i have been dwelling for days trying to write the words to this blog post, because there are so many profound angles and synchronicitys to it all. So i am just going to ramble on and tell it.
To supplement my meager SSD and pension incomes i am in the buy-sell-trade business and run it out of the back of my jeep. I dumpster dive, stop at places with lots of “junk” in the yard, meet a lot of interesting people that way, go to yard sales, go to store front buy-sell-trade stores, find stuff along the road, dig up stuff in old forgotten dumps, etc etc etc. I make a little extra money that way, but also find some treasures i cannot part with and make some Incredible deals. My specialties are old iron tools, antiques furniture, and religious iconography. It keeps me busy and distracted and gives me something to do. I have also found that the “common man/woman” usually has more integrity than many “witches” i have met over the decades, though there are a handful of wonderful, truth telling, incredibly beautiful and serious witches i know too. I am blessed by their friendship.
A couple months ago i stopped at an open garage in an alley and met TJ, and we almost immediately took a liking to each other. I picked his garage and cellar and he made some money, he being unemployed d/t breaking his arm and being let go of his job. He knows how to do electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc etc etc skills and he is my handyman now for jobs here and at the red lodge that i do not have the skill or strength to do.
The first time i met TJ something in his garage prompted me to admit to being a Witch and he said his sister Teala was a witch, and her sister, and his late godmother were also Witches, not book learned witches, but Real Witches, solitaries with BOSs and deeply into Nature. Teala was only 28 years old and very very ill with some mysterious illness and had been transferred to various specialty hospitals to figure out what was wrong with her. She grew weaker and eventually went into respiratory arrest and was soon brain dead. They decides wisely to pull her off the ventilator and expected her to pass soon, but it took about a day and a half, as these things often do. You know i have worked in medicine all my life, and in the emergency department, and critical care, and run ALS etc etc so i know the patterns. Now anyone who regularly reads this and the BSSS blog knows that i am a Witch who also practices Tibetan Buddhism and have empowerments into Chod and Powa (Wiki them) and the Rite of Passage in Witchcraft, and initiation into the Cult of Anubis, so i know how to work with the dying and dead (no, i am Not a necromancer nor do i evoke the dead). I also am being trained into PA Dutch German Powwow by my fellow COC HPT “Dutch Jeff” and i have learned to work with the Bible in this healing and working so have lots of old Bibles. Whilst picking his garage the first day i found a red Bible, not old, but well used, dog eared, with passages underlined and circled and pages bookmarked. I asked for it and he had to ask a relative it belonged to.
So one day i drove by and his garage was open and he was working on a vehicle replacing the engine. He said i could have the Bible. He handed it to me. Immediately he received a phone call that Teala had passed. He went into the corner and talked and cried on the phone. I respectfully stepped out of the garage to give his privacy whilst i cried too, holding that Bible. Now in Powwow one often just opens it to whatever page opens to skry a passage of relevance that G_d has for me today. When he was off the phone i opened the Bible on a table and it opened to the 23rd Psalm. Read it. I read it to me holding him and we both cried and i substituted her name into the passage. “Yea though i walk through the shadow of death, i shall fear no evil, and i shall dwell in the house of the (Goddess) forever.” We both cried and cried over a young woman whom i had never met. Then he had to walk up the alley to tell her mum that she had died. I left with that Bible after offering what i could to help him and her and their family.
Later my brother found the obituary in my mum’s newspaper, photographed it and emailed it to me. Her funeral was to be in about a week after her cremation at the local VFW instead of a church of course.
Edited for privacy
I arrived at the service and talked to her sister Sasha, also a Witch, and offered to do the Rite of Passage from my hand copied Book of Shadows which i copied from my teacher, Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue’s, BOS. She negotiated with relatives who all knew Teala was a witch though some were nominal Christians as i did not want to push my way in and offend anyone. They all said yes let that stranger (the only person i knew there was TJ) High Priest do the ritual a Witch has done when she passed over to the next world and reincarnation. I did not dress in a robe but was well dressed in what i call my black wedding and funeral suit. They had set up a table with her pictures as a shrine to remember her as she was, the pictures being below.
I did the opening blessing of salt and water and blessed myself, Teala who helped me by slowing ringing a bell the whole time, and the maybe 50 relatives there. The bar tender of the room rented at the VFW made me put my athame away because of course one cannot display a gun or knife in a bar in PA, so i used my index and middle finger in a mudra instead. I borrowed a salt shaker and water in a plastic cup. Witches make due. I did not have a black and astral colour candle, so used a black lighter and silver lighter. The ritual is only one page long and i read it out loud and i Immediately felt Teala’s spirit right there at the table shrine. I also felt Dr Santee and Anubis behind me.
Mission accomplished. I did my duty as an elder Witch High Priest and helped a Witch i never met, doing a ritual in front of mostly strangers.One last profound moment. After the ritual whilst having a beer a relative bought me i noticed a guy sitting along at the bar looking rather forlorn. I went over and talked with him and found out he was her boyfriend and he did not know many of the relative there too. He was nursing a rum and coke. I had already asked for some of the table centerpiece purple and white flowers for my shrine, and asked for a red flower to give him. He refused but i tucked it into his shirt. Later i saw him smelling that flower like it was his Teala and tears come to my eyes even now seeing that moment.
A Witch friend asked why i would publish this on the COC blog since it is not about the COC i assume, but it is, as this blog post in entitled – The Duties of a Witch High Priestess and High Priest for a Wiccan Rite of Passage even for someone you do not know, but who Is a Witch.
Teala in a photo shoot by her sister Sasha
A shrine i set up in my Witch Temple with a Picture Sasha gave me.
This long cold winter many relatives of friends have passed on, or are circling the drain as we used to say in the ICU. We are all going to die some day, whether young or old, peacefully or in pain, ready or not. Like Carlos Castaneda said once, and i paraphrase, go through life aware that Death is always there on your left shoulder. Live one day, one hour at a time.
One thing i forgot. Because of the state of her body she could not donate organs, but did donate her lily white skin, so many many burn victims and skin cancer victims are benefiting. Thank you Teala
May the Goddess and God of our Faith Bless the woman and witch Teala on her journey to the Summerlands or wherever she wants to go before she is reincarnated into a country and family where our Faith is tolerated. So Mote It Be. SMSBFZ 3rd* HPT COC.
All photographs copyright GLHoke and Sasha 2015 except for the Tumblr image above, and Please, do Not try to use FB facial recognition to probe farther into this private affair!