Hedge Riding: The Art of the Hedge Witch

Bringing the Hedge back into Hedge Witchcraft, working with liminal spaces and the Otherworld

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Faeries and Liminal Places

So, apologies for being so long since my last blog post! I’ve been burning the midnight oil, with my new book being launched on 8 July. Now I can take a step back, as I’ve done all I can, and wait to see how the book is received. It’s an anxious time, but also an exciting time for most authors, an in-between time. These liminal times seem to be a recurring theme in my life. And not least to do with the denizens of the Otherworld.

There are certain times of the year when I feel closest to the Fair Folk, the Faeries, the Twlwyth Teg, the Sidhe, however you wish to call them. Beltane and Samhain are the usual portals when the veils between this world and the Otherworld are at their thinnest, but the time around Summer Solstice and high summer also holds a great and powerful bridge that spans across to take us into the most enchanted of places. The long twilight nights are ideal for communing with the Otherworld, and it’s lovely and warm enough on a summer evening.

As a Hedge Druid and a Hedge Witch, I have found several places around where I live where I feel a certain magical quality exists, one that is most definitely fey.

These are sacred places, both to this world and the Otherworld, as portals where beings from either world may reach across to gain knowledge and wisdom. The first place that comes to mind is the bottom of the garden, a place where here in the UK is renowned for being a place where the faeries live. It’s a wilder place, the furthest away from the house, and in my garden is also where the boundary of the hedge lies. What lies on the other side of the hedge is both mundane (the track that leads to my neighbour’s shed where he keeps his vintage tractor) and sacred (a wildlife corridor where deer, pheasants, badgers, foxes and even the Fair Folk have come through into my garden). I’m blessed to have no direct neighbours’ dwellings behind me, and so it is pretty wild with an overgrown hillside, a wild untouched patch of green and growing things and behind that the bottoms of two other properties’ gardens in a little valley. It’s a place in constant change and flux, where the sentinels of two giant ash trees just now awakening after their long winter slumber watch over the rest of us in patient and majestic glory. They know the secrets kept on the other side of my hedge that I cannot see. They know, and they will keep those secrets.

There are other sacred and enchanted places, liminal places, where one can meet with the Fair Folk on a solstice night.  An old tree stump in a beech wood, that is a portal to the Otherworld. Where the shingle beach meets the North Sea just down the road. On the burial mounds, both Celtic and Saxon that abound in this area. These are all places where we can re-enchant our souls, if we dare.

So go out and about in your own landscape, wherever that may be. You may find a liminal place in a city park, or in a wooded glade or valley meadow. You may find it high upon a hilltop, or created in your own home using your wit, imagination and ingenuity. Spend some time at these places, and who knows – on the longest day you may even glimpse beyond this world, and come back with the light of Faerie in your eyes…

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Joanna van der Hoeven is an author, Druid, Witch, and dancer. Find out more at www.joannavanderhoeven.com

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  Joanna van der Hoeven is a Hedge Witch, Druid, and a best-selling author. She has been working in Pagan traditions for over 20 years. She is the Director of Druid College UK, helping to re-weave the connection to the land and teaching a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic religion.  

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