I feel close to my ancestors when I make a fire.
This is something I know how to do. I know what fire wants – what fuel, what closeness, where to close the gaps, where to lean in with a whisper of air. I know that the way I have sometimes in my life known what another body wants through nothing more than the medium of my skin.
I feel close to my ancestors when I do this. They lean into my bones as I lean into the hearth. And I can name them now: Lord Patrick Ruthven, Alexander William Ruthven, and Lucina Cemina Warren.
It is she who I feel leaning into me when I write.
Last year, in August, I took a path on ancestors and divination at British Columbia Witch Camp and what came through has changed me uttterly.
This year, I will be teaching a path on ancestors, alchemy and claiming one’s own story through work with ancestors. That’s last because storytelling is at the heart of my own magic and what these three and their lines are giving me, and I must teach this thing I have come to know.
As I write this, the light in the fire changes; I notice it though I’m not looking. I’m sitting in a green velvet chair close to the hearth, this unlined paper and good pen in my hand, that glass of red on the table next to me, that Chet Baker song fading into Lara Fabian’s Addio Del Passato on my La Vie En Rose Pandora station. This is all I want in life. This peace and beauty, this chance to breathe deeply and speak and, from downstairs, the occasional giggles from my son and his friend, which promise family time later, but not now, oh not now… now, only this.
Did I mention that I am conducting all this in my abominable snowman onesie?
But the fire changes color out of the corner of my eye. The change from gold to red tells me that it needs something and I turn to it like the touch of a beloved, not pulled out of my reverie but pulled into Fire’s: tending her hunger, his spark, their endless desire.