I’ve spoken before about the path that led me to starting Hedge Witch Botanicals, and about the intent that I (try to) bring to my work, and as we enter the third spring, I’ve found myself reflecting again on my mission.
When I left work in nonprofit administration, I was incredibly burnt out. I found myself deeply dissatisfied with a culture that ignored the cost of the emotional labor of its members, and in turn started a deep-dive into what radical self-care really meant for me. I began to pursue things that brought me joy— slowing down, making something by hand, connecting with the long tradition of herbalism and the archetype of the witch.
I have said many times before, I believe there is something both inherently satisfying and quietly revolutionary in becoming learned in a practical art, and in using something lovingly crafted by another person. When I developed my apothecary line, it was with a focus on slow living and intentionality. As I expanded Hedge Witch Botanicals to include tarot services, I’ve focused on offerings that are meant to explore mindfulness and radical self-care in my clients.
Now, in this time of global uncertainty and the collective grief of late-stage capitalism, it feels so very important to go back to this foundation. I am once again calling on the things that bring me joy—slowing down, making things by hand, and exploring the archetype of the witch. In any reading on the history of witch persecution in western culture, one can’t help but see how often the term is used to further the demonization of marginalized figures—often women and femmes who dare operate outside of patriarchal, colonial, and capitalist power structures.
We are seeing the failures of these systems with painful clarity every day, but with this clarity comes the opportunity to strive for other ways of being. To paraphrase Proposals for the Feminine Economy, we have the opportunity to transform our relationship to money and work, to the earth, to our bodies, and to each other. This is a time when we are all being called upon to be more witchy, to ask ourselves how we might operate outside of those systems of oppression and intentionally transform the world around us.
Anyway, pictured is a hag stone, or an adder stone. In western mythology, they were believed to both protect against and be instruments of witches, and it was said that they provided a window to other worlds. This one was gifted to me this week by the most thoughtful of witches, and I’m wearing it on a silver chain as a reminder: other worlds and other ways of being are possible.