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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(Art by Barbara Bargiggia)

Ah, January. In like a lion roaring exciting resolutions and plans, out like a tired bear hibernating in a Winter cave. New or continued schedules after the holiday break quickly become rote trudging performed in the icy cold of the bleakest part of Winter. Short days don’t seem to hold enough of the activities we wanted, and we find ourselves playing catch-up with little energy input from Sun or Earth’s abundance. Plans for early bed and early rising fall to the freeze-out of not being able to stop finishing tasks until after bedtime. Or to a seized-up will. Emotions expand and freeze, slicing with icy edges the hearts of these organic creatures trudging through the dark, cold, short days. It’s enough to make you want to hole up and wait it out. Let Spring bring the fuel and the will to rise again.

Until the crocuses or groundhogs peek out and whisper of Spring’s coming, it seems a natural time to pause and rest, perhaps do inner-work in the quiet space of our own heads and hearts. Light a fire in the hearth and stir pots, stare into the fire, find underworld songs rolling around your tongue, and find tangles in your forgotten hair.

But the time does come to fetch more firewood, or you’ll freeze. The stirred pots eventually give forth sustenance and medicine and more will need to be added or you won’t eat tomorrow. There’s life in there, and it demands to live. It has slowed, but it will move… even in the cold, even in the dark, even before any message from Green Spring arrives to promise quickening. This isn’t death, it’s just a pale rehearsal. With a glowing ember inside.


Embers rekindle. We aren’t just one thing, one state of being. We are cyclical. We are a process. We’ve been an ember before, and after that hearthfires, and embers again, and wildfires, and back again. It’s who we are. It’s our ember time, in the Earth’s Winter. This is our natural state in this natural time. It will be our bright, flaming time, when the Sun returns and encourages our flickering. We are part of the larger cycles, in our bodies, in our minds. We came to be within them, after all. They quite literally produced us. We are children of the Earth and Sun. We are made in their image.

We also pass sparks between each other, we humans, and our wild kin. We share our light and our warmth. Some may even steal it if theirs is weak and they don’t realize the secret... it is generated from within, so there will always be more.

Rest awhile in this, our resting time, and trust - because your body knows, it remembers - that the wheel spins and will bring ‘round the Sun again, and the moon even sooner, to remind us… There are always messages and life. Ever-flowing, ever-blooming, in time. The wheel doesn’t flatten and become a line, even if it may seem so when you’ve shrunk so small that the wheel is too huge to see. Hold on and it will carry you. There are gardens ahead, always, on a round world.

There are fires inside, always, in Their children.

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Tagged in: earth Fire Sun wheel winter
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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