Lesson 5: Graveyards in Witchcraft- Basics!
By: Helper Kit
Live class date and time: 1/5/2017 at 7:00pm CST
A.) Legalities: I will mention some things that I do very briefly in my personal graveyard. It is an older one that borders my 3 acre property directly and is not regularly maintained. This allows to me to fudge some rules. HOWEVER- working as a paralegal for over a decade, let me lay some groundwork legality clauses for the general witch:
1.) Do not enter after dark. It is illegal in most states.
2.) Do not take dirt directly from atop a grave.
3.) Do not bring bottles of liquor into the cemetery, or glass jars to put you dirt in.
4.) Do not light more than a tea candle and always hold the tea candle yourself (do not set on ground)
5.) It’s best to not disclosure your craft to anyone asking what you’re doing. Just say you’re visiting (and wanted to honor your relative’s memory if a candle is lit)
6.) ALWAYS do
as an employee/pastor/policeman asks. Even if it may be technically legal and
they’re just uncomfortable, it’s better to de-escalate the situation and leave.
You can either come back at a different time or find a different graveyard.
7.) Bring flowers to appear more normal! They also make great offerings!
8.) Do not remove ANYTHING from a grave site. Ever.
Do not leave offerings of
stones. It is offensive (i.e. personal) in some religions.
Note: In regards to leaving stones on graves/headstones: It is a Jewish practice for remembrance and respect, but my personal research has not found any sources of it being disrespectful for gentiles/non-Jews to also do so. If you find a credible source to the contrary- please let us know! Otherwise, it is fine to leave small stones as offerings.
B.) Offerings: these should always be something
subtle. I never bring in an actual bottle/glass of the liquor offerings. I
usually soak a small bit of cotton or leaf/herb mixture in it and use that. For honey, I’m a huge
fan of those individual packets you can get at restaurants (even though they
aren’t perfectly local and organic, they are more transportable and less
legality issues- just please dispose of the plastic trash after use properly)
Offering examples: tobacco, juice, silver coins, honey, liquor, fruit, flowers, herbs, incense (I like to use pomegranate based juice/liquor/fruit due to it’s ties to the Underworld)
C.) Basic communing with the dead ritual/introducing yourself to a new graveyard
-example ritual: [http://stygiantarot.tumblr.com/post/154861064189/communing-with-the-dead]
do NOT recommend bringing a shovel or spade. Period. I don’t even do this with my own
graveyard, it is a dangerous offense to be caught with.
-It would be best to wear shoes that are easy to take off, and do the ritual without digging (if you don’t like the idea of bare feet in a graveyard, wear thin socks you don’t mind getting dirty). The spirits will understand you don’t want to be put in jail.
-I do NOT recommend inhaling the herbs listed as wormwood and mugwort both contain Thujone, which can cause a LOT of issues if too much is ingested/smoked. An sachet of these is fine. You can gently smell the sachet bundle when focusing on the spirit connection. Please be aware of your own medical conditions as well (i.e. allergies/pregnancies/disorders)
I recommend that are safe to place on your eyelids and would have positive
connotations with the dead: olive, pomegranate, coconut, almond, hemp seed
(these are all technically “carrier oils” and if you want to add a dash of an
essential oil that increases psychic/perception, you can- just spot check it
before you put it on the eyelid. Also, just a dab on each eyelid is fine. No
need to stick your eyelashes together.
D.) Graveyard dirt. What the hell
is it? Simply put, it’s dirt collected from a graveyard. It is NOT a euphemism
for other herbs. Also, when it comes to “Goofer dust”, that is a NOT
interchangeable with graveyard dirt, though graveyard dirt is a component of
the mixture. Please keep in mind Goofer dust is a traditional Hoodoo mixture,
and not something I recommend trying to use or replicate without stepping into
appropriation territory (THANKS “SUPERNATURAL”). However, graveyard dirt is
-Magical uses: Protection, barriers/wards (around property especially!), cursing/hexes, banishing, certain types of healing, divination, spirit-work
DON’T TAKE SOD/GRASS.
1.) General graveyard dirt: from anywhere inside the graveyard grounds. This is what I recommend for beginners or people who don’t have a lot of spirit work experience. Still leave an offering, explain your purpose, and be respectful even if you’re just snagging a couple spoonfuls from under a tree.
2.) Grave dirt: dirt from a specific grave. Do not do this with recent graves unless it is someone you knew/a relative. It’s best to do this with older/semi-abandoned graves (pre 1900s are great). Ask permission first (this is where spirit work experience comes in, it’s best to get some sort of positive response in the method you are familiar with before removing), leave an offering, and again be respectful.
3.) Grave dust: The “leavings”/debris from atop the gravestone itself. This is actually the easiest to collect without looking suspicious. Just gently sweep it off into your hand and discreetly put it in the bag/vessel you brought. It’s a common ingredient in Underworld/Death/Necro workings. Also can be thought of as an extra potent version of graveyard dirt in regards to magical correspondences. Still leave an offering, ask permission, and explain yourself beforehand.
E.) Homework: Go to a
graveyard/cemetery and walk around quietly. Let yourself soak in the energy and
see if you’re drawn to any gravestones. Take pictures of the one(s) that you’re
drawn to! Share them on the server (or on your blog and tag us!)
Extra credit: Research the person listed on the grave and see if you can figure out a reason you might have been drawn to them!