at the cost of the vitality of one's life or the suffering of our planet, there is no consecration that will undo the harm that's been done. To think any differently is privelege and willful ignorance.
Here's a link to help you know what to avoid and what types of questions to ask your favorite crystal schlepper. https://www.verite.org/project/jewels-2/ Pyramid will be putting a stronger focus on more abundant crystals and stones like jasper, quartz, varieties selenite, calcite, amethyst, and lab-grown specimens. Our selection may shrink, bit you'll be able to shop knowing that you're contributing a little less to an industry that capitalizes on the suffering of others.
YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE, PLASTIC
Until we acknowledge the benefits of plant-based, biodegradable options, plastics should have no part in your work. I'm not going to go into too much detail about this subject, because the environmental impact of them is common knowledge. This includes little nylon sachets, gift wrapped witch kits, little baggies of herbs and resins, and any other trinket that results in you immediately discarding a piece of trash that can't be buried safely in your yard or thrown in a river.
While we're at it, stop throwing glass spell jars in the river and ocean. Make a sachet with seed paper, wrap it in a banana leaf, or (as advised by the Glow Girl Podcast) use a toilet paper tube. It's written in Pyramid's business plan to remain a green business no matter what. We use only glass bottles (which are refillable for locals), we wrap only in 100% recycled paper, use natural twine for wrapping, or forego the wrapping altogether. We also offer 10% discounts on all refills and will be offering a 5% discount for anyone bringing in their own bags for shipping.
KEEP SMOKE CLEANSING SACRED
This is a subject I've discussed more than once, but it continues to be one of the most abused forms of magick in the industry. And it's just as much a retailer's responsibility as it is yours. The subject is smudge and the issue is at the source of it. Cultures around the world use smoke cleansing as a form of ritual ceremony, so why the FUCK is white sage the go-to for doing it?! Well, I'll tell you!
In the 70's the "new age" movement started to get foothold. Like most things in Western culture, it started on the west coast, where white sage grows abundantly and was and is held sacred by Indigenous Peoples in that region. This movement was obviously LOADED with white folks and, as we do best, we bastardized this plant through capitalism and, eventually, profiteering. Now, white sage for consumers is farmed, and indigenous tribes are able to harvest or grow the wild varieties for their original intent; as is Palo Santo. But it still begs the question: If smoke cleansing is done across the globe, why are we still appropriating these sacred plants from Indigenous Peoples? And that's where business owners come in.
It is our responsibility to provide magick ethically and sustainably, but most of us are either unaware or tuned out of the cultural and environmental impact of the capitalism of sacred plants. Pyramid doesn't currently carry Palo Santo or White Sage because I was told not to unless it was gifted to me by a Tribe member. And since the person who I consulted with is a friend and embassador to her Tribe, I decided to listen. What we DO carry is a variety of 18 different smudge options! And, guess what?! None of them are white sage or Palo Santo, and they ALL DO THE SAME THING. Of course, there are nuances with the vibrational energy of each plant, but just as it is in herbalism, there's always an alternative that's more abundant or available.
NATURAL CANDLES ARE BEST CANDLES
I know all about the meaning of colors. I do. And you've probably noticed I mostly carry unscented, uncolored beeswax and soywax candles. But do you know why? It's because most chime candles and 7-day candles are made with paraffin wax: a by-product of petroleum. It's not something I burn in my own home, much less in any ritual, because it's so synthetic and processed, there's hardly a bit of nature left in them. Not to mention that most of them use synthetic dyes and or mica as a colorant. Mica mining is well-known for its use of forced labor and child labor, so... Yeah. Easy choice.
Beeswax and plant-based waxes, however, work on an ionic level. By releasing negative ions in the air, they can actually enhance your spell conditions! Yeah! And if you're that married to color, you can always just paint that shit with some water based paint. Not only will it connect you more with your work, but you can find the exact shade you want and have enough paint for another 50 candles! Personally, I choose to go with solid intent. If I say a candle is to ward off evil spirits, that's what it's gonna fucking do. If I say it's to settle my upset stomach, so mote it be. Which leads me to my closing topic...
INTENTION STARTS WITH INPUT
If you've kept up with my blogs, you probably know that they've been more of a critique on the woo crowd than 100% enamoration. It's not that I LIKE dissention, but sometimes a good, hard spanking is just what we need to remind us of what's important. And what's important the planet and its resources. I'm not going to sit here and dictate how you should practice, but I'm more than happy to inform and educate on the glossed-over truths of the craft.
Capitalism is hard to thwart, but I believe that if we can enter the process with mindfulness (starting with the way we consume) we truly can live more harmoniously with our home as Eco Witches. Consume, practice, and live with intent, my friends.