Today I am going to review The Green Witch book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock! It was on sale, and I had it on my wish list for a while because it has a gorgeous book cover, I won’t deny that and it was constantly showing up on my Instagram, so I was kind of… drawn to it.
But I have to say it was not what I was expecting! Now before I start, remember that this is my opinion based on my experience alone, and what I like and dislike about this book could be very different from you.
I’m not boosting or hating on this book and the author. I think it takes a lot of work and courage even to have a book published.
I’m simply sharing my opinion on it, so take it with a grain of salt.
How I purchased this book
Okay, so I should already be prepared to be disappointed because Witchcraft books or esoteric books are hard to check all the boxes for me, and this one, in particular, fell a bit short of my expectations.
First, I got it because I always wanted to deepen my knowledge of herbs, plants, crystals, etc. Everything we can get from mother earth.
And this book says on the cover that it is “Your complete guide to the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils and more” It seemed very promising.
It has almost five stars on Amazon and is number one in sales, I believe, on this theme. At least when I bought it, it was okay.
So I honestly believed there would be useful information for me in this book.
The Green Witch Book Review
So, the book started incorrectly for me, as the author promptly stated that she would address the green witch as a She for convenience.
I get it, and we are used to seeing witches and healers being women, the role of the nurturer. But I think the book could have addressed the green witch with no gender designation. The green witch, a green witch, and so on.
I get being convenient for a woman to write in the female form as it is what she is used to, but if you are writing a book like this and you are having the work and trouble that comes with writing a book, then to my understanding, you should do that little extra effort to make the book inclusive and welcoming to all, instead of just writing out of convenience.
But this is strictly my pet peeve when people almost exclude men from being witches. I like that the author said Witchcraft isn’t the same as Wicca, and in a way, it differentiates them.
Most people assume all witches are followers of Wicca, and that just isn’t true at all. However, she also claims that Witchcraft acknowledges a god and a goddess, and sometimes just a goddess.
I found this particular sentence to be very inaccurate as not all witches have the religious backgrounds of one god and one goddess, or any gods at all.
But, again, to me, Witchcraft is a spiritual thing, a much more spiritual thing than a religious one. And here, I state that I’m not even a tiny bit religious, nor do I identify as a witch per se, but I am deeply spiritual and have a strong connection with nature, hence my interest in this book.
But to be fair, even though that sentence struck a nerve, the author also says that the green witches’ path isn’t necessarily a religious one, it’s a spiritual path, but that doesn’t require religion.
I feel she sends some mixed messages with this, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt. The overall book is very dubious regarding the information or history. The author doesn’t quite give you a historical background to the green witch other than claiming the green witchcraft originated from the folk healers and practitioners of folk magic. And that’s it. There is no in-depth on who folk healers were or what a practitioner of folk magic is.
However, she writes that society marginalized them, outcasts living away from the community. She briefly speaks of the Pennsylvania pow-wow as folk magic practitioners but fails to mention this is Christian-based folk magic.
They practice with the bible as their holy book. And while I’m not the best person to educate you on the rites of the Pow-Wow, with a quick search, you could easily find that the base of the pow-wow charms is the medieval catholic charms, that were often used against witchery.
So this association doesn’t make much sense to me. Celebrating the seasons is a big thing for practitioners of witchcraft, especially nowadays, but here I feel there is so little information on it; each celebration is briefly mentioned with zero historical context that could explain them. It just mentions the associations of that season or celebration.
You have more text on the meditation suggestions for those periods than information on those periods.
When you arrive at the chapters where the author addresses the ingredients used in the craft of the green witch, I was hoping to have a guide on the herbs, flowers, and crystals because of the complete guide text on the cover.
Of course, when I picked up the book and realized its size, I immediately thought if this were a guide, it would be a small one.
And indeed, it is a small guide, about 20 items of each category with a really brief summary of each one of them. No information was provided on why these ingredients are used, what they are good for, and why.
The author recommends two books on herbs and herbal medicine as reliable guides. While I appreciate the recommendation, if I read this book looking for a specific herb for therapeutic purposes and then need to double-check another book to be sure it is safe to use…
Then I’d just skip this one and go straight to the other, more reliable book. I’ll read an example on the flowers so you understand me when I say this book lacks information about the ingredients for green witchcraft.
I’ll read The Tulip. Tulip – Tulipa SPP. ‘’The Chalice or cuplike shape of the tulip makes this flower ideal for use for prosperity and abundance magic. The tulip is also associated with protection, love, and happiness.’’ This is it.
The entire information about the tulip, where it is from, times of harvest, if it is toxic to humans or pets, and why this plant is associated with protection, love, and happiness….When I think about a complete guide, I hope to get some background information, not vague associations.
I could go online on my phone in a few minutes to find more information about the tulip, for free.
Another thing that really bothered me was the absence of warnings. For example, rosemary is mentioned here as an herb that can be used for tea, but it fails to mention that it can cause abortions if ingested during pregnancy.
Or when you reach the chapter on stones and crystals, it teaches you a few methods to cleanse the stones, like, for example, leaving them in sunlight or immersing the stone in water but as far as I’ve checked, it doesn’t warn you what stones are ruined by doing this.
Not all crystals are safe in the sun; amethyst, and Citrine, for example, can’t get sun exposure or they will lose their color; lapis lazuli and turquoise are mentioned here, too, and these stones can’t be submerged in water, for example.
While I believe most people would double-check online before ruining their precious and expensive crystals with improper cleansing methods, most newcomers could ruin their stones by following this book.
And again, if I needed to check somewhere else for more information, why would I check this book in the first place?
Don’t get me wrong; I also have a few good things to say about this book.
The speech is sometimes inviting and can embrace all, regardless of faith, but I feel it happens a few times throughout the book.
It can be good for someone just starting out if you cut out the misconceptions at the beginning and get the basic information of the tools to use, some herbs and spells to start exploring, etc.
It has some fun things, but I feel they are lost between everything else. It could greatly benefit from having pictures, even if just drawings, because, for example, it has a little guide here somewhere on how to make your own broom, but following the written instructions with no visual guidance to me just doesn’t work.
Overall I feel the book is pretty basic, and saying it is a complete guide is misleading. To me, it feels more like…a cookbook. If I can say that, with all the recipes and meditations or prayers, it feels more like a cookbook than a guide on the natural magic of things.
I could recommend it to someone new to the witchcraft world, but with the warning that some of the stuff here should be double-checked.
To anyone feeling a bit lost, this could be a cozy book to read, the first chapters at least where the author speaks about the connection to nature, and all of that can be a cute embrace if you take out the contradictions or lack of historical background.
If you are more advanced on these subjects or want more trustworthy information, at least I would not recommend this book at all because I feel you won’t take anything out of it.
At the end of the day, I do regret spending money on this book. It is a pretty book to show up on the shelf and on photos, I suppose.
Let me know if you read this book. What is your opinion of it? I would love to exchange some opinions because, as I said, this review is from my experience and personal opinion only, so yours may be very different!