Down in New Orleans, there is a place that exists at the crossroads of magick and moonlight. I am here now. I write this to you directly from Witch Camp, from an old Victorian mansion in a room swathed in red velvet and candlelight. Right now, I can hear the voices of this amazing community of witches through the walls as they prepare for the bonfire where we will honor our ancestors.
Now is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. It is a time of connection not only with your ancestors in the spirit world but also with the core of who you truly are. Know this: Your very soul holds a library of all the stories of the lifetimes within you. What if you could access the wisdom, magick, and confidence from those lifetimes? What if you could connect to legendary artists, musicians, leaders, and writers whose work left a mark on your soul? What if you could communicate with your loved ones who have crossed over and feel their support and love throughout your life journey?
This season, I wrote a very special initiation below for you so that you may know the song of your own soul and be deeply connected to the wisdom and magick in your bones. Our intention is to connect with ancestors to receive confidence, guidance, and inner wisdom so that we may find the juiciest life path for our journey!
WORKING WITH ANCESTORS
My personal belief is that ancestors arrive in three forms:
• Lineage of Love Ancestors: These are your loved ones in the spirit world. These ancestors are your blood relatives throughout time. I also include in this category your chosen family of friends and your beloved animal companions who are in the spirit world.
• Inspired Ancestors: These are the people in history whose work in the world deeply inspired you and shaped the person you are. Some examples might be artists, writers, musicians, and notable figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Sinéad O’Connor, Maya Angelou, Mr. Rogers, E.B. White, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
• Lifetimes of You: I believe that we have each lived many different lifetimes. To work with this personal form of ancestor magick, visualize being able to reach back to honor and connect with former lifetimes of you. This is multi-dimensional, next-level ancestor summoning!
When we honor all these forms of what ancestors can be, we honor our own story and also the memories of the ancestors whose lives have touched ours. It is a vibrant circle of eternal support, honoring, and love.
CONNECTING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD THROUGH CANDLES AND WATER
In our initiation this season, we will be working with the elements of fire and water.
• Candle Magick
The belief passed down by my Bohemian ancestors is that when a special candle burned for a magick purpose begins to disappear in our world, it appears in the spirit world. For instance, if you carve a word on a candle for something you wish for, the belief is that your candle works almost as a letter, so your guides and ancestors can know what you want help with. You can also light a candle in memory of a loved one in the spirit world and they will receive your message and know that you are thinking of them.
• Water Magick
Water has long been seen as a conduit to communicate with the spirit world. Science has shown that our bodies are 66 percent water, and when we are in a body of water like a lake, the ocean, or even a bathtub, we can connect with a primal part of what makes us us. Water magick is used in healing practices and is a way to soothe the mind and open ourselves up to deeper levels of communication. I have held rituals at Witch Camp where we stand together in a circle in a river because the water is amplifying our connected intention.
Your Autumn Witch Initiation Ritual You will need:
3 chime candles (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange)
A book of matches
3 chime candle holders
1 large bowl filled halfway with water
Petals of one red rose
9 drops of orange oil
3 pinches of dried calendula flowers
Spring water (or clean filtered water) to fill bowl Grimoire or notebook
• To begin, cast your circle. Casting a circle is simply marking a magickal space that is protected and sacred to do your ritual work. You can do this physically by creating a circle of salt on the ground with a six-foot diameter, or you can do this through visualization and physical action, by using your pointer finger as a “wand” and walking clockwise to draw the circle. When I do this, I imagine powerful purple fluorescent light coming out of my fingertip to mark the space. As I draw it, I say three times: “This magick circle is my sacred space, I am protected in this place.”
• Once your circle is cast, stand in the center and hold your arms up skyward in a V-shape. Say out loud: “The intention of this Autumn Witch initiation is to connect with the guidance of ancestors so that I may receive ancient wisdom and direction to the highest path of my very best life. I call in my angels, my spirit guides, and guardians, to empower this ritual with love and the highest vibration.”
• Sit down in the center of the circle, legs crossed. In front of you, place the candles in a pyramid formation. In front of your left knee, place the red candle in its holder. In front of your right knee, place the orange candle. Place the yellow candle at the top of the candle pyramid.
• Light the red candle first and say: “With the lighting of this flame, I call my ancestors by name.” Take the time to say out loud the names of your loved ones and beloved animal companions who have crossed over to the spirit world.
• Take a fresh match and light it from the red candle flame and carry it over to the orange candle. As you light the orange candle, imagine that an invisible line now connects the two. Say: “One flame ignited a second time, as I call to Otherside heroes of mine.” Out loud, name the people who had a deep influence on the person you are by being who they were in life.
• Take a fresh match, light it on the orange candle, and carry it to the wick of the yellow candle. Say: “One flame becomes two and then three, connect to all of the lifetimes of me.” Take a moment to close your eyes and reach back in your mind to hold and honor all the past versions of you.
• Take a fresh match and light it from the wick of the yellow candle and carry it along the invisible line to complete the energetic pyramid to the original red candle, where you began. This way the original flame makes it all the way around the pyramid and the spell is sealed.
• Place the bowl of water in the center of the candle spell pyramid. Add the rose petals, the orange oil, and the calendula flowers to the water and say:
The blessings of rose and calendula flowers,
the oil of orange for euphoric powers.
With the sound of my words, this water I bless, Joy,
wisdom, and love lead to my heart’s success.
Beloved ancestors, I summon you now
To be by my side for this sacred vow.
• Take three deep breaths and submerge your hands in the bowl of water. Allow yourself the time to be silent and to connect with your ancestors. Imagine them all standing by your side and supporting you. Close your eyes and feel the roses and calendula in the water. Rub these petals into your palms as you gently wash your hands in this water. This is an old Bohemian blessing to bring happiness, joy, and love into your story, as written on the lines of the palms of your hands.
• Take your hands from the water and let the droplets from your fingertips bless the crown of your head. Immerse your hands back in the water and bring the water to your third eye (the space between your eyebrows). Immerse your hands back into the water and bring to your heart.
Ancestors you hold me on your shoulders high,
And as every single day passes by,
I will honor and cherish the gifts that you gave,
I will stand in my power to be confident and brave.
I know that your legacy continues in my blood and bone.
As you gather around me, I’m never alone.
The strength multiplies with each spell spoken,
Our cycle of life shall never be broken.
The Universe hums its never-ending song,
Of the love that continues on and on.
Thank your ancestors for their help, love, and guidance. Allow the candles to burn down as you write down any thoughts, feelings, or messages received from this ritual in your grimoire or notebook. When you are finished, take the water and feed your plants or a tree to continue to nourish life and good vibes around you.
See you around the cauldron, my witch friends!