I am new on my pagan path and I am interested in kitchen witchery or hedge witchery, I feel so overwhelmed by all the information out there that I just do not know where to start. What do you recommend?
I have been a Kitchen Witch in my personal daily practice for about 7 or 8 years now. If I was to say there was a unifying principal between all kitchen and hedge witches it would be that they all involve solitary workings and each witch defines her practice differently. So with that in mind I will answer you, but remember what works for me does not work for everyone else in this type of practice.
The first thing I tell people when they ask me about my experiences with Kitchen Witchery is that I cook and make my brews with intent. This could be as simple as a Sunday dinner for my family where I bless the food with love and peace, or as intricate as a batch of incense that is imbued with a specific spell or even deep protections and more. The things I make come with heart and purpose. I have a very extensive collection of herbs that I use for this practice. But other than that most of my magical tools are directly from the kitchen. This could be as simple as me blessing the wooden spoon I plan to use that day. I see my kitchen as a magical space and have religious items tucked away in many corners of the room. I smudge my kitchen when needed, and I treat my kitchen like a temple making sure I always physically clean it before I do a working. I use herbal remedies, make incense, my own perfumes, bath salts and more and consider all of these a part of my practice.
Hedge Witchery is also varied in definition but the term “hedge” is similarly defined as shamanic journeying. Some say it is a combination of kitchen witch practices mixed with shamanic workings. Hedges often lined the outer limits of villages and hedge witches often push the limits of the material world. It involves trance working and connecting to spirits from the other side to bring back messages for growth, divination and more. For more information I recommend checking out this article, http://witchofforestgrove.com/2009/09/13/hedge-witchery/ .
There are many more things that go with each of these paths but the most important thing is you find what is right for you. Since you are pretty much forging your own path in a solitary environment I suggest researching what interests you. If herb lore is your thing, read books on herbs. If cooking is where you want to go, find new dishes that have meanings to you magically. If trance working is something you want to get involved with, explore different ways to go into trances. Any of these paths can be integrated with a variety of interests and pantheons in the neo-pagan diaspora. Best of luck to you in this new journey.
Jasmine is a 15 year veteran pagan and Wiccan High Priestess and has been a leader in her local pagan community and done spiritual counseling. To submit questions please email JasmineMoon@gmail.com.