by Katie Lightfoot from Brownies and Broomsticks, the first Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates
So right after I move to Savannah to start up the Honeybee Bakery with my aunt and uncle, Aunt Lucy springs the news that she’s a witch. And not only is she a witch, I am, too. See, it runs in my family. On both sides, it turns out.
“Our family specialty is called hedgewitchery,” she said. “It’s one of the gentler branches of magic.”
“Specialty?” I squawked. “Lucy!”
“An affinity for herbal lore, herb craft, and a heck of a green thumb. All of which you possess,” she said.
I couldn’t argue the point, at least not for long. I love to garden, especially herbs, and have long experimented with interesting combinations in cooking and teas. It took me a while to get used to the idea, but now so many things I’d wondered about make sense. The idea that cooking, particularly with specific herbs and focused intention, is a kind of magic resonates deeply with me.
A hedgewitch is sometimes called a green witch or a natural witch. Lucy tells me that in our family it means someone who practices magic with and through nature in the manner of traditional village witches. The “hedge” refers to the hedge that used to surround many villages. Back then most witches were healers, and many of the plants they gathered for their craft came from that green space.
Of course the “hedge” can also refer to the veil between this world and the next. I understand that many witches, like shamans, practice magic that allows them to cross that veil at will. Lucy tells me that my father, who is part Shawnee, is pretty talented at it. I think I’ll just stick with brewing magical cups of tea and adding a little extra oomph to the baked goods at the Honeybee for now!
Have you ever heard of a green witch before? Do you believe in the healing power of herbs?
Bailey Cates writes the Magical Bakery Mysteries. They feature new witch and baker Katie Lightfoot and are set in Savannah, Georgia. The first in the series, Brownies and Broomsticks, released this month in paperback and ebook formats from NAL/Penguin. She also writes the Home Crafting Mystery Series as Cricket McRae. The sixth in the series, Deadly Row to Hoe, will release this November from Midnight Ink/Llewellyn.