A Witch’s Carol: A Tale of Three Hauntings

A Witch’s Carol: A Tale of Three Hauntings December 8, 2015

an altar on a table consisting of three candles and some other paraphrenalia
A Mabon Altar / Heron Michelle

The Mabon Visitation

At Mabon of 2007, 6 months after her death, I planned my first regionally-open ritual. It was the largest rite I’d ever led, with maybe 35 people in circle. The rite included honoring our ancestors through a toast of gratitude. The moment came, and I called to be present within our sacred space all those ancestors who loved us and created the world we now enjoyed. The words rung out and in the pregnant pause of silence that followed a sob ran through me. Then I breathed deeply through it and grounded, tensions easing. I got myself back together and carried on.

photograph of the author, a blond, caucasian woman, wearing a wreath of flowers
Heron at Mabon Rites, 2007

We each took a turn at the altar to honor the dearly departed by name, sharing a story about what wisdom or legacy they’d passed down that helped us to live abundantly. Then we poured out a libation, and raised the chalice in toast to them with a sip of good beer.

I can’t remember what I actually said when I took my turn, but today I would honor my mother for her lifelong example not to hide the “light” of her Spiritual truths from the world. She shone brightly, regardless of if that made people uncomfortable. I admired that she was a woman of total dedication to her faith who did The Work her god asked of her, without apology. Mind you, I found that work of proselytizing to be appalling, but that was beside the point.

I was a witch living with one foot in the broom closet, hiding my light from my husband in fear of losing…everything. Through her death, through dreams and psychic nudging, she was teaching me that this was no way to live. She was encouraging me to live authentically and to be loved for who I am.

After we released the circle, in those first moments when the clapping and singing of “merry meet again…” trickled into friendly socializing, a young woman I’d only met a few times made a beeline straight toward me.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I have the gift of seeing spirits. You, know…ghosts…dead people. ” she says.

“No, I didn’t know that…”

“I don’t normally say anything because it freaks people out, but I thought you should know something that just happened during the ritual.”

“Yes?” My breath caught in my throat, gooseflesh raising…

“When you called the ancestors, the spirit of a woman entered in through the western gate, circled clockwise around, until she was right in front of you. Then she wrapped her arms around you and sort of merged and dissipated. It only lasted for a moment.”

“What did she look like?” I asked.

“Just like you, only shorter, long blond hair; fair, petite, about 30 years old, wearing a long, white, flowing gown. It was clear that she loved you very much and meant to comfort you.”

“My mother just died this year and I was specifically thinking of her when I opened the gates,” I said.

an older photo, yellowing with age, of Heron's mother, a blonde, caucasian woman
Heron’s Mother at around 30 year’s old

“I know. I’m pretty sure it was her. I thought you’d want to know.”

I remember stammering something crass, like: “When she was alive she wouldn’t have been caught dead in a Wiccan circle,” and we laughed at the irony of the thing.  Truth is, I was floored…torn to pieces that my mother could join ME on MY sacred ground. That she would come when I called. That the praxis I’d long studied actually WORKED, our circle functioned as intended…even though I was standing in the South West quarter, she went deosil, the long way around, just like we would have!

That was some keen proof that our Spirits survive the grave and it is NOT a one way trip! I mean, all religious people like to think so, but until it is made real like this, its just a hopeful bit of theology. It was this very day when I chose to make becoming a priestess my life’s Great Work.

Allow me to put a fine point on that last bit: the ghost of my holy-rolling, hellfire and brimstone, fear-and-admonition-of-the-Lord, Christian mother helped save me from my doubts, and affirm all my long-held desires to be a priestess on a path she used to refer to as the devil’s work.

Yup. That happened.

Click Continue for the tale of the second haunting: Reiki Shared Between the Worlds

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