Hedge Riding: The Art of the Hedge Witch

Bringing the Hedge back into Hedge Witchcraft, working with liminal spaces and the Otherworld

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My Druid Heart

Druidry: It is a word that has called to my heart even before I knew it. It is a soul feeling, deep inside, that speaks of goddesses and gods, of the dark heart of the forest and the wild wind-swept mountains. It is connection, it is relationship with everything and everyone around you. It is celebration of nature, all nature.

How can you describe the things you love? You just do. However I will try, words being clumsy compared to the experience.

Druidry is different for each person, and so here I offer my vision of Druidry. It is an awakening of the heart and soul to the world around us, knowing that we are never alone in our journey through life. We are all connected, through the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the songs that we sing, the things that we love. I am the river and lakes that I grew up with, drinking their waters and taking them with me wherever I go in this mortal vessel. I am the granite of the mountains where I was raised, living on the strong bones of the earth, covered in deciduous forest, roaming wolves and lynx. I am the air that blew over the valley in the thick of the thunderstorm, bringing welcome relief in the dog days of summer.

I am also the land whereupon I now live, with its heathland and herds of deer, its songs and stories, of humanity and ancestry and spirits of place. These things are all connected to me; I cannot be separate from them. The illusion of separation is just that – an illusion. How can we disconnect from nature, when by the very fact that we are alive we are breathing the air that all other living things breathe, inhaling the exhalation of the trees, feeling the rainwater upon our skin that has once been ocean, sweat, tears? Even in death we are connected, our bodies returning to the earth to transform into new ways of being. The land that I walk upon is land which my ancestors have walked upon, their songs and laughter still heard on the wind.

I have always heard the stories that rocks contain, the song of the sea, the whispering of the trees. To me, it is as natural as drawing breath. Druidry is relationship, acknowledging the connection and acting in accordance with everything around us to create a harmonious dance of life.

We are all a part of the tapestry of life. Sometimes we may have dropped the threads of connection, but they are still there, waiting for us to pick them up and weave them back into place. The tapestry never goes away, though we may turn our back from it. Re-weaving the strands we find our place within it once again, working together to create something beautiful, magical – something that inspires us to live and shine with our true hearts and our true souls. We walk lightly, caring for our connections, our relatives, our planet. We sing songs of appreciation and thanksgiving to the twilight for another day.

Dancing within the sacred circle of my lady Nemetona, the Lady of Groves, my soul expands in the deepening dusk. This, to me, is Druidry. This is my Druid Heart.

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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 20 years. She is the Director of Druid College UK, helping to re-weave the connection to the land and teaching a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic religion.  


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