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Hedge Witchcraft?

hedge witch traditional

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#21 Tana

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:03 PM

Not much to add after the marvellous posts by Stacey, but I will say I have long thought that people in a coma are lost beyond the hedge and cannot find their way back.

Crossing it is dangerous... riding it a somewhat safer option as Michelle points out.


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#22 Moondark

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:26 AM

Why do you ask? Have you ever been beyond your own present, physical experience?

 

Not precisely. I've gotten to a point where I've almost been out of my body a few times--and I know for a fact I've left it in my sleep--but I've never even come close to going to other worlds. Honestly, if I do get to the point where I can get out of my body, I'm staying damn well near this one. 

 

I do, however, interact frequently with several spirits. Part of the reason I've attempted astral projection is to be able to better communicate with them; hedge-witchery came up in my research, and sparked my curiosity  :sweat:


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#23 daze113

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:52 PM

 

 

 but I will say I have long thought that people in a coma are lost beyond the hedge and cannot find their way back.

I have thought this also.

I have found this thread very interesting and insightful,i must admit i'd be wary of crossing but feel that people that do possibly have the natural ability to do so.

also i hope i've quoted properly.    


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#24 daze113

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:57 PM

Not much to add after the marvellous posts by Stacey, but I will say I have long thought that people in a coma are lost beyond the hedge and cannot find their way back.

Crossing it is dangerous... riding it a somewhat safer option as Michelle points out.

I'm so sorry just discovered how to quote properly i think,have tried to amend post,eek,this is the is the post i was trying to quote,very sorry Tana. 


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#25 Tana

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:56 PM

No worries!


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#26 daze113

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:53 PM

Thank you :smile:


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#27 melusine

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 01:27 PM

I have quiet a bit i'd like to say on this subject when i have more time...

 

for now i'm just going to post a couple of links for those who are interested; these are two of my favorite sites/blogs about Hedge Witchery & the like:

 

Walking the Hedge

 

Sarah Anne Lawless

 

I am not sure if Lawless uses the term Hedge Witch when describing herself but a lot of her practices, etc. are very similar to, or in my opinion, can very much be called Hedge Witchcraft.  She has her roots in the same places... the Volva/Seider/Spae wifery... Norse, Finnish, Orkney roots...   I'll get into this more when time allows. She also makes and sells authentic flying ointments.

 

I also recommend reading Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants 

it was written by three anthropologists with somewhat of a Jungian bent but is very informative, well researched and well written.


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#28 Aloe

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 01:34 PM

I have quiet a bit i'd like to say on this subject when i have more time...

 

for now i'm just going to post a couple of links for those who are interested; these are two of my favorite sites/blogs about Hedge Witchery & the like:

 

Walking the Hedge

 

Sarah Anne Lawless

 

I am not sure if Lawless uses the term Hedge Witch when describing herself but a lot of her practices, etc. are very similar to, or in my opinion, can very much be called Hedge Witchcraft.  She has her roots in the same places... the Volva/Seider/Spae wifery... Norse, Finnish, Orkney roots...   I'll get into this more when time allows. She also makes and sells authentic flying ointments.

 

I also recommend reading Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants 

it was written by three anthropologists with somewhat of a Jungian bent but is very informative, well researched and well written.

 

 

We have some threads here about Lawless, I believe she used to be a member here. :)


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#29 Autumn Moon

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:54 AM

Is it scary in the physical world? depends on where you go and who you meet up with. Same type of concept in the spirit world.
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#30 Autumn Moon

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:57 AM

 

I practice Hedgecraft but it is not a complete separate entity from my green path either as I do practice a path that melds both hedge and green witchraft. It can be confused with Green Witchcraft because on some level there are similarities, as there is with it being somewhat shamanic in nature. There does seem to be confusion on what hedgecraft actually is and far too much emphasis on just the 'crossing' part. There are some hedgewitches on here who will probably disagree with my interpretation  or how I practice but I find it an individual path. I have to say right up, that the books by Rae Beth and Silver Ravenwolf don't represent hedgecraft as I understand it, their take, to my mind, is completely Wiccan.
 
I work with entheogenic herbs, mostly mandrake and wormwood but I am now beginning to work with henbane, belladonna and datura (have my first datura seedling come up - so excited) - and so part of my green path comes into it because I try to grow my own herbs, especially entheogenic herbs because, unless I personally know the person they come from, I trust my own self in the garden more. Hedgecraft is a Green Path, most hedge witches I know (but not all) tend to prefer to grow their own herbs and have a strong connection with the Earth, are animistic and tend to embrace spirit work as this is a larger part of it. Some work with bone, some with bane, some with both. Some are excellent at divination and use various methods to do so. I journey, so far only using myself or the added assistance of flying ointment, I am considering drumming as a method also but I've yet to try it.
 
The thing with hedgecraft is there is no dogma, no tenents, it is much like traditional witchcraft in the sense of that each witch will build her own path taking from traditional lore and ideas, it's quite solitary and individual, there are no Deities per se, but again, that doesn't mean that a hedge witch will necessarily exclude Deity from her practice. Personally Deity is not part of my path. I think that hedgecraft is also quite a wild path, you learn from nature, She teaches you both the wonderful and the hard lessons. Workings by hedge witches are very organic, very natural, very simple. 
 
My personal ethos is personal responsibility. By that I simply mean that if I take a particular path, I accept there could be consequences but I don't believe in karma or threefold nonsense, know thyself is important, you can't begin to traverse other realms and know them without knowing your own self first. I won't discuss my use and recipes of enthenogenic herbs publicly outside of saying I use them, because they're dangerous herbs and it would be irresponsible of me to do so, this you will find the other hedge witches on the forum will likely agree with. It survives today by the people who learn from lore and incorporate that into their path, as I mentioned, it is not dissimilar from traditional witchcraft in the context it was practiced then and now, it is a revisiting of old traditions and bringing them into a modern context although to a degree some of us still practice the Craft without modern context and tend to practice some of our path as it was then.
 
The Hedge witch path is not one that can be defined by one explanation, but if I was to attempt to sum it up I would say the hedgewitch is almost the Cunningwoman or Wise Woman of old, well versed in herblore and the spirit realms with a vast knowledge of both. She is good at divination, growing herbs and gardening, knowing the natural world around her and understanding that world for all its polarity. She can cross the veil to divine answers to questions, visit other realms, work with ancestors and perform healings. She'll curse, hex, heal is mostly solitary and prefers to work alone for the majority of her Craft.
 
This is my take and a brief outline of my own path as it relates to hedge craft, anyone is quite free to disagree with me and add their own description of how they practice.

 
Good post. But, part of it makes it sound like it's a female only thing, which of course it is not.

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#31 Stacey

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:39 AM

 
 
Good post. But, part of it makes it sound like it's a female only thing, which of course it is not.

 

No, of course not but it was more my take on what I see hedgecraft as, I suppose it comes across with a female slant because, being female, I wrote from my own experience. I identify with the wise woman/cunningwoman of old as part of my practice but it is entirely a practice for both sexes. There were most definitely wisemen and cunningmen as well.


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#32 TheOn3LeftBehind

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:59 AM

Many real Hedge Witches and/or Shamans use dangerous psychotropic substances, both natural and otherwise, to actually travel.  Terrifying . . . can be. :wink:

 

Completely agree.  I'm a hedgewitch and tend to use psychotropic substances, but I also try my hardest not to. There are definitely some other ways to ride or cross.


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#33 OpheliaRose

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:23 PM

Great topic. It's a shame that hedge craft is often times completely confused with green or kitchen witchery. I remember being unsure about it years ago because there is just so much conflicting information.
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#34 Jevne

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:57 PM

The moment you talk about hedge, people think bushes, and bushes are green. So, hedge craft must have to do with green things. Well that is not necessarily untrue, it is sort of narrow minded. At times, the craft requires that you not take things so literally.
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#35 Yanagi

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:13 PM

The moment you talk about hedge, people think bushes, and bushes are green. So, hedge craft must have to do with green things. Well that is not necessarily untrue, it is sort of narrow minded. At times, the craft requires that you not take things so literally.

 

I agree with Jevne. I'll be completely honest, when I first heard the term "hedge witchery", I immediately tried to connect it with "green witchcraft". :embarased:  However, after reading everyone's posts, I think I've gotten a better understanding of it. 

 

Thanks for your post, Stacey! It was an interesting read. 


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#36 Wexler

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:31 PM

 

It isn't  a place I would try to go for the above reasons. If I did go, I would want guides. I would want something that could guide me back to this world, something that could kick-start my memory if I started to forget who I am. And if my soul were separated from my body, something that could navigate that world and take me to the place of my own so I wouldn't be lost wandering forever. For those reasons, it is not something I would look to do. But that's just me.

 

I recently had an entheogenic experience where I completely lost my identity. I was self-aware but had no idea who I was or how I came to be there, and I forgot that what was happening was not normal - so I was disempowered to help myself out of the situation. I fortunately had friends who saw what was wrong and helped me, but on my own I would have been totally lost. At the time I was not attempting any sort of travel, but I can only imagine the dangers involved with crossing the hedge alone and unprepared, where repercussions can be lasting and serious. Before that trip (get it?!) I did not understand how someone can just forget who they are or become totally lost in another world.


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#37 Stacey

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:02 AM

I recently had an entheogenic experience where I completely lost my identity. I was self-aware but had no idea who I was or how I came to be there, and I forgot that what was happening was not normal - so I was disempowered to help myself out of the situation. I fortunately had friends who saw what was wrong and helped me, but on my own I would have been totally lost. At the time I was not attempting any sort of travel, but I can only imagine the dangers involved with crossing the hedge alone and unprepared, where repercussions can be lasting and serious. Before that trip (get it?!) I did not understand how someone can just forget who they are or become totally lost in another world.

 

It is dangerous, there is no two ways about it, especially when using entheogenic herbs. When I cross or ride, I always make sure I am not alone, I have steps in place to make sure it will be as safe as it can be. My belief, when it comes to entheogenic herbs, less is more to start with. I always prepare my own smokes or ointments, using the least to begin with. That way I understand where my limit is and I always maintain some semblance of control and understanding. I never completely lose myself to it because, as you've described, things can and will go wrong. Hallucinogenic and narcotic herbs require careful handling and respect, I always use them in a ritual context, never just to see what would happen or without a firm goal in mind. Unfortunately, those types of herbs will f**k you up if you go in at the deep end to start with. 


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#38 Roanna

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:40 PM

I am very much not a hedge witch and although I find discussion on the subject of crossing very interesting (particularly your beautifully written posts on the subject Stacey) it is not something I would ever personally look to regularly incorporate into my own path. I like the control of being on mental terra firma and I like to encounter spirits on a territory where I am in control and I make the rules. I'm happy to play with different states of personal consciousness but I would not be comfortable journeying to an entirely different realm of reality. I have only made the journey toward the spirit world once, for a specific purpose that I would not expect to have to repeat again and even then I didn't fully enter, I just sat on the boundary of the worlds.  

 

Michele speaks of the soul being separated from the body and this is a very real and tangible fear for me and one of the reasons I have always avoided projecting. I'm interested to know if those of you who do cross regularly every worry about this. We know it is possible to cross both ways. Doesn't the thought of your body a welcoming empty vessel worry you?


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#39 Jevne

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:33 PM

  

 

Michele speaks of the soul being separated from the body and this is a very real and tangible fear for me and one of the reasons I have always avoided projecting. I'm interested to know if those of you who do cross regularly every worry about this. We know it is possible to cross both ways. Doesn't the thought of your body a welcoming empty vessel worry you?

 

That is a good question, D.  I am a natural spirit medium, so back and forth communication and occasional traveling is part of the deal.  I do not use any type of hallucinogen, so I am never completely out of control of the situation.  It is a lot harder to learn how to cross, naturally, but in my opinion, so much more of a verifiable and rewarding experience.  One bad 'acid' trip, no matter how 'real' it seemed, does a hedge-crossing make.

 

The entities, the spirits, etc. that I encounter are not all that threatening most of the time.  I think, the evil, scary, 'boogly-boogly' parts are way, fucking overplayed.  But, it is dangerous, if you don't know what you are doing, because you can get confused or draw unwanted attention. Until my death, my body will never be a completely empty vessel, so I don't really worry about that, but every once in awhile, I get something that wants to share my space.  Sometimes, I will let them, but I have not encountered anything strong enough to take over.


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#40 MarlaDurden

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

I have quiet a bit i'd like to say on this subject when i have more time...

 

for now i'm just going to post a couple of links for those who are interested; these are two of my favorite sites/blogs about Hedge Witchery & the like:

 

Walking the Hedge

 

Sarah Anne Lawless

 

I am not sure if Lawless uses the term Hedge Witch when describing herself but a lot of her practices, etc. are very similar to, or in my opinion, can very much be called Hedge Witchcraft.  She has her roots in the same places... the Volva/Seider/Spae wifery... Norse, Finnish, Orkney roots...   I'll get into this more when time allows. She also makes and sells authentic flying ointments.

 

I also recommend reading Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants 

it was written by three anthropologists with somewhat of a Jungian bent but is very informative, well researched and well written.

 

 

I've been reading a lot of Lawless's site and came across this description of how a person becomes a witch:

 

 

" 1) Appearance or interference of gods and/or spirits

2) Dedication to one’s gods or spirits

3) Insistence of spirits or gods to initiate and make an oath

4) Illness or bad luck upon refusal or delay

5) Making an oath or promise of service

6) Acquiring or receiving one’s familiar spirits

7) Acquiring supernatural abilities and/or mystical knowledge

8) Continued visionary and mystical experiences

9) Growth and strength of abilities and experiences the more one practices and keeps their promises

 

So in conclusion – no visionary experiences equals no witch. "

 

 

Just wondering what people here feel about this description of the process... and do you think this process is specific to being a hedge witch, or a witch in general?


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