Monday, May 16, 2011

Magical Threshholds and the Norse World Hedge

Strong energies radiate from everything (and everyone) that occurs naturally on Earth, although to varying degrees. Thresholds are border areas  where one force, power or element encounters another. 

Thresholds are divisions and boundaries where two forces simultaneously meet, separate and diverge. These meeting places are potentially the most powerfully charged areas of all. 


Thresholds exist everywhere! The most obvious  are seashores or riverbanks where water meets land, but there are many, many others.  They may be literal areas,(the threshold of a door, for instance) but thresholds are also a crucial magical concept intrinsic to witchcraft and shamanism. The most obvious thresholds are geographical locations but there are metaphoric thresholds too. 

Norse Shamans have served as thresholds (mediums) between the general population and the world of spirits. This is an ancient and metaphoric observation. The words hag and hex derive from root meaning "hedge", the boundary between wild and tame. 


Birth and Death are thresholds between realms. Birth transforms a person into a parent.


The Norse possessed a mythic concept of the "Haga," the all-enclosing World Hedge, which separates the world under human domain from wilderness. This Haga is a thorny boundary that keeps the wild forces at bay. 


The hedge serves as the boundary but the hedge is also a force of nature: if not cut back  periodically it expands. Hedges threaten order and civilization: left alone, hedges inevitably overtake cultivated vegetation. Without vigilant pruning and maintenance the Earth Mother inevitably reclaims her land. 


The hedge marked the threshold and the boundary of human domain. The shyest birds and other animals live deep in the forest but others, curious threshold animals, those with less fear of people, often make their home in the hedge. Predatory animals, those who might prey on humans or their livestock, linger in the hedge too. 

The hedge was a the threshold where humans could commune with wild nature, with spirits, birds, animals and other realms and planes of existence. Many shamanic plants (psychotropic plants) thrive in the hedge. The hedge is the birthplace of Shamanism. 


Brightest of Blessings,
Lory


 

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