The Hedge – Boundaries Between the Worlds

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Physical boundaries such as stone circles or hedges can also delineate a
boundary between this world and the Otherworld. In Witchcraft, Wicca
and Druidry it is generally acknowledged that there exist beings that are
separate from us, yet which also live alongside us in parallel worlds.
These beings are often called the Fair Folk, Faeries, the Fey Folk, The
Good Folk, the Tuatha de Danaan, The Little People, The Gentry and
more. These are creatures often connected to a place, or sometimes seen
as nature spirits. They are even more vast and diverse than the human
race. They live in a world that straddles ours, and here in Britain there
are certain times of the year when it is said that the veil between the
worlds is thin. These are times when we can easily cross over into the
Otherworld, and they can come in to ours. The tides of Beltane and
Samhain, (May Day and Hallowe’en) are when the boundaries are at
their most “open”. Other times of the year, such as the solstices, have
folklore and legends too regarding portals between this realm and the
realms of Faerie.
One Beltane a being of the Fair Folk came through the hole in the
hedge at the bottom of my garden. The energy of our Beltane ritual still
hung in the air, shimmering in the light of the full moon. I was now
alone in the garden, tidying up the lanterns and getting ready to put the
fire to bed. As I walked down the garden steps, my offering of milk and
honey in my hands, I made my way across the lawn to where the altar
and offering place lay beneath the canopy of an old beech, its leaves just
beginning to bud. I said a quick prayer as I entered that sacred space,
with nine small stones delineating the boundary of this “faerie circle”, a
“minilithic” stone circle I had built for meditation and ritual purposes.
As I walked into the circle, I felt the air thick with the magic of the
evening. I knew something was about to happen. I laid the food and
drink upon the altar, and gave my thanks to the spirits of place, and to
the Fair Folk. No sooner had the words left my mouth than a rustling in
the hedge all around me began. It was as if some strange wind was
shaking just the coniferous boundary of my garden, or a small army of
badgers were all coming through the little holes in the hedge at the same
time. My heart pounded in my chest as the moon shone through the
branches of the beech above me. Frozen in place, both excited and
frightened to see what happened next, I tried to see into the darkness of
the hedge, shadowed from the moon’s light, but I could perceive nothing
but the inky blackness.
The rustling all around me stopped, and I found I was able to move. I
knew that something had come through the hole in the hedge, but I
could not see it. Slowly I walked towards the firepit, hoping to see what
had come through by the light of the fire. I cautiously approached the
dying flames, and peered into the shadows about ten feet away. I could
see very little, but I felt a presence, someone – male – standing by the
birdfeeder and the hole in the hedge, shoulder-height to me, dressed in
shades of brown. Suddenly, even as I looked and felt his presence, he
moved without a sound like a dark shadow in the blink of an eye back
into the hedge, and there from the depths of the green and black two
eyes shone a whitish/green, reflecting the light of the fire. Whatever that
being was, he had changed into the form of a badger in the blink of an
eye, to watch me from the depths of the back hedgerow.
“Beltane blessings,” I murmured. Unsure of what to do next and still
very much afraid and alone, I curtseyed and then covered the firepit
with its iron mesh guard, walking back slowly towards the house. I had
wanted to ask for his friendship, and for that of all the Fair Folk, but my
courage failed me on that night of the full moon, as the powers of
Beltane and the Otherworld flowed through the land.