Tag Archives: shamanism

Hedge-riding

I thought people might be interested to read this blog post I wrote some time ago about my own experiences of the (both literal and metaphorical) hedge.   As I was meditating, knitting and listening to music last night, working my way through the insomnia brought on by discontinuation syndrome from the last lot of failed seizure meds, the term hedgerider came to me as a description for myself. (And I found, upon researching all this, that other witches – mostly those with an English magic or Heathen background – are using the term for themselves.) I was immediately reminded of friends and colleagues who describe their magical practice and their lives as edgewalking – a term which I’ve felt some identification with but which has never sat comfortably enough for me to claim it for myself. Because of my body and my history and my brain and my inclinations our culture places me in many liminal spaces, some of which I do not identify with and some of which I feel very deeply as mine. Adrian Gonzalez Authentic Jersey nike goedkoop In a trance early in my magical practice, perhaps fifteen years ago, I learned that I am meant to be “a go-between”, a role I have embodied in many ways over the years. Scarpe Adidas Online But even though I may live in or move in and out of or between liminal spaces, that image of edgewalking never felt like my own. Air Yeezy Vendre

Maglia Blake Griffin Perhaps it has something to do with one of my disabilities. Being deaf/HoH, I have balance problems. I can’t reliably walk in a straight line down the street. Yeezy Boost 750 I could never walk on balance beams in Gym at school. To walk the knife’s edge…that’s not a metaphor I can feel in my bones. new balance bambino offerte I don’t know what that feels like, to walk straight on that shining edge. Riding, though: that I can do. nike air max 1 og homme I was put on ponies from the time I was a toddler, grew up riding. Riding the night, the storm, with the hunt: ancient images that speak to my soul. And I grew up in a land of hedgerows, many of them 700 year old remnants of medieval field patterns. Scott Chandler Air Jordan 11 Donna There have been hedgerows in my land since the Neolithic, and they have come and gone since: ancient hedges uprooted for the manorial field system, then returning the coming of the Enclosure Acts only to vanish again in the face of modern agriculture with its vast open fields. Adidas Zx Flux Femme Leopard Ours were ancient: hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose; holly and elder and the guelder rose that marks truly old hedges, grown through with straggles of brambles. They marked the turning year: the first hazy spring green of the edible bread-and-cheese hawthorn buds, foaming white with may blossom in the early summer, drooping with blackberries come autumn, and in winter bare dark bones between the faded fields. All Star 2016 New Balance 574 Donna

new balance 1600 on feet I used to watch the hedging, learned the ancient words: the snedding, pleachers, brush and heatherings of true South of England style hedgelaying. Canotta All Star 2015 SMU Mustangs I always wanted to learn it myself, though now I’ve moved to this hedgeless land I suppose I never will. That is the kind of work I could do happily with my hands, like the coppicing and clearing work I did over the summers, midge-stung and sunburned and rained upon. And hedgerows aren’t simply a substitute for a fence; they are, as the UK Government advisors on nature conservation, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, point out: “the most significant wildlife habitat over large stretches of lowland UK and are an essential refuge for a great many woodland and farmland plants and animals.” The English Hedgerow Trust tells us that, “Hedgerows are the principal habitat for around 50 existing species of conservation concern in the UK, including 13 globally threatened or rapidly declining species (more than for most other key habitats). They are particularly important for butterflies and moths, farmland birds, bats and dormice… Over 600 plant species, 1500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammals have been recorded at some time living or feeding in hedgerows. Over 100 species of invertebrates can be found in a typical 20-metre section of hedgerow… New Balance 247 damskie asics gel lyte 3 blu uomo

Hedgerows also act as wildlife corridors for many species, including reptiles and amphibians, allowing movement between other habitats.”< They are communities, pathways, focii of the land. Zapatillas AIR MAX TAILWIND 8 And they are boundaries: my field from yours, farmland from lanes, the domestic from the wild. The root of the word means enclosure; the hedge is the boundary between the known and the unknown. Like the hedgerow itself, natural growth shaped by human hands, it is a meeting of nature and culture, self and other: a marker of the line between this world and another. Nike Air Max 1 m?skie bia?e FREE RN And unlike a wall, the hedge is not absolute: it is a permeable membrane through which things both animal and otherworldly pass. Since at least the 16th century CE it has been associated with the outcast, the poor, the mean, the unwanted. air max pas cher New Balance 420 hombre And, of course, it has been associated with witches. adidas gazelle homme grise Our word hag comes from an Old English term that has been argued to mean “hedge-rider”. NIKE TENNIS CLASSIC ULTRA FLYKNIT

Canotte Portland Trail Blazers (And I found, upon researching all this, that other witches – mostly those with an English magic or Heathen background – are using the term for themselves.) Associated with witches and ghosts, we may note as well in the perhaps-related Norwegian word tysja (fairy, crippled woman) a perceived link between the otherworldy and another class of being relegated by mainstream culture to the realm of the mean and vile: those of us who are disabled. SMU Mustangs Jerseys Like the bent pleachers of the hedge, meanings knot and twist together, grow into a living, thriving thing of many parts. Air Jordan 5 Homme And if we have the knowledge, we can straddle it with one foot in this world and one foot in that, ride it through the twilight in the smell of hawthorn and wet leaves. It’s not a comfortable ride. Maglia Tony Parker The twilight is not necessarily a comfortable place, and the hedge is knotted with thorns, with nettles, with the briar of the rose. But for those who have learned to be a part of the tangled community of the place between, it’s home, and it is beautiful.

Building Your Inner Sacred Space

I long for the day when I will be guardian of a bit of land again. Guardian because, of course, one does not own land. I feel that land, especially forested or wild lands, are entrusted to our care by the Elder Kin. Hogan Rebel I think about this piece of land often. I see it shaded by mature trees, holding a little meadow, chased around by a burbling stream, hiding a secret sacred glade. I will know it when I find it. It will call to me. Alas, I am not there yet. It may be a number of years before I am there at last. I don’t mind living in the town where I live but I do mind not having the access to a sacred glade, a place to walk and talk to the elders or just sit and meditate. A place that will remain undisturbed by outsiders. A long time ago I began to create my inner sacred space. It’s now a kind of new-agey catch-phrase to “go to your happy place” but few seem to realize the power inherent in having such an “inner space.” It is a place not only to rest and heal but a place where you can perform deep magic that is unavailable to you here in the plane of Ordinary Reality. Asics 2017 Goedkoop Think about it. Say you would really like to communicate with Odin. You would love to have a sacred space dedicated solely to him, a place where you could leave offerings and perform a Blot without worrying about interruption. But you live in a tiny apartment, or are sharing your living space with nosy relatives or roommates. You can have that sacred space, and perform any rituals you like. You need only yourself and the depths of your mind. You can create this sacred space and you can visit freely, whenever you choose. Stay as long as you like or just pop in and leave a quick offering. Oh, and here’s the true power of creating your sacred space. Canotte Philadelphia 76ers Once created and filled with your own personal energy and magic…sacred spaces tend to take on a life of their own. They grow and adapt independent of you. My first attempt at inner sacred space was a circle of stone monoliths. For obvious reasons, not something I could create here in our version of Ordinary Reality. At least, not yet. But I visualized the stone circle with its worn stones, reminiscent of henges and such I had seen in photos. Every time I visited the circle it felt more real and I noticed more details about it. And then…one day, as I was walking the path (in my mind) to visit the circle, I noticed a path branching off of it. adidas yeezy heren A path I had not created, but yet there it was. Nike Kevin Durant Intrigued, I followed it and found myself in the wood. nike air max 1 rasta Over time I have found more unexplored areas of this space. An open meadow, a little cottage…all created without conscious thought on my part. Yet they are now part of my own inner sacred space. basket nike requin homme pas cher In another article I will try to explain a bit about Ordinary and Non-ordinary Reality and about the Mystery of deep dreaming and the shamanic state. Fjällräven Kånken Salu But such a knowledge is not necessary to begin building your inner sacred space. Jordan Reed Redskins Jerseys You need only to be able to picture it. Being able to meditate helps in creating your sacred space, but it is not necessary. I have not yet mastered being able to “clear my mind” in a meditative fashion. But what will be necessary is your ability to picture something in your mind and to hold that picture until it becomes as vivid as if it were real for you. If you find this difficult, know that it becomes easier with practice. You do not need to be able to lose yourself for hours at a time in the beginning. Many of us already have an idea of what our ideal sacred space would be like. If that is true for you, then you are already halfway there. If not, spend the next few days just thinking, on and off, “What does my ideal sacred space look like?” This is not concentrated thinking. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren zwart What you are trying to do is to kind of “catch yourself” in an unaware state. Ask yourself the question, and see what the first image is that pops into your mind. Maybe it is trees, or a brook. Make a note of it and then go on to whatever you were doing. After a few days you should have a handful of images to work with. When you are ready to begin creating your space, set aside some time where you will be undisturbed. I like to burn incense when I do so. You may choose to listen to certain music or nothing at all. Be aware that if you do use music or incense or something like that, it may become a sort of a “trigger” for you in the future. Smelling that particular incense or listening to that music will ease you into a meditative state quicker, so do not use music you will hear every day or on the radio! Get comfortable. You may want to lie down. You may just want to sit comfortably. If you choose to lie down, be careful that you are not over tired or you may fall asleep too soon. Decide which of your images you are going to use. Auburn Tigers Let’s say it is “trees.” Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths, and picture these trees. Picture them in your mind as if you are standing next to them or within their presence. Air Jordan 1 Uomo

Take the time to look at them. How tall are they? How many are there? Do you know what kind they are? What sort of a day is it there? Or is it night? Can you smell or hear anything? Do not “force” anything…do not think that “a forest should smell like such and such.” Just be quiet and see what it does smell like. What you are aiming for is not a static image, but a kind of “movie in your head”…only you are participating in the movie, not just watching it. If you find your concentration wandering off to mundane matters, try performing an action there in your vision. Walk up to a tree. Jordan Big Size Touch it. Sit down beneath it. Nike Air Max BW Femme Walk around the glade and see what it looks like from all sides. asics gel nimbus 17 hombre Know as you do this that this is your space, that you can return here at any time you choose. If you feel like it, pile up some stones or something to mark this space, knowing that they will remain until you return. The first few times you should not spend an overlong amount of time at it. Ten or fifteen minutes is a long time at such an endeavor. If you only manage it for a few minutes it is still a success. New Balance 990 m?skie If you find your concentration just will not hold any longer, it is time to take your leave. Thank the spirits of the place and promise that you will return. Picture yourself making an exit from this place, whether it is laying down a path, hopping in a boat, or whatever suits you. When you are ready to return, you can follow the path or travel in your boat to get back. Always remember this is Non-ordinary Reality–YOU are shaping it. If you want a path, you do not have to picture yourself hauling dirt and building it by hand. Just think of a nice level dirt path…and there it is. Want to ride off on horseback? Look…there is your horse tethered to a tree, just as you thought he would be. Fjallraven Kanken Sale You are the Creator in this little space, and anything you can think of you can Create. Once you have your sacred space created, you can begin to dedicate it and use it. You can use any methods that would use in a “physical” sacred space, like cleansing, smudging, or purifying with salt. Simply relax, visit your space and perform whatever ceremony you feel is needed. The fun part here again is that you are creating this in your mind, so money and “reality” are no object. If you’ve always wanted a big two-handed sword to use in your sacred space, you’ve got one. If you want to plant flowers that will stay alive throughout the year, go for it. Build altars, stone circles, fire pits…whatever you desire. After your space is cleansed you may want to invite the Elder Kin to join you there. You can perform a formal ritual there, with the best mead or wine that you can imagine. Milwaukee Bucks

Or you may just want to sit in your space quietly and ask if there are any Elders who would like to join you there, and wait to see what kind of a response you get. I would also make an offering of some kind to the land spirits or wights of the place. Even though this space is not “physical” in this reality it does sit in its own “reality” and there are spirits of the place there. When you are inviting Elder Kin into your space, be patient and be open to what might happen. Do not have any expectations of what such contact will be like, if it happens. The Elder Kin may feel the need to watch you for a while, to gauge the sincerity of your intentions. They may appear to you in an animal form such as a hawk or a deer. Greet any visitors with respect and offer them a gift–you have a limitless supply of gifts and food available. Remember always to show respect to any who choose to enter your space, the same respect you would show an older, wiser person who has something to teach you. Do not be disappointed if they choose not to speak to you. You may only receive a thought or a feeling. Pay attention to these. It is not polite to ask the name of any who visit you. If they choose to give you a name to call them by they will offer one. For some people the process is easier than for others. Some seem to be born with the ability to “walk between the worlds.” In ancient times this would have been recognized and valued, and these people would have become shamans or medicine men or the prophetesses at Delphi. In these times you are more likely to spend your growing up years wondering why you see things others can’t and wondering if you will end your days in the loony bin. But no matter your level of inherent ability, anyone can learn to be receptive to Non-Ordinary Reality.