A Beginner's Guide To Hedge Witchcraft

A Beginner's Guide To Hedge Witchcraft

Last Updated: March 19, 2024

When it comes to knowing who you are as a witch, we can get confused by all the different options in front of us. Some people don’t even know that real life witches exist, let alone that this is something they can develop and become themselves if they were interested to!

I’ve shared with you previously about Divination witchcraft and Secular witchcraft, so this is a natural path most witches find themselves when they combine the two with more greenery and reverence for nature in this journey.

Hedge witches are one of the most common type of witch you’ll encounter, and it’s the one that most folks think of in a contemporary description without immediately calling them a hedge witch. So what does that actually mean? Who is a hedge witch? How are they different to others? What sort of practices do they use? Read more with me as I explore with you…

Key Takeaways:

  • A Hedge Witch combines earth spirituality, sustainable practices, divination, astral work and community benefit.
  • They’re the most likely common type of witch depicted in media.
  • Hedgewitchery is rooted in self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, and a deep reverence for the natural world.
  • Hedgeriding is a specific metaphysical activity to Hedgewitches who travel the astral realm for their practice

what is a hedge witch

Table of Contents

What Is A Hedge Witch?

A Hedge Witch is a practitioner whose practice involves “the hedge”. Not to be mistaken for a manicured garden boundary, but a physical and metaphysical boundary between realms of the humans and spirits. They’ll navigate the two spaces usually with healing and from a place of reverence for nature, and whilst mainly seen as a solitary witch will also be associated with community – whether as the “wise woman” of the village, a national park ranger or a community fundraising neighbour/volunteer who has a penchant for creating their own brews & teas. That’s why the Hedge Witch is one of the most common types in media – she’s the “village witch” you go to in crisis.

When it comes to nature and their practice, they are often well versed in the local flora and fauna, they know what plants can harm and what plants can heal, they are aware of the cycles, weather, lunar patterns, and generally live in harmony with their surroundings. They bring the outside “in”, and build their hearth and home around it’s intertwining elements of nature.

And in terms of spirit work and divination, the astral is a second home. They may have natural abilities in clairvoyance, clairsentience or even astrology – a form of divination that involves interpreting planetary & cosmic alignments, and their influence on human behaviour.

Judika Illes explores the term Hedge-Rider as a northern European synonym for witch. While in Old High German hedge-rider was pronounced “hagezusse”, in Old English it was called “Haegtessa”. These were later shortened to Hag and Hexe respectively and were associated with old women who lived near the hedge, the boundary of local civilisation versus the wild nature and forests around. These cunning folk and their hedgewitchery, prior to Christianity, were a lifeline to the villagers and townsfolk before being villainized by patriarchal and zealot societies. This is where we get our modern take on “hag” from.

Hedge Witch Deeply Involved With Nature And Cycles

Hedgewitchery or Hedgecraft

Hedgewitchery, also known as hedgecraft or hedge magick, is a form of witchcraft that dates back centuries. It has been practiced by individuals living on the outskirts of society, often in rural areas, who were believed to possess special knowledge and abilities, but even now it can be the disassociative few in urban settings. The word “hedge” comes from the Old English word “hecg” which means “fence” or “boundary”. In this witchcraft context, it refers to the boundary between the physical world and the spiritual realm.

Hedgewitches are often seen as healers and herbalists, using their knowledge of plants and natural remedies to treat ailments. They also have a strong connection to nature and work closely with the cycles of the seasons, moon phases, and natural elements. This connection to nature is seen as a means of accessing magickal energy and working with the spirits of the land.

Hedgecraft often incorporates aspects of other forms of witchcraft and pagan traditions, making it a very individualized and eclectic practice. It can involve divination, meditation, spell work, ritualistic practices, and more. Hedgewitchery and healing, whether spiritually or physically (when modern medicine was scarce and the land was relied on for health), suggests then that the Hedgewitches importance to life and community was a natural fellowship, that sadly has lost it’s connection in modern times.

what is hedgewitchery

What Is Hedgeriding?

Hedgewitches are said to hedge ride or ‘ride the hedge,’ meaning hedgewitches “cross the veil” into the spirit otherworld. Hedgeriding is working in the Otherworlds, the astral realms, and for the purpose of magick. It is used for divination, healing and communication with spirits and deities. This practice requires a deep understanding of the self and the ability to navigate the spirit world with respect and caution.

Hedgeriding can be achieved through meditation, trance work or astral projection. It is believed that hedgewitches possess a natural ability to travel between realms, but this skill can also be developed and honed over time with practice and dedication. Folks sometimes call it “pathwalking”, or shamanic journeying. Humans have been doing it since before the Ancient Egyptians (Divine Ka, etc)

Hedge riding as a practice itself is quite old. There is one text in particular that gives particular insight into hedge riding “The Havamal, The Words of Odin the High One” in the 13th century Poetic Edda. Freyja herself taught Odin seidr, a magickal practice that in modern day we could suggest to be hedgewitchery.

Hedge Witch Practices and Activities

These witches incorporate a variety of practices into their craft. Some may focus more on herbalism and healing, while others may be more drawn to divination or astral work. Here are some common hedge witch practices and activities, and food for thought if you want to expand your own journey:

  • Herbalism: Hedgewitches have extensive knowledge of plants and their properties. They often use herbs in cooking, creating teas and tinctures, and for medicinal purposes.
  • Divination: They may have natural abilities in divination or use tools such as tarot cards, runes, or scrying to gain insight into the future or communicate with spirits.
  • Rituals and Spells: Hedgewitches may perform rituals and spells for healing, protection, abundance, or other purposes. These can range from simple offerings to elaborate ceremonies.
  • Nature Connection: Hedgewitches have a deep connection to nature and often incorporate it into their daily lives. They may go on walks in the woods, meditate outside, or hold celebrations in nature.
  • Meditation and Trance Work: As mentioned earlier, hedgewitches use meditation and trance work to hedge ride and connect with the spirit world.
  • Astral Projection: They may also practice astral projection as a means of traveling to other realms and communicating with spirits.
  • Kitchen Witchcraft: Since hedgewitches often live off the land, they have a strong connection to food and cooking. Kitchen witchery involves using magick in cooking and baking, and it plays a significant role in hedgewitch practices.
  • Energy Work: Hedgewitches work with the energy of themselves, others, and the natural world. This can include healing practices such as Reiki or using crystals for energetic balance.

Hedge Witches Utilise Natural Medicines And Create Natural Products Sustainably In Their Practice

Hedge Witch Beliefs

Lives matter, as a firm value. Whether insect, animal, friend or foe – a hedgewitch’s personal and spiritual code of ethics often goes beyond the triple law of “as it harm none, do as you will”. When spirituality is rooted in nature then creation is sacred. Everything has purpose and should be treated with respect.

The Laws of Correspondence also seems to be important, if known by other names or articulation – i.e. “Nature affects Nature” – this is why Hedge Witches are so good at divining, or reading omens in the natural world.

Hedgewitches also have a strong belief in personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. They often live off the land and rely on their own skills and knowledge to survive. This self-reliance extends to their spiritual practice as well, with many hedgewitches preferring to work alone and not rely on outside sources for their magickal workings.

Other common beliefs in hedge witchcraft include the power of intention, the interconnectedness of all things, and the importance of balance and harmony. Hedgewitches hold a deep respect for the earth and its natural resources, often incorporating sustainable practices into their spirituality and their daily lives.

How Is A Hedge Witch Different?

Hedge witches are often seen as “eclectic” or “green” witches, but there is something particularly special about them that sets them apart and I feel this is their capacity for caring for the planet and it’s inhabitants, to the point of astral exploration in the quest of aid.

Their strong connection to nature and the spirit world allows them to tap into ancient, ancestral wisdom and knowledge that is often lost or forgotten in modern society. They also have a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and strive to live their lives in harmony with both the physical and spiritual realms.

Hedgewitches may also differ from other witches in their belief systems. Whilst a lot of covens may suggest offerings to a Triple Goddess or a Horned God, hedgewitches might believe that leaving an offering to local fox may provide better protection in this physical plane – it’s likely to catch. This is because hedgewitches often have a deep understanding and respect for the spirits that reside in their local environment, whether that’s in a city or a super green space.

Hedge Witch is Different To Green Witch

What’s The Difference Between a Hedge Witch and…

As with all witchcraft practices, there’s a lot of crossover, and because there are so many paths (each unstructured to each other) it’s hard to pinpoint what specifically makes a hedge witch different from other types of witches.

One key distinction is that hedge witches tend to focus on solitary practices rather than belonging to a specific coven or group, but that doesn’t mean they are shy from community. They also have a strong emphasis on herbalism, and their connection with nature and the spiritual realm is highly personal and individualized.

I wanna show you a few paths and what the differences between them are.

Green Witch vs Hedge Witch

Green witches and hedge witches share a strong connection to nature, but their focus is different. While hedge witches use herbs for healing and spiritual purposes, green witches have a deeper understanding of plant magick and work with the energies of plants in their spells and rituals. Green witches also tend to have a more structured approach to their craft, incorporating elements of Wicca or other traditions

Divination Witch vs Hedge Witch

Divination witches focus on the use of tools such as tarot cards, runes, or scrying to gain insight and guidance. Hedge witches, on the other hand, tend to rely more on their intuition and communication with nature and engaging the spiritual realm for guidance. While divination is not a central aspect of hedge witchcraft, some practitioners may incorporate it into their practice.

Cottage Witch vs Hedge Witch

Cottage witches share many similarities with hedge witches, as they both have a strong connection to nature and herbalism. However, cottage witchcraft often involves more domestic practices such as cooking, cleaning, and creating homemade remedies. Hedge witches may engage in these activities as well, but their focus is more on the spiritual aspects of working with herbs and plants.

10 signs you may be a hedge witch

10 Signs You May Be A Hedge Witch

When it comes to witches, generally speaking something that most can agree on is your spiritual practice are an integral part of your daily life, not just something you do occasionally, and that you feel a sense of responsibility towards the earth and its inhabitants. But what are other signs you may be a Hedge Witch in terms of your path?

  1. You have a strong intuition, and often rely on it for guidance.
  2. You feel drawn to herbalism and natural healing methods, and feel at home in the outdoors.
  3. You prefer to work alone rather than in a group or coven.
  4. Your spiritual practice is highly personalized, and not tied to any specific tradition or belief system but more what intuitively helps you grow.
  5. You have a deep respect for the natural world and strive to live in harmony with it – this shows up in your every day through activism, recycling, community projects and eco-friendly initiatives.
  6. You have a fascination with folklore and ancient wisdom, particularly related to plants and nature.
  7. You often find yourself wandering off the beaten path, and exploring new areas in nature.
  8. Your magickal workings often involve elements of divination, kitchen witchery and herbalism.
  9. You have a strong desire to use your knowledge and skills to help others and make the world a better place.
  10. You have a natural gift for divination or communicating with spirits.

Deities Aligning To Hedge Witchcraft

This type of magick is often rooted in nature and involves working with the energies and spirits found in the natural world. Hedge witches are known for their ability to connect with nature, tap into their intuition, and use various tools such as herbs, crystals, and divination methods to manifest their desires and work spells. Deities who align with these practices that you may want to look into working with then would be:

  • Cernunnos – the Celtic god of nature and fertility.
  • Gaia – the Greek goddess of the earth and nature.
  • Flora – the Roman goddess of flowers and gardens.
  • Demeter – the Greek goddess of agriculture and cycles of life and death.
  • Hestia – the Greek goddess of hearth and home, often associated with domestic magick and herbalism.
  • Omani – the Yoruba goddess of healing herbs and medicines.
  • Ix Chel – the Mayan goddess of healing, fertility, and weaving.
  • Anu – the Sumerian sky god associated with divination and herbalism.
  • Pan – the Greek god of nature, shepherds, and fertility.
  • Epona – the Celtic goddess of horses, fertility, and sovereignty.
  • Hermes – the Greek god of communication and travel, associated with divination and trickery.
  • Hecate – the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, and crossroads.
  • Brigid – the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry, and smithcraft.
  • Hecate – the Greek goddess of magick, crossroads, and witches
  • Freyja – the Norse goddess associated with love, divination, and fertility
  • The Green Man – a symbol of rebirth and the cycle of life in many pagan traditions
  • Baba Yaga – a Slavic folklore figure often associated with herbalism and divination
  • Frau Holle – a Germanic goddess of domestic magick and herbalism
  • Aja – the Orisha goddess of nature and herbalism in Yoruba tradition
  • Inari – a Japanese deity associated with agriculture, fertility, and kitsune (fox) spirits.
  • The Horned God – a symbol of male fertility, often depicted as a stag or horned deity in various pagan traditions.
  • Osanyi – the Yoruba goddess of nature and herbs, often invoked for protection and healing.
  • Elen of the Ways – a British deity associated with nature, travel, and paths.
  • The Triple Goddess – a symbol representing the maiden, mother, and crone aspects of femininity in many pagan traditions.

You’ve gotta know this list isn’t extensive or final, and note that these deities are just some examples – countless others may align with hedgewitchery. It’s up to each individual practitioner to connect in the way that feels right for them.

Modern Hedgewitches Connect With Nature Even In Urban Parks or Whilst Travelling

It’s great to know that not all hedge witches work with deities, or follow a specific religion either. A lot of resources are Wiccan in origin, and needn’t be. Many may have their own individual beliefs, and practices, making this type of witchcraft highly personal and adaptable to each witch.

Some hedge witches also work with spirits or ancestors to gain wisdom and guidance, some work with the energy of the houses or local nature around them, and some don’t lean on anything at all. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so drop me a comment below!

Hedgewitch Aesthetic

It’s ok to want to have an aesthetic with your practice, to show your adoption or commitment – it’s completely up to you as an individual and you should never be made to feel embarrassed or shamed for wanting to look “witchy”. Some popular items you might include in a hedge witch aesthetic are:

  • Pentagram jewelry and other pagan symbols
  • Really good boots or wellies
  • Natural elements like leaves, feathers, stones, and shells collected on your nature walks
  • Floral patterns or prints
  • Gardening gloves, tools and paraphernalia (like a good foraging bag for on your nature walks!)
  • Practical clothing that allows for movement and comfort during outdoor activities
  • Vintage lace or crochet accents and thrifted pieces
  • Herb bundles, jars, bottles, and vials for storing your botanical treasures
  • Handmade or repurposed items such as DIY candles, pottery, quilts, and herb sachets

Remember though that there’s no “right” way to dress as a hedge witch – everyone has their own unique style and preference! Let your personal aesthetic be an extension of who you are and what resonates with you best lovely.

Additional Magickal Practices To Hedgecraft For Expansion

  • Herbalism
  • Fire Magick
  • Kitchen Witchcraft
  • Divination
  • Candle Magick
  • Lunar Magick
  • Spirit Work
  • Crystal Magick
  • Spellcasting
  • Elemental Magick
  • Sigil Crafting
  • Astrology
  • Nature-based Rituals and Ceremonies

Hedge Witch Resources

Now as well as some tips here, I have some book recommendations with a link that may provide backyardbanshee.com with a commission towards website running costs but it has no impact on your finances, and actually these books would be recommended for individual reasons anyway. Take each book’s info with a pinch of salt, as some of them are religious (such as Wiccan) and some hint there’s is the “only real practice” when in fact all practices are valid. Here are my ideas for resources for you:

  • Make use of community spaces. Libraries (for free books, research and development), Community events (such as get together, charity work, supporting those in crisis etc) and
  • Note down in a diary, notebook, your phone etc when you first see the beginning of certain blooms or harvests or fallowing in your local area. From the first snowdrop to the last apple on the tree, it’ll aid in reflecting year on year.
  • Get to know your local plants and birds, too. There are tons of free tools and apps out there to help you identify species and names of plants to varieties of birds, of insects and so on. This can help you connect with your natural surroundings and deepen your understanding of hedge witchcraft.
  • If you live in the city, don’t despair, you can still practice hedge witchery! You just might need to be a bit more creative with your foraging and nature walks. Seek out parks, community gardens, and even window boxes or planters on the streets. Nature is all around us, we just have to look for it.
  • Connect with other hedgewitches online or in person if you have any metaphysical shops nearby. There are also tons of spaces here on the internet to find your people.
  • Work with local farmers and indie shop owners, herbalists, zero waste initiatives, and visit farmers markets to source ingredients for your practice, spells and rituals. Not only will this support local businesses, but it can also enhance the energy of your practice with locally grown and sourced items and you get to network with people in the community who likely have similar values to yourself.
  • Join online forums or groups dedicated to hedge witchcraft, where you can connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences and tips, and continue learning from others.
  • Keep a dream journal! Dreams can often hold important messages or symbolism that can aid in your practice. Writing them down and reflecting on them can also help improve dream recall and foster a stronger connection to the subconscious.

Hedge Witches Aid Community For Spiritual And Healing Purposes


The Way of the Hedge Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (I am an AMH stan, so will always recommend it)

Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft by Rae Beth

The Hedge Witch’s Way by Rae Beth

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes

Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year by Mandy Mitchell

Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft by Ann Moura

The Witch’s Apothecary by Lorraine Anderson

Maia Toll’s Wild Wisdom Companion: A Guided Journey into the Mystical Rhythms of the Natural World, Season by Season by Maia Toll (literally anything by Maia Toll is good fun tbh)

The Beloved Dead: An Oracle for Divining Ancestral Wisdom by Carrie Paris and Tina Hardt


I love curating divination experiences for those invested in spiritual growth with secular honest vibes. I am that witch you come to for these honest, interesting and beneficial divination experiences!

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