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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Lammas Mysteries

Taking a walk this morning, out in the sunshine, my soul expanding as I free it into the blue skies studding with soft clouds, I hear the sounds of the combine harvesters working in the fields, taking in the wheat.  I breathe deeply, and give thanks to the Goddess for what she provides, and also think of ways in which I too can give back.

There is something about walking through a field of wheat, just before the harvest, or just afterwards and, if you’re lucky, during the harvest like I was this morning.  The footpath runs straight through a field of golden wheat, perfectly dried in the bright sunshine.  The combine harvester slowly made his way through the field of gold, working from the middle out towards the edge, to give the wildlife a chance to escape into the woods and hedgerows.  As he passed he gave me the thumbs up, and I waved.  The wheat dust and seeds flying through the air as he passed, I watched him work, with a deep sadness welling in my heart.  The detachment of modern machinery from the land makes it easier to farm, certainly, but the connection seems a little lost.  Ah well, at least I was blessed with the opportunity to witness the first harvest in person, a part of the cycle that is so very, very important.

We hold to our dreams, the seeds of intention throughout the long winter solstice, keeping them close through Imbolc and the Spring Equinox.  When the time is right, we plant those seeds of intention in our lives, and bless them with love at Beltane, and light at Midsummer, hoping that the harvest will be bountiful.  At Lammas, the first cutting of the wheat, we begin to see the results of all our hard work, which extends throughout the second harvest at the Fall Equinox, and through to the final harvest at Samhain, where we release in order to dream it all up again.

This cycle, this reminder of the never-ending continuum, is what holds the sadness at bay during the first harvest.  We have held so tightly to our dreams, nurtured them with all that we are, and then to see them taken in can be very powerful.  But the manifestation of these dreams, which will nurture further hopes and aspirations, much like the wheat in the fields will nurture our bodies, holds the mysteries of Her and her cycles like no other can.

She blesses us even as we work hard to achieve what it is that we desire.  And so we give back as well, for that blessing and the inspiration that we have received in witnessing yet another part of the cycle come and go.  Home baked bread and seeds will be left out for her wild souls, prayers of thanks sung to the setting sun.

Blessings of the first harvest to you all!

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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.


  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Monday, 12 August 2013

    Joanna -- when I moved to western Oregon, I encountered wheat fields for the first time. (They surround our town, Forest Grove, although western Oregon isn't usually known for wheat.) Looking at them always makes me feel a deep sense of peace and satisfaction, I don't know why. Thank you for reminding me.

  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven Monday, 19 August 2013

    Hi Anne - you're most welcome, and blessings of Lammastide. x

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