Friday, 25 July 2014

On Walking the Hedge: New Understandings and Meeting Pan

       So a few posts back I made a bit of a fudge when I was talking about hedge witchery. In the post, which you can read here if you so desire, I wrote that although I was interested in the hedge I was not into the flying ointment stuff as at the time, I presumed that hedge-craft was mostly about rubbing on an ointment that might make you hallucinate, I was wrong. Why am I even pointing out that I made a mistake? Because I think its doubtful that I'm the only one in the witchy or pagan world who has thought along the very same lines and I though that should be corrected, at least for those who take the time to read this post and learn about hedge witchery.


      My first real (and very much needed) reality check about hedge-craft came from a comment that one of my favourite bloggers wrote on my wall. In the comment she wrote:

"I think hedge as a path can be so much more than journeying, ointments, tarot..etc.. I focus that way because my strong suit is seeing and of course jumping the hedge is part of it but to me it is more having that connection to spirit and the wild place, especially discovering those local and what they have to offer you in spirit.." -Morgan from Love by the Moon

    I am really beyond thankful that she left this comment on my post because as I said it really was a reality check, I mean not all witches practice their craft the same way (stricter followings of Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca exempt) so why would all hedgers cross the hedge the same way?!

     Needless to say Morgan's comment really got me thinking. I had been reading her blog, Love by the Moon for months, which I need to add is seriously amazing, go read it now or well maybe after finishing this post, but you get the picture :p I'd also been studying up on hedge-craft because I have been feeling a strong pull towards the hedge but never really addressed it. Honestly I was a little wary of the incorporation of some poisonous herbs into the path of some hedgers and for some reason I made an assumption (assumptions are always a bad idea) that all hedgers worked with poisons. So I got skittish and ignored my spirit's cry to walk in the otherworld, but thankfully after talking with Morgan and realizing that not all hedgers cross the hedge using flying ointments made with poisonous herbs I re-evaluated my thoughts on hedge witchery.

      My misconceptions corrected I have recently begun incorporating hedge witchery into my practice, something that my spirit has been asking me to do for a while. Looking back on some of my past meditations I know that I have crossed the hedge before and even grounded in the otherworld and so really it was high time to pay attention to this calling. So last week I gathered three candles (I almost always use three because as part of my Celtic path three is a spiritually significant number), got out my phantom quartz crystal which is especially useful for dreaming and finding clarity amidst murky emotional situations, mixed some dried lemon a personal herb of magic with dried basil leaves which are non-toxic and also increase your psychic awareness, poured me a little glass of white wine to calm myself and settled down with meditation music.


     The result was amazing, I felt my spirit open up to the otherworld and while I was there I encountered the White Lady a personal deity who is akin to the Arthurian, Lady of the Lake who I have met before in meditations, but this time I also met Pan. Yup Pan. I don't follow a Greek or Roman pantheon nor do I feel much connection to their deities though I do respect them, so I was more than a little shocked when he showed up. When I came across Pan he was green almost turquoise and resembled something like a green-turquoise version of the image below:


     I'm sure he was Pan, as when ever I met gods or goddesses or spiritual beings I seem to almost intuitively know who they are, unless they are actively trying to hide themselves. So there was Pan standing in the middle of a decaying and somewhat dead forest, kind of like a forest in winter but with no snow. He seemed a little bit temperamental, I got the feeling it was because his forest wasn't healthy. When I came back, his energy seemed to follow mine so I went to the google and searched up what I could on him and found out that he was essentially Greece's God of the Wild. When I discovered that, it struck me that on my first journey where I was actively seeking to go a hedge walking that he was essentially telling me that I needed to follow my spirit and accept that I was a Wildling at heart, one who needs to connect with the wilderness of the Otherworld as part of my practice.

     To thank him for his message and to ensure that he would go back to his home, after all one doesn't want a temperamental Pan just wondering the human planes willy nilly, I decided to leave him an offering. So I gathered some tiger eye, peridot and jade crystals as well as a bit of mossy bark I collected months ago on a forest adventure and went outside, perhaps about half an hour after my meditation, to deliver my thanks. I charged and blessed the crystals and bark with gratitude then placed them at the base of a tree in front of my apartment building and grounded my remaining hedge-walking energies into the soil. As I was walking away I turned around to look back at the tree and saw him standing there so I nodded my head once more in thanks. By the time I was back in my apartment his energy had left the yard and my home. Knowing that he had gone back to the Otherworld, I let out a breath and curled up in bed with a book before bed.

     So there it is, I'm a hedge witch. Certainly not as experienced as many of the other Hedge-bloggers and non-blogging Hedgers but I have begun to follow the path of hedge witchery. I guess that means I can call myself a Traditional Celtic Hedge Witch now if you're looking for a label, but honestly who needs labels at the end of the day I am just a wild spirit who practices magic, communes with the Otherworld and runs barefoot in the grass.


2 comments:

  1. There is the funny thing about hedge witchery that people tend to think it is all about the poisons and ointments. I had a discussion with some one not that long ago and I felt like a point had to be made that the totality of hedge witchery is not just poisons and ointments, there is so much more to it than that. I suppose it is the proliferation of people tending to present that image (I imagine I've likely been guilty of it) instead of presenting a more balanced perspective. I love your post because it shows the different flavours of hedgecraft! :)

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    1. I agree the image is definitely out there that the hedge witch is all about poisons and ointments. Perhaps this simply because the majortiy of hedgey bloggers find that this path appeals to them the most. However there is definitely a variety of different ways to practice hedge craft out there :)

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