There is something about Autumn that makes me want to gather. I don’t necessarily mean bringing in the harvest, but instead I love to fill my pockets with handfuls of sweet chestnuts, ripe apples scrumped from a field, cob nuts and of course sloes from our hedgerows. These of course fill me with a great sense of satisfaction, that I have in some way provided for my family in the upcoming winter months. In reality, these barely make it into a concoction, pie or stew and languish in the fridge for weeks – I have Aldi for all my weekly food needs!
But, thinking about why I love to hoard, squirrel away natures bounty, has made me realise that perhaps this time of year unleashes my inner Hedge Witch. Looking at nature to provide, heal and calm ones family.
A Hedge Witch is a solitary practitioner of the herbal arts – both, medicinal and spiritual. She is the person you call when you develop a rash or get a toothache, and the doctor or dentist is unavailable. She is the person you consult when strange things go bump in the night, or you are certain that someone just gave you the evil eye.
I may not understand all the in’s and out’s of herbal therapy, although I did used to work for an aromatherapy company, so I should know a little. I know that lavender soothes, nutmeg aides a sore tooth, geranium helps you sleep and so on…
All that herbal stuff aside, a true hedge witch is someone who cannot walk through a lane or field without gathering something. Be it a dried seed head, tufted old man’s beard, leaves in all manner of hues, teasel heads, conkers, acorns, the perfect stick…. this is me. I have piles of all these and more.
A true Hedge Witch is an earth mother who has a a deep connection to nature. Creative with a keen interest in folklore, knows when it is full moon and understands the seasons. We feel most at home outdoors, and are our most powerful when surrounded by trees.
This Halloween I shall be stirring up a cauldron of spiced pumpkin soup. Roasting sweet chestnuts on the fire, and sipping a damson vodka cocktail – whilst scaring the hell out of the neighbourhoods kids!
Oh yes! I am a HEDGE WITCH, what’s your special power?
Top & middle images via Pinterest. Bottom by Lou Archell