I've posted previously about some incidents that happened at the archery club I used to frequent. I figured I might as well tell about some other things that have happened to me lately.
I'm a practicing witch, albeit not of the black-wearing, cauldron-bubbling variety. I'm not Harry Potter, I can't make things fly, I can't turn people into toads (and why would I want to?) It's much more mundane and unimpressive. Subtle things. A little bit of luck here, a divination there. Tarot cards, protection charms, you know. Simple things to give my life a nudge in the right direction.
What got me interested in this aspect of my life was an uncanny habit of knowing of a person the night before they died. My family has a lot of elderly people in it, so my whole childhood was a steady stream of funerals. When I was a kid, my mother said I used to talk to people who weren't there, people who would stand right beside the beds of aunts or uncles or cousins who were declining in health. As I got older, that stopped, but before each passing, I'd dream about the person who was going to die.
Lately, I've been careful to honor the souls of the departed. I burn candles and pour one out for the recently deceased, I set wine on my altar, and on Samhain, I put out soul cakes for the spirits.
There's a park next to my apartment that was built over the graves of some folks from the African American post-civil war community, and I go walking there with my dog occasionally. This past year, I passed one of the untended graves and in a fit of...I don't know, compassion, maybe, I left an offering of honey on the gravestone. It seemed sad to me that someone had razed the cemetery for a hiking path. It was nearing Samhain, so I also said a short prayer, inviting the soul of the deceased there to join us at our table for that night. I left out a card with her name and food for her and some of my long-passed family members.
I forgot about it after that. School has kept me busy and I haven't had much time to go walking in that park, much less to visit her grave.
After class, I got home and immediately collapsed on my bed for a nap. Now, I often have sleep paralysis, but it's usually just the sense that there's someone trying to get in and the inability to speak or open my eyes. Today, I heard someone in my room, and then felt a head with coarse hair rest on my shoulder. I tried to open my eyes, but couldn't, and I couldn't move at all.
I didn't feel afraid; mostly I was just surprised that someone was in bed with me.
I remember managing to force out some words, slurring, "Who's this? Who's there?"
"It's Sarah," they answered, as though I should know better. Like I knew who Sarah was.
I think I said "Oh", but regardless, I fell back asleep and dreamed about Sarah, a heavy-set, dark-skinned woman with black hair, telling me she couldn't stay too much longer. I remember drawing her with a crayon, at which point the entire thing dissolved into the sort of nonsensical dreams I usually have.
When I woke up, I remember getting up and going to look around to see if anyone was in my apartment. Neither my roommate nor my husband were home yet.
As I shook off the fog of sleep, I remembered my Samhain guest's name was Sarah H-----.