Going for a hike, as a witch, is a magickal thing. By reading the energy of your chosen space, whether on a winding green space trail in a city, weaving through a dense forest or splashing across the shoreline of a lake or beach, you can use your instinct and intuitively choose your path. What's wonderful about going for a witch walk is that there is no structure, you just go with where the energy feels good (but always safety first!).
Before you begin your witch walk, research your chosen area. Learn about the plant allies you may encounter and explore their unique energies. You can also pick out plants, herbs or other items from nature you may need for a spell or ritual. I find 'Green Witchcraft: A Practical Guide to Discovering the Magic of Plants, Herbs, Crystals, and Beyond' by Paige Vanderbeck (aka the Fat Feminist Witch) and 'The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More' by Arin Murphy-Hiscock to be great resources for helping me understand the magickal uses of my local plants and nature.
Observe everything around you and use all senses. Appreciate and give gratitude to the abundance around you. When the energy is strong in an area, take time to pause, sit and interact with it. I like to take this time to let my mind stray and cannabis is a good assistant to let my mind (and ego) go and heighten my connection the nature around me.
The energy around you will also help guide you to items that you may need. Keep your thoughts on what you are aiming to collect and let yourself be guided to where they are. Here are a few items that are typically easy to spot and collect during the summer season:
Dandelions: Useful in sun magick, creativity or courage spells, altar offerings or use this delicious offering of dandelion leaves nature in salads, pastas, sauteed on their own or boil them to add to divination tea! Dandelions in Ontario can flower from early spring to early autumn (though more in and in climates that have warmer winters you might see their little yellow beauty all year round. They can grow in virtually every kind of habitat, from openings in deep woods to cultivated fields, from rocky hillsides to fertile gardens, and lawns.
Queen Anne's Lace: Naturalized in North America, Queen Anne's Lace can be found in abundance in the summer! The flower is wonderful for filling out summer bouquets, beauty baths and fertility magick. Also known as wild carrot because of its carrot like root, the root from Queen Anne's Lace is wonderful for creativity spells and removing writers block. Note that hogweed can be mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace. To tell them apart look at the flowercap. A Queen Anne's Lace flowercap typically has a small knot of dark red or purple flowers in the center. Hogweed has no dark flowers in the flowercap.
Cattails: Found in marshes, ponds, lakes and streams with calm waters the cattail is a strong, survivor plant. They offer protection and shelter to wildlife and birds within their vast colonies, bend and rarely break in strong winds, their seeds can survive for years until the right conditions are ready for them to sprout, and even their dead stalks can transfer oxygen down to the roots. Many lessons can be taken from the cattail. The core of their stems, which taste like bitter cucumber, can be eaten raw, boiled, sauteed or fried.
Wild Ginger: Found in shaddy, moist areas near hardwoods, wild ginger is a colony-forming perennial that only grows 4-8 inches high so you have to be keen if you're going to spot it. The root is edible and tastes just like the ginger you buy in the grocery store, but a little more woody. Ginger is a must have in any witches' toolkit. It can help ward off nightmares, attract romance, encourage confidence and has a bunch of medicinal uses. I'm always beyond excited when I find this treasure on a witch walk!
Wild Mint: You can find wild mint from Spring to Fall in low-lying areas, near marshes, swamps and beaver dams. Outside of using in mojitos on a hot summer's day, I like to dry it and use in teas, prosperity spell jars and financial spells. I also hang it over my bed when ill to open up my sinuses and help speed up healing.
Taking the time to get to know your witch walking area and the common plants and wildlife is key to be able spot these beauties and others. But once you get the hang of spotting your plant friends you won't be able to stop seeing them! Happy foraging witches!