Death Witchery – Lesson 2

Death Witchcraft.

When you think of Death, what automatically comes to mind? The end, loss, grief, the unknown, possibly depression, anger, or confusion. Death – to most people in Western Culture – is considered negative and taboo, simply because humans are not ready to face their own mortality. No one knows for sure what lies in the Afterlife, no one (usually) has anyway of knowing if their death will be painful or peaceful. So how can you incorporate such a ‘negative’ thing into a ‘positive’ craft?

When you think of Death, you think of the physical end of a person or animal, yes? When questioned on what else comes to mind, not many people can think of anything else but misery and heartache.

 Death is not just painful, death can be a blessing, when you take into consideration it’s second aspect; metaphorical death. Sure, it sounds silly now…but consider this. 

The Earth Herself dies and is reborn every year through seasons. Parts of you ‘die’ and are reborn; such as when you kick a bad habit, or when you finally move past that bad time in your life. Death is a crucial part of life. People die to make way for the new; just as aspects, memories, thoughts and habits can die to make way for new, better, reborn aspects of yourself. 

Death is simply paving the way for a new beginning. This is only one half of what Death Witchery is.

What does it take to practice? ::

First and foremost, you need to have a good understanding of how you feel about death, in both a physical and mental sense. If you are a person who shuns their mortality, who would be uncomfortable speaking about death and dying in general, I’m afraid this practice is not for you. 

If spirits and cemeteries creep you out: turn back. Death Witchery is not for the faint of heart. Not only will you be working with passed loved ones, ancestors, and passing by spirits, you will be working on bettering yourself, analyzing what doesn’t serve you, and asking yourself what is crucial to your growth as a person, both physically and spiritually.

You need to accept and be mindful of your mortality and the mortality of others. People pass on, it’s a fact of life. Once you are able to accept that fact, you can begin your practice.

What do you do in Death Witchcraft?

There are a multitude of ‘sections’ in this craft. You are not obligated to practice all of them, but each one is useful and helpful in it’s own right. Primarily, it is centered around the dead. Spirit work and communication is a big aspect of this.

This might be having dumb {as in silent} suppers with spirits of family and ancestors, or helping a passing by spirit find peace. Death Witches are known for their funerary rites and ability to aid most spirits. Embracing death gives you a sort of power over it.

Now, when you consider the non-physical aspect of death craft, things such as banishing and cursing might come into play. Banishing what doesn’t serve you, what doesn’t serve others, etc., is the greatest form of non-physical death. You are ‘killing’ an aspect of you that you no longer need, in order to be reborn into something greater or healthier. Cursing is not for everyone, but with some vindictive people, it is a way to ‘kill’ something of someone else, be that their happiness, their health, whether mental or physical…there are lots of options that I will not cover here, but you get the general idea.

Not only do you work with death, but after so long, you begin to appreciate the beauty of death. Stumbling across skulls or bones in the wild is an awesome feeling, because we really want to focus on humane practices when collecting bones. Bones are the ultimate tools of death, simply because their is nothing more ‘in your face’ about death than seeing the bones or a skull of something dead.

If you’re not too into diving head first into heavy practice, small things to start that would be great would be something like going to the cemetery, appreciating the headstones, cleaning off old, worn graves, saying a small prayer over fresh graves, or even volunteering with your local cemetery to clean up litter and decorations (when called for- yes, cemeteries clean up grave decorations usually once or twice a year to minimalize debris). Not only would you be showing respect for the dead, but you would be helping out the living community by upkeeping the cemetery and keeping it a nice, clean place for families to visit.

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