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Pagan Pathways: Hedge Witch

A hedgewitch is a tradition within a tradition that is somewhat shamanic in nature, for lack of a better term. There are many different titles that those who follow this inner tradition are called: Hedge-Rider, Hedgewitch, Night Travellers, Myrk-Riders, Gandreidh, Badbh (name of a Goddess as well as a title), and Walkers on the Wind. These are the ones who engage in spirit flight, and journey into the Other World. It is this inner tradition which utilizes such things as flying salves and potions in order to gain access to the Other World. There are certain pre-requisites which must be met before one can learn this particular tradition, however.

A hedgewitch is able to go into the Other World, and call back the souls of those who are about to die. They can, in this capacity, be very powerful healers. They are also able to speak with those who have passed beyond. One of the rituals by which a hedgewitch can cross over into the Otherworld is called the "Ritual of the Raven."A bird of one kind or another is usually associated with the hedge traditions. Two of the most commonly associated birds are the raven and the goose.A mention should be made that the hedge signified the boundary of the village, and thus the boundary of the known world. Not all cultures had hedges, though. Some had stone wall, or earthen works. Regardless, this term is adopted as a way to commonly identify these traditions.

It should be emphasized that not all Witches follow this inner tradition.