Hedge Magick: Expectation vs Reality

Bright Blessings Witches, Witchlings, and Witchlets! In today’s post we’re adding another installment to our Expectation vs Reality Series. Get ready to dive deep into the subject of hedge magick. Let’s go!

WHAT ARE HEDGEROWS?

hedge witch

Hedgerows are boundaries formed by a dense row of shrubbery planted to separate the edge of town and the wilderness. These also serve to contain cattle and other livestock, demarcate land plots, and protect the soil from wind erosion.

WHAT IS A HEDGE WITCH?

hedge witch

In the days of old, villagers and civilization resided on one side of the hedgerows, while witches and the wilderness lay on the other. These witches were so named for 1) living on the other side of the hedgerows and 2) being able to journey over the symbolic hedge that divides the mundane world with the magickal or spiritual.

WHAT DOES A HEDGE WITCH DO?

hedge witch

Simply put, pretty much whatever they want. A hedge witch tends to experiment in order to find results. If they do not get what they’re casting for using a certain set of actions, they try something else. Trial and error are their good friends!

They will take usefulness over ritual every single time. The idea of going through the motions of a ritual without knowing if it will deliver results is a waste of time and seems foolish to them. This is why no two hedge practitioners are the same.

WHAT DOES HEDGE MAGICK ENTAIL?

hedge witch

Now that we know how hedge practitioners operate, let’s talk about what the magick involves. To do this, I’m going to cover both the mundane and the magickal worlds. Please note that this is a generalization as to ultimately define hedge magick isn’t really possible. There are too many variants involved from one practitioner to another.

For the mundane, hedge witches aim to make the hearth and home magickal. This includes introducing spirituality into simple tasks like housekeeping, preparing meals, tending the garden, etc. Also included for most is what’s known as wildcrafting. This is the act of harvesting plants from the wild and then using them for exploratory purposes to further their practice.

For the magickal, practitioners ‘part the hedge’, ‘fly over the hedge’, ‘see beyond the veil’ – all sayings that essentially mean the same thing: to magickally venture into another domain. Hedge witches will also tie the mundane act of wildcrafting with animism – building connections with the souls and spirits of plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena – and then work with them in their craft.

Other common practices for hedge witches include working with ancestral spirits, demons, and angels, divination, kitchen witchery, green magick, seasonal work, herbal healing, astral travel, and spirit veneration.

EXPECTATION VS REALITY

Now that we’ve covered the basics of hedge magick, let’s dive into the common misconceptions surrounding this subject and what the actual reality is.

  1. EXPECTATION: You have to live on the outskirts of town in order to be a Hedge Witch
    REALITY: You can reside anywhere you like and follow this path
hedge witch

In these modern times that we live, there is no steadfast rule that states a hedge witch MUST make their home on the fringe of a town or city. In fact, the moniker ‘hedge witch’ is really just paying homage to those who came before who did live on the other side of a hedgerow. So take heart when the decision is made to pursue this path and you happen to live smack dab in the middle of a major metropolitan city – that’s totally fine!

  1. EXPECTATION: Astral travel, hedge jumping, and visits to the Otherworld is the only way you can call yourself a REAL hedge witch
    REALITY: Not all hedge witches participate in these activities
hedge witch

Let’s take a second to remember a big part of what makes hedge magick hedge magick – practitioners do what suits them and their craft. What is right for one hedge witch will not be for another. It is precisely this that makes hedge magick so inviting to a lot of people. So if you don’t want to astral travel, jump the hedge, or get your magickal passport stamped for a visit to the Otherworld, no sweat. Don’t do it. Instead, do what feels right for you.

  1. EXPECTATION: Hedge magick can only be taught by an older family member who practices or a mentor
    REALITY: You can teach yourself to be a hedge witch
hedge witch

For all paths*, there will be some practitioners who have had their craft taught to them by a mentor or older relative. But, that does not exclude others from taking up hedge magick or any other path. That kind of talk comes from gatekeepers or elitists who want to control the narrative of the magick. With research, self-education, and application, you too can teach yourself how to be a hedge witch.

*Please note I am discluding closed practices from this declaration. In cases of closed practices and their practitioners, one must be permitted to follow the path. End of.

IN CONCLUSION…

I can only hope this post has cleared up some common misconceptions surrounding hedge magick. How about you? Have you heard any of these misconceptions before? Do you practice hedge magick or consider yourself to be a hedge witch? Let me know in the comments! Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!

Published by Pie

Pie Ankiewicz is the Resident Witch of Printable Witchcraft and sister-site Candle Cross Coven. She is a seasoned Eclectic Witch whose practice spans over three decades. Residing in Massachusetts, Pie designs printable Book of Shadows and grimoire pages, blogs about the Craft, and teaches others how to pursue being a practitioner.

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