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Hedge Witches

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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Faeries Oracle of the Day:

One of the more richly decorated Oracle Decks I use in Divination is the Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth.  Faeries and nature spirits have inspired and confounded mankind over the millenniums. Their purpose in our lives is to guide and challenge us to make the right decisions for ourselves and our collective experiences, and in some cases take our egos down a few notches.  The faerie folk universe shares the same space as our own universe and at certain times the veil between the two allows for direct interaction. These diminutive but potent beings are not intimidated by humanity in the least so be respectful lest you find yourself tortured and tearful.
  
Nels the Alchemyst-

In the faerie realm as in our own, the pursuit of self-realization is made manifest through the exploration of Alchemy or the transmutation of base materials into Gold.

Nels lights the way for our own transformation gently offering us a glimpse at the divine; that which is ourselves.

Nels noble role is to reveal that which we have forgotten, our co-creator status with God. Be prepared for irrevocable inner and outer change as your personal progress takes precedence, with or without your co-operation.

Don’t expect someone to hold your hand just go with the divine flow and evolve spiritually. Embrace the many changes that are happening around you and enjoy the moment; resist the nostalgia for the past,  it will only prolong the inevitable.


Musings of The Hedge Witch: Thoughts on the Tao-

Musings of  The Hedge Witch: Thoughts on the Tao- In celebration of the divine Mother in each of us I turn to the wisdom of the great Eastern sage, Lao-tzu and the Tao Te Ching. Man and all creation has been driven by a unyeilding desire to unite with the universal energy, God. This yearning is like that of a child for its mother as Lao-tzu explains it.  May you find yourself awash in the divine love as you are truly a beloved child of God, deserving and worthy.

RETURNING TO THE SOURCE

That from which the universe sprang

 may be looked upon as its mother.

By knowing the mother you know the child,

you get in touch with the mother,

though your body perish,

you will come to no harm.

 

Keep your mouth shut, guard your senses,

and as long as you live your life will be good.

But open your mouth or become distracted,

and all you will know is trouble.

 

To see into things is finding your way.

follow the light that guides you homeward,

and do not get lost in the darkness.

This I call returning to the source.

-Lao-tzu

 

 


Rune of the Day: Inguz

How appropriate that our Rune for May Day is Inguz, Ruler of the elves of  Alfheim,  Frey the god of fertility and creativity aka Ing the hero god. Inguz inspires us to be born anew.

This powerful Rune requires your commitment to completion of tasks long overdue. It’s the start of new beginnings and the completion of those unresolved elements in our lives that have prevented us from moving forward. The adage “The only constant in life is change” reminds us to embrace change and live in the now and grow.

May Day signals the beginning of the planting season and The Hedge Witch moves through the garden preparing the hedge rows. Turning the soil, aerating and adding ample fertilizer to the earth, The Hedge Witch completes the first step in the cycle of growth. Nurturing the aina is necessary for the seeds to have the required nutrients to grow healthy and strong.

Tarot Card of the Day: The Nine of Pentacles

 

Tarot Card of the Day: The Nine of Pentacles

Stopping to smell the roses is the name of the game today. A solitary walk in the garden of earthly delights will rejuvenate your divine essence as you commune with mother nature. Iolani the Hawk of Heaven is at your command as the wisdom of the ages is at your fingertips. What you think about you bring about. The calmer more focused you are on what you wish the more readily it will come to you. If an anxious rodent creeps into the garden of your mind, set your mental hawk after it. In other words control  your negative emotions and  it will pay dividends. Material success comes to those who believe they already possess it and rejoice before they receive it.  
 
The Hedge Witch walks through her garden. Admiring the beauty and bounty of her co-creative efforts with the Divine. The hedge behind her is laden with the fruits of her work and wisdom. Material well-being is seeded in the mind with joyous thoughts of abundance. Fertilized with feelings of love the seedlings have exploded into fruition. The Hedge Witches familiar perches on her hand calmly, ready to bring back whatever desire in an instant or dispatch any fear.

Before Old Spice there was Allspice

There are few herbs in the world that are as decidedly masculine as Allspice. This ancient magical herb has both pragmatic and spiritual significance in many cultures and is a favorite cooking ingredient world-wide. This staple Hedge Witch herb has significant medicinal and magical potency and if you can’t grow it as a hedge you should definitely stock it in the herb cupboard for its uses are many.

Allspice, Jamaica Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, Pimento, New Spice: Commonly known as Allspice, due to the striking similarity in flavor to the joint tastes of cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries, and pepper. Allspice comes from the dried, un-ripened fruit of the Pimenta dioica, Pimento officinalis or Eugenia Pimenta, an evergreen tree about 30 feet high, a member of the natural order Myrtaceae, indigenous to the West Indian Islands and South America, and it is found in tropical climes worldwide.

Allspice essential oil has long been used as a curative for toothaches and digestive disorders as it is known to contain eugenol, a anti-microbial agent. It is chiefly employed as an additive to purgatives and digestives but it’s savory odor is used to sent soaps and men’s toiletries.

Distilled Water of Pimento is useful to quell fits of flatulence and indigestion. Applying two or three drops of the Allspice oil on a spoonful of sugar will settle the gaseous stomach.

Water of Pimento (Aqua Pimentae) is used as a delivery device for stomach and purgative medicines. It is made by taking 5 parts of bruised Pimento to 200 parts of water and distilling down to 100, the dose being 1 to 2 fluid ounces.

Aqua Pimentae(concentrated): This is an old British recipe, take Oil of Pimento 1 fl. oz. Alcohol 12 fl. oz. Purified Talc 1 oz. Distilled Water up to 20 fl. oz. Dissolve the oil in the alcohol, contained in a suitable bottle, add the water gradually shaking after each addition; add the talc shake, allow to stand for a few hours, occasionally shaking, and filter. One part of this solution corresponds to about 40 parts of Pimento Water.

Topical Solution: An extract can be made from crushed Allspice berries by boiling them down into a thick reduction. Use the reduction in a poultice and apply it to muscle aches and rheumatic joints.

Magical Lore: Ruled by Mars and the element of fire, Allspice should be incorporated in spells that harness masculine energy. It can be burned as an incense to increase luck and attract wealth. Add Allspice berries to sachets to increase charm potency and to promote healing.


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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