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Hedge Magic

What is a Hedge Witch?

The Hedge Witch Oracle

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The Hedge Witch has risen dramatically in the locus of popular culture over the past few years as interest in Pagan traditions and magical Wood-Block-Witchfolklore has exponentially expanded. This is due in part to legal protections and the popularity of Wicca as a Neo-Pagan religion and the folklore inspired writings of authors like JK Rowling and Wiccan Hedge Witch Rae Beth. What is a Hedge Witch you may ask? And, what ‘s the difference between a Hedge Witch and a run of the mill witch?

First, witches like faery princesses, and dragons exist in our imagination and fantasy entertainments but witches also occupy the world of oblique reality and to this day are being brutally murdered in more bigoted parts of the Earth. It is important to acknowledge that witches are an ancient primal archetype possessing the ability to strike fear in cultures world-wide just like the Dragon, Giants, and Naga. Second, a “run of the mill witch” or typical witch simply does not exist as they vary between cultures, secular and religious practitioners including Wiccan, Thelemic and other New Age and Neo-Pagan Religions. Some practice in groups or covens; others prefer solitary pursuits. A few are exclusively identified with one sex; some are white, some are black some are green; some are known as Kitchen Witches and others as Warlocks.

The term Hedge Witch originated in reality and originates from the old English Haegtesse or Hedge Rider.  A Hedge Rider or Witch is solitary practitioner of the natural healing arts and naturopathic-magic, but may work with others of their kind on rare occasions. Hedge Witches are also known as Traditional or Natural Witches and their skill sets and services depend on the person; often combining elements of divination, herbal healing and natural magic. Some practitioners claim it as the evolved art of the Cunning Folk, while others say that its’ practice is more a nature based neo-pagan religion like Wicca, which in my opinion is rather myopic and akin to saying Walt Disney invented the fairy tale. However, the histrionics of the Traditional Witch extends beyond just folklore and has ancient roots extending back to the biblical Witch of Endor and even further still in the esoteric histories of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

It is commonly believed that Hedge Witches are found world-wide. Traditionally known as the Village Witch, Witch Doctor, Kahuna La’au Lapa’au, Shaman, Wise or Cunning Woman or Man, this often misunderstood sometimes fringe member of the community consulted on any number of herbal cures, natural and supernatural remedies of spirit, mind, and body. The Hedge Witch assuaged matters of the heart often acting as a therapist, meta-physician, fertility, and virility  specialist. The Hedge, once signified the outermost boundary of ancient villages, fields, and large estates. This boundary represented metaphysically the border between the world of the living and the nether-world of spiritual beings. Practitioners of this type of The Witch of Endornaturopathic-magic were often called Hedge Witches, not only because they lived in or just beyond the hedge or forest but because they were also believed to commune with spirits, as well as, affect the living with the use of natural magic and herbal remedies found in the “hedge”.

I was raised “On the Hedge” so to speak as the cultural differences between my parents where seemingly insurmountable  and at times contradictory. As Intuitive consultant I identify with the Hedge Witch Archetype and draw upon both my Hawaiian healing intuitions of the Kahuna La’au Lapa’au and the hereditary Hola’e which stems from my maternal line going back 20 generations to the Kahuna Nui Pa’ao and my many years of study of western esoterica and the observations of my step-mother(of Eastern European heritage) and her powerful intuitive elucidations which both terrified and fascinated me. For hundreds of years through my paternal line our family maintained a famous well which was widely used for healing, divination, and potent wish making in the South West of England. All this says is that herbal and spiritual healing have ancient roots in my psyche and my genetic structure and Hedge Craft harnesses the mind to heal, as I understand it. As a Tarot Card consultant I utilize my understandings of these healing modalities to aid people in finding clarity and understanding in the face of their difficulties. I believe the power of the mind can create miraculous healing if properly coaxed and that overwrought thinking and stress can cause illness if left unchecked. If you have difficult questions that need answering please contact us for a consultation.

 
Rune of The Hedge Witch Oracle
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Tarot Card of the Day:The Knight of Swords-

Tarot Card of the Day:
 
 
The Knight of Swords
 
 
 
 
 
Today’s tarot card of the day was drawn for the president of the united states, Mr. Barack Obama on the gulf oil spill.
 
Courage and swift determination is in order today for  a tempest is brewing and the smell of death permeates the air. Courage is needed, to fend against the carnage and mounting sense of loss and fear. We are at war with our own addictions and must quickly evaluate and take a course of action. The Knight of Swords faces The Law of Cause and Effect who has entered the fray with ferocious intent; seeking to pit fear and lack against any viable solution. Swift determination, like a sword, must slice through the devastating effects of time, confusion, and corruption and deliver the field to the victor for your political future and country depend upon it. Tyranny, will be your detractors call but  the tyranny of ignorance  is what must be defeated.
 
A strong-willed, head strong warrior rushes into the field of battle against a petulant ill wind. The cypress trees strain against the buffeting angry sky as birds of prey circle high above the victims of battle. The knight holds aloft his sword and moves with a sense of purpose and destiny.
Tarot Card of the Day:The Knight of Swords-

Rune of the Day: Sowelu-may the force be with you!

Rune of the Day: Sowelu
 
The rays of the sun shine down upon you, rejuvenating and revitalizing your mana. Imagine that every cell in your body is effected by the radiant solar energy creating a sense of wholeness within you.
 
Sowelu is a rune of life energy, wholeness and regeneration. It’s presence in your life today is to remind you that all ailments and stresses can melt away in the presence of the divine energy.
 
Turn your face to the sun as it enriches the life energy of the planet and feel the vibrancy of creation surge through your body. You are a divine child in the embrace of the loving Source, share that energy with a compassionate smile and shine on.

Aloha Aloe Vera – The Medicine Plant

Aloha Aloe Vera

Aloes are prickly perennials found in the Lily family, these succulents brandish a multitude of fleshy tentacle like leaves often with spiny teeth lining the edges. In some remote parts of the world Aloes have been recorded growing as high as 20 meters but most measure less than a meter. Of the many varieties of Aloes, Aloe Vera renowned world-wide for its medicinal qualities, is a Hedge Witch necessity and will be the focus of our post.

Aloe Vera, Burn Plant, Medicine Plant

Aloe Vera has an ancient and storied history as a medicinal plant. It is believed that the Egyptians were the first to cultivate the plant for use in their embalming practices and the Greeks were well aware of its unique healing qualities as early as the 4th Century BC. Alexander the Great sought the plant to treat the wounds of his soldiers and Cleopatra secretly used it in her beauty regimen. It is also found in the Indian practice of Ayurvedic medicine.

The fleshy leaves of the Aloe contain a viscous juice which oozes when the leaf is cut. Aloe was Collected, often boiled down, condensed and solidified for distribution throughout the ancient world. A tiny, magical archipelago off the coast of Yemen called Socotra was the primary producer of the Aloe drug which was actively traded as a commodity in Europe as early as the 11th century AD.

Arguably Aloe Vera is the most well-known and esteemed medicinal plant in the world. Used to keep skin beautiful and healthy,  Aloe Vera, is used in a multitude of modern cosmetics and hair care products and  is best known for its ability to heal burns and minor wounds. Warning: do not use Aloe Vera on deep or puncture wounds and do not ingest.  Aloe Vera is used as a topical application and has successfully treated dermatitis, psoriasis, frostbite, sunburn, radiation damage, minor cuts & abrasions, insect bites & stings, poison ivy, and skin ulcerations. The antifungal and antibacterial qualities of the plant helps to prevent infections and the anti-inflammatory components, glycoproteins and salicylates help stimulate skin and tissue growth. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are also found in the plant that help accelerate the healing process and maintain healthy skin. It also provides pain relief for burns and cuts.

Aloe Vera  is very easy to cultivate, and makes a great hedge or house plant requiring only occasional watering and adequate drainage. It should be noted that the cut leaves of the plant produce two saps. The outer skin of the Aloe leaf produces a greenish-yellow sap containing an irritant, latex-like compound known as Aloin which is used as a purgative for horses. The clear sap from the center of the leaf is what is used for topical healing.

Magical Lore: Aloe, thought to offer protection and good luck. You can wear the leaf as a talisman and hang it anywhere you wish to promote healing, peacefulness, protection and good luck. Grow it in the house to ward off accidents and burn it to attract a lover. Egyptian Muslims, regard the Aloe as a religious symbol, and hang  Aloe over doorways for protection.

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Agrimony for the Aggravated Cough

Continuing in our herb lore exploration we examine the once popular hedge plant Agrimony. For an aggravated cough, your grandmother might have suggested this herb as a remedy. Today it is rarely included as a perennial favorite in herb gardens but it is still considered a Hedge Witch essential herb.
 
Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Philanthropos, Sticklewort:
 Agrimonia Eupatoria is a member of the rose family. It’s name derives from the Greek, Argemone, a word used to describe plants which were healing to the eyes.This robust perennial makes its home in the rural areas of Europe and North America and has been a staple in Hedge craft for many centuries. Often imbibed as a tea additive, Agrimony is known for its delicate apricot like odor. The plant grows with a stalk of one or two stems covered in fine soft, down like hairs, dark green leaves, and topped with tall spikes of yellow flowers. Agrimony is easily cultivated and should be harvested in the summer when it is in bloom and hung to dry in a dark dry place. Burr covered seeds are produced in late summer and early fall and should be planted immediately.
  
Agrimony has a long history in traditional herbal medicine. Most commonly used as a diuretic and a tonic for soothing winter colds and fevers. The astringent quality of the herb lends itself nicely as a gargle or mouthwash. It is also applied topically to minor lacerations and sores. Agrimony was a popular cure for jaundice and other liver complaints as well as a healer of sprains, bruises, warts, and acne.
  
Herbal Tea Infusion: once known as “diet drink” or “spring drink” Agrimony tea was a popular country beverage. Agrimony Tea Infusion: add 1 teaspoon dried Agrimony root, leaves, or flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain and flavor with honey and a little anise to taste. suggested dosage:1 cup a day.
  
Magical Lore: Agrimony was typically used to dispel hexes and protect its user from bad luck and meddler malfeasance. Made into sachet charms, it’s recorded as being a powerful sleep inducer when placed beneath a prone persons head.  One interesting magical quality of the herb is that it was used to nullify curses and reverse hexes cast at the user. Combined with sea salt it was said to effectively stop Mal Occhio, or the Evil Eye. 

 
 

 

 
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The Mystical Acacia

We begin our herb lore study with the mystical Acacia. Renowned for its many medicinal qualities, remarkable nutritional value, and magical history;  the Acacia or more specifically the Gum Acacia has been in high demand for thousands of years. Today it’s found in everything from Marshmallows and Gummy Bears to expensive Pharmaceuticals and exotic incense.
 
 
 
Acacia, Gum Acacia, Gum Arabic,
Acacia is a genus of flowering shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae. Believed to have over 1000 varieties The plants are thorny and pod-bearing, with high concentrations of tannins in the sap and leaves. The name Acacia derives from the early Greek botanist-physician Pedanius Dioscorides (bce. 40-90) who first recorded its medicinal properties. Gum Acacia and Gum Arabic are closely related to one another and share the same properties and medicinal qualities with slight potency differences.
 
Acacia Senegal: is a small variety of acacia tree also known as Gum Acacia, Gum Arabic Tree, or Gum Senegal Tree. It is native to semi-desert regions stretching from Sub-Saharan Africa, through the Middle East to northwestern India. Its pods are edible and it’s sap produces gum Arabic, commonly used as a thickening agent and binder, in foods, confections, inks, incense and cosmetics. The gum is harvested by draining the sap trough the bark of a living tree during certain times of the year. Bits of hardened sap may be dissolved in water, emulsified and consumed. Medicinal qualities of the gum are many including the soothing of intestinal discomfort and as a salve for skin inflammations. It is also reportedly used as an astringent, to treat bleeding, bronchitis, diarrhea, gonorrhea, Hansen’s disease, malaria, typhoid fever, and dysentery. Bruised leaves and bark used in poultices can treat ulcers, and tumors of the eye, ear, and testes. The bark, chewed, fends off scurvy and vitamin deficiency. Much of the commercially produced Gum Acacia in the world comes from the Sudan and other sub Saharan countries.
 
Magical lore: Considered an aphrodisiac and courage enhancer, the mere image of an Acacia branch provides protection. A sprig of it, worn on the body or hung in the home wards off evil. Use the fibrous roots and bark to make rope, ideal for binding spells. Use the resin to make inks to enhance protection spells. The wood is often used to make alters and other ritual furniture or to build chests or boxes that hold ritual tools. In the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was made from Shittim wood, believed to be Acacia. It is commonly used in incense and infused in oils used in anointing rituals. The odor of smoldering Acacia improves psychic abilities and focuses concentration. It is also a common Hedge plant as it produces large thorns providing ample protection from animal predators and human interlopers alike.
 
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