PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE WITCHING HOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
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Photographer Joy Marshall, model (and wingmaker) Tatiana Pimentel, and jeweler artiste Jen Parrish-Hill of Parris Relics collaborated on this shoot to celebrate the green witch in all her guises, filling Parrish-Hill’s kitchen at Frog Hollow—her magical abode in the hills of Massachusetts you might remember from our summer 2016 issue—with dried flowers, baskets, bottles, trinkets, and as many bright green plants as possible. “It was easy to envision what a green witch would do in that space,” Marshall said after. “Jen’s kitchen is naturally a green witch haven!”
Marshall would know, being a bit of a green witch herself. She fills her north-facing house with plants in the winter, and every day they remind her that spring is coming. She has jars and jars of dried herbs she’s collected over the years, as well as pine needles from past Christmas trees and petals from the first pollinators she grew from seed. “They’re memories,” she says, “and when I add them to spells, I’m adding pieces of my past to empower my future.”
How does Marshall define a green witch? A green witch, she says, is “someone who bases their rituals and power off nature.” Their tools are plant-based. They have a deep connection to nature, the forest, and, of course, plants. They often have vibrant flower gardens and abundant veggie gardens. “If you have a green thumb,” she adds, “you may be a green witch!” So what better time to celebrate her than right now? “In the spring, we can plant the seeds to grow,” she says. “We set our intentions into the earth. We take everything we learned about ourselves during the winter and implement new ways of being for the spring.”
The team also recreated John William Waterhouse’s 1886 painting The Magic Circle (pages 58 and 59) in the woods around Jen’s house. The focus of the painting, Marshall says, is the witch’s power. “She is creating magic as she closes the circle around her, and it’s clear the magic comes from herself.” The image was not planned, but Marshall was struck by the idea after seeing a tree stump “framed by those gorgeous leaves and lit by early morning light.” Parrish-Hill pulled out one of her own necklaces and a dress handmade by Enchanted Living art director Lisa Gill, and together the women styled the scene.
Ultimately, witchcraft means empowerment, Marshall says, and these images capture that. “It’s about learning to still your busy mind and trust your inner power, your intuition. You don’t really need tools to be a witch, you just need yourself and your innate power.” Marshall’s own practice involves a lot of meditation, developing self-trust, and intention setting. “I try to live closely with the seasons and nature. I love studying different paths and incorporating bits of what I’ve learned into both my practice and my art. As I get older, I’m beginning to build a community of witchy women. We all have different interests and paths, but together we learn, support and empower each other.”
As part of her work as the Witching Hour Photography, Marshall consults with clients to discover the story they’re trying to tell, the inner, most powerful self they’re trying to express. “Clients generally show up to their shoot wearing jeans and a T-shirt and not really knowing what to expect,” Marshall explains. “Then we get them into their first costume, usually an elaborate fantasy dress, and put a crown on their head, and they instantly stand a little taller. It’s around this time they realize that we are creating a story and they’re the main character. For the whole day, the narrative revolves around them. They become the fantasy version of themselves. It’s very empowering.”
Occasionally, something even more magical happens: “Every once in a while I work with someone who hasn’t felt like themselves in a while. They’re nervous to get their picture taken, but they do it anyway. Then I get a good shot, and I show them how they look in the back of the camera. All that anxiety falls away when they finally get the opportunity to see themselves for who they really are. I’ve had clients burst into tears and tell me that they haven’t seen themselves that way in a long time.” Then the client steps back into their power—their own magic circle—and shines for the rest of the session.
A Simple Green Witch Ritual
by Joy Marshall
Write down your personal goals for the growing season on a piece of paper. Then take some wildflower seeds and place them with the paper in an envelope. Seal it with love and wait for the weather to warm. Go outside and plant the seeds, but leave the intention-setting paper be. When the fall comes, harvest what you grew. Dry whatever you planted and then add it back to the envelope with your intentions. Seal it, and on the winter solstice, open the envelope and read your intentions and make some magic with the dried plants, or keep the dried plants and use them to decorate … Do whatever feels good in the moment!