The Tangled Hedge

A hedge-hopping awenydd follows the Mother of Life's trackways and brings back what is needed, connecting the village with the numinous wilds.

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Lia Hunter

Lia Hunter

Lia is an awenydd, writer, journal editor (A Beautiful Resistance), copyeditor (Druid Magazine), hedge witch, mother, musician, OBOD Bard, and anthropology major, living in the wild, enchantingly beautiful mountain west (USA). Her spiritual influences tend toward the ancient and indigenous, with a future-focused hope that humanity will return to a spiritually-rich and thriving sustainability.

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An Ogham Preserving Shrine

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm starting to study the Ogham, and Yuri Leitch's book, "The Ogham Grove," is setting up a very nice system for me to spend approximately two weeks at a time getting to know one of the letters in this alphabet and the tree it's associated with, as well as other associations, during the time the sun is in that part of his Ogham Year Wheel. I find information online and in the Ogham books I'm starting to collect (like Erynn Rowan Laurie's "Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom"), as well as trying to find the tree in my local area so I can meet it in person. :)

b2ap3_thumbnail_Yuri-Leitch-Alder-Page.png

I'm also putting an image of the tree up as my computer wallpaper during those weeks, and putting its card from The Green Man Tree Oracle in a frame on my desk. I'm bathing in the essense of that tree and the energy of that Ogham few's associations, as it were.

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Exciting Homecomings - A Triad

Three things I'm excited about exploring in 2018:

Elen of the Ways - I discovered this goddess a little over a year ago, and felt instant belonging and surprise that I hadn't heard of her before, and that I hadn't thought to go looking for such a goddess. It felt like remembering I have a mother, or something. :) A horned/antlered goddess and lady of the green... how perfect for me! I've been reading everything I can about her, and I signed up for a now-filled course offered by a priestess of Elen (Walking the Antlered Road) that includes a year of lessons, journaling, movement-meditations, soundings, chants with wrist malas, and an oracle deck. It has been amazingly exciting to get to know Elen, and to start to see how many of the goddesses I've already been drawn to are probably-to-definitely versions of her paleolithic, pan-Indo-European (and perhaps beyond) presence and enduring veneration. The Welsh name, Elen, is but one. You might be as surprised and delighted as I to discover where the others have been all this time! So I recommend Caroline Wise's book, "Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways," as well as Elen Sentier's books, and I will be writing more about her in this blog in 2018, and suggesting the connections I have seen.

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Ley Lines of Life

Ripe Woman


Even in the land
of the starving
barren of nurturing
connection
of communal cohesion
and direction for
the lost children

I gathered
what bits of
connection
I could find
built and grew
made and found
meaning

My ripe fullness
can be painful
waiting to be
picked and made
useful
bursting with fine
synthesis

I dream of others
connected
in our similar
seed-bearing readiness
across the wasted
civilization
ley lines of life

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A New Year

 

Well, the hedge has gotten rather tangled over the winter! I've been tending to sick pets, and to my own fledglings who are in a period of rapid growth, and swirling in the whirlwind of the winter holidays, the publishing of “A Beautiful Resistance”, and a disorienting, odd ebb tide of my creativity. I've been absorbing life and experience, lately, rather than generating ideas. It seems like a natural part of the inner seasons. I think it attends busy times with a lot of external work to do. Have you noticed such a season-change in your own inner-life? Are you usually overflowing with creativity, but sometimes find yourself just... being present, with nothing to say? Do you sometimes find yourself in a mode of being a reading needle, rather than a writing needle, on your track of the akashic records? ;)

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Aspiring Naturalist

Someone told me today that someone else had mentioned to them that I don't just say, "oh look, a bird," but name them, "oh look, a kestrel," and I tell them about the plants... "this is echinacea, it's good for immune system stimulation."

Hearing this made me rather happy, since it has always been my dream to be someone who can identify flora, fauna, and other parts of nature. I haven't formally studied naturalism, botany (beyond a plant biology class in college), ornithology (birds), herbal medicine, or other such things, but I have picked up a fair bit in a broad sampling kind of way. I probably wouldn't measure up to most foragers, herbalists, or naturalists, but I'm on my way. It was gratifying to hear that I give that impression.

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Earth Our Mother

[I have revised one of my posts from Awenydd of the Mountains to share with SageWoman Blogs and Pagan Square  for Earth Day. May you celebrate consciously and joyously!]

b2ap3_thumbnail_Earthday.jpg

As with Terra and Gaia, Earth/Hertha/Nerthus is a Goddess. I think civilizations have always acknowledged her as Mother. We keep calling her by Goddess names, even in monotheist eras.

I find it a little odd that we also call soil “earth”. Mother as the sum of her parts – the physical matter of her body, but reduced to the rocky sediment. But really, ocean is as much “earth” as soil is. Air, lava, and living organic matter are, too. You and I are “earth”.  So this wording from our language draws my eye to the separateness and stage-set attitude of Western Civilization being “on the earth” rather than “in the earth”. On a ground or stage, rather than deep within the biosphere… itself deep within the universe. Above, on top of, dominating, walking on… Planet as mostly inanimate prop to play out the lofty human drama, instead of the reality that Pagans know of planet as living home and community to which we belong and mother from which we emerged… inseparable from ourselves.

I see soil as deep and fecund, and the ground as a lot more than a simple surface. From spinning core and ever-shifting mantle creating a magnetosphere to shield us from solar winds, to rich medium that produces and nourishes all life as well as storing and transforming organic and inorganic matter, to ancient mountains and ocean rifts, to the symbolic shamanic lower world we can descend into for knowledge and experience. It is the fire and the cauldron.

Part of my spiritual work is to bring this vital, communal, and immersive sensibility back into my culture’s relationship with Earth. It is currently and for so long has been sick with

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Lia, thank you for the shout out! But it's ecopagan.com, not ecopagan.org. Can you correct that? Thanks, John
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Oops! Fixed now. Thanks!
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks. Just yesterday, I wrote eco-pagan.com instead of ecopagan.com -- and in a press release no less.
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Aww! To err is human!

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Hearth Keepers

(Mother Holle art by Florence Harrison)

My life has taken a rather domestic turn, lately, with my kids back to homeschooling and taking college classes, and with a concerted effort to organize the household and prepare everyone individually and as a family for the next transitions (driving, college, growing up, moving, etc.) It has been busy and maybe a little bumpy, but now it’s starting to run smoothly, thanks to the effort everyone has been putting in toward the plans we’ve made. Add to this the return of Spring, and I’m also feeling my sap rising and I have the energy to meet the challenges and expand my involvement in things both inside and outside of home. The urge for Spring cleaning is helped by the unseasonably warm weather we’re having, so I’m ready to throw open the windows and take care of business… scrub down the cottage, start some seeds, maybe mow the lawn (while planning to replace the lawn with a cottage garden when resources allow.)

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