This page was on my front page in place of the rant for a long time, with the normal rant being removed. I add it into the “Site Stuff” section because it’s important in a way that the normal rant is not.
Your normally scheduled rant has been suspended for the time being, so that I can write to you about something that you may not think about.
I will be the first person to say that I have a shitty relationship with my family. I have tried multiple times to bridge the gap between my father and I, my mother and I, my sisters and I, but it seems like no matter what I do, it’s not good enough. I try and I have tried to be the person they expect me to be, but it does not seem to matter. I’ll also stipulate that I’m at fault for some of it. I am judgmental and short of patience with them at times. <shrug> Perhaps it is all my fault that we are not closer. But I am at a point in my life now that I am unwilling to sacrifice what I have now and the happiness that I have to gain their approval. They can either approve of me as I am or they can stay away if I am that much of a burden and disappointment.
But this is not what I wanted to talk about. I was listening to Dan Fogleberg’s “Leader of the Band” earlier tonight. I finally came to a decision.
Grandma, this Journal is for you.
See, she is the one person in my life that is the most responsible for me being who I am now. She set the pattern a long time ago, started me on the path I still tread now.
I know that Mary is the person who is most responsible for helping me continue my journey, and that I have made the most progress with her, but Grandma is the one who started it.
Here, let me share an email about hereditary witches where I talked about this very subject with you:
“My experiences with granny magick were not so much in magick, but in psychic perceptions, and observing and being aware of more than just what my 5 senses told me.
> 1. Was your Gran widely known for her abilities, or was it
> a rather quiet thing?
Those who knew her knew that she was into the NewAge/Metaphysics/Psychic stuff. Just a casual perusal of her library turned up works from Alice Bailey, Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, Richard Bach, books on handwriting analysis, astrology, along with real scholarly work on things like “ley lines” and UFOs and so on. Good stuff. She tended to believe anything, and then sought out evidence to disprove it, and if the evidence wasn’t convincing enough, she incorporated that into her beliefs.
One of the first churches we were associated with while I was a child was “The Church of the Holy Ghost”. Now it would probably be a Unitarian splinter, but it was really new age at the time. I was one of the altar boys who lit and extinguished the candles. Happy time.
She’s the one who turned me onto OOBE and Ghosts and so on. Auras and personality prediction through handwriting were her thing, and she was GOOD at it. She was a licensed graphologist, self taught. She helped solve some murder cases during her time.
But she taught me not to fear the otherworlds. She didn’t teach magick, but she taught me something about controlling my emotions and discipline. She helped me understand what meditation was and why it was important. I didn’t practice it till Karate years later, but by then, the discipline of myself (in matters of the Spirit) was second nature.
If you knew her casually, you would never have guessed she was one of those New Age Hippy Freaks (as they were called at the time). She was quiet in public, although outspoken to her family, good and upstanding. She helped found a charity in Madison that is still operating today, about 15 years after she severed her ties to it. Her family was important to her.
She had a love of Japan, and that permeated her being. She explored past lives, and allowed me to explore them with her. Imagination was the most important thing with her, and she taught me to be unafraid of it.
Damn, those are some good memories.
She was a gifted Healer and a natural energy manipulator. She was Christian, and credited her powers to God, but that didn’t stop her from using those powers. She had the gifts of healing the Mind, Body and Soul. I have yet to meet anyone who had the sheer raw ability of her when she decided to use her gifts.
> 2. Was there any religious content to what she passed on, or
> was it just spellwork/roots/whatever?
It was a foundation for a way of life that she taught. She tried to pass on Christianity, but more than that, she was concerned with passing on MORALITY and RESPONSIBILITY rather than a dogma.
Her son (youngest) wound up being an atheist (Correction, he is a Christian, my mistake. I mixed up his oriental martical arts philosophy and my not seeing him go to church and so on as athiesim. He has since told me he is not an athiest. Mea culpa.), but so into the Martial Arts that the Buddhist philosophy permeates his life too. The self discipline is incredible in him and it’s because of him that I got into the MA in teen years.
My mother got her sense of duty to those around her, and her duty to the family. Also her spiritual healing abilities, although she doesn’t have them if you asked her.
My aunt (middle child, with my mother being oldest) got her library. I was pissed when I found out, because she willed them to me. But she picked up Grandma’s interest in the Occult and metaphysics. I never knew just how much that permeated her life, until I saw it in her house and realized that there were tons of stuff that I had been studying. The Celestine Prophesy, Journeys out of the Body, One, and many other “classics” of New Age philosophy and thought.
Grandma wound up being a devoted follower of Elizabeth Claire Prophet, and I don’t think she ever found out what a fraud she was. She used to talk about going to live with everyone else on her commune in Colorado.
But it was the moral and ethical structure that she passed along. When I outed myself and my wife to her, she spent a couple hours trying to talk us out of being Wiccans and Witches, but allowed us to believe how we would. She spent the rest of our time there watching us and making judgment based on how we acted. Just before we left she came to both of us and told us that she approved of us, that we were good people, and that if we continued to be good people that she would love us no matter what God we prayed to.
<wipes tears away, getting misty at that memory>
Damn I miss her.”
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t use what she started me with or that I don’t pass on a lesson that she taught me. That’s true for most of those who have contacted me in my life (like the tree story in the “Persecution” story came from my father. It helped me through one of the toughest times in my life), but it’s most prominent with the metaphysical and spiritual sections of my life.
In many ways, she gave me many things that I can never repay her for, even if she were still alive. She died quietly in her sleep on March 17, 1995. But I still feel that I can never repay that which she gave me, all her spirituality, all that knowledge and all that belief. And I do feel like I’m always working to gain her respect and approval wherever she is.
Originally posted 2009-11-05 18:14:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter