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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 folklore 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 naturopathic-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.
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- 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.
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.
Tarot Card of the Day: The Nine of Pentacles
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.
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.