Here is a guide to the spirituality which lies behind the practice of solitary witchcraft. It is a magical spirituality because, to a witch, the boundaries between this world and the spirit realm are not firm. A mystical appreciation of spirit in all things is what makes a witch. So this book is for all the natural mystics — the hedge witches, as they are sometimes called. It describes practices which are far simpler than those in my earlier book, Hedge Witch, at least in technical terms. There is much less reliance on magical equipment and ritual and much more on magical prayer and upon inner journeying with our familiar spirits.
It may seem strange that a second book upon the subject of solitary witchcraft should deal with what is less complex than what went before. However, by one of those paradoxes so common in magic, it is true that the ’inner courts’ of our tradition are less full of procedure, formality and so on — and more to do with our psychic experience and our spirituality.
The full formal rituals described in Hedge Witch can still be very rewarding to enact. By learning the skills of wildwood mysticism (as our inner knowledge may be called), we can come to them with an increased psychic strength and understanding.
All the ideas in this book are drawn from traditional knowledge about the practice of travelling ’between the worlds’, and of relating to deities or spirits from middle Earth, the underworld or the upperworld. Such knowledge is, indeed, at the root of the tree of witchcraft. And when these techniques are allied with everyday tasks or simple ritual acts, we can help to bring back the lost magic to the world and to close the rift between the beautiful otherworld and our own, to the healing of all beings.
The book starts, pedestrianly enough, with a long look at the practice of Pagan prayer, as used by witches. Stay with it and it will fly you to other realms.
Samhain — 2000