This is the first part of a three-part series I am writing this weekend, focused on ancestors, the dead, and inheritance, both magical and not.
Despite the fact that I cut ties with my blood family, family as a concept is very important to me. I have a spiritual family, and I look forward to a partner, children, grandchildren, of my own. I want my own descendants to carry my legacy, whatever that may be, as long as it is positive.
The legacy I inherited is not always positive, and sometimes that is hard to cope with. Sometimes it is hard to separate those things worth holding onto from those which have been sources of pain for the living.
There once was a lady named Arelia. She trained race horses in Michigan, in the early twentieth century. From her has descended a long line of strong women who don’t give up on what they want for themselves, and their families. There is another side that I discovered on my own. It did not come through the stories handed down in the years when my family was together, and happy. I firmly believe that Arelia was a witch. She has come to me on many occasions. Though I’m upset with a lot of things that have happened, mostly connected to my mother, she is from the maternal side of my family, and I honor her every Samhain, because I feel like she supports me in my determination to live a better life, and understands the choice I made to walk away. It isn’t any specific power, just that so many things come instinctively to me when it comes to magic. I haven’t read much. I look at a magical concept, and it just clicks. And my heart says that comes from her.
I have also been blessed with the gift to fire scry. I don’t use flames to fall into a trance. It’s more like I have a connection to a fire oracle, and we speak with one another. At times she will speak through me, if I permit it. All I know is that she is connected to the Scottish blood on my mother’s side.
I do not take these things for granted. Nor do I forget the dream visions in which I have met deceased relatives. My magic is the positive legacy I have been privileged to inherit.
The stuff I have to separate out from the gifts I’ve been given is sometimes hard to deal with. There is generational alcoholism in my family, which inspired a lot of verbal violence on my dad’s side. I know it at least goes as far back as my grandfather on his side. I remember stories of his behavior when intoxicated, and when he was not. I know that alcohol abuse almost split our family apart on a few occasions.
I drink. I have a few beers, a couple times a month. But I always have that in the back of my mind. I have to be careful how much I drink, and why I’m drinking. I find it funny that some of my anxiety comes from the ugly things said between family members, which may have been influenced by alcohol, because alcohol can soothe anxiety and tension. Not funny as in humorous. More like darkly ironic. And that is, I guess, how it turns into a vicious cycle. The band aid creates the pain that requires another band aid.
I don’t want to go too in depth with memories. There were fights, there was collateral damage. There are scars.
This is my legacy. From the dead on one side, I have spiritual wealth. From the dead on the other, I have emotional scars that are still just waiting to tear open again, or at least that is how it feels. Sometimes it is hard to keep them separate, to think of one without the other. But I think it’s always worth trying.