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BlackbirdSong

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About BlackbirdSong

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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  • Gender
    Feline
  • Location
    London, England
  • Interests
    Writing, poetry, art, being with my animals, walking, herbal medicine.
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    Relatively familiar. I have practised for a few years, but I would say my path deepened a year or so ago and before that I had some deep (and some scary) experiences with spirits and trancework - mainly with me overdoing it and taking too much energy from myself. I learnt a hard lesson and definitely progressed because of it. I do think it can differ substantially from cultures, practitioners, traditions etc, and so I'm really only familiar with the type practised in Britain and Ireland (though I've read of others, I wouldn't call myself familiar with them at all as I've not practised them).
  • Have you explored other paths?
    Yes, I had a strong relationship with the Virgin Mary and still sometimes incorporate her into my practice, though not in a Christian way and to a lesser extent. That may seem a bit juxtapositioned for some witches, but following a more historical based practice, I find it works for me. As a teenager, the only books I could find were Wiccan, really, and although it piqued my interest, it wasn't quite right for me. I just couldn't gel with the amount of ritual and the strict clothes rules, I felt panicked when I got words wrong and I thought 'This can't be right'. I felt so called to the Craft, to magick, there was something moving within me to walk that path, and it felt so wrong that there was all this stuff I had to wear or not wear. I started again, trying to see what I could feel from plants or objects belonging to a person or different incense smokes. I've always had strong feelings from people and so I thought this would be a good way to go. Then I started looking for more than Wicca, and I found some books on Traditional Witchcraft, and that awakened something in my heart.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    I have come to work with Traditional Witchcraft, though I call myself a Traditional Witch loosely as I do not follow a single tradition. I suppose I'm eclectic within the Traditional branches, so I pull from historical texts, especially incorporating Celtic traditions (my ancestory). I sometimes walk the compass and I work with spirits of the land, sky and water along with the Good Folk (though many would argue they are not strictly Traditional, that comes from my Celtic roots). I am mostly led by Spirits and research and feeling and try and test things on the way, according to my ability, having learnt from my earlier experiences not to jump the gun.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    To me personally, it means getting to know the spirits around me and therefore looking at life through a different lens. It means getting my hands dirty and my feet cold while preparing herbs in the way they've asked to be prepared. It means a lot of reading and a lot of putting what I've read into practice. At the moment, I'm reading a Daniel Schulke named Viridarium Umbris, and it's both mind boggling at times and exciting to apply. It means working with bones in a respectful way, and respecting what we eat. In a more general sense, I find it hard to explain as it has many branches, especially looking at all the familial witchcraft, though it tends to be Folk Magic that you use in real life with what is there. It delves into the wonderful land around it, and forges relationships with the spirits there. From the British area, it incorporates rural traditions and focuses on hsitorical texts and sometimes Grimoires (both ancient and modern). It may be influenced by Robert Cochrane, Andrew Chumbley, Victor Anderson or Witches who covered similar topics and had similar thoughts on Witchcraft as those. There can be Ancestor worship. Some refer to themselves as Cunning Folk. Some worship Deity and some don't, but Traditional Witchcraft itself is not a religion. I don't think I'd call it a way of life exactly though, it's more a way of being, of opening and awakening - and knowing when to put up boundaries. It isn't a way of life so much for myself, but my life itself, the whole jumbled tapestry appearing in parts as I discover and unlock new doors, worlds and boundaries mixing together.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    I was 12 when I first started, and I'm just 27 now. However, the early stages were very slow as I was not in a good environment to practice. This followed on with small spells and feeling what was around me up to now when I feel more confident.
  • What brought you to our site?
    I have looked on and off, I think I was simply googling for some information - I can't remember what as it was well over a year ago. I have always enjoyed reading some of the posts, but this time I saw a post on Philtres, Elixirs and so on and was going to answer - then I remembered you needed to be a member. I've thought on and off about joining but wasn't confident in my ability to share experiences, whereas I'm more confident now.
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    I think simply the chance to share experiences and hear interesting things about other experiences. I think sharing experiences can be really beneficial, and I don't feel drawn to a coven. After a long time being interested in working with plants both in magick and in medicine, I am now training to become a Medical Herbalist and work myself with them magickally, so could offer advice on that. I am teaching my son age appropriate things, and so I could contribute on that. I also use Tarot and a throw stones and bones type oracle, so could contribute on that, perhaps.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    No, I had a long time offline and now use it sometimes. I do have a witch related Youtube channel, though that's not a specific site.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    Healing (particularly emotional) and (often in this capacity) working with plants.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Serious Malediction.

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  1. FancyShadowCat has some very good points. I'd add researching from known and respected publishing houses and authors helps. If you're not sure who to believe, it's possible you're internet searching - which can be a tricky way to ascertain good information. This forum has good useful information (if you search, you can find a lot), but many sites I've come across do not. Also, there can be reasons entities are drawn to people, so I think it can be useful to see if a mundane change could also help. Saying 'No, get out' is often underestimated, but also often useful. I'd be wary of opening up communication unless you know how to protect yourself already.
  2. Sorry to hear you're feeling drained, Sagefire. It's understandable given the current issues. Have you tried exercises to help move energy around your body? Sometimes I find ballet or yoga exercises get my flow going again. Or magical exercises where I focus on moving energy/magic around my body. If you feel physically tired, have you tried an adaptogen? Obviously, not all of them are suitable for everyone, but it's possible that could help. Sometimes we all have patches where we don't do as much crafting though, perhaps you need a quieter magical patch and you'll burst back into life refreshed and inspired after.
  3. Definitely not just you 😊 Pine is a staple of mine. I make bundles too, but often do a loose mix and carry the burning receptacle around. So glad to hear your blackbird is doing well! That's wonderful news!
  4. There definitely is a relatively in-depth discussion somewhere, I remember reading it. Maybe as part of the household magic or household protection thread? I've always thought they were beautiful, but had never been able to source a good one. That may change now I'm closer to the sea. I did know someone who had it hung up (empty on rope) as a mirror style charm at their window. I can't find the thread I'm looking for, but there's a post about using them for weather witchery (apologies if you've already found it). EDIT: It says I can't post the link when I try, but it's under witchballs, weather and the sea from 2014.
  5. Personally, I wouldn't use sage for banishing. I find it more of a peaceful feeling plant, something that brings a calm. I tend to use rosemary (low level), pine (slightly stronger), camphor or asafoetida (more noxious). As for brownie style beings, I find them to be entirely related to the property or area. I've never heard of one moving. I believe (but please do correct if I'm wrong, as I'm no Roman History scholar) that even domestic Lares (there were different types) in Ancient Roman folklore tended to stay in the property they were from itself. Ancestral or family spirits, of course, move with you. We left our old household spirit in the old house. Our current house has separate ones, which is interesting, as it was originally two properties and then had an extension as well. You can feel the difference in energy as you walk through. We give honey, milk and cream off the top of the milk (every time we have that milk). If the house is kept neat/clean they tend to be happy. Ours is often messy with a child around and we're trying to revamp it, but I keep up a good communication line with our house spirits and give regular offerings. As the house was empty before for long periods and also left with decorating unfinished in parts, as well as not being connected up together fully (electrics/water etc all separate), I've been working on helping them work together more. I think the lack of care for a long time made them more biddable to the fact we're trying to get the house looking good/cared for. Ours aid in protection work and guide us on household issues. Edited to add: I wouldn't get rid of a house spirit except for a very good reason. I feel they're part of the history of the house and help you work with the property on household magic and protection. From my point of view, ridding a property of them would be opening the house up to new spirits who may not be so helpful. Working with them can aid in preventing unwanted spirits from entering.
  6. Maybe that moment where I've been trying a new technique for ages and you think 'Jeez Louise, I must be doing this wrong'. I'm almost ready to pack in whatever it is (that exact moment) - but then, all of a sudden, it clicks. I'm not too unfond of that moment now because it often happens for me just before it all slots into place. And the disruption as others mentioned. I do want to say I feel people need to be careful they're not condemning other practices. Solanaceae has some very important points. For a start, from a general perspective, people do eat meat, some people have to eat meat for medical reasons because they don't ingest the necessary nutrients (like iron) from plant based materials. Plant iron has a different accessibility to the iron found in meat. Some people also have issues without some of the essential fatty acids found in animal produce or struggle to access enough thiamine. Many people can be vegan or vegetarian, but not all. From a magical perspective, when animals are sacrificed it's not done lightly. As already mentioned, these animals are sometimes eaten. Unless someone is within that tradition, they shouldn't really be commenting on whether or not it's right to do across all witchcraft and worldly practice. Obviously, you can state it's not something you'd personally do, but I don't think it's right to start bashing long standing spiritual practices. Equally, if we believe plants have spirits, most of us use plants as an offering at some point. There are many reasons to use blood. I use blood quite a bit, usually my own and sometimes menstrual depending on what it's for, what the aim is and so on. Personally, I don't sacrifice (or eat) animals, but I do understand why they are used. Yes, our blood can create a connection to whatever it's used on, so we should be careful around it in some ways, but that connection can be a positive thing. For example, offering a tree your blood can help you bond and create a connection with that tree spirit. I also use it in some Ancestor work among other things. It's important to remember that animal sacrifice is not simply practised for tradition. One of the needs to be cautious is that many of the Western narratives around many other cultural practices, like Yoruba traditions, have been unfairly negative and rooted in racism and any members of the forum who may be part of a tradition who practice animal sacrifice shouldn't be made to feel cruel or less than others for doing so - because that simply isn't true at all. Anyway, back to the original post topic, some of the insights can be a bit much to deal with at first for me. When I calm down and think them over, they came at the right time and are important, but sometimes that initial shock or revelation can feel a bit overwhelming. I am a secret wimp, obviously. 😉
  7. Some great posts on this thread! I thought I'd replied to this, but can't see it so I must not have done (scatterbrain). When I talk about 'practising', I'd have regular things I do (ancestor work, chatting to spirits etc.) and irregular things - a specific spell. I think our personal practice usually has some overarching beliefs and themes that weave into our everyday life. Elements of my practice will probably pass on to my son, for example (if he decides to go that path), because he's grown up with things like giving offerings to ancestors and spirits or talking to plants and learning about their medicines. I made the most progression my Craft when I pared back for a bit and relooked at what I truly wanted and felt interested in. For me, a large element of my practice relates to my Ancestors. It's been a long evolution, but initially I did a lot of reading from publishing houses that focus more on Traditional Witchcraft, listened to what other witches had to say (sometimes agreeing and other times not) and also into other spiritual belief systems alongside the historic practices we know about in the cultural history of my country and Ancestry. After that, I put the books down and just had a go. I listened to my intuition and tried things out. Certain things felt right and called to me, then the path sort of became even clearer and I moved from London (where I was born and where have a deep connection to) to Wales to live a life I felt the path was calling me to live, with land I could cherish and build a relationship with. That all happened over years and I didn't rush decisions. I also loved being a Witch in London and used all sorts of urban ingredients, so I would never change that time at all. I think taking the parts of the path you enjoy can be really important. Often, when you're working on those, you end up dipping into lots and lots of different things naturally. Don't be afraid of asking questions on the forum, share your own experiences (up to whichever point you feel comfortable) and read lots of old posts. Don't worry about pulling up old threads. Some of them are fascinating. Take things slowly, if you feel you're on the brink of something, don't rush it, let it happen organically. Ask yourself if there are areas you particularly want to explore and what you might want to get. For example, part of my ancestor work is because I want to heal certain aspects of my family tree. You're obviously drawn to plants and trees, so perhaps looking into practices around them would be the best place to start. There are lots of good threads on that here. You could choose a single tree or plant to work with and focus on that for a while and see where it takes you. I often think a small step like that can be a strong foundation and create big change.
  8. Yes, she was more the second I'm afraid. Overall, it's one of my bigger differences compared to many I've encountered with a New Age philosophy, which is why I thought it was worth mentioning. However, I should have explained more clearly initially (sorry) that my biggest problem with her, as an individual with these thoughts, was that she presented herself as a kind of New Age spiritual leader. She led groups/sessions/ceremonies and so on, many of them open to anyone. It was also partly born of her picking and choosing ideas to suit what she herself believed and 'preached' as such. I felt she had failed completely to recognise that many people need huge amounts of time and guidance to begin to help themselves, so they may seem 'weak' at first, but many can begin to become much stronger given that time (and often it's a blooming long time). If she'd been an individual going about their own business, I would have just said 'Ok, we disagree', but the fact she was self-putting into a position of authority and leading groups/sessions with these ideas frustrated me because it wasn't based in the complex reality of trauma. She was preaching about something she had neither experienced herself nor properly understood. Obviously, that's only a specific area of an individual's New Age belief, but I've encountered it a number of times and it really irks me. Of course, I don't think it is right for everyone to give a large amount of time and energy into every traumatised person they meet - not at all. And often, people do need to draw back or cut contact with certain individuals for their own wellbeing, which is both understandable and necessary, but to stand in a leader role and preach on trauma and divine self, fate and retribution from past lives with no real idea of it, pulling bits of Buddhist, Native American among other ideologies out of the air and mashing them together with New Age and Neo-pagan babble just sat wrongly with me. She'd decided what she believed and was going to back it up with whatever worked. She was messing with deep emotions and psychology that she didn't fully understand, with no properly defined spiritual understanding behind it.
  9. I don't think Ifa: A forest of mystery has been mentioned, but a friend of mine recommended it. It's not vodun specific, but contains overall information about the belief system. It's published by Scarlet Imprint. I can't speak to it's accuracy, having not been initiated into that system, however my friend seems to agree with what's said. I wondered if there's someone you could contact in the area who could help you with it? I can't help much with that as my friend travelled to another country for initiation. Just wanted to add, it's not a 'workbook', but a study/discussion on cosmology, philosophies and so on. For context, the author, Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, is from Norway but now lives in Brazil, so I would be aware of the fact these are not traditions he has grown up in and read with that awareness. (For clarity, I believe he isn't clear on some differences between traditions/Orisha.)
  10. Yes, quite. I've had interesting discussions around vibrations and energy with many 'New Agers', but that is a good way to describe the problem - the belief all are supposed to thrive in the same way. I also think some people begin on the path to the Craft as 'love and light' teenagers (not all at all) and it's a word for a group of individuals who are all different, so have different thoughts despite following a similar overall view. One point I forgot to mention is I've met more who begin to practice types of Witchcraft and damage the environment with non-thought through spells (plastic bottles put in the sea) and so on, than those who are into the New Age movement. Now, that's probably less applicable here, as a good number work with Nature Spirits, and may be down to the type of New Agers I've met, but it's worth mentioning I think. Considered whether to post this or not, I'm not sure I've explained it very well, but links to what Tricycle said about a New Age type posting on social media about not 'surrounding yourself with negative people'. I've found lots of overlapping ideas between certain types of Witchcraft and New Age thoughts, like the divine self and the responsibility to develop it alongside your mind and emotions. However, unlike many New Agers, I do not believe it is a purely personal job to do this. Many of them I've spoken to have a thought process running alongside this around staying away from those who are in difficult places emotionally are struggling to get out of it, believing that person has to somehow come across an awakening of sorts that helps them to get in touch with this divine part and work through things themselves. I don't believe it's the job of everyone to 'help others' at all, but I do see humans as social animals. We learn from others, experience awakenings through others (both purely spirit and physical humans or animals), so my view is that those in very difficult situations are often likely to need help to get out of it. I had a run in with someone who holds this type of thought not long ago and have had a few before. She believed that if she was to associate with anyone who couldn't pull themselves out of trauma, it would negatively affect her own energy and soul. She would 'hold space' in her words, for those already awakened, but not for those who needed guidance to reach this 'higher awakened state', in fact anyone who wasn't in the 'higher state' she didn't really want near her at all. In my opinion (and this is only my opinion), I'd be a pretty poor witch if I couldn't spend some time talking to someone who's struggling for fear of forever damaging my own energy and soul. Obviously, both the situation and individuals involved relate to this and there are times everyone needs to step back, break contact or when the person themselves needs to take absolute responsibility. However, though some manage to recover from difficult situations with little input, often someone else is needed to give insight and help open that person to new understandings and healing. That was a main point that we differed on.
  11. Ah, yes. Perhaps Murrish is only describing the method in her book. It's a shame more books don't give proper sources for their material, even an honest 'the earliest account I can find of use is...' would be helpful. It's an issue I find a bit annoying in a few Llewellwyn books, particularly as their sources are often a picking of several different traditions (Hoodoo, strains of Wicca, a Romany curse, a sudden snatch of a Sabbatic elixir - always with the warning never to use it etc.).
  12. I get on with many New Agers. I have had some great conversations with feminist New Agers about menstrual blood and other interesting things, more the hippy types than the love and light ones. I find those who go on about 'love and light' stuff hugely frustrating, because love and light can also be negative things so to me this off-balance idea of them makes no sense. Too much light/heat and things die or love someone abusive and it can cause so much inner conflict and trauma - we need dark and shade alongside healthy hatred/dislike as well. I also feel they are intermingled, often love is the source of hate or was involved in some way (whether for that person or because of yourself/another person) and you only have to think of dappled shade to see how light and dark entwine. I do know of someone who is a love/light type who does readings that are spot on though, so where contact is useful, it can be fine in small doses for me. I did have a really annoying run in with a New Age guy who went on about magic being based only on belief, then tried to tell me I knew nothing about magic. He was going on about how if I decided I wouldn't burn in the sun, then I wouldn't. To be honest, he was overusing acid (though not on it at the time) and the whole conversation was really annoying, no depth or proper thought. He was clearly very self-centred and his world view did not seem to quite make the connection of everything being linked together. That whole group of him and his friends were screwy though, the moment I saw one of them I knew exactly what would happen to her and though my friends continued to associate with them, I never saw them again. They were very new age, more crystals and burning sage for everything while calling it smudging (without knowing anything about sage or smudging) than any real ideas about anything. As I say though, drugs were involved and they were not the kind of people able to handle them. Obviously intent/belief/willpower comes into magic, but there are a variety of other elements woven in there too. Anyone, be they Christian, Wiccan, New Age, Satanic, whatever, annoys me when there is a lack of actual depth and no attempt to gain knowledge around what they are babbling on about. I think I get less accepting as I go on.
  13. I quite like this simple wheel one, actually. Thank you for sharing these! I've not got the hang of making sigils from removing letters, something about it just doesn't click in my mind whereas this makes more sense. The origins might be hardish to find, but I'd guess their modernish and your probably right that the Golden Dawn one inspired them. I often create what some would term symbols rather than sigils (more a very simplifed basic picture than a sign made from letters) as I've always felt it's partly the link to me that makes it work. Interestingly, my first ever one (done age about 12) links in with my ancestor work now. After looking, it seems the top one is an author called Maureen Murrish, who published it in a book called The Wheel of the Year. It seems to be Wiccanesque as she mentions the Goddess and her consort during the write up.
  14. Back from the school run ^_^ My Ancestry is more based in the South, but am I right that you're still in Northern Ireland? Is there someone there you could quiz as though I have relatives there I've quizzed, you might be better placed to find out. I'm happy to share Irish practices (you may know lots of this already, but as newer witches might read, so I'll go from basics and just ignore what you know already). To explain above, fairy doctors were seen as different to Witches. Witches were seen as being given (mostly) evil powers by spirits, whereas Fairy Doctors were bestowed gifts by the people of the hills. One big difference seems to be that Witches sought power through their own will, whereas Fairy Doctors were chosen - either taken by the people of the hills, or having an encounter with them that resulted in gifts such as healing or the sight. However, I mention them because many techniques were similar. Off the top of my head, there are other practices and traditions that are Irish that I or my family use. I mention hag stones (also known as fairy stones, but as we don't speak the word fairy aloud, I tend to use the other name) above, but circles can be utilised in many forms. You can form a circle from materials - I had a willow one but it got damaged - and walk them through it to heal them. I'd stand it upright and literally get my son to step through. I think with this, it's useful to think about what you form the circle of and why you're doing it. So, just because a text says to use Ash, if you have a brilliant relationship with a particular tree and ask that tree to help, it's going to be more powerful than random ash wood. I use sunwise circles when casting for good luck or protection. If I draw a charm for good luck, I'd draw the circle sunwise for that. Our May Eve traditions include decorating a tree with ribbons or bright pieces of cloth. Traditionally these trees did not have the rags removed and were hawthorn, but we don't always use hawthorn and our tradition takes them down on Samhain when we reach the dark half of the year. Needless to say, we tie things carefully to the tree so it isn't damaged and never tie plastic based material or anything like that. I wash my face in the dew for long lasting youth and we pick yellow flowers that we scatter on our door step for good luck and protection from negative energy or negative spirits or lesser unkind people of the hills (not used for strong entities, but for a more general minor protection). We work a lot with holy waters, so dew, waters from wells or springs/streams, sea water and also the human water of spittle. Spittle mixed with dusts can make healing pastes, or sprayed across objects, people or animals to bless them or heal them. Spit can obviously also be used as a curse. Milk is also useful to utilise, the cream as mentioned above or types of milk, for example, Goat's milk in some healing spells. I love a great chamomile and goat's milk foot bath that can be used for tired, sore feet. Herbs were used a lot and there's quite a bit of lore surrounding it. To be honest, there's a lot of Irish/Welsh/Scottish/Breton lore that overlaps or is similar. Spoken charms can also be important and there are many recorded that you could research and try. They were often muttered repeatedly under the breath and were common in several situations including emergency ones (to stop bleeding etc.). Burning twigs can often be used in healing, as can the ash that remains. Twigs and stems were used in divination, but one of my favourite things that I'm still working on is divining with birds or seeing/hearing their messages. Birds tend to have specific Celtic symbolism - so Blackbirds were liminal birds, often seen as messengers from the other side, able to cross the boundaries. Rhiannon's blackbirds were said to sing the dead back to life and sing the living into a trance so their soul could take flight. After Christianity came to Ireland, we also see the myth of St Kevin and the Blackbird where the Saint raises his palm to heaven and a blackbird lands on it. The bird nested upon it and the Saint kept his hand held up and open for the bird the entire time. Heaney wrote a poem about that story, but not much is known about the Saint as few records remain. There are several 'omens' relating to Blackbirds including seeing a nest by your house at the beginning of the year, or seeing two blackbirds together, meaning that you'll have good luck. They are occasionally seen as 'death omens' but I have found more (for me personally anyway) they bring a message from the Ancestors or remind me they are with me. Sometimes they mean change is coming to me and symbolise a hope, singing in the dawn after a darkness. The blackbird can impart mystic secrets and their feathers can be used in magic. On a personal level, I find they are useful in relation to soul flight, to finding mystery, for connecting to spirits or ancestors, for emotional healing and esoteric wisdom. They also represent poetry and song (linking to the people of the hills) and that poetic inspiration we need. I also find Magpies represent this to me, but with a different energy, more of a power of voice feel. For dream work or the times when you need to open to dream-like association and symbols, I think blackbird feathers can work wonders. Sorry, that's a long ramble about Blackbirds, but I thought it was still roughly relevant because really the most important part of Irish/Celtic Witchcraft, Druidism, Fairy Doctoring or Magic has always seemed to be that deep link with the land and the beings around you. Birds were a big part, as were other animals. Much of the Irish magic I know of was in reading the symbols given or listening to the spiritual advice being offered on which plants to work with. Another important part was story telling and folklore/myth, so those are well worth going through for Celtic practices. I keep a book where I record birds seen, what happens in the day etc. to work out what they mean to me as well as the prior reading. Hope this is useful in some way relating to Irish/Celtic practices.
  15. Onyx, did you access your adoption files? Obviously you don’t have to answer, just wondered based on an earlier reply. Sorry if it sounds nosy, only that many people seem to think it’s much simpler than it is. First time I was told mine were lost, second time they took so long I moved house before any answer and I had to stop. I’ve just started the process again, but likely to take years. I turned to my ancestors through magic, reached out and information started coming in - they have been the source of me finding out things or the door openers. I had a dream about my birth mothers twitter account (she doesn’t feel able to contact at all, understandably) and the following day discovered it, another time I asked my ancestors if I had ancestry other than Irish and the following day my birth mum posted about having Irish and Scottish ancestry. I had a dream about Selkies, which have always been an important myth to me, and discovered a name very connected with the myth appears several times in my family tree. I agree in many ways we are who we make ourselves. I also think there are reflections of us in many things, as in nature different things are reflected, the shape of a brain in a leafless tree, the clouds and sand both wind blown, the spiral of a fern and a shell. We are not always related for those reflections to exist, sometimes not even the same species. I haven’t done a DNA test, though I might at some point. I think they’re a useful asset for those who can’t ask questions or access names easily. I have also heard that it’s quite complex and best to take with a pinch of salt, but it’s interesting. I find the paper route more interesting, but only because my interest lies in healing the family tree and a lot of that comes from being able to research personal stories and speaking to my spirit ancestors. I do think explaining where we are from can be an important personal journey for some and it’s very interesting if results pop out that are unexpected, but I always think of the ancestors right back in Ethiopia and farther back to the fact we evolved from sea creatures (hence counting the sea as our farthest ancestor). I also think it can be helpful to brand new witches in order to focus them in on certain traditions - if that’s what they want - rather than a sporadic taking of each and every method that they read about. Obviously, you don’t need to witch within your recent heritage at all, but for some it can help bring focus. Wezip, one Irish practice is to hang cloth out of a window on Imbolc. Brigit blesses the cloth and it is used to help with healing and birth. We also use hag stones for birthing. Many of our Irish practices are simple and based in folklore, like working with house spirits or brownies and leaving them cream from the milk, but I’ll have a think. If you look into the fairy doctors, you may find interesting things there.
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