Tudorbeth offers us the chance to peek into another dimension through the ritual of meadow bathing
“Feel the renewed energy of the earth rising from the meadow into your body”
Have you ever wanted to look beyond where you are and see into another place? A place you know is there, but haven’t yet been able to see? For centuries, hedge witches (traditionally witches who lived on the borders between villages) were said to be able to see into other realms, through the ritual of meadow bathing, by following seven magical steps or ‘invitations’.
Here we’ll explore each one and what it means. Join me for the journey.
As you practise, look out for sparks of light, shadows out the corner of your eye, dancing orbs, spheres of rainbow light, strange feelings throughout your body like a mild electric current running up and down your spine, strange tingling in your head, or the feeling or sensation you are walking through a spider’s web, feeling the silken web across your face and skin. These are all signs that you are entering another realm. Do not be alarmed, no harm will come to you merely accept these encounters as part of becoming a hedge-witch.
Brush the dust away
Exactly what it sounds. You have just arrived at the meadow, you may have come from the city after a long week at work. You may have driven to get to the meadow. Step out the car, stretch, and literally brush your arms as if you were wiping something from you. Stamp your feet on the ground as if you were stamping the snow off your boots. Do not think about the meadow yet. Concentrate on your movements.
Step into the meadow and become aware of your surroundings, take a moment to acknowledge the trees, animals, birds, plants. Reach out your hands a little from your sides and with palms facing down feel the energy rising to you. You may brush the wild cicely or cowslip, sweep over the poppies. Walking deeper into the meadow become aware of any movement you see in front and at the side of you. If you begin to see flickers of light, or sparks of light at the side of you, then stop where you are for a moment. Close your eyes and then continue with your heart into the meadow until you feel the palm of your hands warm or begin to tingle, this is where you stop. This is the heart of the meadow for you.
If there are poppies, cornflowers or any tall flowers blowing in the wind. Watch their dance as they sway in the moment. With your arms by your sides, take slow deep breaths and begin to mimic the dance of the poppy, breathing in and out all the time. Gentle, soft and free. Feel the worries drain from you through your arms and out from your palms falling away to the ground.
Focus your mind upon a tree or something else that draws your attention within the meadow. Close your eyes and still see the object with your eyes closed, like looking at a light then closing your eyes and the imprint of the light is in within your vision.
Lay down where you are in the meadow. Rest your head on the ground with your palms facing down, watching the clouds dance and breathing slowly in and out. Allow yourself to drift away. Feel with your senses the sights, sounds, the touch of the ground, the plants and the motion of life all swirling around you, within you, and through you, as you continue deeper into your mediation.
Afterwards when you feel ready, stretch, raising your arms above your head as you take a deep breath in and then breathe out releasing that energy. Move your toes, then ankles then knees, feeling the stretch rising within you every joint and every muscle. Feel the renewed energy of the earth rising from the meadow into your body. Gradually get up very slowly. Do not jump, all movements must be slow as you have been meditating for quite a while.
As you are taking in all of this motion and life around you, become aware of what you are hearing, the sound of the trees, the creak of the branches, the rustling of the hedgerows, the birds singing, the squirrels scurrying along the bark of the trees, the wind dancing through the leaves, the whispers from another realm trying to come through to you. Feel the strength within you now of all the power of the meadow, whatever life is there flowing into you. As you begin your journey to walk back step over the daisies that greet you in the meadow.
Thank the meadow
As you leave the meadow remember to say thank you to every plant you come across by gently brushing it as you walk past. Thank your hosts for the gracious time they have given you. Thank the fae for their presence and thank the other realms for their support of your path. Leave the meadow with magic and a new sense of serenity that you have never felt before.
3 flowers to look out for as you bathe
As you journey towards a meadow you will notice the different kinds of flowers growing. Here are just a some you can find in the British countryside.
Traveller’s Joy: Clematis vitalba
Traveller’s Joy is also called Old Man’s Beard and its easy to see why with its fluffy white flowers. It is a member of the clematis family and so grows everywhere trailing and travelling up hedgerows and walls.
Cow Parsley: Anthriscus sylvestris
So many people complain about this plant and yet it is beautiful with its huge leaves and white flower heads. It grows wild along our hedgerows and in meadows it dances free. It is also known as wild chervil and we use it in many spells.
Dog-Rose: Rosa canina
This beautiful flower is otherwise known as wild rose and can be found around the world. The pale pink flowers are perfect for spells and charms of love and especially romantic love. The rosehips that colour our hedgerows are full of vitamin C and it is for this reason that it was planted all over the world purely for the harvesting of its rosehips which can be turned into teas, syrups and marmalades.
A practising white witch for over 40 years, she is the Principal of The British College of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Visit thebritishcollegeofwitchcraftandwizardry.org