Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Joann van der Hoeven, author of Book of Hedge Druidry.
Being a Hedge Druid is all about connecting to the world around you—not just this physical world, but also the Otherworld that lies alongside and overlaps this one. It is about learning where we fit in the world, where we belong, what our place is in the ecosystem. Once we have found our place, we can then work to the benefit of the whole, much like the trees, the nettles, the beetles and the geese. It is about living as naturally as possible, and that means not only being authentic, but also living as close to nature as you can within your own environment. It’s about knowing what the phase of the moon is, what is flowering, where the ants live, what the human community is doing. It’s about having fingers in a lot of metaphorical pies, learning everything you can about the world around you, and knowing that you will never stop learning.
Being a Hedge Druid is about liminal places, about connecting to more than just this world. In places like the hedgerow, where two places meet, which is neither one nor the other, this is where the greatest transformation can occur. This is a place of power. The edges, the borderline places such as where the forest meets the meadow, or at the edges of a lake or pond, is where the magic happens. This is where there is the greatest diversity, where life flourishes, built upon death and decay. This is where we can cross over to the Otherworld, to meet with the Fair Folk, or the ancestors, or spirit guides.
Being a Hedge Druid is about working with the World Tree, the ancient Celtic bíle, the axis mundi that links the realms of the Otherworld to this one. When we learn to ride the hedge, to ride the World Tree, we can travel to the Lower, Middle, and Upperworld, there to meet with great powers, and to widen our perception so that we may return to our world with the light of Faery and the wisdom of the Second Sight in our work.
Above all, being a Hedge Druid is about living a life in service to your path, to your Druidry. Although it may be a solitary path, it is one that is utterly dedicated to the natural world, and to benefitting the whole. It’s about putting aside the ego and instead working with the notion of integration, of becoming a part of something, a tribe that has no boundaries. It’s about understanding the meaning of life, which is to give your life meaning.
It is all this, and so much more.
Our thanks to Joanna for her guest post! For more from Joanna van der Hoeven, read her article, “Putting the “Hedge” Back in Hedge Druidry.”