Daily Angel Oracle Card: The Hedge, from the Gospel Of Aradia, by Stacey Demarco, artwork by Jimmy Manton
The Hedge: “Saepes”
“Find and hold your own personal boundaries. We can’t be completely open with everyone. Having healthy boundaries is an act of positive self-love. Our plant allies can heal and nourish us. Plant a medicinal garden.”
“There is vervain,
There is rue,
Wormwood and the hedge,
We collect the Earth, we collect the dew.
Wrap around my home,
This living protective shield,
Healing and defensive,
Only to love shall it yield.”
“Historically, a witch’s garden held many treasures, and when it included a herbal hedge, could also protect her from prying eyes. The term “hedgewitch” comes from these medicinal hedges, which many European witches grew. The hedges virtually enclosed the garden and provided privacy not just for the practitioner, but for her visitors as well.
A large part of Aradia’s gospel concerns the use of herbs for health, balance, and healing. Infections were fought with garlic, which has antibacterial properties; parasites were killed with wormwood; pain relieved with a potion of dittany and white willow bark (which contains the same active ingredient as asprin). Streghe also used many ingredients from the hedge in their midwifery practices. Olive oil eased stretching skin and the birth canal; red clover cleared clots and the placenta; red raspberry leaves were a tonic for the uterus; and vervain was a restorative and astringent. Rue, with its triple-branching stem, could be seen as a symbol of the stregonerian pathway, as it was used during birth, in marriage ceremonies, and in funerals. Even the humble dandelion was used to increase urine production and as both a blood and a digestive tonic.
The darker side of herbalism, or hedgewichery, is poison making, also a skill of the streghe. Most knew herbal concoctions that could harm – and the Romans, it is said, were masters not only of the art of poisoning but of the art of the counter poison, the antidote.
This substantial herbal knowledge had its origins in Egypt. It was further formalized in ancient Rome by physicians such as Dioscorides. However, because the Church saw the practice of medicine as an attempt by physicians to play God, it was discouraged, whilst those who were ill were encouraged to pray and seek faith healing. Additionally, a concerted effort was made to suppress both the use of herbs for healing and sciences such as anatomy. Over time, much medicinal plant knowledge was lost. However, the oral traditional kept at least some of the herbalists’ craft alive, and by the mid-1500s there was a resurgence in the use of plants from the witch’s hedge.”*
~ By Stacey Demarco
Again we are called back to our roots; our deep connection to Mother Gaia and all she has to offer us. She encourages us to look to her to heal ourselves; through growing our own food if this is available to you, or supporting local farmers who do, and also using herbal medicine when possible.
We can can use food as medicine; preventative medicine. We can use proper nutrition as the building blocks to health and well being which will stave off many illnesses that plague our population today. By returning to the Earth, we reconnect with her abundance. She offers us healing on so many levels; body, mind and spirit. These systems are connected as one, and each needs to be treated with the utmost respect and nourished only with the most pure ingredients. We all inherently know this; even if we have forgotten, we now remember.
Bless our Great Mother for all that she offers us. Embrace her healing bounty by eating and drinking in sacred ceremony. Bless your food as you prepare it; bless it again before you consume it. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, moving away from artificial and processed foods and meats. In this way we can collectively heal ourselves as we help her to heal.
Another step in our ascension.