What Is A Hedge Witch?

A “Hedge witch” (or more often “Hedgewitch”) is someone who does solitary magic focused on nature and its aspects. Hedgecraft is possibly based on traditional European witchcraft, though it is more likely to be a more modern tradition. There is some dispute about the history of Hedgecraft, as with nearly all magical traditions. In general, however, Hedgecraft is believed to be based loosely on the ancient practices of folk healers, herbalists, and wise women/men, as well as the traditions of herbalism and shamanic practices. A Hedgewitch, as well as working with herbs and plants, frequently travels into the spiritual world, functioning as seer, guide to spirits, and healer.

There are no specific gods or goddesses that Hedgewitches worship, though some books, such as Rae Beth’s “Hedge Witch – a guide to Solitary Witchcraft” says that Hedgewitches worship the Triple Goddess and Horned God, as Wiccans do. There are many similarities between Hedgecraft and Wicca, including the emphasis on nature and healing, but Hedgecraft is more solitary and less rigidly structured than Wicca. Hedgewitches do not have covens or initiations, as Wiccans do. Hedgewitches do not use the same tools as Wiccans, nor do they have ceremonies. And it is important to note that while some Wiccans may be Hedgewitchs, not all Hedgewitchs are Wiccans.

Likewise, some Hedgewitches do not even consider themselves to be witches in the traditional sense, preferring to be called something else, like wisewoman or herbalist. Hegdewitchs are also known as Hedge-Riders, Night Travelers, Myrk-Riders, Gandreidh and Walkers on the Wind. A possible history behind the name “Hedgewitch” is that a hedge was a physical barrier between a village and the wild forest; it represented the boundary between worlds. A Hedgewitch, then, is someone who passes between one world and the next, riding the line between them. Some related traditions are Green witchcraft and Hearth witchcraft, which also focus on nature and using herbs and plants for magical doings.

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