What is Hedgecrossing? And why do witches do it? Most importantly, how do we do it?
Hedgecrossing is situating yourself at a liminal space and sending your spirit over to the wild side—a primal world beyond our own.
Witches cross the hedge because they get pulled or pushed over, because its a responsibility they have, or because they just want to. Witches might want to because there are initiatory experiences, training, communication with spirits, fairies and deities and soul work that can be done over there. You can even meet up with other witches from far away in time or space. Such work can be very fulfilling and or interesting.
Witches cross the hedge with meditative, ecstatic, hypnotic, dream and/or ethenogenic trance techniques.
The witch uses focus and concentration turned inward to a trance state that allows them to drift away from their regular conciousness into otherworld(s). There is sitting meditation which is a lot like zoning out or day dreaming, but usually with more direction to it. Sometimes one tries to empty their mind of distractions before travelling to be sure that their own shadow material isn’t overly influencing their journey. There is also walking meditation, which you can do of course while walking, jogging, cleaning, or any other repetitive activity. Witches might listen to drum music, trance music, or a guided visualization to assist them in venturing beyond their own minds into other places.
Ecstatic practices are typically very primal. The witch taps into a primal self and through that drops into the wild side. Witches might dance, drum, rock, howl, chant, use breath control or any number of techniques that pull them into a primal state of trance. Often ecstatic practices include working with familiars and/or shape shifting as part of the hedge crossing. Animal spirits and fairy companions are primal creatures and working with them assists the witch in reaching that state and traversing such a wild realm.
A witch can undergo hypnosis or self hypnotize to enter deep trance states that allow them to journey. The hynostist can lead the journey, or if the witch self-hypnotizes, they will use the state to go “oot and aboot.”
Lucid dreaming is a gateway to astral dreaming and hedgecrossing in your dreams. Once lucid dreams by realizing they are dreaming and then taking control of the dream and using this very liminal state to travel through dreamworlds to otherworlds. It is vital with this method even more so than other methods (Although it is always useful) to record what happened as soon as you wake up. It is easy to forget hedge crossing journeys and even easier to forget dream hedge crossings.
Some witches work with plant, animal and fungus materials to induce liminal states. Because these are natural chemical compounds, one has to be very careful about dosage, allergies, and other important safety measures. I find the simplest thing is to just deal with scent. A so called dream pillow is a great start. After checking for allergies, you can put herbs that encourage psychic opening in a dream pillow that you place beneath your regular pillow. The advantage in this is that if you have had enough, you can remove the pillow or yourself from the bed and usually can quickly get fresh air and return to normal consciousness. There are of course many other methods, that is just one of the simplest and more controlled ways.
Be careful. Arrange it so that someone will check in on you after a certain amount of time (an hour or two is good) when you induce trances of any kind (well besides regular sleeping!) and take good notes! If something is scaring you or not working for you, stop and talk to someone more experienced before you return. If you have uncontrolled trance states that come and go, its worth checking out with a doctor. Passing out randomly is not generally okay!