Filming of a crossing over ceremony
Last Beltane, I allowed an international documentary company to film a ceremony to lift the veil on forgotten female practices, as I believe it is time for women to reclaim their indigenous magical customs and break the curse of fear that has disempowered them for centuries in this land.
Led by myself, the daughters of the Cailleach gathered to keen for the accused witches of Scotland. An ancient tradition in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands. By doing this, we were in service to the accused who had not crossed over, their loved ones who were forbidden to grieve, and all their descendants that carry this ancestral trauma.
It was my hope that by healing the original witch wound, the accused who were denied all traditional funerary rites, could join their ancestors and we could begin to heal those who feel this invisible legacy of the burning times.
The ceremony included some rituals to honour our native customs, as we moved into the light half of the year. To prepare, we made Rowan crosses that were bound with blood-red thread and charmed with the name of our mother. Our faces were smeared with ash from the Beltane fire, and we were anointed with water taken from a sacred well on May Eve.
Traditional offerings of milk, butter, and bannocks were made to the fair folk in exchange for their protection. I blessed stones that symbolised the accused witches that were tortured, strangled, and burnt nearby. These were later laid in a small cairn of remembrance.
Our heads were covered as a mark of respect to the dead, as we danced and drummed to welcome the time of the big sun and give thanks for its light. I called to the Cailleach, the veiled one, the first of my blood and bone ancestors to ask that way between the worlds be opened, so the accused witches could be welcomed home to the otherworld.
I sat inside a Rowan hoop, my hands placed in the earth that was taken from the place of execution to connect me to the dead and performed psychopomp. After the sacred act was over, I thanked the great mother, the ancestors, the shining ones, and our familiar spirits.
Through this ceremony, the daughters of the Cailleach became Anum Cara, soul friends of the accused witches. I have been performing psychopomp for many years and in that time have crossed over hundreds of earth-bound souls. If you feel drawn to this work, please get in touch.