Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft
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I’m keen to join Cassie as she continues to search for her mother and am looking forward to coming face to creepy bone mask with the Erl King. Great Lady and Lord of the golden Sun and golden days on Earth and the heart’s fulfilment, I call upon you. Let all be blessed with a sense of the beauty of this Earth…..Help us to celebrate love for one another and for all life. And help us also to put to flight forces that oppress love and deny justice. Make us strong in magic. Make us like summer trees. Make us like summer stars. Make us like summer seas. In dedication to the vision of untamed peace, set us free.” THE WAY INTO FAERIE looks at what is on the far side of the hedge – the Otherworldly dimension – and at who lives there. It explains how we may relate to ancestral spirits and non-carnate species (known as faeries) as well as to nature spirits. This book is written from the point of view of a natural psychic – a fey person – rather than specifically a hedge witch. It is about our Pagan ancestors’ beliefs concerning the Dead and the faerie races and is based on a great deal of research. However, it is not scholarly but experiential and, I hope, also inspirational. In this book there are fictional sections interspersed with non-fiction and memoir. The fictional bits contain characters, an older woman and her apprentice, who are hedge witches. (Their male equivalents are described as well.) kids learn magic to earn school and patrol rewards and badges via house, erm, inter-patrol competition
Hawthorn is very much the plant of the hedge witch and priest/ess. It can help to bring a union with a familiar spirit and to make communications with many spirits a possibility. But hawthorn brings us challenges that must be met with courage……. When Cassie runs away from her boarding school, a talking cat named Montague accompanies her to Hedgely, where she meets the family she never knew existed. Only, her mother is not with them. It turns out the stories Cassie has been reading about faeries shouldn’t have been filed under fiction, and witchcraft? It’s real, too. Unlike similar books on the subject, which often blend the tradition with other paths (Wicca being the most common) this book stays true to the roots of what Hedge Witchcraft is, and isn’t.
But there is a much earlier definition contained in an old German word ‘hagazissa’ meaning ‘hedge sitter’. And another term found in Northern European traditions – ‘haegtessa’ meaning ‘hedge rider’. Each of these refers to a symbolic hedgerow, one which could be seen to divide the everyday world of the human community from what was perceived as being beyond it – the Otherworld of wild nature spirits and ancestral spirits and elves or faeriekind. This and similar symbolism seems to have come to Britain mainly with Saxon and other Germanic tribes. However, it has parallels within the Celtic tradition, such as the Green and Burning Tree which stands at the outer edge of Faerie. And there are now hedge witches all over the World, along with hedge priestesses, hedge priests and hedge Druids. If you’re a fan of The Worst Witch, love a talking cat (looking at you Nevermoor fans) or have always wanted to visit a bookshop run by a hob, which is a very distinct entity from a goblin, then you need to read Hedgewitch💫 A truly realistic book for the solitary practitioner and the eclectic witch. A book which is not just focused on doing spells, but more in creating an individual and beautiful connection with the nature and the Divinity in your surroundings, a connection you're not able to find just reading books. While discussing the Lunar Path, the author states that the moon is perhaps the most magical draw to the path of Witchcraft, and for Hedgewitches it is no different. Just as Witches follow the tides of the moon, so too do they follow the cycles of the sun, and states that the eightfold Wheel of the Year known in Modern Paganism was created by Gerald Gardner and Ross Nichols.
I will note that I cannot include anything related to the images in the book in my review as these were not included in the digital ARC copy. The main characters never felt quite real to me. They were never quite fleshed out and seemed instead like cliches. There were no nuances to them.Joanna discusses the difference more in detail, while stating that many Witches work with deity, in the form of a twin or dual deity concept of the Goddess and the God, or the Lord and the Lady, others in the path of Witchcraft follow many deities, or focus just on one deity. However, there are also other Witches who don’t follow any deity figures at all, who don’t believe in deity or who are agnostic. Some see deity simply as the forces of nature, and have no need to personify them or worship them in any way.
Witchcraft can be followed as an individual or as part of a coven, or with a partner but this book is chiefly for the solitary practitioner. It explains about rituals and stresses that you can use your own words though the book suggests words which can be used. What came over to me most strongly from this book is that anyone considering the practice of witchcraft needs to understand themselves and their own motivations. I have to say this was one of those books that I did sneak off with and read on by myself as I couldn't wait to find out what was happening. It's got a brilliant pace with great character development. The publishers recommended reading age is 9 years +. It's quite a hefty length and so I would say it would be suited to 9+ year olds who have a good stamina with books. Chapter 1-4 is quite dark in a more 'real world' way in which Cassie our protagonist is bullied both verbally and physically. If you have a more sensitive child I'd consider waiting until they are a little older for the start. I do like to learn I study everything. I am very cognitive aware. emotionally aware. I see myself as the master of my ship. I am fiercely interdependent. With your eyes closed, visualise the candle you have lit for the dead and the darkness around it. See what is illuminated by the candle. How far does its light go? Begin to name your Beloved Dead and bid them welcome. See who is appearing to your inner sight. Speak to them in your heart and see if you can sense an answer. This may come in words or as a sort of inner knowing or they may show you symbols. Bless them and ask them to bless you in return. There were many things that I thought this book did well. But it really hasn’t aged too well. I didn’t like how the book regularly implies that to be a spiritual person, (and ultimately a witch) one must embrace sexuality and sex. As an asexual, I do not agree with this. Also there are several sweeping statements such as ‘Like all men…’ and ‘Like all young people…’ that I feel stereotype people based on gender, age and sexuality. In the way that there are too many men speaking on behalf of women, Rae Beth does not get to speak on behalf of all men.First in a magical five-book series for readers of Nevermoor, The Worst Witch and The Dark Is Rising.It is NOTHING like Susan Cooper's truly magnificent The Dark Is Rising. I think they just got tired of saying, "For fans of Harry Potter", which would have been far more fitting, seeing as: Cassie is holed up in a harsh, unkind boarding school, where she has been since the last time she saw her mother years ago. She got through the bullying & drudgery by finding the best hiding places & burying her nose in books about faerie and magic. Not that she necessarily believed there were faeries & goblins - but it passed the lonely hours.