There are lots of completely different belief systems in modern Paganism, and one which’s seeing a resurgence in standardity is the path of the hedge witch. Though there are lots of different definitions of what a hedge witch is and does, you will find that for probably the most part, there’s numerous work with herbal magic, as well as an emphasis on nature. A hedge witch may work with gods or goddesses, perform healing and shamanic actions, or maybe work with the altering seasons. In different words, the path of the hedge witch is as eclectic as those that follow it.
Ask any trendy hedge witch, and so they’ll probably let you know that the reason they call themselves a hedge witch is an homage to the past. In days gone by, witches—often ladies, but not always—lived alongside the fringes of a village, behind the hedgerows. One side of the hedge was the village and civilization, but on the other lay the unknown and wild. Typically, these hedge witches served a twin objective and acted as healers or cunning women, and that involved a lot of time gathering herbs and plants within the woods, the fields, and—you guessed it—the hedges.
The hedge witch of old normally practiced alone, and lived magically everyday—easy acts like brewing a pot of tea or sweeping the floor were infused with magical concepts and intentions. Perhaps most significantly, the hedge witch discovered her practices from older members of the family or mentors, and honed her skills via years of observe, trial, and error. These practices are typically referred to as green craft, and are highly influenced by folk customs.
Just like the practice of kitchen witchcraft, hedge witchery typically focuses on the hearth and home as the center of magical activity. The house is the place of stability and grounding, and the kitchen itself is a magical place, and it’s defined by the energies of the people who live in the house. For the hedge witch, the home is typically seen as sacred space.
If the house is the core of the apply, the natural world forms the root of it. A hedge witch typically spends numerous time working on herbal magic, and sometimes learns associated skills like herbal medicine or aromatherapy. This practice is deeply personal and spiritual; a hedge witch would not just have jars of plants. Likelihood is good that she grew or gathered them herself, harvested them, dried them, and has experimented with them to see what they can and can’t do—all the while, she’s been writing down her notes for future reference.