Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Script, Sweet Annie, A Page from Ruby Temple Blackchurch's Journal

                                                                                                  December 22, 1905

    The family gathered together for a Holiday dinner at my Aunt Ruth's home today. Afterwards we sat by the fire in the parlor enjoying our cups of cider when Aunt Ruth and Mother began reminiscing about their childhood holiday memories.
  I was only half listening to the conversation. My thoughts kept drifting back to my strange dream  and the little girl who had haunted it.
  I heard Mother say to Aunt Ruth,"Do you suppose Mama missed having her little sister while she was growing up?"
 The words little sister caught my attention. "Did Grandmother Bell have a little sister?" I asked interrupting the two of them.
  " Oh, yes, said Aunt Ruth, but she passed away when she was about five years old."
  My heart was beating hard in my breast.
"What was her name?" I asked as calmly as I could.
  Mother said, "Her name was Annie. Your grandmother Bell said she was a lively little thing, always laughing and playful. Everyone commented on how dark, long and lovely her hair was, just like a raven's wing.
   As Mother spoke Aunt Ruth had gone to the bookcase and had picked up an old photograph album.
It's cover was dusty and badly faded. It's edges were tattered. As she walked over to me, she was turning its pages. She placed the album in my lap. Pointing her finger at a small picture, Aunt Ruth said to me, "This is sweet Annie."

         "Oh, it is!" I whispered under my breath. There in the photo was the very same little girl of my dream, same hair style, same dress, same sweet face.
  "Why, sweet, Annie?" I asked.
    "She had a fondness for honey, ate it every chance she got. She was teased and told it would make her so sweet that the bees would think she was a flower and would try to take a sip of her. Your Grandmother Bell and your great uncles took to calling her Sweet Annie," explained Aunt Ruth.

I studied the face of this small girl comparing it to the face of the little waif in my dream. " I'd guess that she was barefooted when she sat for this pictured," I conjectured.
 Aunt Ruth had returned to her chair and was in the middle of taking a sip of her cider when I spoke. She choked on her drink and began coughing. Once she recovered her breath she asked me incredulously, How did  you know that?'
  I relied jokingly,"She looks like someone who would love to feel the earth beneath her feet." Just like the little girl who had been barefooted as she lead me through my dream forest, I thought.
          Aunt Ruth began to recall the tales of how Annie was always losing her shoes. She would remove them and then forget where they were. There had been a time when she left her shoes under a pew at church. The shoes had been found by the organist as she collected song books for the evening service.
Her shoes would turn up at neighboring homes, the library, the local grocer and mercantile. Annie's lost shoes became a fond village joke.
  The family seemed to be forever looking for her shoes.
" The dress Annie wears in the photograph was her favorite. She loved that white dress so much your Great Grandmother Abby could hardly get her to take it off, even to have it laundered! When Annie died the family buried her in it," Aunt Ruth said.
 "  What did she die of?" I inquired.
"I really don't know, said Aunt Ruth, I suppose it was one of those childhood diseases they have cures for now."
  "Have I seen this picture before now," I asked, thinking maybe I had looked at the photograph another time but had forgotten. And Annie's image was buried in my subconscious. I was searching for a rational explanation as to why I had dreamt of her.
  "I can't see how, Ruby,"Aunt Ruth replied. I was cleaning out an old trunk in the attic last week when I found the album. I haven't seen it in years and I know you haven't. Why do you ask?"

I got up and walked over to Aunt Ruth. I gave her a big hug and told her," I guess it's because she looks so much like you, I thought I might have seen it some other time thinking I was looking at a picture of you."

Much later when Mother and Aunt Ruth prepared for our departure home, I stole back into the parlor, picked up the album and removed Annie's photo. I slipped it into my dress pocket. I needed time to study the picture, time to puzzle out the how, why and consequences of her appearance in my dream and my life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sweet Annie, A Page From Ruby Temple Blackchurch's Journal

December 20, 1905

 My dreams were fitful last night.
 I dreamt I was lost in a dark thick forest and couldn't find my way.
Just when I had almost given up hope I heard the whisper of a young girl saying, "Ruby, come take my hand. I'll show you the way."
I turned and saw this lovely little barefoot girl in a white off the shoulder gown. Her long dark hair was parted down the middle of her head and it cascaded over her shoulders and fell into soft waves at her waist.
She walked up to me and took my hand in hers. When we touched I immediately felt calm and safe.

She began to lead  me thorough the trees and out of the darkness.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Annie.    Sweet Annie", she replied.
She tugged on my arm and pulled me down to kneel at her level.
" I will show you things and tell you secrets," she whispered with a giggle in my ear.
"You seem so familiar," I told her.
She just laughed and let go of my hand.
The sun was shining in my eyes.  I could no longer make her out from the wavering lines and flickering shadows in the glare.
"Annie, Annie, where are you? I called and called.
The sun was so bright!
I awoke.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Earth Poem

This past week I have worked on my Earth Rite.   My houseplants received a good cleaning plus what ever extra attention each individual  plant needed.
The herb and oil cabinet got a thorough cleaning. Old and past potency things were removed and returned to the earth.
   One thing I have learned while traveling this path is that it is better to wait til the need arrives when  acquiring herbs, gem stones, oils etc.
 I was enthused , excited and wanted to learn about everything so much that at first I went out and purchased a lot of items.   Some of which I have come to use regularly and know just exactly the amount needed.  Some items I rarely use and bought way to much.  It's been an on going education.
    The stone I use as the working surface of my altar ,I acquired from a nearby home as it was being built. The fireplace of this new home had been tiled with marble squares. There were a few left over pieces and I had asked the builder if I may have one. He was very kind and gave one to me.

I want to share with you an American Indian Poem written by an artisan pottery maker.

  I am the earth at my feet
And the rain that softens it
And I am thankful

I am the clay in my hands
And the shapes they craft
And I am respectful

I am the story in my mind
And the prayer in my heart
And I am wiser

We are one moment in a
Tradition everlasting and
We are honored

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Page From Ruby Temple Blackchurch's Journal

She wondered if he loved her truly.
He loves me.
He loves me not?
She ate an apple to the core and found a seed.
She removed the seed and gave it his name.
She took a pin and inscribed his name on a white candle.
She lit the candle, whispered his name over the seed then dropped it into the flame.
It cracked and popped!

She was overjoyed. It meant he could hardly contain his feelings for her.

  E___ had come to me, worried about  J's true intentions toward her. Was it because of her Father's wealth and position or  was it because he really valued her and that had made him ask for her hand in marriage? Was he true?

I gave her this charm to perform, telling her it would be helpful in helping her find her answer.
Later she asked me, "How did you know?"
I just smiled.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rite of Earth

Affirmation: I accept the richness and abundance of the universe. The pathway is always open for me to receive the gifts of the earth. I deserve the gifts of an abundant universe.

In Silver Ravenwolf's book, Hedge Witch, Spells, Crafts & Rituals for Natural Magick, the Rite of Earth is the third ritual.
I have been so immersed the last couple of months with creating for and celebrating Halloween that I find myself feeling a little empty now. The wheel has turned and I need to reconnect. I need my inner well refilled.
     When I feel this way I am drawn to nature. The need to go outside and walk around becomes overwhelming. The desire to touch Mother Earth is strong.
With this in mind I picked up my Hedge Witch book. It fell open to the Earth Rite.
 How perfect.
This rite concentrates on earth, associating this energy with the richness of the universe and the abundance of spiritual energy.
S.R uses this rite to teach the beginner how to create a hedge witch altar stone. It will represent a small sacred area where you can meditate, burn candles and work with your herbs. She also encourages you to get a plant to grow and take care of with the concept that as your garden grows without you grow within.

Since I have my altar stone already I will do a rededicating. For the next three days I will be cleaning up my altar area, repotting and working with my plants and gathering the supplies for the ritual.

When you feel in the need of renewing your inner well, what do you do?

Friday, November 2, 2012

The ( Secret) Journal of Miss Ruby Temple Blackchurch

clairvoyance 1) the ability to perceive things that are not in sight or that can not be seen
2) keen perception; great insight

  After reading Daniel Webster's dictionary 's meaning of the word clairvoyance, I knew I had finally found the name for that clear steady voice in my head which whispers of things to come.
It has been a constant companion all my life.
 The first time I heard it I was twelve years old. My best girlfriend C____ and her family were hosting a Halloween party on their small farm.
     The barn had been decorated with bundles of corn stalks and piles of dark orange pumpkins. The smells of apples, popcorn and hot chocolate filled the air along with an under current of fresh mowed hay and wet fallen leaves.
      The invitation had instructed that we were to arrive in mask and costume. We wouldn't be allowed to say who we were until our identities had been ascertained with questions that required yes or no answers.
      My friend's older brother fancied himself  a wit and a good guesser. He took it upon himself to find out my identity. I remember sitting there upon the rough wooden plank that served as a bench, answering his questions.  Looking up at him through the eyes of my mask, a voice said " He will be your beau."
       L _____ was nine years older than I. That is just not possible, I thought. Mother was forever telling me my imagination was to big, I needed to be sensible or my imagination would get me into trouble. As I told myself I was being silly, in the back of my mind I knew it would be true.
   Five years later when I had my seventeenth birthday, L ___ had become a regular caller, walking out with me after church on Sundays. We'd go for buggy rides. Somehow he always managed to find shady places where we could stop , rest the horse and he would steal kisses from me.
      At first I thought I was head over heels in love with him but as I grew to know his character, his views about women and their place and his religious beliefs, I realized I wouldn't and couldn't marry him.
 One day after another spat with him, I sat crying in the parlor thinking over our history together when I remembered that Halloween evening and what my voice had told me.
Yes, it had been right!
 He would be a Beau and nothing else.
How had I known?