Hedge witches are solitary practitioners whose practice is centered on the home and the area around it. No two hedge witches' practices will look the same; this is a path that one finds via trial and error and finding what feels right for you.
What Is a Hedge Witch?
A hedge witch is someone who uses the innate energy in herbs and other plants to augment their day-to-day life. But it's more than just a connection to nature, though that's important. A hedge witch's home is a sacred place, and much of their magic happens in the home.
Hedge witches can also develop connections with ancestors or spirits, and some like to skirt the line between our world and the spiritual world (often referred to as "flying the hedge.") Not all hedge witches incorporate this practice, however. In general, hedge witches are as individual as the people who practice, and you're unlikely to find two hedge witches whose practices are the same.
Characteristics of Hedge Witches
Hedge witches are usually solitary practitioners, mostly because each hedge witch's path is personal to who they are, where they live, and what their interests and intentions are.
They usually have a strong interest in herbalism and may even be licensed herbalists and herbal practitioners.
Their focus is centered on the home, and their practices often include some aspects of green witchery and kitchen witchery. Everything from cleaning the home to cooking a meal is part of their practices.
Hedge witches are all about seeing the magical in what others would consider mundane: cleaning, gardening, cooking… all of these and more are integral parts of a hedge witch's practice.
Practicing Hedge Witchery
Hedge witches essentially approach their everyday lives with a sense of intention and a deep connection to the world around them, rather than bringing in additional things, such as intricate rituals. A hedge witch tends their garden, all the while focusing deeply on the plants, even talking to them. Asking their permission to harvest, and then thanking them by leaving offerings. They learn deeply about the plants they're going to use, whether they plan to use them in teas, medicinal formulations, salves, or to cook with.
They approach both herbal crafting and cooking with a sense of intention. They know the different energies of the foods and herbs they're working with, and focus their intention on that aspect when they add those items to a dish or remedy.
When cleaning their homes, they don't just clean, but they cleanse. They focus on removing negative or stale energy from their homes along with dirt and dust. This can be done with chants or songs, by ringing a bell, by spraying with water that they've blessed or set under the sun to be purified. Viewing their homes as sacred, they are devoted to keeping them clean and peaceful, and regularly reorganize or redecorate to make the home feel better.
For hedge witches who have (or want) a connection with the spiritual world, time is spent meditating, calling on those spirits and ancestors. If one chooses to add this to their practice, they'll want to make sure to learn how to cleanse and shield properly.
How to Get Started as a Hedge Witch
There are a few steps to try if you think you might be interested in hedge witchery.
- Read, read, read. Read books about hedge witchery, herbs, herbal remedies, altars, spirit and ancestor work, and general witchcraft.
- Learn how to cleanse and shield. Try a few different methods to find one that feels right for you. It will take practice and time to get a sense of whether something's working or not.
- Start bringing intention into your everyday tasks. If you're cleaning, go into it with the intent of cleaning your space of negative or stale energy. If you're cooking, learn a bit about the energies of the ingredients you're using, and, when you add those items, focus on that energy and how you want those who will be eating the food you're preparing to feel.
- Get to know the plants that already grow around your home. If you have an herb garden, study those plants well to learn how they can be used and what energies are associated with them.
- Set up an altar (many books have suggestions for how to do this, but ultimately it comes down to creating a space that feels meaningful to you) and spend time there. Meditate, read, create herbal remedies... use your space. If all you have is a tiny spot that you can't really work in, spend some time at your altar quietly meditating before you begin any kitchen witchery or cleaning.
- Keep learning. Your practice will adapt as you learn more and as you discover things you'd like to include in your practice.
Hedge Witch vs. Green Witch: What's the Difference?
The hedge witch and green witch path share some definite similarities, but there are fairly big differences as well.
Green witches are all about the natural world and their connection to it. They live their lives as closely aligned with nature as possible, and the majority of their practice has to do with that connection to the plants and creatures around them.
While hedge witches certainly have a deep respect for nature, their practice centers more on their home, and their garden is an important part of the home overall. They might also incorporate spirit and ancestor worship as well as trying to work within the spirit realm, which is something that green witches generally don't do.
Choose Your Own Path
Hedge witchery is a path that is as unique as the witches who practice it. If you have a connection to nature and feel that home is sacred and that the mundane is magical, this may very well be the path for you.