Sundays are my favourite day of the week. Not only does the world feel generally calmer and quieter, it’s also the one day of the week that I get to enjoy a few daylight hours of ‘me time’.
Like many of you reading this, I’m a busy witch. Being a mother of two and running a home, while holding down a full-time career alongside my wonderful World of Magick journey, leaves little time to practise my craft. However, I always say that magick can most easily be found in the mundane and taking a Witch Walk is one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to relax my body and mind, and to rejuvenate my energy - channelling the power from the earth under my feet, in the air and at the end of my fingertips.
Personally, my favourite place to go for a Witch Walk is the local woodlands, but you can walk anywhere, for any length of time. If you have restricted mobility a small garden space or hospital ground can still offer you an enchanting connection with the earth; even the smallest interaction with an outdoor space, such as opening a window and letting the fresh air flow through can stimulate your magick.
My mother recently suffered from ligament damage to her knee and was limited to walking for only 15 minutes a day. At first, she struggled to stay still (she’s a busy witch too!) so those few minutes became precious to her and stepping outside turned into a magickal experience. Watching her face light up as she breathed in the fresh air was a beautiful sight and it gave her a deep appreciation for how blessed she was to be able to walk, albeit for only a moment at a time. It’s amazing how life can be put into perspective once you have something you take for granted taken away.
Witch Walks are different to an every-day walk in that you are setting your intention to absorb and experience the energy of nature, rather than travelling for a practical purpose, such as for exercise or to get from point A to point B.
Before you set out
Preparation for your Witch Walk is essential. The most important concern is your safety:
Wear comfortable footwear. If you’re going into the wild, wear sturdy walking boots.
Dress for the weather.
Dress for your surroundings
Take plenty of water.
Take a fully-charged phone in case you get lost or injured.
If going out alone, inform someone of where you’re going.
Take a basic first aid kit.
Follow your own direction
Whenever I go on a Witch Walk I never plan my route. On arrival at my starting point, be it the edge of the woodland or the other side of my front door, I take a moment to stand still. I inhale the fresh air and let my senses take over. As I exhale, I let go of everything that I don’t need. Sometimes this takes me a while (especially if I’ve had an intense week at work) but, before I take my first step, I free myself from whatever is weighing me down in my everyday ‘human’ life, until it’s just me and the universe.
Freeing myself from what I call the ‘non-magickal world’ (also known as the ‘ego’ in psychology) allows me to disconnect from the rational part of my brain and connect with the earth and its energy. With no voice in my head telling me to “stay on the public footpath” or “not to go left because the ground is really boggy and I’ll traipse mud back into the house”, I’m free to go where I please.
When you’re out walking use your intuition to direct you. If you feel like you want to go left, go left. If you want to cross the road, cross the road! Feel the energy of your surroundings and respond to it. If you feel really happy somewhere, stop and soak it up. If you feel uncomfortable, walk away.
I will stress though, you MUST be conscious of your welfare. Be inquisitive but don’t put yourself in danger.
When I’m walking to work, doing chores, shopping or generally out and about I often wear headphones to block out the dull, bland murmur of city life. My fiancé calls them ‘people defenders’ as we are both quite introvert and feel uncomfortable in places that are too ‘people-y’! I never wear headphones when I’m on a Witch Walk as it creates a barrier between my hearing and my other senses. This is a time when I want to be fully immersed in my surroundings and can listen to my intuition uninterrupted.
Discover the hidden treasures
My fiancé is studying mycology and we love going on magickal walks in the woods together, foraging for fungi and other treasures which often go unnoticed.
Photo credit: @a_quirk_in_alchemy
We recently went out on a damp but warm September afternoon and spent hours rummaging through thick ferns, studying burls on Oak trees and exploring the dense undergrowth. We found ourselves travelling through ethereal woodland walkways, which felt like portals to another realm, and discovered an incredible variety of fungi growing amongst the mossy remnants of fallen trees.
My favourite encounter of the afternoon was discovering a huge Birch Polypore growing on the side of a rotting tree branch. I’d never seen one so big!
Two hours into our walk we were completely off the beaten track and brimming full of wonder. The natural world has so much life, whether it’s in the woods, on the coast or the countryside. I saw the most incredible Calendula plant forcing its way through the concrete path on the road opposite to where I live the other day and I had to stop to appreciate it. No matter how much humans try to control the world, no matter how much earth they concrete over, Jeff Goldblum was right… “Life always finds a way”. As a witch I feel so blessed to acknowledge this and to help Mother Nature claim her space back.
Once I returned home to the concrete jungle that I live in, I sat in my living room and looked out into our garden, noticing the changes in the plants and trees now that autumn had set in and wondering what hidden treasures live under the shrubs and flowers that I nurture so lovingly. At this point a little Robin flew down and perched on a basket right outside the back door. Usually the dogs would start barking at this point, warning the little bird not to invade their private property but, on this occasion, they remained indifferent to him. The tranquil energy from our Witch Walk had stayed with us back home and we all felt completely at peace with nature.
Exploring nature the witchy way is an incredible way to practice self-healing magick, allowing you to fully immerse yourself and connect with your surroundings, recharge your energy and clear your mind.
Next time you’ve got some ‘me-time’, take yourself off on a Witch Walk, either by yourself or with a companion. Let go of everything that you don’t need to hold on to and explore the magickal energy of the earth.