Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hedgecraft 4 Us

Welcome to Hedgecraft 4 Us! We’re certainly glad you could make it! This is a brand new group. Note no number after the name. The 4 in the name doesn’t count. When I start a new Hedgecraft 4 Us group, it’ll be Hedgecraft 4 Us 2 and so on. I maintain that it involves magickal arts and crafts, especially using things found in nature. I used to know a woman who picked up roadkills, and used the body parts; bones, fur and feathers to make magickal and sacred objects. I really admired what she did. She was making use of something that otherwise would either be incinerated, thus adding to air pollution, or tossed on a landfill somewhere. She was creating beauty out of ugliness. She created her own little mecca or paradise. According to Stephen, hedgecraft is woodcraft, and hedges imply protection, since that is what hedges are for. I think that hedgecraft includes herbalism. So it’s arts and crafts using materials taken from nature, woodcraft, protection magick, and herbalism. Another name for it is Green Power.

Green power is the power of healing others, animals, and self-healing, using the powers of nature. It packs a double whammy. Using herbs uses the green power of the earth, but you can tap into it directly. Stephen and I just did a breathing exercise outside, where we tapped into the power of starlight, but you can tap into the power of the Earth Mother Herself. Go outside. Lean against a tree, if you have one, but otherwise just feel the earth beneath your feet. Feel the embrace of Her gravity as She clutches you to Her bosom. Take a deep breath. Exhale, as you exhale, breathe out all your tension, worries, stresses, and problems. Breathe out all your anger, sadness, and depression. As you breathe in again, breathe in all that green power. See brilliant emerald light filling your lungs, and your entire body. Each time you exhale, breathe out all the bad stuff. The earth will transmute it into nutrients and fertilizer for Her plants. Each time you inhale visualize your entire body being filled by green light. Do this for about five minutes, and then resume your activities. This can be done to tap into the power of the Sun, the ocean or a lake, or the night as we did tonight.

I have a book on Hedgecraft called “Hedge Witch.” I haven’t started reading it yet because I’m still in the middle of “Ritual Craft,” but me thinks ‘twill be the next book I read. It’s by Silver RavenWolf, who has written a number of great books with one exception, so I’m sure I’ll like it. The exception of which I speak is “Solitary Witch”, which has at least one serious error on every page. I found them, and I wasn’t even being all that persnickety. Someone really fussy would doubtless find more than I did. But that is not germane to our discussion here. Green magick also has to do with anything life affirming. In hedge craft, everything is alive, which I suspect is animism. Everything has a soul. Closely allied with that is pantheism, in which All That Is, Deity, whatever you want to call it, is in everything. Stephen is drawn to hedge craft because one of his mundane jobs is yard work, in which he is out in the green every day. There’s tree magick too, which is definitely life affirming.

It looks very good that cannabis is going to be legalized soon. Marijuana is a perfectly good example of green magick. It heals, it makes you feel good it quells the nausea felt by cancer patients during and after chemo so that they’ll feel like eating, it relieves menstrual cramps. It also relieves the pressure on the eyeballs caused by glaucoma, which Stephen has. Industrial hemp could provide thousands of jobs. Industrial hemp would bring billions of dollars in trade into a state that sorely needs the money. California is $25 billion in the hole, and industrial hemp could fill up that hole, as well as not having to put out the funds for CAMP. Of course the cotton, tobacco, and liquor lobbies aren’t going to be too happy with the competition they’re going to get, but they’re going to have to just suffer. The reason we’re in the hole is the @#$%^&*! Republicans who obstructed California’s attempts to bring in a budget.

There are Ann Moura’s books on Green Witchcraft and Magick. Green Witchcraft I, II, and III, and Green Magick are all good texts on what we’re doing here. I wrote down on index cards the 5 laws of a Green Witch just because I wanted to learn them. You see, as a 3rd degree Witch, I’m still studying, but I decide what I want to study. Cottage Witchery by Ellen Dugan is another one to look into. Two more by this talented author are: Garden Witchery, and Natural Witchery. The next one is Craft of the Wild Witch by Poppy Palin I have this book, and enjoyed reading it. We encourage all of you to read these and review them here in the Discussions section. We made it open for a reason. We want anyone who is a member to be able to post discussions here. Now some people in our Google groups have abused this privilege but I don’t think any of you will abuse it. Sandra Kynes wrote Whispers from the Woods and Sea Magick. Sacred Land and Voices of the Earth are by Clea Danaan. I haven’t read these, but you are free to read and review them. Encyclopedia of Natural Magic[sic] by John Michael Greer. I have this one and enjoyed it greatly. Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future by Ly de Angeles, Emma Restall Orr, and Thom Van Dooren. These books are all from Llewellyn’s New Worlds. It’s an excellent publication for torturing yourself with all the books you want to buy, but can’t afford.

Google hedge-craft, and see what you come up with. Hedge-craft may one of the oldest forms of Witchcraft. We already know that it gains its power from the woods. Last night I slept with “Hedge Witch” under my pillow. I had very interesting dreams, but I don’t know what they were. Stephen claims to have invented the technique, but I use it whenever I get a new Tarot deck. It’s a fairly traditional technique for attuning oneself to the object. You can put one card in a zip baggie, put it under your pillow, and see what kinds of dreams you get. How many of you who are in this group, actively practice hedge-craft? For those who are, please post, so that we can respond to your posts.

For tree-craft, look into Steven Blamires’ book Celtic Tree Mysteries. Stephen recommends it.. I didn’t care for it myself, but perhaps I expected more from it than it promised to deliver.

I looked up “hedge-witch” and found that it is one who is not part of a group or coven, but more often one who is into the green arts, herbal cures, and spells. Go to for more on this fascinating topic. I wonder how a hedge-witch and a kitchen witch compare. We have a friend who is a kitchen witch. Stephen thinks they’re about the same. I think that there are subtle differences. For the kitchen witch, her hearth is her range, while for the hedge-witch her hearth is the bonfire s/he builds out in her backyard. If you have any other definitions of hedge-witch, or of kitchen witch, please share them with us.

Stephen mentioned cottage-craft, but when I think of cottage-craft, I think of the weaver weaving in her cottage, and making Cabbage Patch dolls. Stephen mentioned sewing, embroidery, crocheting, and pottery. Another cottage craft is what our friend the kitchen witch Cherye does. She makes both herbal anointing oils and herbal massage oils. She is a masseuse, and laying-on-of-hands healer, so she uses them in her practice, as well as selling them at various small crafts fairs in the Redding area. I think she also makes poultices. You can also make drapes and curtains.

So we have three related kinds of Witches here: hedge-Witch, kitchen Witch, and cottage Witch. Note that I capitalize Witch. I think Witch should be capitalized like Lutheran, Baptist, Buddhist, or Hindu. What all three have in common is that they were very often the village wise woman or cunning-man. Cunning is a form of spell-casting. There were cunning wives and cunning-men. There may be a connection between cunning and hoodoo, although hoodoo is strictly New World, whilst the cunning thing is European; Old World.

When I finish “Ritual Craft” by Amber and Azrael Arynn K, I plan to start reading “Hedge Witch” by Silver RavenWolf, the book I mentioned in one of the paragraphs above. I’ll tell all of you how the book is. I can hardly wait. I actually started reading “Ritual Craft” before I moved here, in fact, before I broke my ankle, and Doc died. I stopped reading it to read some library books, specifically The Pirates Republic as research for my kid lit book “The Littlest Pirate” Then I got caught up in reading books for my Dedicant Program. Stephen wants me to tell you how I select which book to read next. Well, it’s pretty haphazard. Mostly I shut my eyes and point.. After I finish “Hedge Witch” I’m planning to read the two “Real Witch” books I have. Some books I have are reference books such as “Magickal Correspondences” and “The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients,” which are not intended to be read cover to cover, but referred to when one is creating a spell. Basically, when a book on the shelves in my room catches my eye, I tell myself I’m going to read it, and schedule it in.

When you can spare $2, subscribe to Llewellyn’s New Worlds. This issue featured books on Hedge-Craft, from the Hedge-Witch hirself, to all the things which are included in Hedge-Craft such as tree magick, herbal magick, and cottage magick. It’s a very popular publication.