Episode 183: Graveyard Hygiene
Graveyards are one of my favorite places and I highly recommend anyone getting involved in magick spends some time in a graveyard or cemetery at least semi-regularly. One of the best graveyard activities is just to meditate on the fact that you will soon be among the departed to remind yourself not to put off any living you intend to do.
this episode, I give you a list of tips and techniques to connect with the magick of graveyards without taking home any energies that won’t serve you. You can work magick in graveyards and with graveyard dirt, etc. The trick is to do so in a respectful, ethical and self-protective way.
- How to enter and leave
- How to connect with spirits of the dead
- Which spirits to connect with
- What is ok to take from the graveyard
- Pay for what you ask for or take
- Cultural considerations
Links from the show:
Graveyards vs. cemeteries:
Lucky Mojo on Graveyard dirt
The history of picnicking in Graveyards in the US:
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Fun Fact: A cemetery is a stand-alone home for graves, a graveyard is a part of a church yard reserved for graves. I just use them interchangeably in this podcast since it doesn’t make a difference if you do these tips in a graveyard or a cemetery. If you want to know more about the etymology of the words, I put a link to the show notes.
- reasons to go to a cemetery:
- just to vibe with the liminal space and pay respects—People used to picnic in the cemetery—I have heard that people feel better when leaving a cemetery, because spirits feed off of our negative energy and leave us lighter. I believe it’s more that cemeteries are in between spaces and they remind us to live fully now.
- to do a spell or magickal working at the cemetery
- to collect something from the cemetery for a spiritual purpose, usually dirt
How to enter & leave:
When you enter, enter with respect and state your intention, maybe leave a small offering at the gate or entrance like 3 pennies, a flower, etc. If you don’t have anything, just leave a bit of positive energy, prayer or Reiki.
Don’t look back when you leave—now in New Orleans I was told to walk out backwards but that tour guide also told me a lot of misinfo about voodoo so, I’m gonna say don’t look back so that you don’t take any energy or spirits with you don’t want to have hanging around
—Some people have more issues than others because they are naturally attractive to spirits and naturally empathic, if that’s you, it’s more important to cut ties when you leave. If this you, consider wearing some type of protective amulet, Florida water, etc.
How to connect with spirits of the dead and who to connect with:
I personally do not just invite any spirit to connect with me. Doing that feels to me like going into a crowd of people and asking who wants to hang out, so it’s a “no” for me. I will choose or ask my spirit guides to send me to a specific grave. The truth is in the United States and much of the western world, our dead have not been tended and many of them need help more than they are capable of giving help. Because of this, I only connect with my own tended ancestors, affinity ancestors, or a grave that I’m guided to by my spirit guides.
I only have long term relationships with my ancestors and occasionally short workings with non-ancestors. Usually, I just look for a grave to connect to other spirits at. If I work with a non-ancestor, they will be paid. If I work with an ancestor, they will be tended.
I follow my gut and my own connect to my spirit helpers.
What is ok to take from the graveyard:
I’ve always been told that any plants of flowers growing in a graveyard belong to the dead. I did take, with permission, clovers from my grandparent’s graves to make syrups and tinctures for myself. I would not take from a non-ancestral grave and I would not take a plant without permission. The only thing I really consider ok to take from non-ancestor’s grave is dirt and then ask permission and pay. I always leave offerings for dirt and ask before taking. Graveyard dirt is a big topic, so I put a link in the show notes to Lucky Mojo’s page about it.
Make things look the same or better when you leave. I know some people who remove the dirt and replace with a flower. I always just take a small amount and minimally disturbe the earth in a non-noticeable way.
Why to take it and what to do with it is more than I have time for, but if there is interest, I may do a whole graveyard class in the Daily Alchemy Premium Member’s lab.
Pay for what you ask for:
Pretty self–explanatory, if you don’t know these spirits why would they give you something for free? I didn’t put this in the live broadcast but do not offer promises you can’t keep such as I will tend you grave every Wednesday, etc. With most situations with non-ancestors, I would give a one-time offering of something they might like such as coins, flowers, cigarettes, etc.
If I leave a big offering like a glass of wine or a plate of food that would look out of place to people visiting the graveyard, or could become litter, etc. I either leave it there for while I’m there and take with me when I leave or leave it in the evening and go retrieve it in the morning.
Different cultures and religions have different beliefs. Do not dabble in these unless you are of that culture or you’re are respectfully learning those traditions from a teacher who has given you some type of permission or license to do so. It’s not only disrespectful and appropriative, it’s not smart or safe to engage spirits you don’t understand or have connection with.
- Decide which forms of graveyard hygiene are important to you
- Spend an hour or two at a graveyard
- Try my graveyard Self Love Spell or do one of your own-
- Record it in your journal/ Book of Shadows and remind yourself to track back and notice your results later
Graveyard Self Love Spell
- Small piece of paper/pen—sticky note is fine or whatever feels good to you
- Small cloth bag—I usually use cloth favor bags bought from a craft store
- Petals from a favorite flower
- Favorite essential oil or cologne
- Go to the cemetery, either go to the center of the cemetery or where a nice statue or spot that calls to you
- Open a circle and/or ask for protection in whatever way feels best to you. Ask for assistance from your spirit guides and/or ancestors
- Meditate on what three qualities you would like to most be remembered for when you have passed on from this life.
- Write these three qualities on your paper along with ways you currently embody the characteristics and ways that you could begin to embody them.
- Rollup the paper and place in your bag along with half of your flower petals.
- Ask to be shown a spot to take a small bit of graveyard dirt or a small pebble from the graveyard. Put the pebble or dirt into your bag and leave the other half of the flower petals as an offering.
- Feed the bag with the energy of the essential oil or cologne of your choosing. Do keep feeding it regularly, at least once a week.
- Thank your guides and ancestors for their help and close out your circle and leave the cemetery.
- Keep the bag with you or under your pillow as a reminder of the qualities you choose to embody
- Notice how you begin to express these qualities and love yourself for your growth and also, love yourself as you are.
If you aren’t familiar with opening a circle google calling the four directions and find a method that feels right to you.