Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Full moon Follies

In the late afternoon approaching the evening if the Full Moon I set out to the graveyard. I keep a pack full of gathering and harvesting supplies always at the ready; pocket knife, small hedge clippers, a very large spoon for digging (much less invasive then a trowel), paper, plastic, and cloth bags of all sorts, a small yet powerful flashlight for nighttime harvesting, and a few rigid containers for more fragile items. To these basics I add my offerings, libations, and whatever charms are appropriate for the occasion. Today, as most, I wore my antique iron key, to protect myself but open closed doors by way of Hekate, and my fox mother necklace, a personal spirit entity.

Upon entering the graveyard and making our way in our path was immediately crossed by a bright and bounding rabbit, a sign of blessing as rabbits are my messengers. Elated, I followed him past graves I hadn't yet explored and discovered many I'd never seen before, children, Greeks, and different soldiers, all dating from the mid 1850's. A painful pang struck my heart being a mother of one with another on the way so I said a few blessings, especially for the children, and walked on.

I visited several other graves I'd been to before, a doctor, a former mayor, and soldiers of all ranks. By then the rabbit had bounded off beneath the large boughs of a Yew tree so I made my way to where I typically gather soil. I chose a spot beneath an old tree as I prefer to gather the dirt from the hallowed ground of the graveyard itself rather than specific graves. Gathering soil from specific graves is wonderful if you have a specific use in mind but I find gathering the sacred soil guarded by all the spirits is great for all purposes. I lay my offerings down; three pennies, bright red strawberries, and libations. I always bring something natural for both the material and immaterial spirits and try to keep any edible offerings relevant and seasonal. Bright red food for the dead symbolizing blood and a seasonal summer fruit, perfect. I spoke my intent aloud, gave blessings, and began gathering. I always hum when doing work like this. It helps keep my focus on my intent barring my brain from wandering similar to Shamans drumming or Monks chanting.

After finishing and gathering my tools we headed a few blocks down to a playground among tall pine trees where my son gathered pine cones and sticks and intently watched the big kids play. We then hoofed it up a steep hill to a single family plot surrounded by an old brick wall where I harvested Yew, proper offerings and blessings left, and gathered stray pieces of old 19th century red bricks to be pummeled into dust. Needless to say my pack was almost too heavy to carry by this point and darkness was falling so we headed home to escape the swarms of hungry mosquitoes.

The evening ended with a little work at the altar and delicious burritos to re-energize us from the draining southern summer heat. It was a perfect day and any day I get to walk my path with my little family by my side is wonderful.

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