Ancestors 101


If you are going to make an altar to the ancestors, keep in mind these points.

Firstly, not all ancestors will wish to be on your altar. When you first place a photo of the ancestor(s) you wish to have on your altar, light the candle and ask them if they wish to be on the altar. If they do not, whatever their reason, respect their wishes and remove their picture. Bear in mind that ancestors may change their mind – my mother-in-law said she did not want to be in contact with me via my altar, then a few months later the other ancestors said she’d changed her mind and wanted back on.

Secondly, the ancestors on the altar will have all the same faults and virtues that they had when they were alive. If an ancestor is an untrustworthy son-of-a-gun when s/he was alive, they’ll still be like that after death. Only venerate the ones which will support you in your life. I have not yet had an ancestor turn up who I did not wish to be in contact with after death, but if I did I would politely request them to leave. If the ancestor did not I would then research banishing rituals for spirits.

Thirdly, I have heard that you should wait a year and a day after their death to invite them to your altar. I was going to do that after my Poppa (mother’s father) died only because it seemed like a decent interval. However, he turned up on my altar six months after he died. This may be an exception, as he was always a people person and my son is named after him, which may be a good reason for hearing from him sooner than I thought. I would still wait a year and a day, but it would be insulting to ask them to come back later if they turn up before that interval.

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Candles


A lit candle makes a connection to an entity, whether it be the ancestors, spirits or a deity.

Either the candle being dedicated to the entity you want to connect to or a photograph will help matters.

So not a Witch’s Garden


When we were looking for a house to live in, one of the few stipulations I made was that it had to have a decent garden. Luckily, we did not end up with the huge garden I wanted, as it’s difficult enough to manage the small garden we have.

To start with, the garden was covered in either ivy or bluebells. If I had known what I had known now, I would have napalmed the lot. Whatever you do, do not plant bluebells in your garden. They are a devil to remove and I’m still trying to kill the blighters after seven years of gardening. I cut all the ivy down and have a wand with a diameter of an inch as a result. I kept quite a few other pieces, but unfortunately those were stored in the garden shed, something got in and made holes in them, so I lost the lot. I now store wood in the garage to cure.

The garden and lawn has suffered from my ignorance. When I was growing up my parents had just let the lawn be, but the soil in my current garden is clay so we are prone to moss and I knew nothing of drainage holes and still know little of weeding the lawn. I have nearly banished all the moss and this year’s lawn project is to buy edging and use it to mark a border, as one of the side borders is merging with the lawn. I did previously use a spade to mark the border, but since the lawn is so poor this did not work and I think I need edging to make a permanent border edge.

I had done some gardening before, but stopped in my teens after the gladioli incident. I had grown them from seed and they were growing marvellously and flowering well until my parents insisted on putting grass cuttings around them for mulch, which killed them. I was terribly upset and did not garden again until I moved into my current home.

I did not know about soil types or shade as my parents’ attitude is “just put it in anywhere, it will survive” and I found out through a lot of trial and error that this advice just doesn’t work. I no longer take gardening advice from my parents.

Since the garden has clay soil a lot of herbs will not grow, as most need dry conditions. I did plant heartsease, thinking it would have a lot of uses but I never did use it and one year it failed to come up again. I could plant herbs in containers, but I currently have four, which are proving hard enough to deal with as it is. For example, I had not realised that even when it is raining sometimes the rain doesn’t reach the soil in the container until my penstemons failed to flower.

My garden is at the moment suffering from neglect through illness (I’m currently recovering from a bout of ‘flu and am off physical work until better) and having a toddler to work around. I’m hoping to do a lot more this year as he’s now napping for around two hours an afternoon, but it’s possible that he may drop naps altogether and I’ll be stuffed.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the witchy garden I dreamed of, but I seem to use wood in my spells instead and have a local wood five minutes away from me.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

Fallow Period


Unfortunately I have not being doing much of anything for the last few weeks (apart from what was detailed in last week’s blog) as my son has seen fit to give me three hours’ sleep a night, except for two nights when he gave me five.

He has spent a lot of the time when I was awake sleeping on the sofa and yelling because of his teeth at various intervals.

Cursed Places


There have always been places that are cursed : trees which the locals go past at a run, rivers that are known to take a life.

There’s a bridge over the railway line that I used to walk through twice a day. I have never seen it with graffiti on and there have been a number of nasty incidents, including one where a mentally ill woman set herself on fire in the toilet of the train she was travelling in as it was coming into my town and unfortunately died.

I have been advised to do a cleansing, but will have to do my tarot reading beforehand to see what exactly the problem is, as I have never dealt with anything such as this, but do not want incidents such as the above to happen in my town.

Hallowe’en Market


Last Sunday I went to the Hallowe’en market run by The Raven and Broomstick occult shop in Peacock Mews, Leighton Buzzard.

The market was a delight. There were many craft stalls of which the owners had obviously put hard work and many hours into their wares. There were also a few of which the wares were just a piece of wood with some crystals stuck into. Caveat Emptor.

The Raven and Broomstick itself has many wares : herbs, wands, skulls, the usual books and much more. I purchased a box for my tarot cards and while the carving on the box was not the best I had seen, I have been struggling to find a box for my tarot cards for years as the cardboard containing the pack is fast crumbling.

All in all, an enjoyable hour spent and I highly recommend taking a look at The Raven and Broomstick if you find yourself in Leighton Buzzard.

As for Samhain, I am writing this while suffering from the tail end of a stomach bug and while my appetite is back to normal I am still feeling tired and cold, so unfortunately it is a non-starter this year.

Blog


I haven’t written anything for quite some time due to being ill and my son disrupting my writing.

My son has gained mobility and more importantly can climb on to the table where the laptop is which I am writing this entry, so any writing now has to be done when he is asleep.

I am going to try and pick up this blog and write once a week. This blog is written for fun, so the frequency may be patchy. I will see what I can do.

Disagreeing


I am writing this article as a result of having a disagreement on a Facebook group where someone is trying to convert me to her way of thinking.

The disagreement is that I think that only certain trees are sacred, whereas she thinks that all trees are sacred. It’s the sort of argument where either party could be correct, yet as far as she is concerned I have to come round to her point of view.

Sometimes there are arguments where one party is plainly wrong. For example, if I said that Brigit was Donn’s sister I would be wrong. Both are Irish deities, but Brigit is of the Tuatha De Danaan, whereas Donn is a Milesian.

However, there are many arguments where what is being argued is the philosophy and the interpretation of data and I may change my mind at some point in time to the opposing stance.

Land


For me, the land that I live on is an integral part of my practice and my life.

I celebrate the festivals on it, my home is on it and since I’m a housewife I work on it.

It’s only polite to introduce yourself to the land that you live on when you take up residence there. Even if you’ve only moved to a different part of town, just introduce yourself.

The introduction can be as simple as going outside and saying “hi, I’m X” and giving offerings to it or it can be a full-blown ritual that takes ages. Whatever you feel is necessary.

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