Apples & Roots-they are common enough items and yet they have a great deal of magic, mythic, and folkloric value assigned to them-for healing, hexing, blessing, and all manner of ritual & religious uses.
That is the idea behind this blog-to fuse the everyday and seemingly ordinary life with the strong currents of your soul-work, spirituality, and magic. We will talk about religion, ritual, magic, divination-and how these mythic arts feed and inspire our lives and how our lives as a result grow richer, deeper, and more purpose flled.
Crossing The Hedge
For spirit workers the hedge is the threshold, the boundary line between the city and the country, a doorway into what is wild, uncharted, and unknown. The hedgerow is both a real phenomena and a potent allegory-whenever land is/was cleared for settlement and agriculture a liminal hedge shows up-usually composed of plants that have medicinal and magical use but that do not do well under domesticated conditions. Hedges in the old European Neolithic settlements were full of dubious plants like Hawthorn-long associated with faeries and witches, and Elder-associated with healing but also with life/death/life cycles. The hedge is an allegory many of us have grown up with-crossing the hedge is choosing to transgress or transcend cultural norms and to chart one’s own path-usually into the wildwood.
I was thinking about the idea of the hedge earlier this week and wondering what does crossing the hedge look like today in the 21st century?
There are definitely magical workers who cross the hedge literally-they create beautiful sanctuaries out in the country away from cities where they can honor the natural cycles and seasonal celebrations that bind us to the rhythms of our sweet planet. These folks cross the hedge and go into the wildwood-they often teach about subjects that have long been held as dangerous or taboo and the right students tend to find them when they are ready.
But for those of us who have not crossed the hedge literally and headed out away from civilization-how do we cross over and while we are on the subject, what are the different sides of the hedge in today’s world?
As I was mulling this over I came across fellow blogger Teo Bishop’s guest post for Wild Hunt from March of this year, The Pagan Bubble. In the post Teo makes the point that Pagans can be a rather insular lot. I started to wonder if we were actually not going beyond the hedge at all…what if we had created a new boundary, a new hedge, an us/them dichotomy that we are not transgressing, that no one is trying to climb over and get beyond?
Then, last week the Wild Hunt ran this story about the Sylvia Browne debacle. The story was very well done, but one of the prevailing threads in the comment section was why Pagans should be concerned with the welfare of tarot readers, self-described psychics and other professional intuitives. I responded with an article that was then picked up by Beth Owl’s Daughter and has led to some good conversation over on facebook. One of the points of my article was to argue about why I think Pagans should be concerned about the welfare and press coverage of intuitive professionals-why we need to go beyond the hedge that we have constructed and reach out to others.
Its no secret that I’m a fan of inter-spiritual practices and work-I think that all religions have wisdom that can benefit each and every one of us. In my earth-based practice I am starting to wonder about the hedges I have built up-and if its time to go beyond them once again. What about you darling reader? Does it feel like your spiritual practice has become insular in some way? What would going out into the wilds look like and feel like for you? As summer approaches and everything really is getting wild here in Texas, those are the questions I’m considering.
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