Talented kitchen witch and spiritual counselor Axure Anansi Grave likes to say that the ends of black lines are always magical and generally queer. I think that there is truth to this. I know that while my bloodline may end with me, my magical lineage will continue to flow. My intuitive and mediumistic gifts are inherited, and were diligently nurtured by study and my family. Our lineage started with my great-grandmother, Mema, who helped raise me from the time I was born. She had an episode of rheumatic heart in her youth, a disease to which I have found no modern proxy. Mema explained it as though it were a sort of murmur that forced her to spend weeks and months in bed, but had the benefit revealing ghosts and angels.
I’m not sure how these gifts are passed down, but that doesn’t stop the transfer. My mother is a premonitory dreamer and an aura reader. She’ll wake up before the sun rises to call you about something she smelled in her dreams, or something she heard just upon waking that she believes may be of some importance. These practices and ways of knowing were cultivated by long walks in the woods behind Mema's house, ducking and dodging its inhabitants both human and beast while talking about the future and signs. These ways of knowing, and the practice of seeing have survived as extra- church spirituality and ancestral devotion. It is difficult to maintain an inherited practice without revering and remembering those who bestowed it and helped cultivate it from childhood.
I grew up as an "indigo child," a psudo-scientific term that refers to kids whose parents feel like they have weird magical powers. It’s also a label placed on children who have autism spectrum disorders when they seem preternaturally interested in the supernatural. I have an ASD called Asperger’s Syndrome. I didn't talk until I was five, and I couldn't relate with the interests of my peers. I spent a great deal of time alone with my dog Remus roaming the edges of the woods, looking for this plant or following that sound down to the brook. Yet, as I came of age, what had once seemed natural made me fearful. The energies and spirits to which I had once felt so close began to make me feel uneasy and keep me awake at night. I was afraid they would hurt me.
A week before my thirteenth birthday, my mother and favorite auntie took my cousin and I to a holistic expo one stop down on the turnpike. My mother and aunt allowed my cousin and I to explore each booth, every table. We all got aura readings, and played with pendulums of semi-precious stone. As I witnessed the other attendees gleefully pursue their own personal magic, I felt a part of a community of practitioners, and more powerful for it. When I think back on the day, the edges feel soft, like a peeled egg. The expo center was huge, but being there with my family felt so intimate. Communities of faith and practice who have been forced by Christian supremacy into hiding need one another. It is essential that we seek and make spaces for us to come together.