Magic for Hedge Witches – Sourcing Ingredients, Connection, Spell Building
Moon Books / John Hunt Publishing. Paperback (May 27, 2022) ISBN: 978-78099-421-5
‘Pagan Portals’ from Moon Books is providing a wonderful selection of primers for different aspects of paganism and pagan traditions. One of the authors is Harmonia Saille. I first met her in 2008/2009 when she was living in the Netherlands. We organised workshops and at that time her interest was in Runes. However we often talked about the ‘connection with nature’ and in 2012 she contributed an article with that title to WRO. (See details below). We would later meet in Ireland, where Harmonia’s family comes from, and she showed me a little more of her own ‘land spirits’.
I have always liked Harmonia’s down-to-earth (pun intended) approach. This book is full of practical advice and based on personal experience. She writes:
“The practical side of my magical practice is based on folk magic. Folk magic is an uncomplicated magic brewed up by cunning folk, the witch, or others. Uncomplicated does not mean “uninteresting” or “requiring little learning” though. Folk magic is a craft taught or self-taught over years and nowadays is often gleaned from or based on the ancient mixed in with modern knowledge or practices.”
Here we also see that she doesn’t pretend to be a ‘new tradition’ but acknowledges past wisdom and the blending of old and new. Building up what she calls ‘Connection’ with plants and nature spirits and ultimately the ingredients used, she also emphasises the need to build up a personal rapport. This is especially true for those living in cities and towns. Connections in general are important but the connection with wildlife takes a little more effort. She gives a couple of exercises in ‘Connecting’ and I don’t think it will surprise anyone when she describes the benefit of ‘talking to trees’.
Looking at ‘ancient wisdom’, Harmonia writes about ‘On sourcing old spells’. Looking at chants & spells, often “Christian in nature” she quotes from ‘The Discoverie of Witchcraft’ and other ‘books of magic’ and grimoires.
On the practical side, she discusses ‘Ingredients’, ‘The Magic of Trees’ and ‘Other Magical Ingredients Found in Nature’. As a divinatory system, she discusses Runes – the subject she gave workshops on in the Netherlands. She also describes how to use runes in spell-work.
There are several other chapters dealing with different topics including: Candle and Colour Magic; Magic and The Elements, with examples of elemental workings, for example for the Element of Water, with a ‘Spell Example – Bath Banishing’ or for Earth, with a ‘Spell Example – Prosperity for the Self or Home’.
In short, this book is a complete guide for the modern Hedgewitch and is highly recommended for beginners and seasoned practitioners.
There is also an extensive bibliography and a list of suggested books for reading.
Who is Harmonia Saille?
Harmonia Saille is a Hedge Witch and pagan of more than two decades. Her pathway includes hedge riding, nature, Celtic and Norse mythology, the Elder Futhark runes, scrying, tarot (and other forms of divination), and spiritual connection. She also practices magic (folk and shamanic). She studied at the Irish Centre for Shamanic Studies.
Harmonia has guest lectured in Modern Pagan Witchcraft at Liverpool John Moores University. She holds workshops on hedge witchery, the runes, and other subjects both locally and at international spiritual events. Harmonia’s articles have appeared in various spiritual magazines, and she was a co-founder of Irish Pagan magazine Brigid’s Fire. She is the author of Pagan Portals – Hedge Witchcraft and Hedge Riding, and The Spiritual Runes: A Guide to the Ancestral Wisdom.
Other books about Hedge Witchcraft by Harmonia Saille: