The Tangled Hedge: Connecting the Village with the Wild

An animist & spiritual naturalist hedge witch explores feminine spirituality... the hunter emerging from the numinous wilds to gather with her sisters.

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Lia Hunter

Lia Hunter

Lia is a poet, writer, musician, mother, hedge witch, and student of Druidry, anthropology, and philosophy, living in the wild, enchantingly beautiful mountain west (USA). Her spiritual influences tend toward the ancient and indigenous, with a future-focused hope to return humanity to sustainability.

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Earth Our Mother

[I have revised one of my posts from Awenydd of the Mountains to share with SageWoman Blogs and Pagan Square  for Earth Day. May you celebrate consciously and joyously!]

b2ap3_thumbnail_Earthday.jpg

As with Terra and Gaia, Earth/Hertha/Nerthus is a Goddess. I think civilizations have always acknowledged her as Mother. We keep calling her by Goddess names, even in monotheist eras.

I find it a little odd that we also call soil “earth”. Mother as the sum of her parts – the physical matter of her body, but reduced to the rocky sediment. But really, ocean is as much “earth” as soil is. Air, lava, and living organic matter are, too. You and I are “earth”.  So this wording from our language draws my eye to the separateness and stage-set attitude of Western Civilization being “on the earth” rather than “in the earth”. On a ground or stage, rather than deep within the biosphere… itself deep within the universe. Above, on top of, dominating, walking on… Planet as mostly inanimate prop to play out the lofty human drama, instead of the reality that Pagans know of planet as living home and community to which we belong and mother from which we emerged… inseparable from ourselves.

I see soil as deep and fecund, and the ground as a lot more than a simple surface. From spinning core and ever-shifting mantle creating a magnetosphere to shield us from solar winds, to rich medium that produces and nourishes all life as well as storing and transforming organic and inorganic matter, to ancient mountains and ocean rifts, to the symbolic shamanic lower world we can descend into for knowledge and experience. It is the fire and the cauldron.

Part of my spiritual work is to bring this vital, communal, and immersive sensibility back into my culture’s relationship with Earth. It is currently and for so long has been sick with

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Lia, thank you for the shout out! But it's ecopagan.com, not ecopagan.org. Can you correct that? Thanks, John
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Oops! Fixed now. Thanks!
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks. Just yesterday, I wrote eco-pagan.com instead of ecopagan.com -- and in a press release no less.

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Hearth Keepers

(Mother Holle art by Florence Harrison)

My life has taken a rather domestic turn, lately, with my kids back to homeschooling and taking college classes, and with a concerted effort to organize the household and prepare everyone individually and as a family for the next transitions (driving, college, growing up, moving, etc.) It has been busy and maybe a little bumpy, but now it’s starting to run smoothly, thanks to the effort everyone has been putting in toward the plans we’ve made. Add to this the return of Spring, and I’m also feeling my sap rising and I have the energy to meet the challenges and expand my involvement in things both inside and outside of home. The urge for Spring cleaning is helped by the unseasonably warm weather we’re having, so I’m ready to throw open the windows and take care of business… scrub down the cottage, start some seeds, maybe mow the lawn (while planning to replace the lawn with a cottage garden when resources allow.)

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Breaking The Mother Goose Code

Imagine... What if Mother Goose was the ancient European Mother Goddess in disguise, hidden from the patriarchal, monotheistic church that took over Europe, appearing in print just as the Inquisition and Witch-hunts drove anything non-Christian underground? What if the Mother Goose “nursery rhymes” taught to children over the last few centuries were a way to pass on an encoded pre-Christian worldview? Are fairy tales the carriers of the Pagan values of ancestors who had to disguise them as “peasant imbecilities” to keep them in cultural memory in a stratified society, of which the hierarchical authorities wanted to eradicate their egalitarian, animistic, and earthy worldview?

These questions are explored in Jeri Studebaker’s new book, “Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy-Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years” published by Moon Books. I was excited to read the advance copy I asked for, since folklore and fairy tales have always fascinated me, and I really love reading about history - especially Pagan history. I know I’m not alone in these interests, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the book after reading it.

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  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Dear Lia, Just got Studebaker's book. Great read! Plus she wrote another book that i just love "Switching to Goddess" I recomme
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVbB1tkKkFg Dear Lia, Go to this video that I made about The Real Mother Goose if you want to see
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thank you for sharing your video, Constance. The intriguing artifacts like the goose boat and the chariot pulled by geese were coo

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Winter

(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.

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December's Cold Moon

( My moon face, in honor of December’s Full Cold Moon in Gemini - energies of Gemini’s intellectual stimulation (bookcase!) and self-expression (photo) hehe. Not to mention this blog post. )

 

I have the honor of facilitating the moon circle this month, for my Women’s Sacred Circle. We’re meeting tonight, at the full moon. I thought I would share what I have prepared, here, since it is mine to share, and I would be curious about what a moon circle would be like, if I wasn’t participating in one. The format was sent to me by the women who planned this year’s circle endeavor, but they said it was a loose guideline. If you want to set up a moon circle, do it however you like! This is how mine is going to go, and it’s similar to the ones that went before, in my particular circle.

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Women's Sacred Circle, Now With Moon Circle

Art by Pascal Campion
(http://pascalcampion.deviantart.com/art/Status-Single-359282986)

My Women’s Sacred Circle has begun a new year with a different plan, and it was a great opportunity for me to jump back in after a busy summer. They split it into two monthly meetings. One is to be similar to what we had been doing, which was like a book club, where we will be reading Caroline Myss’ “Sacred Contracts” (last year it focused on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves” which is a favorite of mine) and keeping a journal for the work we do in that book. The other meeting will be a moon circle on the night of the full moon, where we will do ritual together and discuss the symbolism of that month’s moon. Last month it was the Hunter’s Moon. :) We will also be keeping a moon journal for this meeting.

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The Dark Mother

Autumn is my favorite season. As the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Alban Elfed approaches, I’m thinking of how this season has always carried a sense of magic and spirit… of descent into the sacred secrets of time… a place of reckoning, with a wise power that can see you as you go, while all the foliate cover falls away… a place where truth can’t hide. Truth is powerful and healing and terrible and cleansing and undeniable, and this is the cathartic season where you feast on it, and it feasts on you.

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  • donna
    donna says #
    I too love both the light & dark times for they both bring their own unique gifts. Luckily, I've never had the fear of the Dark Mo

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