Around the Cauldron · Pagan Blog Project 2014

Dreaming of Ancestors

A large part of Traditional Witchcraft and Druidry is the connection and honouring of ancestors. Personally, I’ve always struggled with this. I have a real difficulty in connecting with people, although of my line, but that I never met.

I’m lucky in that I’ve known my four grandparents, and only one has passed over (Poppy Kook passed over six years ago) I’ve even known one great-grandmother who passed away at 95 in 1995. So those two people I can connect with. When I go to visit Nanna during the times I go back to Victoria, Poppy is there in the garden. After his passing I could sense him in the house, but now he’s only ever in the garden.

It’s also Poppy’s side of the family and his lineage that I would love to know, because it’s the only family line I don’t know much about. My Dad’s Dad has traced his parents lineage (English and Scottish) and my Nan’s lineage back to 1600s for Nan’s (English and Welsh), and someone on Nanna Kook’s family traced her father’s line back to Ireland 1700s. I know that through both my mum and dad’s sides of my line I have convict ancestors. Through one line a 12 year old girl was married off to a 50-something year old man as women were scarce at the time in Australia and her mother had died on the journey over to Melbourne.

Poppy came over to Australia from Holland after the war. I know he was one of five boys, and two of them died in the war. I know his father died in 1945 and was one of the Leaders of the Resistance for their town and died helping people in their town as part of the Resistance. I know his mother died around 1954, and she said the rosary every day after Poppy left in hopes that he would return home. He didn’t go back until the late 80s.

This plaque in Amsterdam commemorates four members of the resistance who were killed in fight on the day of the liberation, including my Opa.

I originally had this really big post written up with a lot of backing detail, but I keep being told “don’t post it.” So I’m gonna follow that advice.

I’ve dreamt of my ancestors a small handful of time since I was little.

I’ve dreamt of my great-nan (the one I knew), I’ve dreamt of Poppy Kook’s brothers who died in the war, but more recently I’ve been dreaming of Poppy and through him, his parents. One night Poppy came through and I honestly cannot remember what was going on, but from what my cousins have told me, he was doing the rounds that night visiting a few of us grandchildren. I think he was just checking in, letting us all know that he’s there if we need him. It was incredibly comforting.

The week before last Poppy Kook popped in again, with his parents photos (the only ones I have) in frames with a message of, “do what your friend has done.” A dear friend of mine has her ancestors framed on her altar and the frames he was holding were the exact ones she’s used.

Oma, Poppy’s mum, first introduced herself to me about thirteen years ago. I did an oil painting of her for Poppy shortly after he first got sick, then she came through during a Psychic Drawing a few years later I got drawn at a local psychic and new age fair. So I’ve worked with her on and off for the last ten years, but I felt ridiculously connected to her leading up to my handfasting. For my ‘something old’ I asked if I could wear her brooch and from that she became a constant for me. Then I lost touch with that feeling due to moving and stress and random other excuses.

Last November I drew a picture of a man with a moustache and I became obsessed with finding out who it was. Last month it became less about the man in the photo, and more of “who is this man with the moustache?” It was Opa, Poppy’s Dad. And he came through at such a pivotal time for me, and assisted and helped me find focus with my summer uni subject (statistical mathematics…so glad that’s over!)

I’m working with Oma and Opa on a regular basis now. I have their photos on my altar, and in my wallet, and in my phone case. Opa helped me with my exams (I believe he was a carpenter before the war) and they’ve both become such a constant for me. They’re there. Their guidance is felt, whispered, heard and for two people who died 30-40 years before I was born, I feel quite honoured that they’re with me.

If you’d like to work with your ancestors, but am like me and don’t trust the voices you might hear (long story based on a history of depression/cyclothemia/bipolar/whatever it is I have) ask for them to talk to you in your dreams.

[NB: Oma and Opa have asked not to have their photos up.]

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