To Thee—who feels broken, maimed, and overly-tamed,
misguided and trained to feel so much disdain.
To Thine—who wants to be awoken, reclaimed, and untamed,
inner-guided to feel the melody of being unchained.
To Those— who were burned at the stake,
hunted, silenced, beaten, discarded and raped.
No one was to be left without being unscathed.
Buried alive, stoned, hung, lynched,
swung back and forth between tree limbs, skin synched
limbs ripped apart while bones break,
head droops down toward the ground,
weight held by a noose around the neck of the crown.
For god’s sake,
in god’s name they spake,
claiming to have great faith,
that twisted and turned into unrelenting hate.
Spreading their ways,
they went on without restrain,
together, they made systems of profit and fame,
all from a place of their own trauma and shame.
The abuse of power, that for generations waged,
and to go against, became an unlawful outrage.
that went held unaccountable and even unnamed,
then became normalized and deeply engrained.
Today— as I rested beyond the veil of unforgotten planes.
In between realms that shadow-cast voices from beyond the grave.
A message made it’s way,
through time and space,
only to land in a place,
where it would finally leave a trace…
I heard the cries, screams, and wails from the past burning flames.
From our foremothers and sisters, that were deemed witches in their day.
They may have been hung or burned at the stake,
but the flurry of flickering embers were left in their wake.
Their voices were never truly silenced nor left to be unattained,
but set sail on the winds to explain the unexplained.
Into the ethers they whispered and proclaimed,
as their fury flew home to that which is forever untamed.
Our great mother Gaia received her daughter’s bodies with grace,
and let them rest peacefully within their sacred graves.
She cradled them closely to keep them protected and safe.
Then she spake to them quietly of their upcoming fate…
“Sleep for a while, my children, until you’re ready to awake,
This promise, I give, is one I shall not forsake,
I will keep your lights burning till its time to rekindle the blaze.
A fire a year, will burn brightly in each of your names.
They will no longer be slandered, tainted, and maimed.
But will keep your flames flickering through many moons that shall wane,
only to be returned in a time,
where your lives will no longer be made into a crime.”
For this was a promise to be kept,
as the earth wept,
her tears poured down in heavy rains,
for her daughters who were wrongfully blamed,
almost putting out the fire that was to be kept in their names.
Their bodies continued to be cremated,
their deaths sadly unearned,
and too many slain and incinerated,
while Gaia yearned and patiently waited.
For the Witches who were once burned,
were promised to one day be returned.
To reckon their powerful flames.
A fire still continued to burn in their names.
Their sparks howled & hissed,
into a smoky mist,
leaving a dense haze,
as the fleshy-filled fumes wafted in waves,
swirling around, they whisked, whirled and blew into the airways.
Breathed-in for centuries now, so each child that could,
would sense their pain and heartache.
Their bare naked baked bones burned down into dusty remains,
the soot from their singed souls were sifted into the soil like finely ground grains.
Buried deep, they dug down to sleep into the lofty landscape,
fresh seeds were sewn only to become grown into the very food everyone ate,
where we prayed over them, said grace, and gave thanks,
Their broiled blood bled deep,
seeped down streets,
into the waterways in which we bathed in, and so willingly drank.
What was left of their scorched skin,
melted into the hearts of their kin.
Their bodies perfectly singed,
dark like the dirt down deep,
where they rest under 6 feet.
Not forgotten, see, smoke has a way of carrying prayers upon the wind.
One only has to be willing to listen.
A power to shape shift flame into fog, smoldering smog,
a game of smoke and mirrors that hauntingly appears,
as a ghostly gas that lingers in the ethers,
for days that pass into years.
And as the years went and came,
came and went,
only to fade again,
another century gone,
another passes as though nothing had ever gone wrong.
Only a hint of hope kept the fire burning in their names.
Mother Gaia waited for humans to be ready for great change.
She needed to know her daughters would not be deemed insane.
To live in a time where they would no longer be too afraid.
Where they’d truly be seen,
not as a bitch,
or crazy & lazy.
Nor have her wings clipped and kept in a cage.
They’d no longer be over-shadowed and deeply disgraced,
stoned, spit-on, or deemed too wild for her era and age,
but supported & celebrated in her own creative rage.
Wombyn honored as empowered, as well as quite brave.
A time that has the courage to raise the human race,
to embrace Female power and with it your life-giving ways.
Dedicated to all those who were deemed “witches” in their day, who lost their lives in the centuries long hunt of folks who wouldn’t let their wild be overly tamed. Those who stood up to The Church in defense of their “pagan” earth worshipping ways. We hear you. We honor you. We are learning to stand for the earth again, have faith.
Featured Photo: Witchcraft Burnings, Digital Art by Ailinoz © 10/2002
Incantations of a Witch, Painting by Tom Shropshire