to keep in mind while navigating my work
I use the word “ritual” to explain a curated act that has meaning and reverence, often bringing our internal experience out into the world. This is in no way meant to be dogmatic or reminiscent of religion. A ritual can be anything that evokes meaning for you.
I use this words as a reference to those who came before us. I encourage you to think beyond the last two or three generations and connect to the “mighty dead,” those who lived long ago and were in a deep relationship with the land and each other. I also want to acknowledge anyone who may feel resistant to connecting with their ancestors due to being adopted, being of mixed race heritage, or needing to separate from unsafe behaviors of trauma or abuse in your family of origin. No matter the story of how you got to be here, you are alive because your ancestors lived. And you have a lot of them. So, whether you know their names and faces or not, and even if some of them were or are unwell and you need to skip over those in order to keep yourself well, you can connect to the ones who came before you in a safe way.
A note about my use of the term “women”: This work and this space is open to all expressions of women, including trans, femme, and gender non-binary identifying folk.
Spirit is aliveness. Be it oak, hawk, or a great-great-great grandmother, people experience spirits in a multitude of ways. For some, engaging with spirits is a sensory experience, guided by sight, sound, or touch. For others, it is based on ancestral presence, mythological archetype, or intuitive wandering. Spirit refers to whatever sources of life you connect with in your own unique way. If the word “spirit” doesn’t resonate with you, find something on the land you are on that you can feel a connection to and love for. Maybe it’s a tree or a native animal or a nearby river.
Engaging in practices to connect with your lineage (those who came before you) going beyond cultural and familial memory. Working with the ancestors, learning their stories and myths, their practices and foods, their songs and crafts provides deep healing in the here and now. Ancestors are also not simply human. We carry within us the other beings and creatures of this earth—the trees, the stones, the elements, etc.
Adjusting the way you live your life (your energy output, your to-do list, your self-care, and your outlook) based on the natural rhythm of the seasons. In very simple terms and from an agrarian, ancestral perspective: Winter is for resting and dreaming, Spring is for planting seeds and tending to their growth, Summer is full expression, and Autumn is for harvest and reflection. To live in a way that aligns with the seasons and cycles of your body may mean feeling more creative in winter or busy in autumn. To live seasonally and cyclically is to attune to your own flow - as the moon waxes and wanes and the seasons shift.
My view is that we are all descended from wise folks who knew how to birth babies, make healing foods, heal wounds and illness, and live with the seasons and cycles of nature. To return to “witch” is to return to this deep understanding that we belong—to our bodies, to the earth, and to our communities.