Post Reply
7 years ago  ::  May 18, 2008 - 9:02PM #1
CLHazz
Posts: 94
Hi, I've got a question. I've been to some other pagan sites and one of the traditions there isn't any info on. I am curious about what the Hedgewitch tradition is? I am baffled because there isn't anything too say what it is, I've only seen it on a person's post, what their religion is, that's all.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  May 19, 2008 - 9:01AM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
[QUOTE=CLHazz;508655]Hi, I've got a question. I've been to some other pagan sites and one of the traditions there isn't any info on. I am curious about what the Hedgewitch tradition is? I am baffled because there isn't anything too say what it is, I've only seen it on a person's post, what their religion is, that's all.[/QUOTE]


There are varying definitions of what this ‘tradition’ is or if it is even a tradition at all let alone a religion. Despite my onscreen name, I am not a Hedgewitch although Vocational Witchcraft does have similarities to Hedgewitchery. I was called a Hedgewitch years ago by a British Witch because he knew me as a solitary witch who practised herblore and this is what they were called in Britain. Given I have arthritis, all I did was combine this term with being stiff or creaky to create my online name.

The hedge, depending on whom you ask, is significant for different reasons. It may be believed to denote witches practising in secret in villages behind cottage hedges or a witch who worked with green magic or herblore. The hedge also may signify that the Hedgewitch is one who walks with a foot in two worlds. This might be the world confined by the hedge and that which lies without, both of which could be described as either the world of reality or dream.  Walking or Crossing or Riding the Hedge are terms that are found in the books about Hedgewitchery that refer to such shamanistic practices as soul flight or to astral travel. The term might even reference hedge-preachers, an old term for an itinerant preacher who had no parish or fixed address.

While there is the usual etymological debate, the traceable source of this name appears to several modern books. One is the 1994 “Call of the Horned Piper” by Nigel Jackson and the other comes from Rae Beth’s 1992 book “Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft”.  Whatever Rae Beth sincerely believed to be the antiquity of her claims, her claims are too similar to modern Wicca for me to consider them anything other than modern. I have seen claims as well that Hedgewitchery is based on the cunning folk or even that it is the religion of the cunning folk in Britain. However, the cunning folk are documented as being Christians not pagans and the major part of their ‘craft’ was protecting other Christians from the evils of witches. The rest was using fortune telling, love spells and talismans to con people for money. Personally I believe that the roots and background of her beliefs draw from British folklore practices (documented for example in Ronald Hutton’s “Stations of the Sun” and in particular the legacy of myths from the British Romanticism Movement. Myths such as paganism being a pastoral relationship between human, religion and nature and in particular the myth of the historical solitary village witch.

The components of Hedgewitchery vary and they are not usually religious. Hedgewitchery like ‘Traditional Witchcraft’ both tend to rely on the Witch’s ethnic heritage and the mythological histories attached to witchcraft to provide an ancestral validation. Hedgewitches generally however practice some form of Neo-/Paganism especially if they are spiritual or religious. There really isn't any religious structure to this type of the 'Craft that tends to consist mainly of herbalism, elements of shamanism, generic modern pagan spellcraft with that ethnic layering or simplistic, informal forms of localised or familial folkmagic practices, wildcrafting (sometimes defined as folklore themes combined with woodcraft skills, etc) and healing. A Hedgewitch is by definition Solitary and works out of his or her home usually. There are a number of other writers who are seen as re-sources of this type of modern witchcraft. Ann Moure, Marion Green, Doreen Valiente, Patricia Telesco have all written variously on wild or green or natural witchcraft.

Now like any other modern 'tradition',  Hedgewitchery can be a profound, viable and fulfilling practice of the 'Craft. IMO, satisfying the need for validation for any practice on a supposed history rather than on one's iving enactment of such will remain a problematic foundation. That is however my mileage and others may vary here.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  May 20, 2008 - 2:15PM #3
CLHazz
Posts: 94
Thanks for answering, whoa that was a lot of info which I knew nothing about. Thanks again for satisfying my curiosity. :)
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook