I wonder if it is easier to know who you are not rather than who you are? And who defines that anyway?
Years ago (perhaps 2013) I was in Ireland at a women’s conference, planning to present a psychodrama workshop on “Being Your Authentic Self.” I poked my head out of the door of my room (despite appearances, I tend to be quite introverted in large groups where “meeting and greeting” and small talk seems to be a requirement)- just as the woman in the room next door was poking her head out…I recognised her from the program and we chatted (briefly). One of the things she defined herself as was a “Hedgewitch” (or is it Hedge Witch?). I remember being curious and asking her about it (what is a Hedgewitch anyway?). I actually don’t remember her answer. I do remember that she oozed an “I’m special” vibe and a “mind your own business” vibe.
As it evolved, my workshop was poorly attended and I discovered once more that the word “Psychodrama” generates terror in many peoples’ hearts…And combined with authenticity, it was fatal. People said they were curious but didn’t come because they feared it would be too confronting…(What the hell is wrong with confronting? I have a personal love of it!)
Perhaps I am a Hedgewitch.
I have spent all of my professional life having to explain who I was and what I do (“Oh, what’s an Occupational Therapist? What’s Psychodrama? What’s that symbol you wear?”).
I have often found myself in the in-between places. Not quite a corporate woman, despite working long hours in management in a patriarchal corporation; not quite a business consultant, despite spending a good 20 years as one; not quite a good mother (by patriarchal definitions); not quite a good partner (patriarchal again); not quite new age or alternative. I love science, maths and structure… and I love trees, the spirit of place, sacred ancient landscapes and symbols, various Goddesses, ritual, the women’s mysteries and herbs.
I don’t know if there is a technical definition of Hedgewitch. She who lives on the edge of the village or town.
She who loves her own company, quality relationships and does not tolerate fools. She who understands structure and patriarchy and can work with this and the best that it brings without being seduced into patriarchal conformity. She who loves the earth and sentient beings and inhabits the wild borderlands. She who lives and celebrates the ways of women’s wisdom and healing but can also accept and use the best that western medicine has to offer.
Perhaps it is the Hedgewitches of this world who will form the bridge, or even the truly authentic and equal marriage of the best of patriarchy and the best of matriarchy (aka Cyclical Wisdom).
It’s a fear-some word that includes the word witch. Sharon Blackie in her book “Hagitude” talks of the “Witch Wound” having come about as a result of the witch burnings, and giving us a deep fear of being too different, or labelled as weird, a fringe dweller, an outcast (for these were the ones who were burned). Too confronting. Not chosen.
I think I am a Hedgewitch
Does any of this resonate with you?