Hedge Riding: The Art of the Hedge Witch

Walking the Path of the Hedge Witch and the Hedge Druid, Learning the Craft and the Art of Hedge Riding

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The Gods in Druidry

Who are the gods in Druidry?  There is no one answer to this question, as deity, like religion, is such a personal thing in Paganism.  There is no single authority telling us who our god is, or what She is saying.  There are books, teachers, Orders, Groves etc that can offer paths of a tradition that may lead to a relationship with the gods, but again they won’t tell you exactly who they are – we’re given a map and a compass but we have to find our own way.

There are so many classifications of deity in Druidry.  Ancestral gods, those who have been revered by a particular tribe or people for a substantial length of time may still dwell alongside those who have formed a relationship with them in their original environment.  Ancestral gods may also travel thousands of miles when people relocate to other parts of the world, bringing their culture and identity with them.  These ancestral gods may be heroes out of legend and myth, elevated to godhood.  They may be physical manifestations of natural phenomena. They may be real, or they may be archetypes. 

Other gods can be found in the place wherein one lives.  Where I live near the coast, the gods sing their songs in the wind and rain – sometimes warm and refreshing from the south, or bitter and cold from the north, swooping over the North Sea and communing with those gods.  There are the gods of forest and heath, and also of farming and agriculture.  There are ancestral gods as well, that we can see in place names.  I often see Holle in the heathland, especially when at night the mist rolls in and everything is cast in its glow. 

Then there are the gods of humanity – those of love and lust, of rage and anger, of compassion and fidelity.  They sing deep within our bones, and are just as much a force to be reckoned with as the other gods.  The Druid works to establish relationship with these gods as much as with the gods of nature – for humans are a part of nature. We need to understand ourselves before we can understand the world, and find our place in it.

Then again, there are many Druids who have no need of the gods, who live and breathe their Druidry without the need for reverence of deity.  My own personal Druidry, my own soul, craves this ecstatic relationship with deity, and sees deity in all of nature around me.  Perhaps it makes it easier for me to connect with the sea if I perceive it as deity – perhaps it simply is what it is.  But to me, the gods are real, they are here, and we can communicate with them, building relationships and learning how to live on this planet with them and everything else.

My Lady, deep within the forest I honour you, deep within your sacred grove.  Held within your embrace, here my soul sings with freedom.  Blessed Sister, antlered one, deep in the forest I find you as well, and run with you through the trees and fern, fleet-footed and light-hearted.  Gracious Lord, I hear your call in the autumn twilight, and move my swaying hips to your music.  Gods of my ancestors, My Lord of the One Hand, befriender of animals, My Lady of the Snowshoes and Skis, My Lady of the Hearth, Lady of the Mists, know that you are honoured.  To the gods of love, compassion and understanding, I hail to you!  Blessed Gods of this land, of the little valley in which I live, of the wide sweeping skies, you are my love, you are my life.  I am in you and am a part of you,  just as you are in me and a part of me.  By seeing the divinity within nature, we come to know the nature of the divine…

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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 30 years. She has written many books, including The Path of the Hedge Witch: Simple, Natural Magic and the Art of Hedge Riding, as well as The Book of Hedge Druidry: A Complete Guide for the Solitary Seeker. Find her channels on social media at YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.


  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills Wednesday, 25 September 2013

    This is something that I've been thinking about lately as I try to deepen my spirituality. I'm a member of OBOD, which has a lot of room for Druidic types to believe whatever resonates with them.

    I see nature as an expression of the Divine and tend to see it embodied by various Spirits or intelligences. When I think about my faith, I tend to believe in a Source or Creator. This is where I think the Goddess comes in for me, as one part of that creative force personified.

    Then, there are other days, where I just don't know, and I fall back on the concept of "The Mystery".

  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    I love the concept of The Mystery... x

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