Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hedgecraft: What Is It?

Let’s start with a definition. Hedgecraft goes back to Stephen’s grandmother, who used herbs to combat Stephen’s asthma. Hedgecraft seems to be a natural progression from Druidry. Llewellyn Pub. is a great place to get books on hedgecraft. Also Mind-n-Magick has a huge bookstore and search engine. Type in “hedgecraft” and you’ll get several entries. Hedgecraft works with nature. It also includes kitchen witchery. This group got its inspiration from Silver RavenWolf’s seminal book “Hedgewitch”. My definition of hedgecraft includes not only Stephen’s definition, but also some elements of sorcery, in that you gain power, and learn to use it effectively. Hedgecraft could be said to be the source for herbal magick. With that definition, it’s not only hundreds but thousands of years old, from the very dawn of homo sapiens.

One of the deities used in Hedgecraft is Miach, son of Dian Cecht, who got jealous of his son’s ability and knowledge of the healing arts, and killed him. This just underscores how evil jealousy really is, and why it should not be tolerated. I’ve gotten in trouble whenever I’ve fe;t jealousy, and was tempted to do something that would go against the Wiccan Rede.

I got lots of inspiration from that book, but the one I use all the time has to do with a man Silver talks about in the beginning of the book. He was having trouble with his insurance company. He had a phone which wasn’t hooked up to anything. He dialed 911, and said what he needed. Within two days he got not only a new insurance company that had the quality of service he needed for the price he was willing to pay, but the old insurance company came crawling around asking for another chance. With much pleasure he told them to stick it. He had a new agent who believed in service after the sale. Stephen had an old cordless phone, which I asked for. I made a “call” on it. Stephen likes to call it “the Goddess phone.” All you have to do is believe.

One of my fondest memories of childhood was when my maternal grandmother took me through my mother’s flower beds, and taught me that even weeds have uses. From the crabgrass she pulled out from around Mumsy’s flowers, we got our spring greens. Mumsy washed them, cooked them, and we ate them with vinegar. It’s how I learned to like spinach later. Grandma was a staunch Christian, but she knew her plants.

Stephen and I want to turn you onto the Herbal Tarot out from U.S. Games.

Before you use your herbs in magick, do what the Native Americans do, ask the herbs’ permission to use the plants. This means you are cooperating with the Wiccan Rede. “Harm none” does not apply just to humans, but to animals and plants as well.

We are going back to the schedule we worked up over a year ago for taking care of our networks. We suggest that you work up a schedule yourselves and keep to it. Whilst I’m working on this Stephen is playing with my balls. No, I’m not transgendered. They are metal balls I use to massage my hands. I have 2 sets, one given to me by my 3rd exhubby, the other by my friend Leila, who is unfortunately now deceased. As I write this, and Stephen is playing with my balls, he just turned me on to a new drink, Canada Green Tea Ginger Ale. It’s very good. I was surprised, I must say. We think that beverages should be included in hedgecraft. Green tea has antioxidants in it, along with a small amount of caffeine for alertness and two amino acids that I can’t remember what they are.

What is your definition of hedgecraft and hedge magick? Are they separate things or just different words for the same thing? One other thing that can be included in the definition of hedgecraft is certain arts and crafts such as needlecraft, fiber arts, candle and soap making. Can you come up with some other ones, which may be included? Is there anything we’ve missed in our definition of hedge craft and hedge magick that needs to be mentioned? What is the relationship to hedgecraft with cottage craft? I’ll start. Hedge Witches often lived in cottages. Cottage craft is anything you can do or make in a cottage. My friend Cherye makes aromatic oils from herbs she grows in her garden. Another friend of mine, Jen, our present Senior Druid, is very taken by fiber and textile arts, so she spins and dyes her own yarn. Some people make their own mead, a beverage I am very fond of. My sister in Renaissance, Princess Keturah, makes her own mead, and I’m sure that Lindsay will too, once her beehives produce enough honey. She is also employing wood burning to make her own Ogham fews. I have one of them, which serves to solidify my Dedicant Path oath.

I am a needlecrafter. So far I do two main crafts, crochet and embroidery. I want to teach myself beading. I’ve already embroidered with beads, producing two irises with beaded blossoms and leaves and stems embroidered with metallic ribbon floss. Once I get so I can get back to the library, I want to grab that bag of fabric that’s back there, and transfer a design I have for a wall hanging. It’ll show a lady in a long gown lounging on a crescent moon with the legend: “What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?” I’ll transfer the design using the old fashioned pencil-and-carbon-paper method. Right now I am learning how to use bamboo yarn by crocheting motifs out of it. Bamboo is a very nice yarn, but it’s still rather pricey.

Stephen’s craft is yardcraft, in which he takes a yard which has been neglected for awhile, and by dint of clipping and mowing, turns it into a showplace. He has a lot of equipment: and electric mower, an electric weed trimmer, and a sprinkler. Sacramento is rather dry in summer, so he waters every other day. Since his mower is electric, he has to let the lawn dry a bit before he mows. He has served as gardener for such notables as Marion Zimmer Bradley for 7 years, Steve Perrin of Chaosium fame, who created Runequest, and Dave Hargrave, who created the Arduin Grimoire.

Another cottage craft is weaving. My 2nd mother-in-law, Barbara, used to weave. I’m sure she’s still weaving, except that her loom is now celestial in nature. There is also card weaving, which another friend of mine from Renaissance does. There is also quilting, which a couple of my friends do. It was originally used to make use of the still usable portions of old garments, and odds and ends of fabric to make something that would keep the family warm in winter. Now providing brand-new fabrics for quilts has become big business.
Cabbage Patch dolls were originally all made of cloth, and were a cottage craft designed to give Appalachian women a livelihood while their men suffered from black lung disease from working in the now defunct coal mines. I read about the origin of Cabbage Patch dolls somewhere, but don’t remember my source. Maybe you can find it for me. When Janvier was a baby, and women were fighting each other over Cabbage Patch dolls, I got a much less expensive doll with no face, and embroidered facial features on it, then on my computer I created an adoption certificate for the doll. I then put one of Janvier’s baby dresses that she had out grown on the doll. I am continuing to listen to Pagan Radio Network. Perfect music for listening to when writing this about hedgecraft.

Some years ago Dorothy Morrison wrote a book called “Magical [sic] Needlework”. I found it very inspirational. If you know how to chart, you can design your own magickal filet crochet hangings. Other things can be made with papier mache. In a similar vein collage art, and also diorama art. Stephen used to make dioramas. Also there are magickal mirrors. Stephen used to combine papier mache mountains. His dioramas won awards. He built one of a battle of the Civil War in the Smoky Mountains; hence the mountain in the diorama. He also did one of an erupting volcano. Is cottage craft an offshoot of hedgecraft? Stephen says yes. I say yes if they are with a magickal theme. My friend Cherye’s aromatherapy oils are definitely hedgecraft.

Let’s sum up what we’ve talked about here. We’ve talked about hedgecraft and hedge magick; whether they are separate or one and the same. We discussed books on the topic. We talked about examples of cottage craft. Now it’s time for you to air your views. What do you folks think on the subject? We also discussed how seemingly ordinary objects can be used in modern spellwork, specifically the Goddess-phone. We discussed music on the internet. Beverages, especially if herbal, are part of hedgecraft. We had a long discussion about cottage crafts and how they intersect with hedgecraft.

They took the bus bench away from the sidewalk in front of the Kmart parking lot. Why are the Regional Transit people taking benches away from bus stops when they should be putting more in? It’s yet another way in which ordinary people are being shat upon just because they either aren’t rich enough to afford a car, or choose to take mass transit because they’re environmentally aware, or too old or blind to drive. Where are people supposed to sit whilst they wait for a bus that only comes when it feels like it? I’m lucky because when I start walking and taking the bus again I have my sporty red and black walker, which has a seat on it. So I have a chair wherever I go. I take my walker with me as a protest because I noticed early on that this town is notoriously short on places for people to sit either whilst walking to the shops or waiting for a bus that might or might not come. And now they’ve taken another one away.

Seven weeks ago, I broke my right ankle. It was in a gallstone attack. I went to the bathroom, and was going to go to my room again when I was hit by a wave of pain so severe that I passed out. I must’ve sat on my ankle hard because when I tried to get up, my ankle went crunch! I sank down on my rear again against the door. Stephen and I had a dialogue: ”Are you all right?” he asked.

“No, I’m in a lot of pain.”

“I’m calling 911.”


He asked me the questions the dispatcher asked him. I answered them. At length they arrived. I took my book and my purse with me. We went to Kaiser Morse hospital. I gave them the address. They knew how to get there. We arrived after a few minutes. They admitted me, and the next morning, my ankle was operated on. Then I spent from then until Wednesday the 7th in the hospital. I came home, and am now in full recovery. Six weeks ago I got into my room, and finally got access to my computer. Will give you updates as we proceed. Update: a month ago I got out of the house. My physical therapist taught me how to hop down the steps using my aluminum walker. I used it to go to the liturgy meeting, and then Sunday I went to our Grove’s Lughnasadh ritual, where I donated a dollar, and offered some whiskey to Miach for my own healing, the healing of my friend Snoodlady, who was in the hospital with a serious sinus infection that gave her double vision and vertigo, and my friend Cherye who has a nasty staph infection in her legs and feet. On two fronts there were immediate results. Snoodlady felt well enough to come home on Monday, and I learned to carry my walker whilst in my wheelchair. My physical therapist taught me some exercises to do in my wheelchair, and I worked myself up to 32 of each. The last one I learned was the wheelchair pushup. I did 32 of them today, for which I am very proud of myself. Stephen thought that you should know. ..

Yes, August 20th was my surgery day. And it happened as I hoped it would. I don’t remember what I dreamed whilst being under anesthesia. I did admitting, answered verifying questions, got something to relax me, and then woke up in Recovery. I was still pretty out of it, and a little sore. I put my clothes on, and Carl caught up with me. I came home, and relaxed. Healing has already starting. I didn’t feel like having much of a supper. I found out, because the nurse weighed me, that I had lost 9 lbs. That was before the surgery, so I don’t know how much my gall bladder weighed, as full of gall stones as it was. Also I’m wearing a fiber glass cast, so I don’t know how much I’ll lose when I lose the cast, and can finally start TAKING SHOWERS!

We need paid readings and donations. Send donations to my Paypal account and to Stephen’s email account at any of his email addies. If I get $5 donations, I shall send the donor a copy of one of my ebooks. For $20, you can have all five ebooks.

Remember, if someone from a Ning network asks you to pay, say “No way!” The only way this’ll work is if we all stick together and call the a**holes on their BS. We have to be willing to walk away from our networks, because they are counting on people being scared to walk away from their networks. This guy Jason Rosenthal is a bully, and there’s only one way to deal with a bully, and that is, to stand up to him.

He managed to scrape the $87 together. But it meant cutting into the rent money. He is already $1800 in the hole for the rent, and I am $800 behind, because I can’t afford to pay $500 per month in rent.. You guys have not been doing your part. It’s not as though he’s begging for hand outs. He is willing to return value for value given. And $32 flat for a reading or a class is really a bargain. Ordinarily he charges $32 an hour, so $32 flat is a very good deal. Remember it’s 916-455-2267. Raise me on Windows Live Msgr or AIM and I’ll give you my phone number, and the hours you can call me.

Back before my accident, Stephen was able to scrape $50 together to pay our friend to put our website together, and she’s working on it now. I’m looking forward to seeing it. It should be very impressive. Fear not, we’ll keep you abreast of all developments on this front. Abbott’s Inn International School of Magick will then be on the internet map, so to speak, in a big way.

Inquiring minds want to know: How do we add music to our sites? Please let us know. The person who helps us do that earns a reading on webcam on the popular IM clients. The person who helps us establish ourselves on the chat client earns a reading. We’re using readings as currency here because we have no other medium to use for an incentive. All the money we make goes for paying the bills of bare-bones living.

Stephen is hopping mad right now (appropriate for a frog, no?) because his ex-wife Debbie is taking one of the twins and giving her to a strange woman who lives at their complex. He has grown quite attached emotionally to both of them, and doesn’t like to see the pair split up. I was prepared emotionally a long time ago for this eventuality. I just don’t know why it took Debbie so long to do it. I suspect that she calculated it so as to cause the most hurt to Stephen. Yes, she is that cruel. She claims to be a Wiccan, but doesn’t abide by the Rede at all, and never has a good word to say about anyone. I try not to think about what she says about me, but I shudder at the emotional abuse she piles on their daughter. Stephen was so emotionally distraught that he broke a pair of his glasses accidentally right after she called. Debbie never lifted a hand to care for these animals from the day they were born. Until my accident, we took turns feeding them, then Stephen took it over. It was he who shelled out moneys for food and kitty litter. Debbie has never compensated him in any way for the expenses. It was I who arranged for the twins to get spayed. Frikki is coming home and Dr. Livingston I. Presume is going with Debbie this weekend. Frikki had a couple of habits the woman couldn’t tolerate.

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