I’ve been feeling extra lazy and lethargic as of late. I think it’s my body finally saying “Fuck you, kiddo, Imma catch up on the sleep you’ve been denying me for a year”. I think my body’s being a wuss, but I’ll play its little game. For now. In the meantime, less candy and takeout meals, more water and simple foods. Gotta be strict somehow.
Well, I finally got off my ass last night and made a trip to the local graveyard. As most of you may have noticed, Halloween was recently, as was All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. The veil between the worlds is a little thinned right now (astrologically exact on 11/7, when the Sun is at 15° Scorpio), so I thought it appropriate to do what I’ve never done before and make an offering to the dead. Despite my learnings and inclinations as to such, I’ve never actually done much work for or with the spirits of the dead, and left that to my naturally necromantic mother and other spirit workers. I figured it was time to change that.
So I dressed all in black (both for the circumstance and because I didn’t want people to see someone walking into the town cemetery at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday), put a pomegranate, some beer and cookies, and a candle into my bag, and headed out for a pleasant evening walk. I took my black-handled dagger just in case, but since it hasn’t been consecrated yet, it was more for self-confidence than anything else. On the way, I asked my elemental familiars for some help (making sure nobody noticed me, opening my ears to hear and eyes to see the dead, that sorta thing), but also for some reassurance and comfort. I’ve never actually been to this graveyard (or many others, for that matter), though I’ve driven by it a number of times since moving here. Add to it, it’s nighttime, and there are no lights in the graveyard, and it’s All Souls’. All told, I was plenty spooked when I got there, and being there didn’t do much to alleviate the fear upon me.
It felt…I dunno. I’m still getting used to “feeling” places and sensing shit, and this place definitely felt unusual to me. I suppose I don’t often hang out in places filled with the departed, but hey, new experiences! In my mind’s eye I could sorta see these guys lining the areas, and a good number were curious about me. It was mostly benign curiosity, though still kinda stark. The graveyard had this circular mound with an obelisk in the center, which I circumambulated a few times out of respect for the dead of the place. I then walked around the graveyard on the roads provided, taking in the sights in what little light the half-moon gave off, and just feeling around the place respectfully.
When I got back to the mound, I got out my offerings and placed them on the curb of the mound. I lit the candle, and instantly the trees rustled from a noticeable wind (which, when the rest of the night was calm and windless, I was like “oh god oh god wtf”, but since I didn’t feel anything negative from it, I continued with my offering). I offered one beer, the food, and the candle to the spirits, then shared the other beer with the spirits in a toast. I made a small oration and dedication to the dead of the place, the dead I knew, the dead of my friends and family, and that sorta thing. After I made the offerings, I noticed I could see my breath much clearer than before, which implies that the temperature dropped. Yikes.
After I made my offerings, I got up and walked out. I felt things around me sorta close in on me, not offensively, but…I dunno. I “heard” a voice call out to wait, and so I turned around (making a point to not look back at the center mound, Orphically) and kinda saw the presence of a child walk up to me and, I guess, hug me. I smiled and wished it well, and it thanked me and walked off. I then promptly GTFO of the place before my welcome was up, since I still felt closed-in by things around me in an otherwise open space. The walk home was uneventful and I sprinkled some water on myself later to wash off anything that might’ve clung to me, but otherwise the rest of the night went pleasingly and restfully.
Not gonna lie, I dunno if what I did was reckless or enthusiastically honoring the dead, but it was intense either way. It was my first time, too, working with spirits of the dead as opposed to the elements or of a particular place. They didn’t quite appear to be the listless shades of Hades, but they weren’t the most active conversationalists, either. I’ve heard real ghost stories of some of my friends who’ve gone to real messed-up places before where the spirits there were all like “NOPE” and did what they could to get them off their turf, but this wasn’t like that either. I suppose I might want to tread carefully whenever I work with the dead since I’ll likely not know what I’ll be brushing up against, but investigating how to work with them in the future is definitely going to be a line of research for me.