Sunday, March 10, 2024

The Future of Flying the Hedge

For the past several years I have felt an extreme disconnect from my practice, which has noticeably overflowed into my blog. I often feel like I am forcing spells, rituals, altar setups, and magical workings for the sake of creating content or being a "good" witch. This doesn't mean I don't still feel a deep connection with witchcraft, but something is off. I don't feel that pull like I used to, which has left me feeling relatively empty. At first, I attributed this emptiness to other factors in my life, but the more I reflected, the more I realized what was missing was, in fact, spiritual.

I am sure we have all felt this at some point in our spiritual journey; what used to bring us joy no longer sparks it; what used to leave us feeling fulfilled instead drains our chalices. This is a normal part of spiritual growth and one I have personally been putting off because of various things in my life. I will admit I am a stubborn woman and sometimes this stubbornness, mixed with anxiety, prevents me from moving forward, especially when moving forward means significant changes.

Since starting this blog in 2014, my life has been very tumultuous. It has quite literally been the definition of 'through our ups and downs." Despite all that has changed over the years, I have continued to blog, sometimes out of passion and other times out of perceived obligation. I know most of you don't expect content multiple times a week, but I have set the expectation for myself to continue to provide the community with free resources, even if it's only a couple times a month.

My blog has served many purposes in my life during this time. It has served as a source of inspiration, a creative outlet, a business opportunity, and a connection to the witch community. I am so glad I made the choice to start blogging about my journey and stick with it all these years, despite other's protests. My mother has never fully supported my blog or my public admission of practicing witchcraft. Despite her love and support for me, I believe she cares too much about what others think. I don't know if she is afraid for me or afraid of what her church will think of her. My ex-husband believed my practice was dumb and downright embarrassing, talking shit behind my back to our mutual friends. He told me, on more than one occasion, that I was wasting my time and that nothing would ever come of this. He isn't the only man to have said this to me over the years either. It's difficult to continue a practice, especially on a public forum, when the people closest to you don't support you. As witches, we hear a lot of criticisms about our beliefs and practices to the point it makes us question why are do it at all. I find it very difficult to continue practicing when I feel constantly judged, demeaned, and ridiculed by the very people who are supposed to support me. Despite all this, I do not regret a single moment of my spiritual journey. This blog has brought me such joy and opportunities over the years, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

By now some of you may be worried. Rest easy. I have no intention of ending my blogging career. I love blogging. It combines so many of my passions into one: witchcraft, writing, creating, researching/learning, teaching, and reading. If I had to describe myself using tarot cards, I would use the Queen of Swords. I love to learn and to share my knowledge with others. If I could, I would be a chronic student, much like Flynn Carson in the movie The Librarian. Since I can't be a chronic student, blogging is a pretty close second. I spend hours upon hours researching for the majority of the posts I write, from Herbarium posts to book reviews to comprehensive guides. I rely heavily on Google Scholar, GAELLIO, and other peer-reviewed databases, on top of books and the knowledge of other practitioners. I genuinely enjoy the process, but it is very time-consuming.

Despite how much I love writing and sharing my knowledge with all of you, I have felt for the past three-ish years that the content I am creating is more focused on what others want aka what's most popular or 'trending' in the witchcraft world, instead of what I am interested in. Celebrating the Wheel of the Year and observing the phases of the Moon no longer resonates with me. I often feel like an outsider in my own body when I attempt to celebrate these things with spells, rituals, and altars. I even feel disconnected when performing more mundane types of daily magic, like stirring my intention into my morning tea or even cleansing a space. It feels so forced and fake now when it didn't before.

I can't pinpoint exactly when I started to feel this way, but I can say the pandemic was the catalyst. I'm sure I'm not alone here in my feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and frustration. These emotions have overflowed into my practice, to the point where I have almost completely stopped engaging in magical workings. And yet I can still hear the whisper of my ancestors, my spiritual guides, and the Universe calling my name, bidding me to follow them into the darkness. It's time I listen to their call despite my negative emotions telling me to plant my feet and remain an unmoveable force.

So what does this mean for the future of Flying the Hedge?

Well, I'm not entirely sure yet. What I do know is the following:
  • I am going to continue writing and sharing my experiences on this platform.
  • Herbariumbook reviews, and hedge riding posts are staying. These are my favorite posts to research and write and despite the lull in my practice, hedge riding is still important to me.
  • I will no longer be posting about the modern, Wiccan-inspired Wheel of the Year or moon magic. This means Wheel of the Year altars, spells, rituals, and crafts will stop. These practices no longer serve me and despite their popularity, feel like lies. I strive to be authentic and in order to remain an authentic blogger, I need to write from a place of passion.
  • Spiritual activism will become a larger part of my blog. I am deeply passionate about collective liberation, anti-racism, and creating an equitable world for all through both spiritual and non-spiritual means. This is one of the few things that has kept me spiritually active despite how I have been feeling.
  • It's going to take me some time to find my way out of this darkness and this means my blog will grow and change as I do.

There is a good chance my content will be sporadic for a while, even disjointed as I find my way. For the last year, I have heard my Scandinavian ancestors whispering in my ear, beckoning me to follow them. It was ever so faint at first, but the tug that was once just a tickle has become a forceful pull. My desire to study Norse paganism, seiðr, and ancestral work has become a constant itch that I have been unable or unwilling to scratch. My Scottish ancestors, some of whom are also of Scandinavian descent, have also been whispering their support. It's high time I listen.

With such changes in my spiritual journey and therefore the content of my blog, there may come a change in my blog's layout. I haven't decided yet but sometimes the best way to symbolize a major shift in your life is with a complete overhaul of your look. A branding refresh if you will.

Needless to say, I hope that all of you will stick around as I continue to document my journey, even though it's shifting in a new direction. Despite practicing for over 20 years now, I know there is so much more I need to learn and growing I need to do. Witchcraft is a life-long journey and hopefully, my story will help others follow their own authentic path.

Warmest regards,

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  1. Thank you for your honesty. I, too, have struggled with my practice (part of which encompassed posting my daily oracle/tarot pulls on Instagram). I look forward to seeing where your blog goes in the future!

    1. Its good to know we aren't alone in this. Its okay to not be okay. Its okay to take a break. Its okay to not be perfect. I appreciate your support. <3

  2. Thanks for sharing about where you're currently at with your practice and this blog. I've been blogging for almost 13 years now and sometimes I find myself struggling to think of content. I can see how hard it must be to blog publicly about witchcraft when those close to you don't support you.

    Following the Wheel of the Year is one of my main practices but I understand that we all resonate with different things. I enjoy learning about different types of witchcraft and beliefs, so will continue to follow your blog. Look forward to following your journey. :)

    1. I feel the same way about content! I am amazed every time I find someone who is cranking out content multiple times a week for years on end. I don't know how they do it, especially those that are so niche. Sometimes its such a struggle and I find myself creating content simply to appease the masses and not because its something I am interested in.

      I love that witchcraft has become more mainstream and that we are growing the way we are, but what's trending and popular doesn't speak to my soul the way it used to. I have been feeling like I am something is wrong with me. I felt the same way about being able to love my last partner. I kept feeling like I was stuffed up or blocked, but the truth was, I genuinely didn't love him. I can't keep forcing myself to do things to please others. Being authentic and honest is really important to me, so its time I leave what no longer works behind and dive into the unknown!

      Keep being awesome and writing three blogs at once you amazing creature!

    2. It can be really hard to find inspiration sometimes!

      I've struggled with feeling like I'm broken inside myself, due to mental health issues and just not feeling "right". I agree that it doesn't work if you force yourself to do things to please others. I'm glad you're finding the right path forward for you! :)

      Thank you! <3

  3. As an older woman I can tell you life has its ebbs and flows and we have to learn to go with them. You sound like you are coming into your wisdom and getting real with yourself. Welcome to the beginnings of being a crone in its true sense. It’s not an easy journey but well worth it.

    Congratulations for breaking a cycle that doesn’t work and I totally agree regarding the practices that don’t feel right.

    I look forward to you shining through your blog posts.

    All the very best.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. They brought a tear to my eye. I hadn't thought about it that way, but I think you might be on to something. I really needed to hear your words. Again, thank you. <3

    2. As a crone myself (and loving it), I went through this a few years ago in a big way and still take these kinds of inventory from time to time. Its very freeing; I completely agree with everything said.

  4. Love this. I've read your blog for a while now and am so excited to see where you go with it. Thank you for taking us with you!

    1. Thank you, Katie, for your continued support. I wish you all the best and I'm thankful you're here traveling with me. <3

  5. Willow, this is my first comment on your blog, although I have been a reader for quite a while and really enjoy your content and perspectives. What you wrote in this post resonates so much with my path and spiritual journey. I am an animist Norse pagan witch and also a spiritual activist with very similar beliefs and convictions to what you described in your post. I have a hedge riding practice and practice ancestor veneration as well. I was so excited to read about the new direction you are taking with the blog and your practice because it's actually really hard to find similar minded practitioners! At least in my area (southern Appalachia)! I can't wait to see where this new path leads 😊

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I live in southern Appalachia too (North GA)! How exciting that you have been called to a similar practice. I feel a lot less alone on this path now. Please keep in touch. <3

    2. I definitely will! I am in Western NC not far from Asheville. Not too far away!

    3. Yeah! You are like 3.5 maybe 4 hours at most away from me. That's awesome!


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