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Monday, January 20, 2020

Meet the Hedgewitch

Considering how much the blog has grown over the years, especially recently, I thought it would be beneficial to introduce myself a little better. For the most part, I haven't really done so!


So, hello! I'm Willow, the author and creator of Flying the Hedge. I am 31 years old and have been practicing witchcraft in some form since I was 15. I knew from a young age that Christianity didn't feel right, but I wasn't sure what did. My parents weren't very religious and allowed me and my younger brother to explore anything and everything we wanted without judgment unless of course, it was deliberately destructive and illegal. By the time I reached high school, all my friends were getting heavily involved in Youth Leadership and other Christian groups and tried to get me involved but it always felt forced and weird. I went to church maybe two times as a kid other than when I was baptized. It wasn't something my family ever did, and I had a hard time trying to fit into the church community as a teenager. That's about the time I started exploring the entirety of the local bookstore and wandered into the New Age section.

I spent a lot of time reading in middle and high school, mostly books about faeries and magic, and as I was reading over the titles in the New Age section I stopped and was like, "Wait, this is real? I can be a witch?!" I bought several books that day including Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf, Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, and a couple others I can't remember and no longer have. When I set all the books on the counter at checkout, the woman behind the counter gave me and my then-boyfriend a curious look, shook her head, and rang up the books. I spent the next several nights devouring the books. This was the most exciting thing to ever happen to me. You see, I grew up in the woods seeing spirits and talking with them; feeling the land breathe between my toes. I knew there was magic in the woods around my home, but I was always told I just had an active imagination. It was a relief to know there was something of value in what I had grown up seeing and believing. However, when I started to tell others that I was Wiccan, things became a little hostile.

You see, I live in Georgia and Georgia is not known for being very inclusive, especially if you aren't a white, Conservative, Christian. I remember during a class discussion a student decided to announce to the class that I should be burned at the stake for being a witch because I didn't agree with his interpretation of some scene in Alias Grace. Most of the class laughed, but I remember how isolated that made me feel. I was already different to begin with, and being a witch made things worse. This sort of stuff was pretty commonplace, but I brushed it aside and wore my spirituality with conviction.

I continued to practice and study, doing small magical workings here and there but nothing of any real substance. By the time I made it to college, I knew I was a witch, but I wasn't sure Wicca was right for me. It felt like rebranded Christianity. That's when I found The Way of the Hedgewitch and dove in deep. Now Murphey's book is not really about hedgecraft. It's more about rebranded cottage witchery, but it got me exploring hedgecraft in earnest. And that's when everything just...clicked. I didn't have to believe in deities. I didn't have to do elaborate ceremonial magic. I didn't have to believe in a bastardization of karma or the 3 Fold Rule. This...this felt right. This felt like my true self and I have never looked back. In college and for about 2 years or so afterward, I just sort of dabbled in hedgecraft. I was dating a man that would later become my husband that didn't support my spiritual beliefs and that made it difficult to want to practice. When we first got together, he seemed supportive, but as our relationship progressed, he made a point to comment to others behind my back about how he didn't believe such nonsense and not to lump him in with me and so on. Basically, he was calling me crazy to all my friends and family and trying to boost his esteem in the eyes of others. Shortly after we got married, however, I decided it was time for me to come back to the Craft in full force.

In 2014 I created this little blog without any real idea as to where this road would take me. I knew I had information to share (I had been studying for years!) and I wanted to share it. The past 5ish years have been an incredible journey, not all of it great. I've been sick, had surgery, battled depression and severe anxiety, dealt with an unemployed spouse, went back to school, switched jobs, moved every other year, bought a house, was mentally and emotional abused, bought my first car completely on my own, graduated with a Master's degree, got divorced, met someone new, changed my hair color, and so many other things.


When I got divorced in 2017, I felt like my life was over. Despite all of his flaws, I loved that man with everything that I was. A part of me still loves him and I know that that will probably never change, no matter how much the rest of me hates him and what he did over our 8 years together. But I was wrong about my life being over. The best part of my life was yet to come. While I am still struggling with several emotional issues, mostly anxiety now instead of depression, my life has never been better.

I currently live in a beautiful little home outside of Atlanta that I am constantly changing with my incredibly loving and patient boyfriend, three amazing cats (not familiars), and two fabulously sweet chickens. I enjoy blogging, reading, playing World of Warcraft, running, and honing my craft as a hedgewitch. Outside of this blog and witchcraft, I teach environmental science to a group of pretty incredible juniors and seniors. For those of you reading for a while, you know science is an important part of my practice and that's because I am a scientist at heart. I hold a Bachelor's in Biology with a minor in Geology. I originally wanted to be a paleontologist, but the Universe had other plans for me. I know I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing.

Oscar Wilde

Jane Austen


Charles "Charlie" Dickens

Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour

So there you have all my amazing animals. Haha! I have a post planned for some time this year diving deep into my cats and why they are not familiars, so I'll tell their story then. Today is about me!

Despite all the changes in my life over the past several years, I can honestly say starting this blog was part of what kept me sane. I absolutely enjoy researching, writing, and sharing my knowledge with all of you. It definitely keeps me sane and gives me the opportunity to express my creativity. I have a lot of amazing content planned for you guys this year, including a new series called Elemental Magic as well as several amazing posts inspired by the survey results covering a variety of topics. Shout out to all of you amazing witches that filled out the survey. It was incredible to read through everything and I can't wait to get started!

I know 2020 is going to be a great year. Here's to hoping we all have a good one!


13 comments :

  1. Hi Willow! I can't wait! You are the same age as my oldest son. I find that learning from youth changes the way i have been seeing my world! I'm a newbie witch but i feel it's also my destiny to find! This will be a favorite hang out in 2020!

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    1. Hello Teaghin! Thank you so much for following me and your really kind comment. I feel so honored that you are following me. I wish you all the best on your journey!

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  2. Nice to formally meet you! Turns out we're the same age, haha. Goodness, I'm trying to think of when I first discovered your blog. Maybe two years ago? I do remember that as soon as I discovered it, I went back and read EVERYTHING at a rapid pace. I've been researching witchcraft ever since childhood, but have only recently begun to formally practice. Your blog has been incredibly helpful for my personal journey, and for that I thank you.

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    1. Nice to meet you too Adrienne! I'm so glad you have found my blog useful and that you have enjoyed it. Keep at it! I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and thank you for reading.

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  3. I appreciate the experience and insight you have shared. I am 72 and have been studying the craft for just over a year. I recall being drawn to it when I was very young, how I felt at peace walking through the woods or walking in the rain. I rejected it then because of a strong religious upbringing. I have dealt with anxiety, depression, and dissatisfaction with the path I was on for many years. I returned to this interest I had in my youth. I began to study the craft and felt at home and at ease in a way I had not been since my youth. I have now embraced it and continue to study and practice it. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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    1. That is so wonderful, Joseph! I am glad that you finally have the opportunity to live your most authentic life. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you the best of luck on your journey. I hope it continues to bring you fulfillment and joy.

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  4. Good to learn more about you, Willow! I enjoy these type of posts. :) Look forward to the post about cats. I'm defintely a cat person, I had two cats (brother and sister) but they died in 2017 and last summer. Has felt so strange not to be a "cat mum" anymore after 20 years! :( (My girl cat was 17, nearly 18 and my boy cat 20). But I'm glad I got so much time with them. :)

    i can relate to having depression and anxiety as well. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead. <3

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    1. I can't believe it took me over 5 years to finally really introduce myself. I guess I just never really thought about it. I didn't think anyone would be really interested in my personal life, but boy was I wrong.

      I am so sorry about your loss. I've always had cats. There isn't a time in my life that I haven't had a cat and I can't imagine how you must be feeling without them. I remember when I was in elementary school and middle school losing the first set of cats my parents had together. Leo was 17 and Precious was 20 or 21 when she finally passed. It was so hard losing them. I'd never known life without them. I hope you are able to heal and bring some more kitties into your life.

      I hope that 2020 is better for you and full of new beginnings. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your life with me. :)

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    2. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your cats Leo and Precious. Yes, they were the only two cats I've had and it just seemed that they were "meant" to be in my life. Maybe that will happen again one day.

      Thank you! :)

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  5. There is only one remaining question... Alliance or Horde? :D

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  6. There is only one remaining question that matters: Alliance or Horde? :)

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