Hedge Witch: Into the Wilds…

Let me take you on a journey through the wilds of nature and back to the roots and bones of witchcraft, a natural witchcraft that works with the seasons and all the natural items that Mother Nature provides drawing on magical folk lore with a dash of hedge witch and gypsy magic too.

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Magic of the Elder & Elderberry

Magic of the Elder and Elderberry

(Sambucus nigra/Canadensis)

A small deciduous tree (or shrub) that grows in woods, hedgerows and on waste ground the trunk is quite often crooked and low lying with rugged bark.  It has dark green leaves that have quite an unpleasant smell but the flowers that appear in early summer are pretty and fragrant with large flat bunches of white flowers that ripen into berries that are green at first and then a dark purple colour by early autumn.

Described in the past as a ‘whole medicine chest’ in one tree the Elder is an excellent ingredient to use in healing spell work.

The stem was said to have been used by Prometheus to bring fire to man from the gods.

Also a tree of the Fae, sit and watch patiently on Midsummer night and you should see the Faerie King ride past.

If an elder self seeds in your garden it is said that the Earth Mother has chosen to protect your house (don’t cut the elder down without asking permission from the Earth Mother first). Preferaby of course don’t cut any trees down at all!

There has been a bit of a dilemma with elder over the years, it has been a tree of life but also a tree of the devil, it was needed for its medicinal properties but also feared to be a witch’s plant – sometimes you just can’t win!  Witches were said to be able to turn themselves into elder trees…I have yet to attempt it.

A tree of death, rebirth and reincarnation.

The bark, root, leaves and berries can be used for making dyes.

Use in any healing spell work whether it is for physical or emotional healing also very good to used to break spells that were cast against you.  Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits.

Drink elderberry juice to increase your intuition.

Add elderberry tea to your bath water to help heal spiritual and emotional issues.

Add elder stems to incense blends to bring purification and protection to your home.

Elder Magical Properties:

Protection, healing, faeries, purification, intuition, exorcism, hex breaking, rebirth

Ruling planet – Venus

Sign – Sagittarius, Aquarius, Libra

Element – Water

Gender – Feminine


Enticing Elderberry Juice

500m/1 pint fresh elderberries

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Spring of mint

Wash the elderberries and remove them from the stalks (use only the dark, ripe berries - no green ones).  Place the berries in a pan and add the honey, lemon juice and mint leaves.  Add two pints of boiling water give it a stir, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes.  Strain the liquid into a clean jug giving the berries a bit of a squeeze with a spoon as you do so to get all the juice out.  Drink warm  or cool and serve over ice.  

Unripe or raw elderberries can give you a very bad stomach ache, make sure you cook or scald them in water before eating and discard any green/unripe ones.

Magic of the ingredients:

Elderberries – prosperity, protection, healing

Honey – to make life sweet

Lemon – love, friendship and purification

Mint – money, healing, protection


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Rachel is a witch...has been for a very long time, not the green skinned warty kind obviously...the real sort - but she is also a working wife and mother living in Hampshire, England who has also been lucky enough to write and have published a growing stack of books on the Craft. She loves to learn she loves to study and continues to do so each and every day but has learned the most from actually getting outside and doing it. She regularly gives talks and workshops at pagan events. Rachel is also founder and an Elder at the Kitchen Witch online school of witchcraft. She likes to laugh...and eat cake...
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