Thirty percent of the world’s area is covered in forest, yet miles and miles of trees are bulldozed every year to accommodate the agriculture industry, housing developments, and our favorite stationary products from Paper Source. Ugh, guilty! Their stuff is so cute! But not only does this destruction ruin natural animal habitats and increase the fast-growing negative effects of climate change, it also means that gaggles of girl squads are running out of space to hold their coven rituals and boss babe meetings. If that doesn’t make you stop and think, I don’t know what will!
Back in the day, witches had no choice but to meet in forests because that’s what most of the United States was. Oh, to be a queen witch in those days! Being burned on the stake wouldn’t have even bothered me because I would literally be as on fire as I feel. But then America manifested its destiny and built cities and stuff. Suddenly, forests became a place where your off-the-grid uncle liked to camp before it was trendy or the ideal location to dump a dead body.
Instead of honoring Mother Gaia and the strong tree gifts she’s blessed us with, we now look at forests as obstacles to achieving the American dream of putting every inch of land within a two-block radius of a Starbucks. That’s why modern women have turned to witchcraft as a way of coping with the toxic patriarchy, using the woodland atmosphere as not only a serene environment to hold rituals they found on Tumblr but also a prime location to hide from the male gaze.
Today, our national parks are looking at a higher risk of vanishing than my HPV, thanks to our government’s old white men yet again claiming ownership of a moist and dark unknown world they’re too afraid to venture into themselves. Not only does this mean orphaned squirrels and deer will fill our country’s already-packed foster homes for cute animals, but the women who are just now learning about their inner goddess will no longer have a place to practice their rituals.
Take it from Gwen Thistle, who owns a crystals store in upstate New York. When the construction of a nearby parking lot wiped out the trees that imbued her storefront with the perfect combination of shade and light, Gwen had to drive 10 minutes out of the way to even find a location decent enough to take photos for her online store.
“When you’re selling things like sage and purification candles, the setting is everything,” said Thistle. “Consumers want to feel like they’re buying something straight from the goddess herself. Did I say ‘consumers’? I mean ‘witches.’ They’re real witches—I think all women are magical witches. Please don’t mention that in your article.”
So, what next? Will witches eventually have to move their practices indoors, irritating their unenlightened roommates and setting off enough fire alarms to risk eviction? When will this insanely self-centered culture come to its senses and think of those of us who tell our manicurists to give us black stiletto nails and constantly reference Hocus Pocus?
So, please. Save our forests. Referring to my friend group as my coven is all I have anymore.