Of Blood, Spirits, and Visions
I don’t know what it is about this season of death and the coming of winter, but it makes me more secretive and private and withdrawn. I am moving inward instead of outward and everything feels too personal. It goes against my normal instinct to document everything. At the same time I am learning to embrace my darkness and darker knowledge of poisons and spiritwork.
These past few days have been filled with death, magic, visions, wonder, and the most lovely of friends. There has been a new spirit addition to Old Woman’s altar who I will show you when finished, a beautiful precious skull. I have reddened my deer stalker’s knife for the first time with blood that is not my own; rubbed the blood from the heart into the antler handle, deep in to the cracks and ridges, to stain red what was once white. After all, what good is a witch’s knife that is not sharp enough to cut through flesh and bone? Knives are for cutting and bloody hands do not take pictures. Now it is the knife of a bone collector and witch.
The shaman and I collected and cleaned the bones after the cutting and gutting. They sit now in hydrogen peroxide becoming sterile and white – leg bones and vertebrae of roadkill to craft sacred items with. Everything smudged with sage and incense, everything blessed and reverenced with the spirits watching close by, eating up their burnt offerings. There was a late night of speaking of magic and reading tarot. I read so many cards. I will start reading again for the public soon through Stang and Cauldron along with other services.
There were many visions on the full moon and 11-11-11. I think the moon, the mead, and the spirits had more to do with it than the day, however. In the first vision I found a baby turtle at a crossroad and it turned into a siamese turtle. I put it in a glass of water and it turned into three toads. I took one toad into my hand and gently stroked it and it turned into my black cat. Two large snakes patterned like adders rose up from holes in the earth and ate the two remaining toads.
In another vision the entire shamanic community showed up and asked me to join them. I refused them politely. They said they’d ask again, but they also said “you’re not one of us, are you?” I said, “no, I’m a witch.” This is something I have been struggling with. I am very drawn to shamanism and have good friends who are European shamanic practitioners who I have more in common with than most witches I know locally, but this vision served to remind me that I am not a shaman, I am a witch. They are similar but the not the same. We do not share the same path or the same ancestors though we do share similar practices, abilities, and beliefs. I don’t think I could submit to another’s dogma at this point on my path – I’ve gone too far along it on my own to turn away from all I know and do.
Last night was one of mead and mischief… and other substances (it was a scorpio party after all). I think my soul is still swooning over my friend’s ambrosial rose petal mead. I hope my wild rose mead turns out that delectable. There is nothing better than good company, good food, good music, and a cozy fire.
And now I am off and away to do web design and craft incense, oils, and potions…