WHAT DOES BEYOND THE HEDGE MEAN?
It's about hedge witchery.....and magic. And what is hedge witchery? Pull up a seat, dear one, get cozy, and I'll tell ya all about it.
Hedge Witch come from the Saxon word “haegtessa” which means hedge rider. Long ago, it was accepted that wise women or healers lived in the forest, away from populated areas. They were called upon when the protocols of their physicians failed. The forests were regarded as a dangerous land of the unknown, filled with spirits and mythical creatures. The “hedge” was not a fence of plants, it was the border between the physical world and the realm of the Fae, mythical creature, spirit world, etc. Hedge witches were said to have the ability to communicate with both worlds and they could travel between the two using trance. This process was known as “hedge-riding”. Information gathered in their “travels” was then used to heal others, become closer to nature, and make medicine. Hedge witches primarily practiced a combination of herbalism and shamanism. They were experts in all things plant related and their knowledge of this is a life long pursuit.
Interestingly, no two hedge witches are the same which makes defining them rather difficult. They are solitary witches. There was usually only one per town. Their knowledge was typically passed down to one person, usually a daughter or someone from town and this individual would eventually take over her place. Hedge witches are generally not interested in deities and they do not conform to Wiccan Rede. They live by their own code of morals, deeply invested in the laws of nature. Rituals, altars, wands, etc, are not commonly used in hedge witchery. Hedge witches are practical and appreciate simplicity. They work with nature and with their hands.
While I do not live in the forest....yet, I realized upon discovering hedge witchery that the term resonated with every bone in my body. As a child I adored all things related to nature. I spent many hours gardening and filling my big plastic halloween cauldron with mud, plants, toads, lizards, and whatever else I could find nearby. Bringing home injured creatures and nursing them back to health throughout my childhood became the norm. I started seriously studying plant medicine at the age of 20. At that time, I had a debilitating gastrointestinal issue. For six months, I spent my days either in the hospital or buckled over in absolute agony. I was bleeding internally and none of the specialists could diagnose or treat me effectively. My mother and I began thinking that my life may end. It was then that I turned to herbalism. I signed up for my first program and, through trial and error, I was able to heal myself. Within one week of drinking aloe, the bleeding ceased altogether. Using supportive herbs to rebuild, the other symptoms also stopped and (within a month) I was a new woman with a voracious appetite for knowledge of all things plant-related.
My favorite part of my herbalism training was the medicine-making classes. We learned to make salves, tinctures, poultices, syrups, lozenges, creams, lotions and so much more. I've been experimenting with this knowledge for more than 20 years and am now ready to take it and put it to good use for all who are interested.
I firmly believe that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them. Beyond The Hedge is about taking the best ways of old and anchoring them with new world science, while staying true to my word and path by keeping my creations 100% organic, natural, and chemical free. I promise to sprinkle in a little magic too.