The past two weeks seem to be the longest two weeks ever. Through the pandemic, the only places I have been are the grocery store, the woods, and hiking. I haven’t been to North Carolina to visit my family since Christmas of 2019. Yes, I talk to my mama every day or so…I text my nieces almost daily…I video chat with the babies every other week…but it just isn’t the same. Hugs and kisses over video leave you feeling a little lackluster.
During this time of separation, I have been trying to be productive. I have been studying, creating, building, searching. One of the things I decided to try was Ancestry.com. I have been able to trace one side of my dad’s family back to the 1500’s in Nairn, Scotland. Our surname has evolved many times over the years…centuries. We have been Gaddy…then further back, Getty…the back further, Gettie…then before that, Goudie…and prior to that Gowdie. I have traced my lineage back to an Isobel Gowdie….now whether or not that is the one and only Witch of Scotland, who knows. It is a nice thought though. It is nice to have a history.
I have been studying a book called, “Scottish Witchcraft” by Barbara Margaret Meiklejohn-Free. I have been pouring through the pages absorbing every morsel. One area of the book speaks to ancestral magic. She addresses the fact that there are blood ancestors (those you know) and unknown ancestors. She speaks of finding her own connection to unknown ancestors and the journey that they led her through. I have loved building a new ancestral altar separate from the one that I have for my blood ancestors. It is an altar that holds the breath of Scotland and the Welsh countryside close.
During the full Strawberry moon and eclipse last night, I called upon those ancestors. I could feel the power surging…I could hear their ancient voices on the wind as I stilled myself and prepared for what they wanted to teach me. It was like I could feel myself walking the Scottish landscape and could sense them walking with me. I could see the many standing stones as we weaved in and out…I could hear the lilt of their voices whispering ancient secrets.
There is something to be said about walking the worlds with those whose spirits resonate with your own. There is a familiarity and a magical feeling just knowing that you are part of the same clan, so to speak, but on completely different planes.
I have also been trying to go to the woods more. There is something in me that craves that connection with nature. Rituals under the patio or in the courtyard don’t hold the same power as sitting under a tree listening to the sounds around me with a small sand-filled cauldron with a candle burning and natural elements scattered around. I have become a hoarder of bark, walnut casings, sticks, and rocks. If it calls to me, it stays with me.
Lately, when I visit the woods in the early morning or close to dusk, I am visited by a young fox, a squirrel, and a crow. The fox won’t ever get any closer than 20 or so feet away. He’s always watching, but still seems comfortable enough to lie down where he is. It’s almost as if he wants to be a part of the magic happening. The squirrel on the other hand likes to play. He or she is a mischievous little creature who seems to enjoy throwing black walnut hulls at me as I do my workings. The crow, who I like to think is Mama crow, sits on perched in a tree about 10 feet away. I can hear her cawing and of course, I answer back. We are an odd group, but there is a camaraderie there. A knowing that none in our circle is there to harm the other or interfere in the business of the other. I am not one who feels the need to pursue the animals or call to them like pets. If they speak, I answer back.
It has been important for me as of late to create many of my own tools. I needed something that would make transport easy, so I created a potions/incense/tool case. It holds my favorite incenses, candles, snips, my mini Book of Shadows, my mandrake root, and a small athame…all the essentials.
I have found that in the makings and workings as of late, that the feelings and needs that home and family provide are never that far away. Through the ancestral workings, I have been introduced to the spirits of family that I never thought to engage before. Being away from my homeplace for so many years, I have learned that home isn’t necessarily a building or a piece of land. It is the feelings and spirit that you carry with you in every moment. In every memory…in every working…I am more at home than I ever have been.
I guess what I took the long way around to tell you is: Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Don’t look at solitude as loneliness. Utilize all that is within you and around you and you will never be that far away from the magic and purpose you are called to be a part of.