Honoring My Beloved Dead – Grace

It’s the first day of October, my favorite month. Samhain has always been my favorite sabbat, and I’ve loved celebrating by honoring my ancestors and sharing my memories of them. Since my spiritual path has evolved in the last year to include ancestor work, this makes the sabbat much more important to me.

With this in mind, my posts for October will be focused on sharing the stories of my beloved dead, both those of my bloodline and those who have influenced my path.

To begin this month of posts, I want to start with my great grandmother Grace. Although my extended family is a mix of Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Pentecostals (oh my!), they still speak of her psychic ability.

My grandfather used to tell a story about his mother Grace and his youngest brother. When his brother was a toddler, Grace was hanging clothes to dry. She kept asking my grandfather about hearing music coming from the house. My grandfather didn’t hear anything. Grace kept mentioning the music, which she described as a church organ, and suddenly dropped the clothes on the ground and ran to the house. She made in the house just in time to stop his toddler son from reaching her husband’s shotgun. My grandfather thinks his mom was hearing the sound of an organ playing funerary music to let her know her child was in danger.

My mother told me about when she was child, she would spend a lot of time at her grandmother’s house. During one visit, Grace stood up from dinner and told her grandchildren to put on their nicest clothes to go pay respect to her sister, their great-aunt, who had passed away. My mom said that they were all confused since they had just seen their great-aunt alive the day before, but they did as they were told. After they had dressed, one of my mother’s uncles came to the house to tell them that his sister had passed away and her last words were my great grandmother’s name.

My mother was also present for another premonition that Grace experienced. When Grace’s grandchildren would come to visit, they would go blackberry picking as a family. One morning as they were getting ready to head out, Grace told the children to stay home so they would be safe. Since this was out of the ordinary, the grandchildren objected, but Grace was adamant that they stay behind. While picking blackberries, Grace and her husband came across a rhumba of rattlesnakes and narrowly avoided being bitten.

It’s comforting, yet odd to know that a woman who is described as being devoutly Christian, would also be described as having such a witchy ability. It’s also interesting to note that other people in my family feel that she passed her gift along to her children, who did the same to theirs. As a Tarot reader myself, I like to think that my interest and aptitude for divination was handed down to me from Grace, who probably received it from one of her ancestors. Today, I place a picture of Grace on my altar and a dish of blackberries and thank her for passing down this gift to me.

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