Quiz: What Kind of Witch Are You?

This quiz takes a unique approach to helping you find your particular path in the Craft.

No one fits perfectly into any one of the following profiles, and this list of profiles is not meant to be exhaustive. 

You may find you fall into more than one category—or even see parts of yourself in all of them.  Rather than trying to pigeonhole yourself into any one specific category, think of this quiz as a general guide to help you figure out which aspects of the Craft resonate with you the most.  At the end, I listed some suggestions for further exploration depending on your answers.

quiz what kind of witch are you

There’s no need to click on your answers.  Simply read through the questions and get a gist for the number you get most often (mostly 1s, mostly 2s, ect).  Then scroll to the bottom to view your results.

The goal is not to typecast yourself, but to draw out and explore different aspects of the Craft in you.

(All the images in this post are my work. If you are interested in learning more about my photography, please checkout my photography website.  Also, be sure to check out my handmade witchcraft items.)

Okay, here we go!

Question 1:  Which collection of images most appeals to you?

1.  are you a sea witch crop

2.  are you a green witch crop

3.  are you a mind body witch crop

4.  are you an urban witch crop

5.  are you a shadow witch crop

6.are you a solar powered witch cropped

Question 2:  My favorite part of ritual is:

1.  Generating energy during the power raising.  Building powerful emotion is intensely spiritual for me.
2.  Burning the incense or ritual herbs.  I always blend my own!
3.  Grounding & centering.  I find it easy to move from one frame of mind to another smoothly.
4.  Spending time alone.  Sometimes, I feel overstimulated by my rushed life.
5.  Working outdoors at night or with the lights out.  There’s a sacred quiet in darkness for me.
6.  Lighting the candles.  I find natural light soothing and meditative.

Question 3:  My ideal vacation involves:

1.  A beach.
2.  Camping equipment.
3.  Finding a yoga class close to my hotel.
4.  Looking up the local occult shops before I go.
5.  A ghost tour.
6.  The desert.

Question 4:  As far as the kitchen goes

1.  I love making seafood or sushi.
2.  I especially like cooking things I grew myself.
3.  I enjoy kneading bread.
4.  I haven’t turned the oven on since I moved into this apartment.  I’m not even 100% sure it works—and I don’t care.
5.  I enjoy making rich desserts that some people call “sinful.”  Wink.
6.  I love to barbecue outside.

Question 5:  On my altar, you are most likely to find:

1.  A jar of ocean water.
2.  Seasonal herbs from my garden.
3.  Meditation balls.
4.  A very few select items.  I have a small space, so my altar is tiny, but meaningful.
5. An offering to Hekate.
6.  Fresh cut flowers.

Question 6:  Of the following Sabbats, the best one for me is

1.  Mabon.  The summer crowds are gone, but the beach is still warm!
2.  Ostara.  The anticipation of gardening season jolts me out of my winter blues.
3.  Imbolc.  The candles burning everywhere make me feel serene and peaceful.
4.  Yule.  All the lights and parties lift my spirit.
5.  Samhain.  If you knew me, this would be obvious.
8.  Litha.  The sun in its full glory revitalizes me.

Question 7:  My clothing style is best described as

1.  Light I like easy, flowing clothing that’s both pretty and comfortable.
2.  Natural.  I favor wholesome clothes like hemp & 100% cotton.
3.  Stretchy.  I have, like, ten pairs of yoga pants.
4.  Edgy.  I don’t mind pushing the boundaries with clothes that make a statement.
5.  Dark.  If I’m looking for a specific shirt, I can never find it because almost everything is black.
6.  Bright.  I like reflective accessories and shimmering fabrics.

Question 8:  My favorite moon phase is:

1.  Full Moon.  I love the effect it has on the tides.
2.  New Moon.  I like to nurture things from the beginning.
3.  First Quarter/Last Quarter.  I like the balance & symmetry of equal halves of dark and light.
4.  Full Moon.  The full moon infuses the nightlife with so much energy!
5.  Dark Moon.  I enjoy the deeper night sky.
6.  Actually, I usually do my ritual during the day and use the sun’s energy as my guide.

Question 9:  If I had to pick a divination system to try, it would definitely be:

1.  Cloud scrying.  I have difficultly enjoying rainy days, and this is a nice way to spend them.
2.  Reading tea leaves.  I feel a deep connection to herbs and the messages they contain.
3.  The I Ching.  I appreciate the orderly nature of numbers in fortune telling.
4.  Scying mirrors.  I love the peering into “the abyss” to see what secrets and mysteries there are waiting to be discovered.
5.  Bone Reading.  I see intrinsic beauty in studying natural artifacts with a past.
8.  Runes.  I love the historical ties of this system to ancient sun worship.

Question 10:  My friendships are:

1.  Intensely emotional, but sometimes unstable.
2. 
Grounded and down-to-earth, but sometimes boring.
3.  Intelligent, but sometimes cold.
4.  Exciting, but sometimes lack depth.
5.  Private, but sometimes lonely.
6.  Open and honest, but sometimes leave me feeling exposed.

The Sea Witch (Mostly 1’s)

are you a sea witch

You feel a magnetic pull to the ocean and the Element of Water.

Though staying afloat in the rough waters of your life sometimes means riding strong currents, your spiritual world brims with intense, profoundly insightful revelations that you often keep to yourself.

Try keeping a paper Book of Shadows to record the “changing tides” of your inner world.

Consider visiting the ocean during the off season for a more private beach experience and better opportunity to conduct rituals away from prying eyes.

Maintain a sea witch altar to harness the power of the ocean and bring it indoors.

Play sounds of the ocean during your meditations or rituals to get your “beach fix,” especially if you live far away from the nearest shore.

Hedge Witches make lovely companions for the Sea Witch as they tend to usher in a sense of grounded-ness and stability.

Hedge Witch/Green Witch (Mostly 2’s)

are you a green witch

Everyone knows you were born with a “green thumb.”  You feel a special connection to the Element of Earth and take particular satisfaction in making things grow—-in the garden, and in life.

You feel silly admitting it, but your efforts in the garden are so heartfelt, you sometimes experience a twinging sense of loss if a treasured  plant doesn’t make it through the growing seasons.  You may even design an elaborate garden blessing ritual to welcome good vibes into your planting beds.

Your realistic approach to magick makes you solidly grounded in reality, and your like-minded friends respect you for it.

The winter months are the hardest for you, especially if the weather forces you to skip your otherwise regular nature walks.

To nourish your earthy vibes during the colder months, try working with your stock of dried herbs to make herbal cold remedies or combine your knowledge of witchcraft with your knowledge of plants to create magically-infused homemade bath and body products.

The Solar Powered Witch makes a great match for you in friendship.

The Mind/Body Witch (Mostly 3s)

are you a mind body witch

With a well-worn yoga mat and a bookshelf groaning under the weight your vast personal library, you intuitively sense the inseparable link of mind and body.

Your friends describe you as a “thinker,” and you often engage them in thoughtful conversations about spirituality.  You have a special ability to debate ideas without offending or alienating people who disagree with you.

Whether perfecting your downward dog or learning strong breath control, mastering the physical plane as it relates to realm of the mind makes up a big part of your journey.

You may have tried fasting for spiritual reasons or made natural childbirth a goal during pregnancy.

Expand on your special gift for uniting (or, more accurately reuniting) the mind, body & soul.  Try a dance form that encourages spiritual expression (see Belly Dance for Pagans) or join a meditation group and use your strong cerebral awareness to connect with others.

Consider using your special gift to align body and mind by getting licensed as a midwife or try exploring hypnotherapy.

The Urban Witch (Mostly 4s)

are you an urban witch2

Whether or not you call a major metropolitan home, bustling cities get your blood pumping—which, for you, works its own kind of magick.

In your coven or community, you are the most likely to have stepped “out of the broom closet” to publicly acknowledge you practice the metaphysical arts.

And why not?  After all, you tend to surround yourself with people who are quirky and open-minded.  Your own esoteric interests sometimes even seem vanilla by comparison.

The challenges of practicing a nature-centered religion in a major city sometimes frustrate you, but you work around them with simple adaptations, like creating a window garden to cultivate herbs or taking advantage of the abundant temples and diversity around you.

The Shadow Witch (Mostly 5’s)

are you a shadow witch

While others misinterpret your tendency to retreat to the shadows in contemplation as moody, those who know you best appreciate your intrinsic sense of mystery.

You understand that darkness has a place in spiritual life.  Rather than fearing it, you embrace it and recognize that without it, light has no contrast.

Your natural curiosity and fearlessness draw you to exploring spiritual matters that other, less bold witches shy away from.  While you respect the risks of experimentation, ghost hunting, the Ouiji board and other related subjects appeal to your adventurous tendencies.

Consider exploring spiritualism to nurture your curiosity about the afterlife with people who understand this instinct.

With their accepting nature and extreme open-mindedness, the Urban Witch makes an excellent match in friendship for the Shadow Witch.

are you a solar powered witch.jpg

Your luminous optimism brightens any room you walk into.  The  light that shines out of you draws others in and encourages them to gather around you like a bonfire.

You often find yourself in leadership roles because you appear transparent to those around you and that inspires trust.   Your gift for bringing people together is best used to organize them for a good cause.

This powerful combination of ambition and the ability meet the minds of even deeply divided people uniquely qualifies you for public service in your spiritual community—–but only if you can stay humble and keep your ego in check.

Magickally, you’ve never quite been satisfied with the heavy emphasis of modern witchcraft, the moon and the seemingly lopsided role of solar energy in ritual.  Try exploring sun magick.  You may find it more satisfying.

Particularly, your “sunny” optimism makes you well-suited to the art of joy spells and spells to banish depression.

You often feel tempted to rely only on your own judgement, but your powers are fullest when you keep the wise counsel of others.  The Mind/Body Witch makes a wonderful companion for you in business and charity work.

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Fall Gardening with a Green Witch

A bittersweet time for the gardener, we usually think of autumn as the harvest season.

But a few duties remain.

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First, it’s bulb planting time!

My husband gifted me an amazing raised bed for our anniversary that I plan to turn into a vegetable garden in the spring.

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For now, I decided to sew some garlic, which needs a long time in the ground before harvesting.

I got these garlic bulbs from a talented herb gardener in West Virginia.  I’ve never truly tasted garlic until I tasted hers.  Expertly knowledgeable, she recommended to me the spiciest hard-neck variety.  Here’s hoping it takes!

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Also on the list, tulips and hyacinthus, my two favorite spring flowers.  I love bulbs because they encourage us to look forward to the future, they come back every year, and they keep doubling, so you can dig them up and give them away to friends.  I always smile in the spring when these pop out of the ground, and thank myself for taking the time to plant them in the fall.

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This marks my first year as a window gardener.

Pinching off some tender herbs right from the plant in December sounds like a spectacular natural luxury to me!

I decided to focus on basil, which makes all the difference in winter batches of spicy sausage Italian red sauce.

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It was with some skepticism that I tried propagating herbs.  I put little stock in internet gardening advice.  I never believe it until I see it with my own eyes.   It sounded too easy.

Just clip beneath the nodes, and stick in water.

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Wait for the roots to grow.  (Pardon the unfortunate state of my cuticles—no point in doing your nails before you work in the garden.)

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Plant in soil.  I put landscaping rocks at the bottom for drainage.

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It’s really that easy!  I’m amazed!

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Inside A Witch’s Herb Garden

After toiling all spring in my garden, I finally have a chance to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I made these little signs for my backyard herb garden and sprayed sealer on it to weatherproof it, but I’m still not sure if they’ll hold up.  We’ll see!

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Medicinal & ritual herbs are in the backyard, but I keep kitchen herbs on the front steps, where they are more accessible.

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I try to grow a new herb every year.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.  This year, I am growing stevia.  So far, it’s been pretty easy.

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This book made my summer reading list this year.  Somehow, I ended up on this publisher’s promo list of bloggers.  They occasionally send me review copies.  I really enjoyed this one, which is a nice introductory primer to wildcrafting.  It’s really helped me a lot on my nature walks.

secret medicines from your garden

I consider the woods near our house an extension of my garden.  I collect firewood there, and I use references like the one above to identify various plants for ritual and medicinal purposes.

This is my new favorite, in season right now.  I first noticed it growing wild along highways and roadsides.  It’s called Chinese Trumpet Vine.

chinese trumpet vine

Medicinally, it supposedly makes a good blood tonic.  I probably won’t use it that way.  But it might make an appropriate offering to Chang’e.

Back in my own garden, the perennial flowers have done well this year.  Foxglove quickly became my favorite flower of the last few years, except I can’t seem to keep it alive!  I buy a new one every year anyway because I love having it so much.  Associated with fairies and hallucinogenic flying ointments (don’t try it!  it’s poisonous!), foxglove has a special place in the heart of any garden witch.

foxglove

I just started growing scotch broom a few years ago.  Ruled by the element of water, scotch broom can be used in banishing rituals and purification.   Gather a bouquet and place it near the front door for protection.  The Goddess Tree has a nice little article about it here.

scotch broom

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10 Magical Uses for Lavender

It’s everyone’s favorite herb.  It smells heavenly, it burns beautifully and it looks lovely.  And you probably have a ton of it just waiting to be used.  Here’s some ideas for putting it to work.

10 Magical Uses for Lavender

1.  Sew it into a sleep sachet to enhance dream work and promote relaxation.

2.  Use it in beauty and glamour spells to symbolize the divine feminine.

3.  Burn it during meditation on a charcoal disk for heightened psychic awareness and insight.

4.  Better yet, make smudge sticks out of it.  Rolling smudge sticks with 100% dried lavender stems makes for gorgeous smoking wands that smell amazing.

5.  Add to your ritual bath to induce a calm, otherworldly feeling before you enter the circle.

6.  Use it spells to calm a conflict.  Lavender promotes peace between “at war” individuals.

7.  Make flower crowns for festivals.  Best done with fresh lavender, this flower can be made into flower crowns and it dries really well.

8.  Boil it water during a house blessing to drive out negative energy and forces of turmoil.

9.  Use it in a kitchen witch spell.  Lavender is edible.  It makes a lovely cake topping, or is sometimes used in cookies.  Bake a batch for someone you aren’t on great terms with and bless them for peace and cooperation.

10.  Simmer it in coconut oil and use it as a dream salve.  Nice to rub on children who suffer from nightmares as a protection balm.

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Natural Beauty for the Natural Witch: A Guide to Making Homemade Beauty Magical

Although the natural/organic homemade bath and home products craze is decidedly mainstream at this point, we pagans have been attracted to natural living for decades.

It makes sense, of course.  Most of us have a lot of experience with the key ingredients.  Herbs, essential oils, natural waxes, resins and organic bases are things common to the practice of witchcraft.

The high value placed on living close to the earth naturally makes us inclined to make good use of these skills in the mundane world as well as the magical.

While many bloggers have covered the subject of homemade beauty products at length, none that I know of have approached them from the spiritual perspective of a witch.  To fill this gap, I decided to give you a review of the most common recipes along with some suggestions about how to use them in a ritual context.

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I reviewed them based on the final criteria:

-How easy/difficult it was to find the key ingredients.

-How easy/difficult it was to actually make.

-How useful the final product really was.

Let’s get started.

1.  Sugar Scrubs & Salt Scrubs

Overall Rating:  B

Finding ingredients was . . .  easy.  Nothing here you can’t find in your average grocery store—and probably in your kitchen cabinet.  Basically just sugar or salt, an oil (like olive oil) and a scent.  If you don’t have essential oils as a fragrance, you can always use vanilla extract.

Making it is . . . easy and super customizable.  Maybe the easiest of everything on this list.  It’s literally just oil and sugar.  Only have brown sugar?  Brown sugar scrub it is!  For salt scrubs, you can use a basic sea salt or be really fancy with the pink Himalaya stuff.  You can also get super creative with mixing scents or just use whatever is on hand.

How did it turn out?  This stuff is perfect to give away for things like baby showers, birthdays and holiday gifts.  It’s a nice home spa type treat.  But there are a couple of problems with both sugar and salt scrubs.  They both tend to be greasy and can make your skin and bathtub kind of slick.  Probably the biggest downside with sugar scrubs is that they attract ants in the summertime, so it’s best to use or give these a way during the colder months.  Salt scrubs do not attract ants, but they can be harsher and more irritating to sensitive skin.

Mundane to magical:  Add a purifying oil like sage and include in ritual baths to “scrub away” negative energy.

2.   Shaving Cream

Overall Rating:  D

Finding the ingredients . . . moderately difficult.  Coconut oil is pretty widely available.  Shea butter, jojoba oil and castile soap usually require online orders or trips to specialty stores.

Making it . . . is a lot of trial and error, especially if you want it whipped.  It takes about a day to full set.

How did it turn out?  Don’t do it!  Anything that is not water soluble and solidifies at room temperature clogs drains.  It took me about a week before I realized what the problem was and a half hour of pouring boiling water down my bath tub to clear it when I finally figured it out.  So not worth the effort.  Go with a quality organic commercial version, or just use a nice, moisturizing bar of well-made organic soap instead.

Mundane to magical:  I don’t recommend this at all.  So.

3.  Deodorant

Overall Rating:  B+

Finding the ingredients . . . was moderate to  difficult, depending on how you do it.  Unused empty deodorant containers are almost exclusively  available online.  But they aren’t necessary.  Arrow root powder is sometimes available at regular grocers, sometimes not.

Making it . . . was pretty straightforward, but did require some tweaking.  I added beeswax to make it harder.

How did it turn out?   I love this stuff.  Customizing the scents is fun.  Woodsy scents like rosemary work well for men’s deodorant, vanilla & orange is perfect for teens, or choose a sophisticated floral like lotus oil for you.  It works well, lasts all day and doesn’t have the nasty chemical odor of commercial deodorants, or scary skin-penetrating metals like aluminum.  The only downside is that really doesn’t do much for moisture and you may have to reapply.

Mundane to magical:  Add a rose or vanilla oil to enhance romantic allure.

4.   Lotion Bars/Lip Balm/Boobie Balm/Diaper Balm/Belly Butter

lavender rub

(All of these things have the same basic ingredients with varying ratios.)

Overall Rating:  A

Finding ingredients . . . took some effort.  The three key ingredients I’ve found essential to this recipe are: shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax.   Coconut oil is pretty widely available in most grocery stores around the country.  But beeswax and shea butter are harder to come by.  Beeswax is sometimes available in craft stores, and shea butter can be found at most beauty supply stores.  Both can be ordered online, of course.    

Making it . . . requires some experimentation to get right.  The ratio of beeswax in particular usually needs to be tinkered with.  More beeswax equals a harder balm (best for lotion bars and lip balms) and more coconut oil softens it (better if you mean to use it as a diaper cream, belly butter or a boobie balm).  And of course, you won’t know if you’ve gotten it right until it cools completely to room temperature, which usually takes 12 hours.  My advice is to get it the way you like it once and write the recipe down in your Book of Shadows to save time.

How did it turn out?  Hands down the best final product on this list.  I like mine harder rather than softer.  Use this stuff for any type of chapped skin problem where light lotions or creams just aren’t enough.  As a lip healer, it is better than any commercial lip balm I’ve ever used, including the high-end organic kinds.  As a winter hand cream, it heals chapped and broken skin without irritation if you don’t mind the greasiness.  I also know several moms with babies who swear by it to heal cracked nipples from breastfeeding (though be careful to make it WITHOUT essential oil for this purpose as some are harmful to baby) and also as a soothing diaper cream.

Mundane to magical:  Add a protection oil like rosemary and use to salve as a protective “shield.”

5.  Witch Hazel Toners

Overall Rating:  C+

Finding the ingredients . . . was easy.  Essential oils require trips to specialty stores, but they are optional.  Some people just use apple cider and witch hazel.

Making it . . . was very easy.  Mix and shake.

How did it turn out?  Meh.  The apple cider vinegar kind of smells funky for something you leave on your skin.  But if you are acne prone, this is much gentler than harsh commercial toners, and the tea tree oil definitely helps.  You can even use tea tree oil as a spot healer for break outs and it’s very effective.

Mundane to magical:  Add a purification oil, put it in a spray bottle and use as a smoke-free smudge.

6. Facial Cleanser

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Overall rating:  B+

Finding ingredients . . . was pretty easy.  The key ingredients are honey, an oil and liquid castile soap, with the castile being the most esoteric.  It’s generally only available at health food stores like Trader Joe’s or your local hippie grocer.       

Making it . . . also pretty easy.  Be careful not to add too much oil because it will solidify.  I have oily skin, so I was nervous about using an oil-based cleanser, but I was pleasantly surprised at how not-greasy it is.

How did it turn out?  Nice.  I found it especially refreshing with a few drops of peppermint oil.  It left my face feeling clean but not too dry.  Definitely better than commercial cleansers.  My skin felt healthier than regular drug store face wash afterwards.  The oil and the castile soap separates overnight because there’s no chemical emulsifier, but it is easily re-integrates with a simple shake of the bottle.

Mundane to magical:  Use in glamour and beauty spells to “wash away” old insecurities about yourself.

7.  Microderm Abrasion Facial Paste

Overall Rating:  C+

Finding the ingredients . . . is as easy as it gets.  The simplest versions are just baking soda and water, with the fancier versions including essential oils and/or coconut oil.

Making it . . . also very easy.  Just mix and apply.

How did it turn out?   Don’t expect miracles.  Many articles promise it will erase acne scars and fine lines.  It won’t.  For sensitive skin, this treatment should be avoided all together, as it is somewhat harsh.  It will, however, leave your skin smoother and deep cleaned if used in moderation.

Mundane to magical:  Include peppermint oil to “face” the world with a fresh approach.

Moral of the story?  Making your own bath products is a fun, healthy activity for the budding and seasoned witch alike.  It’s a great introduction to herbalism and learning about the properties of different essential oils, and herbs.  It also doesn’t carry quite the same risk as herbal medicine, so if you’re headed in that direction or you’re trying to train a younger witch, this is a nice starting point.

Since I started using natural home and bath products, I definitely feel much more aware of all the chemicals I expose myself and my family to.  The more I eliminate unnecessary toxins from our house, the better I feel and I am surprised at what a difference it makes.

While there’s a lot of pros to switching over as many synthetic chemical products as you can to natural alternatives, pre-made organic versions tend to be expensive for those of us on a budget.  Making your own is a fantastic way to get around this, share it with your friends and even sell it for a little extra spending money on the side.

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Mushroom Hunt

This summer, I took you on a nature walk and a wildflower hunt.

Now that we’re midway through the season, I wanted to show you the joy of mushroom hunting.

Personally, I think mushrooms are one of the weirdest, most otherworldly of nature’s creations and I love finding them.

Wild mushrooms have many magical associations, especially with woodland spirits in European pagan traditions.  They are endlessly featured in fairy tales and folklore.

It’s easy to see why.

Unlike a flower or a tree, the progress of which can be observed incrementally over weeks, months or even years to anyone paying attention, mushrooms seemingly appear out of nowhere, and then disappear just as quickly. There’s a mysterious quality to the “magic” suddenness of their arrival and departure that makes any woodland feel enchanted and mystical.

Next time it rains, go for a walk in the woods and make yourself familiar with the local mushrooms.

(But for goodness sake, don’t eat them if you don’t know what you’re doing!  Some are extremely poisonous.  If you are lucky enough to know an experienced herbalist, ask him or her which ones are safe to use.)

I am new to mushroom identification, so if any of these are misidentified, please feel free to let me know!

Chanterelle Mushroom

(Above)    With its brightly colored, striking sunset hue, these mushrooms jumped out at me right away. I am pretty sure they are chanterelles, which are very common on the East and West Coasts.   If they are chanterelles, they are supposed to be a culinary delicacy and have anti-inflammatory properties.  But I’m not confident enough to fry them up and eat them.

Because they could also be highly toxic jack-o-lanterns.

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This white one is pretty weird looking with the warts and all.  I would really like to know if someone can tell me what this is for sure.

I’m almost positive it is some kind of amanita, but that doesn’t really narrow it down.

My best guess is amanita cokeria, which are inedible at best.

But they kind of look like amanita muscaria var. alba, which are hallucinogenic.

We won’t be eating them to find out, though.

Because they could be Amanita pantherina, also called Death Angels, which are fatally poisonous.

Are you noticing a pattern here?

Mushrooms either seem to be useful, medicinal and super fun, or extremely toxic and deadly, and it is really hard to tell if you’re not careful.

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This next one I am actually pretty confident about.  The pinkish red color is distinctive.  There aren’t too many like this in the region.  I think these are russulas, but I’m not sure which kind.  Some russulas are edible and have anti-oxidant properties.  They certainly are pretty!

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I’m 99% sure this is Lactarius piperatus or milk caps.  Milk caps have anti-viral properties.

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I have no idea what these are.  Feel free to take a stab if you know.

Sources:

Mother Nature Network

Eat Fungus

Rogers Mushroom

Windows on the Natural World

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A Green Witch’s Guide to Nature Walks

A simple walk in nature has the remarkable power to promote well-being, reset your spiritual awareness and expand your knowledge as a practitioner. Today, I’m going to tell you why you should take the time to do them, how they will benefit you and how to get the most of out them.

A Green Witch Guide to Nature Walks

Tips to make the most of your nature walks.

-Try wild crafting.  There are all kinds of useful things in nature.  Bring some home, get creative, and even save some money.  Instead of paying $45 for a wreath from the craft store, go outside, find some lovely evergreens, and create something truly unique for free.

Cook with nature.  Obviously, never eat anything if you don’t know what it is and make sure it doesn’t have any residual pesticides.  But it doesn’t take long to learn.  Did you know the annoying wild onions that sprout up incessantly in your lawn are actually pretty tasty if you fry them in butter?  Wild strawberries make a beautiful topping for ice cream?  You can candy wild violets and top cakes and cookies with them?

-Focus on the tiny details.  The veins in a leaf.  The tiniest flowers.  The dime-sized mushroom you almost stepped on.  These things are magical.  Broad, sweeping landscapes may take your breath, but the perfect geometric symmetry of honeycomb will leave you with a sense of wonder.

the small things

-Bring home the seasons.  Cedar branches burned in the fire place in the winter make the whole house smell divine.   Pine cones in a bowl make a simple, elegant centerpiece.  And field flowers are so much more charming on a spring table than anything store-bought ever will be.

-Pay special attention to the animals you see.  Any and all animals, but particularly if it’s a rare animal.  Many cultures around the world regard the appearance of unusual wildlife as a sign. Once, I was walking with my husband hiking a few miles from our home when we spotted a large (40 pounds?) wild black cat about 15 yards off the path.  I’m glad my generally skeptical husband was with me, because I wouldn’t have believed my own eyes had he not seen it, too.  I spent weeks searching the local wildlife data bases trying to identify it, but no large black game cat is known to our region by any of the local wildlife authorities.  I will always wonder where that cat came from, and why it appeared to us.

turtle

-Find a secret hiding spot.  Whether it’s a off-the-beaten path grove of trees, a secluded beach or part of the desert you know well, discovering hidden gems in the land is one of the awesome things about getting to know your local natural surroundings.  Having somewhere to go that is quiet and away from everything else in your life is a tremendous gift.

-Do whatever you have time for, and nothing less.  If you only have 15 minutes to go outside today, then go outside for fifteen minutes.  If you have two hours to wander aimlessly across the landscape, then take an extended journey.  Think of your nature walks as mini vacations.  The time spent immersed in them will make the life you go back to that much richer and more peaceful.

-Make it a point to learn the local plant life.  Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a blank composition book.  Every time you go on a nature walk, snap a photo of a plant you don’t recognize.  When you get home, identify it.  Within a year, you’ll become an expert on your local plant life.  This is an excellent skill for any witch.

the little things

-Create an outdoor altar.  Any sort-of flat surface will do.  A large rock, the cleanly chopped trunk of a tree.  An oak in my mother’s yard was struck down by lightening ten years ago.  I asked the landscapers to leave the stump, and for me, it still holds all the power and charge of that one stroke of energy.  Whether it’s on your land, or tucked away in local park, periodically leave items you find there.

Look up.  Every day, the sky is a new work of art.  Lie on your back.  Look for shapes in the clouds.  Notice the pastel colors of the sunset.  Like everything else in life, this moment is fleeting.  Take the time to let it capture your imagination.

Benefits of nature walks:

-Live healthier, happier and longer.  One 30-minute walk a day has a profound impact on your body, your mind and your emotions.  Try it for a week and witness the powerful transformation.  You won’t believe what a difference it makes.

Reduce the amount of time you spend around electronics.  There’s no way around it.  We’re all “wired.”   The more time you spend in front of a computer or glued to your phone, the less in touch you are with the world that surrounds you.  This is includes your loved ones, your spiritual awareness and your natural environment.  Most people don’t have the luxury of retreating to Buddhist monastery or living on a commune.  But you can keep your screen time to a minimum, and nature walks are one way to do this.  If your kids think the outdoors is boring, it’s time to show them that their iPhone is the real snooze.

-Increase your sensitivity to environmental issues.  The first time you cringe when you see a plastic bottle floating down the creek by your walking path, a bird’s nest made of paper litter or (worst of all) a wildlife animal struggling to free herself from tangled debris, you will begin a lifelong journey of sensitivity to the earth around you.

-Become in tune with the seasonal cycles around you.  Direct experience with and awareness of the subtle shifts in seasons creates harmony in the spirit, promoting internal balance.  You may (depending on your climate) think of the seasons broadly, as in Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.  But the turning of the seasons is actually very gradual, yet distinct.  When is mating season for butterflies?  Horseshoe crabs?  Have you ever noticed turtles are everywhere for like a week in the spring?  People who go on regular nature walks pick up on these things, and they are worthwhile observations.

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