The last week has been one filled with spirits. While that’s generally to be expected at this time of year, as our minds naturally fall toward thoughts of death and the beyond, so many of these spirits that filled my days were the beloved dead of others. Here, a collection of photos documenting this week.
Although I may not work with my own ancestors, for more reasons than I feel like revealing, at this past Dark Moon my bone kit had a simple request for me. They wanted to do more, to help people at Samhain. The details weren’t forthcoming so, naturally, I let myself roll the idea around, trying to brainstorm something that made sense, that had value, that made use of my rather oddball skillset. Naturally, I eventually enlisted the Tarot to hash out the details for what sort of reading service would be of most use to you, treasured reader.
The guidance revealed in those nine cards described a way for me to take the most prominent skills I’d cultivated as a witch -my work as a death midwife, an energy healer, and spirit-whispering diviner- and combine them into one potent magickal application. The idea gave me chills.
Bone readings tend to be spirit filled, not just because of the spirits inhabiting each and every piece, but because the nature of these readings and the basic qualities of bone allow for spirits -be they ancestors, animals, other, or Gods- to come through and whisper messages and guidance. It’s not unusual for Gods and ancestors to pop in with a few words, even if the reading is about something entirely unrelated. But what my bone kit was asking involved directly seeking out those ancestors, allowing them to guide the reading, to state their desires and concerns, and to receive healing to help them work through any residual energy from events in their lives that had them tangled. The effects of such energy ripple forward, effecting the lives of their descendants, often showing up in repeated patterns: a history of complicated relationships, money trouble, and inability to commit to work necessary for their personal wellbeing.
This Ancestral Reading Service would provide a means of strengthening the connection between those ancestors and their descendants, relaying guiding messages to the querent and identifying effective ways for them to work more closely with their ancestors. It would also provide preliminary work to begin healing any ancestral trauma, minimizing the effects that tangled energy about that ancestors has upon the querent. The result has been a lot of information to process for those who’ve participated in this Service, as well as directions on how to continue this work on their own.
Today marks the 7th day of this Ancestral Reading Service and I continue to be amazed at the breadth of the experience of the ancestors I’m working with and the similarities in the guidance they and these bone readings have had for the querent.
The most prominent message from within these readings has been to develop a daily practice, setting aside time each day for spiritual pursuits, and developing the dedication and discipline to maintain that daily practice. Second to this has been the need to develop discernment. When we talk about discernment in the context of witchcraft, we’re referring to the ability to tell the difference between our own interior voices -be they mental chatter or our intuition- and the exterior voices of spirits and Gods. It should be obvious why such a skill is necessary for those who work magick and regularly engage with the spirit world. The inability to tell the difference between our own thoughts and emotions and, say, anxiety brought on by the presence of a new spirit in our homes can only lead to problems. In being able to tell the difference, in cultivating discernment, we can distinguish between what originates from within us and that which originates from without us, even if those outside messages and emotions are experienced within us.
Tonight is the 7th day of this Ancestral Reading Service, the final day. However, so many people have expressed interest in this Service that it will remain available through the Full Moon tomorrow. The response to this Service continues to amaze me and I am grateful for being able to offer my skills in this way.
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.