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Hedge Witchcraft?

hedge witch traditional

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#121 Nikki

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:33 PM

I'll be the first to admit that I've got much to learn about Hedge Witchery... but, it seems to be very Traditional to me. I'd go as far as to call it an 'Old Trad Path' 

 

Now that we've got that out of the way....

 

It would be good to get back on track with those who actually CARE about this Path by either practicing it.... or wanting to. 


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The difference between Medicine and Poison is the Dose. :oil-bottle:
I Love you as certain Dark Things are to be Loved,
In Secret, Between the Shadow and the Soul.
- Pablo Neruda


#122 Jevne

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:12 PM

I find it far more disrespectful (and ridiculous) to take every kind of magical practice and lump them all together, as if they were all the exact same thing.  Recognizing the cross-over elements of different paths and cultures (the similarities in general understanding of this World and the Otherworld) makes for interesting discussions, but each Path and way of working also has a special uniqueness and inherent beauty and depth to it.  Michele has an interesting post, somewhere, that talks about the difference between Tradition (as in following a very specific Path) and traditional (as in just doing things in general that used to be done in the past).  If anyone wants to bump it . . . thank you.

 

As to the topic, the Hedge Witches that I have met personally are some scary, fucking people.  Wherever they have gone, whatever they have done . . . they came back not quite right.  Maybe not serial killer level wrong, but still inevitably altered.  I cannot say if they left part of themselves or brought something back, but these are experienced individuals, so it bears mentioning for those who desire to venture down that Path.  Of course, knowing what I know about the people in question, they probably pushed the envelope. 


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#123 travsha

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:18 PM

Hmmm.... My experience is very different with "hedge witches" coming back strange.... (in that they came back more normal then ever!).  But - most of my experience lies in a traditional setting where an experienced shaman helps you navigate the spirit world more safely.  Especially if the people you met worked with deliriants and scopolamine containing plants without guidance, then I could see potential problems for some people.  Plants with scopolamine (such as brugmansia and datura) can really mess up your brain if you do too much too fast - you are supposed to usually work your way up to some things.  

 

For example - with those plants, the natives I know who use them say to either only use them under the watchful eye of an experienced traveler, or work with the plant in one of 3 safe ways: growing it in your living space, smelling the pollen, or sleeping with a flower under your pillow.  The natives work with the plant many other ways, but only after they get accustomed to the plant and earn it's alliance.  Then they may smoke it, eat it, or put a small amount in Ayahuasca - but only once they have worked up to that stage.  Plants generally reward patience, dedication, and respect in my experience.  

 

Some people dont realize that most plants have a light and a dark side, and depending on how you treat them, they can heal and empower you, or fuck you up.  

 

I have met 70 year old shamans (working with similar plants and methods as hedge witches from what I can tell) who have started their practice as a child and are still quite sane and coherent.  Some of them are even more lucid then your average joe on the streets.  

 

As for taking every tradition and lumping them all together.....  Well this wont work when systems have contradictions in them.  But for example, if I already work with Amazonian plants, and want to also connect with local plants at home - I dont see the problem applying traditional Amazonian techniques to local plants (this has worked great for me so far).  I also think it would be silly to turn down the guidance of my own heart or spirit guides because I felt called to something outside of my tradition.  Sometimes things work really well together, and every single tradition in history has grown and evolved and incorporated other local practices into it.  An Irish witch living in Italy may incorporate new ideas they encounter, a drumming shaman may discover an affinity for an entheogen, or a person who only learned spells in their tradition may learn to astral travel - doesnt mean they are polluting their system necessarily.  I think what matters is if what they do works, and if it is respectful to their heritage.  


Edited by travsha, 25 March 2014 - 10:19 PM.

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#124 Raineylane

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:25 PM

I find it far more disrespectful (and ridiculous) to take every kind of magical practice and lump them all together, as if they were all the exact same thing.  Recognizing the cross-over elements of different paths and cultures (the similarities in general understanding of this World and the Otherworld) makes for interesting discussions, but each Path and way of working also has a special uniqueness and inherent beauty and depth to it.  Michele has an interesting post, somewhere, that talks about the difference between Tradition (as in following a very specific Path) and traditional (as in just doing things in general that used to be done in the past).  If anyone wants to bump it . . . thank you.

 

As to the topic, the Hedge Witches that I have met personally are some scary, fucking people.  Wherever they have gone, whatever they have done . . . they came back not quite right.  Maybe not serial killer level wrong, but still inevitably altered.  I cannot say if they left part of themselves or brought something back, but these are experienced individuals, so it bears mentioning for those who desire to venture down that Path.  Of course, knowing what I know about the people in question, they probably pushed the envelope. 

 

Speaking for myself, I have no intentions of venturing into something I know little to nothing of, but I am still interested learning about it.  How can I or anyone else begin to understand this subject with no information?  Who is to say who is right and who is wrong?  Who is to say which way is the ONLY way?  Those are the tenents of religion, not witchcraft.


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#125 Mountain Witch

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:35 PM

Speaking for myself, I have no intentions of venturing into something I know little to nothing of, but I am still interested learning about it.  How can I or anyone else begin to understand this subject with no information?  Who is to say who is right and who is wrong?  Who is to say which way is the ONLY way?  Those are the tenents of religion, not witchcraft.

 

I don't believe Jevne was saying anything to discourage anyone from learning about or venturing onto or over the Hedge. I believe it was meant as cautionary.


For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

You can access my blog and get autographed copies of my books through my website


#126 Jevne

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

I agree with taking the time to work up to such things under guidance or with enough time.

Yes, only speaking of a personal interaction, cautionary only.

Edited by Jevne, 25 March 2014 - 10:42 PM.

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#127 aurora

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:01 PM

Mmmmm.......just can't get my head around this. Are we saying that Anyone who wishes to can ? Or is gifted and wants to learn to enhance these gifts. Their are many ways to walk a path,I feel its up that person how they choose to.Not throwing their dummies out of the pram because some wish to keep their knowledge hidden.


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#128 Nikki

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:28 PM

Caution is and has been emphasized throughout this thread for good reason. The personal responsibility and accepting consequences when working with mind-altering/ poisonous substances cannot be understated.

 

On-the-other-hand, some claim that no hallucinogen is needed to cross. 

 

I find what Jevne wrote interesting...

 

As to the topic, the Hedge Witches that I have met personally are some scary, fucking people.  Wherever they have gone, whatever they have done . . . they came back not quite right.  Maybe not serial killer level wrong, but still inevitably altered.  I cannot say if they left part of themselves or brought something back, but these are experienced individuals, so it bears mentioning for those who desire to venture down that Path.  Of course, knowing what I know about the people in question, they probably pushed the envelope. 

 

I'm wondering if this  an Affect vs. Effect occurrence?

 

Was it the journeying that changed the person? or was it the method used ?

 

Were these Witches not scary and fucked-up before... and then emerged permanently transformed?  

 

Or, where they scary and fucked-up prior to taking this Path?


Edited by Nikki, 25 March 2014 - 11:33 PM.

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The difference between Medicine and Poison is the Dose. :oil-bottle:
I Love you as certain Dark Things are to be Loved,
In Secret, Between the Shadow and the Soul.
- Pablo Neruda


#129 Mountain Witch

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:31 AM

The veiled bitchcraft is getting on my nerves.  Just as with virtually any other subject, there are differing opinions on not only terminology but methodology. Accept that. Now.

 

Temporarily locking this thread so I don't give several members a warning point.


For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

You can access my blog and get autographed copies of my books through my website