Pagan Portals--The Hedge Druid's Craft by Joanna van der Hoeven

Pagan Portals--The Hedge Druid's Craft by Joanna van der Hoeven

Author:Joanna van der Hoeven [Hoeven, Joanna van der]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-1-78535-797-8
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
Published: 2018-06-28T16:00:00+00:00

Part Three


Chapter Ten

Plant Lore

Anyone worth their salt working with the Hedge Druid’s Craft has got to know at least something about the local flora. To access the realm of plants means that we must come into good relationship with them. We begin to see the interdependence that we have on plants, the fact that we could not survive without them. The very fact that plants give off oxygen which we need to breathe, and take in the carbon dioxide that we exhale shows the very fundamental nature of this relationship, of give and take. The Hedge Witch, the Wise Woman, or the Druid would have a working knowledge of the plants in her area, their physical and spiritual/magical uses. Here I will go through a few of the plants in my local area in the East of England, which I work with, to give you an idea of how we can work with the realm of plants as a Hedge Druid.

Sometimes charms were used when picking and harvesting a plant. Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica published in the early twentieth century is full of country wisdom gleaned and recorded for posterity. Many of the charms and blessings in this six-part work are obviously of Pagan origin, and have been adapted for use by Christians. There are many examples of charms to be said for picking various herbs, and I would recommend taking a look at this material, as well as Morgan Daimler’s book By Land Sea and Sky, wherein she offers a re-Paganised version of the text. Always remember to give back for what you take: say a prayer of thanks, bury a penny in the soil, or give an offering of milk or honey to the plant. Also, never take so much that the plant will not recover. If you require the root, ensure that other plants are growing nearby. If it is the only plant in the area, leave it alone. Grow your own if you can. Note that harvesting and collecting many wild plants in Britain have strict laws surrounding them. Plants growing near roadsides may be too polluted to use; allow common sense to guide you.

Before you begin working with any plants, you must know exactly what species you are working with, whether it is poisonous or not, edible or inedible. Some plants will be contraindicative with certain medications, and so once again you must consult a qualified herbalist or medical doctor before ingesting any herbs. Some are poisonous merely through contact with the skin, and so when picking herbs you absolutely must know what you are doing. There are several plants and fungi here in the British Isles that are deadly; do not become a statistic.

Here are the three plants that I work with the most, in full detail:

NETTLE (Urtica Dioica); Plant Family: (Hamamelids)

Parts Used: Leaves, buds, rhizomes and roots.

Collection season: early spring for leaves and buds until they flower, seeds and roots in autumn.

Soil and Environment: Universal throughout British Isles and most of temperate world, found in forests, woods, river banks, under shrubs and bushes, wasteland – pretty much anywhere.


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