Willow, Roses and Thorns

A Unique Diwali visit with mom and
Great-Grandmother Willow

I was lucky enough this year to celebrate Diwali with my mom at her place. The celebration of the Hindu Festival of lights is kept in our hearts as away of honouring my Grandparents, whom I so often and fondly refer to as Mama and Papa.

Papa was a Brahmin, Priest Cast, and as such he was knowledgeable in the preparation, administration and teachings of Hindu Pujas (rituals/prayers) and I learned the art, beauty and spiritual strength of Pujas at his side.

atPapasKnees

While I do not practice Hinduism as a chosen spiritual path, the lessons and approach to ritual that I have manifested in my Shakti Shaman practice is based on many of the Hindu Pujas I was raised on. The knowledge, wisdom and balance within the practice is amazing and powerful.

Based on my concept of souls, I do believe that Mama and Papa’s souls have transitioned past the mortal ‘life’ memories and have by now integrated the lessons and experiences of this most recent incarnation into their soul story, it is still a beautiful celebration with an amazing message totally worthy of honouring.

For the week of Diwali, to properly honour the Hindu celebration, we honour the Hindu path, this means we refrained from eating beef and pork, in fact, we simply refrained from eating meat at all.

At sunset we light two diyas (oil lamps fueled by ghee and feed by pure cotton wicks) one for Mama and Papa, and one for Sita and Ram, whose victory over ‘evil’ is celebrated that night.

While my relationship with my mom can be very strained at times, I wish she was far more deeply apart of my life than she is.  These rare weekends of bonding and love truly are the memories I treasure and the energy I store away for many shadow/healing ritual workings.

While I was at her home, mom introduced me to the two new little chipmunks she has added to her care with the other animals who visit her in her little suburban home. I spent a few hours sitting on the ground by the kitchen windows feeding and talking to them as they came by. One pretty much standing on my fingers to reach the food in my palm… he was much tinier of the two, and so I had a larger soft spot for him.

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I helped her weave her rose bush… definitely more vine than bush, through the trellis that affords her privacy, and she rewarded me with allowing me to take two cuttings for a Mother’s Love – Mother’s Protection talisman I had started visualizing while working on the trellis.  I knew it would work in conjunction with my Coven of Trees. More specifically, the Journey to the Heart of Darkness shadow work I so often have to do, which begins it’s journey within my Coven or Grove. Don’t worry, I had planned to leave an offering for the bush, but she decided my blood would do 😉

 

Then on the way back ‘home’ to my apartment, I asked mom to drive by the first school I ever attended in Canada, it was K-grade1 and was appropriately termed Willow Park P.S. for gracing the back field was a huge great-grandmother Willow.

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Looking up through the veil. My actual great grandmother willow. XO

My childhood was oddly traumatic. Besides being born behind the veil, I was raised by my grandparents, as my parents had to setup our lives in Canada. While being raised by my grands was far from traumatic!, being pulled from their arms and the only place I knew to be home around the age of four, and placed in what I quickly learned was an abusive environment… definitely traumatic. Then there was going to school for the first time, but also in a world where I was different. A person of colour in a world not ready for me. There was only one other girl who was like me. She was actually from India, but as I shared part of her heritage, it meant I definitely shared the dominant genes that gives me my complexion. To avoid teasing and bullying herself, she would join in the taunts. My one salvation was recess.

Most of the kids were too scared to go under the curtain like veil that hid the sacred space directly below Great-Grandmother Willow, but not me. I would part her hair, and curl up on her trunk and cry till I could here her soothing whispers on the breeze. She was my sanctuary. And it seems, my first Spirit Kindred I ever connected with… that I can recall.  I have always wanted to go back and see her. Now, over 40 years later, I finally did.

As I approached her I could feel a wave of energy and emotions…. I placed my hand on the heart of her trunk, and began to cry. I could not control the emotions that resurfaced, nor contain the unconditional love she was still pouring into me. She was alive, but not as well cared for as she should be… Older, but still ancient and timeless. She has many more souls to protect and guide along their paths.

I had gone with the intentions of requesting a lock of her hair, but we have a knowing with each other and I didn’t even have to form the words. I felt the wind stir and propel me forward.  The gift for her offering was granted simply by me returning to her. Remember her.  Loving her always.

Willow is at the heart of my coven of trees. she is the Great-Grandmother who governs her ‘sisters’ as they stand as guardians, guards, guides and gurus one and all … yet so much more.

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Willow will bind the mother’s protection and love together in the formation of my talisman, as a specially made heart shaped Heart of Darkness Shadow Journey’s incense ‘cone’ burns over them on the Ancestral altar, where these workings will take place.

I invite you on a journey, to meet my Coven of Trees over this fall and winter season.

Namaste and Blessed be,
Kayla Baboolal

Shakti Shaman

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