A Witch’s View on Death

In my life I have had to confront death many times. My Father died a week after university started and my Ouma died in April 2009. These two Deaths were the most significant times for me for my faith, and how it changed so drastically from being afraid to work with Hekate to dedicating to her. As a child I had pneumonia which threatened my life, and since then Death has followed me around. It led me down the path I’m currently on, or perhaps, those events were spurred by the fact that I needed to be led to a certain place in order for me to grow.

Death is inextricably linked with life. Dying is a process that happens the moment that we are born. Our bodies are undergoing continuous processes of death and renewal as each cell in our bodies dies to be renewed. Our body decays as we get older. Every day lived; every breath taken is a step closer to death.

Many of the Gods I worship and some of my familiars are associated with Death, decaying, and the Other Side. Anubis is a god of the dead, and presides over the process of mummification and embalming. He is a psychopomp, a god that guides the dead to their destination. He is the knower of all truths and knowledge of the world and is with me every moment as my guide.

Hekate is a Greek goddess with three faces. She presides over the three-way crossroads and is also a psychopomp. She is a midwife Goddess, the Goddess of Witchcraft. She is the knower of the Great Mysteries and is the Ensouler of the world.

The snake is an animal I have been fascinated with since early childhood. I always loved going to the snake park and feeling the undulating muscles move beneath my hands. The snake is a Shamanic animal, one that dies a thousand deaths and is reborn a thousand times.  The snake is a sexual symbol, a symbol of Kundalini and knowledge of the Earth.

The butterfly is the dancer of life, the walker upon the flowers, tasting its source of life with its delicate “feet” The butterfly teaches the lesson that life is short and must be lived in the moment. Butterfly also teaches that change,transformation and death are inevitable.

Crow, is a creature of the shadow world, the messenger of the great beyond; the scavenger who eats carrion and pecks at the spoils of war. The Crow is shapeshifter, protector and “death on wings.”

They teach me the mysteries of transition, change and death.  They show me that death is not to be feared but to be accepted as an intimate part of life.

Death, in Western culture, is scorned, looked upon as something to be hidden, dead bodies are filled with noxious poisons which seep into the earth, just so that bodies may look asleep but alive. We deny death at the same time as we fill the earth with the senseless deaths of thousands of slaughtered animals, and we look away when we see our aging faces in the mirror, or the aging faces of our loved ones.

But Death will always come, what lives must die, the grain must fall and the flesh must rot for this is the natural cycle.

originally posted on esotericreflections.co.za 2010

All blog content is Copyright © 2010-2015 of Nightshade thepurplebroom.wordpress.com

 

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