In her wonderful book, Jambalayah, Yeye Luisah Teish tells of a strange event that happened near the end of 1982. She was alone, bedridden with a severe upper respiratory disorder. Between the congestion, high fever and sore muscles, she was on death’s door and could not muster the energy to do anything about it. She later recalled wondering what her mother would do, before drifting into a near-delirious sleep.
After a time, she sat up. “As my feet hit the floor, I noticed varicose veins (which I do not have), and my muscles were not sore,” she wrote. “I stood up and felt my hips much larger than they are. It seemed as if I were wearing my mother’s body!” She walked into the kitchen to prepare some of her mom’s home remedies, like hot mint tea and peeled garlic, then went back to bed. Periodically throughout the night, she ministered to herself. Finally, she fell into a deep sleep and arose at noon, “fit as a fiddle.”
Teish suffered through a storm and came out the other side – with help from another dimension. In the Yoruba tradition of her ancestors, the dearly departed are known to serve as healers for us. Sometimes they introduce us to those who help us care for ourselves. Other times they come and heal us in our sleep. But what was unique about her experience was that Teish’s mother was not dead, just living elsewhere. Teish also knew from her African tradition that every mother contains her daughter and every daughter her mother – and she was aware that the power which lies between two people who love each other can catalyze miraculous results.
I can attest to this myself. While living in Los Angeles years ago, I received word that my mother had been in a car accident. She was in San Diego being rushed into surgery, so all I could do was lie down and connect with her. The intensity of my love and concern sent me into an altered state. It felt like my body had been hooked up via jumper cables to hers. For over an hour, high-voltage energy pulsated from me to her. It was invigorating, even ecstatic. Afterward, I learned that Mom was going to be fine.
There are indeed stranger things in heaven and earth than most of us dream of. Yet at certain times, we can more easily sense the presence of the Unseen. And that includes Samhain (the Wiccan New Year), also known as Halloween. Dressing up as skeletons and witches – or decorating our yards with these scary figures – help us acknowledge the Scorpionic energy of transformation that ushers us into the darker, colder months of the year. (This is also true of Dia de Los Muertos on November 2, which is dedicated to reconnecting with and honoring our ancestors.)
Since it coincides this year with the Taurus Full Moon (Oct. 31, 7:49 a.m. PDT), Halloween is sure to conjure extra magic and mystery. And, change agent Uranus exactly conjuncts the Moon – shaking things up, electrifying our bodies and preparing us for change. The time around this Full Moon may be a profound turning point, a vibrational shift of energy. With no barriers between the land of the ancestors (Scorpio) and the land of the living (Taurus), it’s also an unparalleled time to invoke ancestral magic.
In the Yoruba tradition, Goddess Oya embodies the Scorpio energy of death and rebirth, as well as sudden, Uranian change. As Queen of the Cemetery, she conjures storms to sweep away the past. Oya as Uranus may shake your foundation in unpredictable ways, especially if you have planets in Taurus, Scorpio, Leo or Aquarius near 8 degrees. Yeye Teish warns that you should not invoke Oya unless you possess the courage to transform yourself. “Oya is not to be played with,” she says. “Oya will shake your soul loose from its foundation; hurl you from the tower of false pride; sweep you clean of debris and madness, and plant you on fresh ground.”
You may prefer to invoke your helpful ancestors instead. Your aim might be to ensure a fair, progressive outcome in the coming election, to help a loved one who’s suffering, or to catalyze a fresh start for yourself. As Mercury and Mars both station direct in the next two weeks, things could shift rather suddenly. The winds of change are in the air; it’s good to align with them.
Start by grounding yourself, standing barefoot on the earth. See a line of energy running from behind your eyes down through your pelvis and legs, into the ground. Feel that energy become like roots, winding down to the pulsating heart of Mother Earth. Anchor yourself firmly, and slowly breathe that loving energy up through your body. Send it out through the top of your head to the heavens. Call on your helpful ancestors (blood relatives, soul friends or famous figures you admire.) Ask for their help, and give gratitude. Affirm the highest outcome for all concerned, no matter how things may look at present. Listen for their guidance in the following days, paying particular attention to any unusual messages from nature or noteworthy dreams. You might even be used as a vehicle to heal someone you love. Either way, enjoy the magic and mystery of this intense season!