Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hedge Riding Series: Hedge Riding Etiquette: Do's and Don't's of Interacting with Spirits

Hedge Riding Etiquette: Do's and Don't's of Interacting with Spirits

Once your mind is ready to travel and your bags are packed, you are set to ride! Or are you? Not quite! There are a couple of things I need to get through in regards to etiquette and safety, then I promise you will be on your merry way to the Otherworld.

When you travel to the Otherworld, there are a number of spirits, angels, ancestors, and other other-worldly beings you will encounter, and as with every situation, there is proper etiquette to be taken when interacting with these spirits and beings. Here is a complete list of the do's and don't's of interacting with spirits.


Don't consume excessive amounts of alcohol prior to communication. I considered adding "don't use drugs" to the list as well, but because many legal plants help induce an altered state of consciousness, I decided to leave it off the list. Alcohol, however, is a depressant, thus slowing your reaction time and thought process, making focusing on the journey difficult. If you are able to successfully travel while completely smashed, you leave yourself open to spirit and energy influences that can bring you more harm than good. A good rule of thumb is to only travel with a clear mind. This ensures your safety. However, I recognize that alcohol can help focus the mind and aid in reaching an altered state of consciousness, so use your best judgment. I know for me personally, this is not something that works for me.

Don't hedge ride when you are ill, anxious, depressed, or otherwise mentally and/or physically unwell. Like excessive alcohol consumption, traveling while your body and mind are unwell leaves you susceptible to unwanted entities and energies which can cause you to become sicker. It's also harder to focus in general when you don't feel that great, so why put yourself through the trouble?

Don't take your animal and spiritual guides for granted. Your animal and spiritual guides, once you meet them, will bend over backward for you. That does not mean, however, that you can use them and take their power and wisdom for granted. If you mistreat your guides they will leave you. They are not your slaves, so do not treat them as such. In fact, no being you meet in the Otherworld HAS to help you, even if you ask nicely. Just like you can refuse to help someone, they can too. Respect their wishes and feelings as you would anyone else. I feel like consent is often overlooked when talking about spirits and our relationships with them and that is a mistake. Spirits do not have to consent to help you, interact with you, or even make themselves known to you if they don't want to, just like you have the right to refuse access to yourself.

Don't be afraid. While there are beings that can hurt you, especially in the Middle Realms, being fearful increases your risk. You know the saying, "Animals can smell your fear?" Spirits can too. Fear is a magnet. Furthermore, fear clouds your mind. It turns us into sniveling fools, which is the last thing you want to be while traveling in the Otherworld. Stay calm and focused, and you should have no issues.

Don't pry or continue to question once you have received an answer. If a spirit gives you an answer to a question, thank them for the answer and move along, even if you don't think they answered your question. More than likely they did; you have to figure out what it means. I am sure if someone kept poking and prying at you for more information you would likely get frustrated and upset. This is rude, so don't be that person doing it to spirits.

Don't be rude or disrespectful. This is a given, I hope. Treat every spirit you meet with respect. Once you establish a relationship with your animal and spiritual guides, it will become more obvious what you can and cannot say and do with them, just as you build a relationship with your friends. Rocar, my raven guide, is very sarcastic, temperamental, and condescending. Because I have built a relationship with him, I can treat him the same way he treats me. It's our way of showing the other we love them. I cannot, however, do the same with my fox guide, Meka. She is much more formal and full of grace.


Do set a purpose for your journey. Why are you traveling? Do you have a specific question in mind?
Do protect yourself. Prior to riding, make sure you have taken the proper precautions to keep yourself safe. Put up wards, cast a circle if you want, have your hedge riding sachet, or whatever else you feel you need to keep safe. You don't want to bring anything back with you!

Do ask questions. The whole purpose of hedge riding is to seek guidance, wisdom, and healing. This means you need to ask questions of the spirits you meet there.

Do greet your guides at the beginning of each journey. The very first beings you see in the Otherworld should be your animal guides. Greet them when you arrive. They came because you called.

Do say goodbye. When you are ready to leave, tell your guides goodbye. It's the polite thing to do!

Do say thank you. Sometimes you will hear that you shouldn't thank certain spirits or beings in the Otherworld. I have found that it is safer to give a respectful thank you and move on. Do not be profuse in your thanks; many of them don't like to be fawned over but do appreciate acknowledgment for what they have given you. Sometimes your thank you can be a smile or a nod.

Do ask your animals guides if you can ride them before you do. I doubt you want someone jumping on your back and yelling "giddy up!" Your animal guides want the same respect. There will come a point in your relationship where you no longer have to ask, but until then, make sure you have permission first.

Do trust your gut and intuition. If you get a bad feeling about something, trust your gut; it isn't lying. Sometimes negative spirits will present themselves as beautiful, friendly beings and after a while, something will seem off. Pay close attention and will any negative spirits away by telling them to go away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is a house that gives me bad vibes. I will not go near it or enter it because I am listening to the warning signs. 

Do close the door when you are done. Let everyone know you are done riding and close the door you created between our world and the Otherworld. This ensures the uninvited do not come back with you and helps cut the cord between you and the Otherworld, making it easier to come back. I envision this as shutting a literal door behind me, aka my garden gate if I am in my garden or the entrance to the cave door I pass through when traveling to the Lower Realm.

Do ground and center before and after riding. Grounding and centering prior to riding puts you in the correct mindset while doing so afterward brings you back fully to our reality. It also helps pull all your 'pieces' back to you. You can learn more about how to do this in my Spellcrafting Series post on grounding and centering

Do write everything down. When you are all done, make sure you record your ride. There are many messages you likely received that will need interpreting. Writing it down helps you remember important details and allows you to revisit the messages regularly. I keep a separate journal specifically for hedge riding so I can reference the journeys later to interpret messages and whatnot.

Do practice. Hedge riding and communicating with spirits is not easy. It takes time, energy, and practice. You may feel physically drained after the first couple of rides. That's normal. Once your mind and body get used to riding, those feelings should go away. For the first couple of rides, you may not do much. Sometimes it takes multiple rides to even access the Otherworld. However, once you enter for the first time, it should be easy from then on out.

Most of these should be common sense, but there is no way I would send you out on your own without stating the obvious because while I may think they are obvious, some of you may not think so. In the next post, I will discuss hedge riding safety in more detail to ensure all of you are safe prior to riding. I have already touched on some of this in my preparation post but would like to give you some specifics as well. We are almost ready to ride!

Interest in the rest of the series? Make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming posts!

Hedge Riding Series

Looking for more information on hedge witches? Check out my posts on the topic:


  1. Hi there! I just happened to stumble accross your articles here, and WOW I love them!! The way you write is so in depth, and I'm very much looking forward to the rest of this series!!

    1. Thank you for reading! I am glad you found them helpful.

  2. Thank you so so much for all your posts! They're so helpful to me, as just having begun my journey on this path as a Witch . When I read this particular post, I imagined you as a very old wise woman and as I continued to read some of your other posts, I saw that in your pictures your actually a beautiful woman close to my age! I was nervous about trying to begin hedge riding because I assumed you'd had 50+yrs. Of experience and that I having just stumbled upon this topic, couldn't possibly do it as well. But I'm glad I read this and found your page. Thank you so much for the sharing of information! I am very grateful for your help and knowledge of hedge riding and I look forward to my journeys in the other would soon to come!

    1. Thank you for reading and I'm glad you are finding them helpful. Yes, I am a "young" witch; I will be turning 30 this October. You're never to young or old to practice, and to be honest, I have only been hedge riding about 2 and a half years or so. Its new to me too, but it is one of my favorite things to do. I wish you the best of luck on all your journeys!


This witch loves to hear from her readers, so please share your thoughts below!