If you’ve paid attention to my most recent entries, you noticed for sure that there’s a topic I keep touching when writing: reading. I have always been a bookworm, and I get my hands in every and any book that catches my attention, and I try to learn as much as possible from each of my readings. However, does this count as part of my ancestral veneration practice? In short, the answer is yes.
Everyone knows I’m already reading The 1001 Nights, and have several pre-Islamic-related books to read this year (to which I should dedicate myself better, by the way), along with a few fiction books. Reading is learning, it is discovering the information you didn’t know before, and while intuition is always a good sign to follow, you should get a source to verify your experiences and guesses. While going through this book and doing some research on the internet, I’ve come across interesting facts, bits, and pieces related to my origins, which I’m slowly incorporating into my practice.
As I read, I discover more about the jinn, their character, about folk magic, forms to work with water, and even what people thought like around the time that book could have been written (around the 14th century, according to Muhsin Mahdi, the modern editor of the book). However, it is not only books that offer a glimpse into what you could incorporate into your practice or what your ancestors could like or could have done.
Reading about Syria, I discovered that Damascus, the capital is called The City of Jasmine, I learned about a certain God who was venerated in one of the cities my family comes from, I’ve verified the information I got from my Divine Speed Dates, discovered about the hamsa and a guide for healers and lovers. Being unable to visit Syria at this time, reading is my only way to know more about my roots and origins. I may not be the expert I expect to be in the near future, but I know I’m closer than when I began.
My blood ancestors may not have been comfortable with the idea of me reading and practicing witchcraft based on pre-Islamic folklore, but it is a way to stay connected with the land I come from, it’s the only bridge I have to that country, not to mention that it has led me to different paths to learn things I would have never come across otherwise. I also learn about their world, what Syria is like, and try to take at least a few bits of it into my daily life. I may disagree with many things, but the ones that work and I do agree with, I keep and apply.
Reading has been a way to enhance my practice. After so much time basing it on different myths, legends, and folklore from other countries, I’ve started dwelling on my own reservoir of knowledge, and the results have been greater than I expected. I feel more connected to my energy, my magic, my Craft, now that I work with the pre-Islamic world. Not in vain it is said that “blood calls” at some point in your life..