Ancestors

Folk Magic 

When I was young, my Aunty gave a photo to her Aunty back in Portugal one who practised old folk magic cursing him after she left him. He didn’t sleep for 8 and a half months because he was convinced he kept seeing the same old woman sweep the inside of his house every night not long after the sun went down fitting the exact description of my Aunty’s aunty. 

He broke the curse by not feeding the fear and eventually his life changed and that was the end of that. 
My mother would place an upside turned horse shoe on the front and back windows to bring luck and prosperity.
Shoes was another thing. The way a person left their shoes beside our door told us what was to come for them and how they were feeling inside. It was never wrong. 

Brooms were also important. They way they stood, if they fell, where in the house a guest may have picked up the broom and placed it elsewhere told us what was to come. 

Gypsy folk magic. These small things shaped a big part of who I am now which I was taught by the age of 6. Turkish coffee, jewellery and card readings all came later. 

Natural medicines and how to bring in good and bad luck also came later. Things were never lost and handed down generation after generation things I’ve taught my daughter. 

Though these things may appear to be small, they link back to our ancestors and how they once lived. It brings knowing, intuition and of course the magic of other worlds into our lives.  It gives us stories, hope and insights but most of all it shapes how we choose to see the world and what we choose to see in the world. 

Advertisements
Pagan Deities

Deity Worship

Pagan Goddesses and Gods, there can be a place for them in our practice. Though not needed I can see why it helps women come back to themselves. I don’t look to any particular deity in my practice though I did once upon a time, but the deeper I went and started individuating my own path, the deities I once looked to naturally fell away. I am now standing in the flow of the Mystery nothing else is needed.

How I saw deity worship was like giving personality to the mystery to strengthen what is needed, whether conscious or not, within ourselves. I certainly saw that for myself even at the time I was looking to Goddesses for support. I do see how deities are very real for people because again how I see it, over time people have given such belief and love to personifying the mystery which I do see and feel how that belief can be very real when something has been given worship, focus and devotion for thousands of years.

No I’m not dismissing anyone who chooses to have deities in their practice actually the opposite. I believe pagan Gods and Goddesses are an important focus to connect to when we’re searching for a connection in an earth based practice. When we’re called to the Mystery it’s all too overwhelming, to not believe in anything that gives it a sense of realism and focus with a set of loose beliefs offering the freedom and knowing we’ve been searching for to come back to the earth, to the old ways, and the knowing we feel inside.

I remember when I didn’t feel the call to any particular Goddess I remember questioning my practice as a witch. Before that I experienced an overwhelming draw to study on every Goddess I intuitively felt was reaching in wanting me to know more, and of course I followed. I couldn’t tell you how many there were because there was so many but I believe the experience was like an initiation because not long after that I didn’t feel the need to look to any Goddess. I experienced a content emptiness which contained the calming and chaotic nature I knew to be every Goddess I studied and experienced. I went beneath the beliefs and found my own and most of everything I believed pretty much washed away from that moment.

There’s a freedom in not feeling I needed to look to anything but myself and what flowed inside and outside of me. I knew that already of course but it also gave me a more independent sense of self and really finding what love truly meant. A deeper knowing of the freedom love gives. It’s a challenging one to put in words unless experienced and every so called spiritual belief just fell away. Fucking fantastic yes but getting to the point of the post is how pagan deities can point us to the direction of this knowing if we choose to go deeper. I have a love for pagan deities and will share more of each Goddess on my pages that I have studied. I didn’t feel the need to explore pagan Gods to the extent of Goddesses though I did but it was the Goddesses which was the centre point of my practice and I can understand with my appreciation for my own gender, working with and empowering women.

I learnt a lot through my study of paganism and encourage anyone that is drawn to, to go there.

Leaving you with the Goddess Hekate one of the Goddesses I fell in love with through my practice and I love the stories and mythologies of Hekate, Queen of the Witches.

hekate___the_goddess_with_three_faces___by_heartyspades-d8rav71
Hekate – Artwork by HeartySpade at Deviant Art

 

Ancestors

How to Establish a Relationship with your Ancestors 

First of all I want to say this is different for everybody and I encourage you to first research how it’s done in your culture or the culture you’re drawn to the most if your mixed blood which most of us are.

There’s no right or wrong way and listen to what your intuition says because spirit speaks to us through our knowing. 

You don’t have to practice witchcraft to have a relationship with your ancestors. I encourage it noneoftheless. The importance of bringing your kin into the physical world to draw on their love, support, wisdom and courage is nothing short of a blessing and nothing honours their life more than walking your individual path that is your own and not one that is mixed with conditioning or other people’s beliefs but one that really aligns and heals the threads of those that have come before you. 

As I mentioned above, first research your cultural lineage. You don’t need to know those that have passed before you to honour their life. On my slavic side, I know of a couple of women who have passed though I didn’t know them personally that doesn’t matter, I have grown to know them through developing a relationship with my ancestors and strengthened the connection by researching the mythological stories of my culture and speaking to those that are living on how they once lived and what traditions are still practiced today. 

Creating an ancestral altar and tending to it everyday and speaking to them like they are in front of you is encouraged. What you have on your altar is a personal one that represents your ancestors and culture or cultures. 

For example, photos of the dead. Those that have passed on, candies, incense, pieces which represent the dead. I have two skulls that are permanently on my table, and anything that may represent your culture/s. Also offerings. Offer if you know those that have passed on and what they liked in the physical offer it on your altar. If they smoked offer tobacco, if they drank offer the alcohol they loved, coffee, food from the last meal of the day (in my culture) whatever you feel that is appropriate. 

I encourage developing a strong relationship with them for a year at least before asking anything from them besides guidance. So I wouldn’t ask for them to help you with your craft until you have developed a strong connection to them. They maybe your family but you always approach any spirit with respect. 

Be aware that not all ancestors are not easy to get along with. Some were complete arseholes when they were alive and depending on their choices they may not have evolved. People have this idea when the living have passed, they suddenly become all knowing, not the case. You will have ancestors that also may not like you. Still honour them as they are your kin and you are responsible to do what you can to heal your ancestral thread. 

Why honour your ancestors? 

Because they are you. They are inside you. Generations of love and experience have moulded you into the person you are today. How you choose to be and live is how you honour the ones before you and the ones to come. We are responsible for those behind us and those before us and our relationship to our own is something that will continue on after we have return to soil. 

The more you choose to live the life that is your own, one of integrity, authenticity, respect and love and changing the dysfunctional patterns in your family to something that is loving and honourable walking the path of your real self, you are healing so many behind you and those that are to come. 

If you have any questions please let me know and if you find this informative I would love if you could share it as I would love to grow this community. 

xxx

Poetry/Storytelling

The Crows 

When you walk through death so many times the pain is almost delicious.

The Crows

I laid on the wet grass watching my breath caress the night air.

Unable to move

Pain in my chest and lower abdomen was growing

I was burning

I chose to fiercely confront my own death

The grief was unbearable

Hot tears spilled as I lay there motionless

I wanted crow to take me home

As I slowly began to sink in between worlds

I saw visions of darkness, blue black feathers filling my mind

Comforting me I slipped into the nothingness

I was still alive but in a different way

There was no more fear or pain just peace and not knowing

Not knowing what was to come

Not knowing where I was travelling to but I was travelling

I could feel myself moving

Transforming

I woke up from what I was already awake in

To more pain

More sorrow

Grief filled me again but I felt stronger this time

The walking dead

I walked for as long as I could burn through the pain

Until the crows came again

Peace filled me

Tears dripping down my face

I was comforted once more

Death stroked my hair

Took my pain away and left me in the nothingness

Where I waited to live again

Written by Astara Lak’ech (c)