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1.Great Great Great Grandma ‘Aunt Koon’
2.Great Great Grandma Elizabeth
3.Great Grandma Bailey
7.Maddy & Lane (my daughters)
So, I find myself discussing my lineage fairly regularly with clients and would-be clients, so I thought it might be a good idea to include some information on my familial background related to practitioning in the FAQ’s section for everyone to have access to. When I’m asked how I know how to do something, or how I know what herbs and roots to use, and in what amounts for compounding, and all these things related to the work I do, the answer is in the following…
so, starting back with my great great great grandmother, who I refer to as ‘aunt koon’, which was her nickname. she was popular in the deep Kentucky southern moonshining and Baptist communities; she was known for her poppet work. back during this time period poppets were generally made from potatoes or other fruits or vegetables, as well as bread, occasionally animal organs were also used for poppet work, when a situation required more deity solicitation. she was 1/2 African and 1/2 Choctaw, my family is divided on whether my great great great grandfather (who was ½ polish and ½ Romanian, a son of a Romani gypsy wanderer and healer), had purchased her at a market, or if she had enchanted him, but in either situation, my great great great grandfather was a doting and loving husband to her. We believe their spiritual markers pulled them together, both being people with spiritual signatures vs the first hypothesis of the market scenario. Aunt koon was an avid divinator, her method was sortilege, using animal bones and other curios she would find in nature. they had many children, we believe 14 in all, however just a handful survived into their 20’s, as during this time many were lost to disease and war, particularly the moonshine wars that took place in Kentucky during this time period. We are descendants of the baileys. one of those surviving children was my great great grandma Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was more of a divinator than a practitioner, she was especially talented in reading tea leaves, table tipping, and other interesting forms of divination. we know she made tinctures and oils from compounds passed down from her mother, ‘aunt koon’, for those closest to her in the Lutheran and Methodist deep Kentucky southern communities. Things were changing in the practitioner community when my great great grandma Elizabeth was practicing, people were moving away from spiritual work and kind of taking up that mainstream medical work/science, which was really quackery back then, but it was luring and it was attractive, so I know that she focused a lot on divination versus herbal and root compounding. Elizabeth had many children as well, one of them was my great grandma Bailey.
my great grandma Bailey I spent a lot of time with as a child until I was 12/13 and she passed, so I have a lot of fond memories of her. she moved from Kentucky to northern Wisconsin when my grandma socha was a young child, who we will talk about in the next paragraph. I remember going up to visit great grandma, she had a log cabin, no plumbing, so there were bedpans and an outhouse, she lived in the middle of the Northwoods, and I remember her sending me and my cousins out to collect berries out back and I was always horrified of being attacked by bears, which one of my 2nd cousins teased me about unrelentingly since she was always sent with me to collect, a bear attack thankfully never happened lol. there were always a lot of animals around, fish, bunnies, birds, cats, dogs, chickens, small grain farm animals, so many, I also remember lots of snakes kept in a glass cage thingy which freaked me out lol. I particularly remember seeing lots of litters of kittens and puppies. my great grandma Bailey worked very closely with the family in the area who ran the Funeral Home, they covered several surrounding communities, and she was known to assist with the cleansing of the corpse, as well as the collection of corpse water, which she used in many of her spells that she sold to people in the community for different intents and purposes. she also was an avid tea leaf divinator, she also used cards (cartomancy), and other implements in her divination. I remember seeing dice, dominoes, you name it. I have lots of memories of watching grandma giving readings in her kitchen. I remember people coming in, some of them looked very wealthy, which was always interesting because we were, I don't wanna say poor, but close to it lol. She would say there was divinity in living meagerly. I remember being sort of scared of grandma Bailey when I was little, she was a very stern woman, she had a very deep voice, she was a no-nonsense person. I remember she would do coffee ground readings, and she would boil the coffee grounds in a pot of water on the stove with this cheesecloth material over it that she would then strain into the cup, allowing some of those chunked up boiled grounds to go into the cup. I always was fascinated with that, I think i was fascinated with the smell, it was such a strong smell, and I really enjoyed it, even back then. she also was a heavy smoker, as were most of the women in my family, she smoked cigars, and I remember vividly the smell of those cigars, and when she would do readings, I think it's referred to as tobaccomancy, she would analyze the ashes, the smoke, it was just such an interesting process watching her do that, I remember the kitchen being like a haze, like there was so much smoke in there sometimes you could barely see through to the other side. she had seven children, one of them being my grandma socha.
I spent a lot of time with grandma socha as a child, probably more time with her than I did at home with my parents. I have so many memories of grandma, she just passed a few years ago. I remember her sitting and smoking while reading her Harlequin romance novels while watching wrestling, hulk hogan was her favorite, those were her favorite three things, smoking, wrestling, and romance novels. grandma had a gift, not just as a practitioner with tincture making, but she had a green thumb, she could grow literally anything, anything!! my grandma always had these wonderful green rooms when she moved down to southeastern Wisconsin from the Northwoods when she married my grandfather. they had this one house near a lake in a small community, and the yard was brimming with roses, herbs, these unique flowers, these hybrids she would make, and had such a wonderful smell, and it was so beautiful, she had roses the size of a dinner plate I swear to you. she had a back porch that was just from top to bottom, ceiling to floor, plants and herbs, berries, vegetation, things that she grew herself that she used in her own compounds. I always was mesmerized by these rooms my grandma would have. I spent a lot of time as her helper at the divination table, I would always sit on the left, and I would assist when she was giving readings. I learned most everything from her, and from the journals from her mother, her grandmother, and great grandmother (bailey, Elizabeth, and aunt koon). Grandma socha was the first omnist in the family. She was the first one to see how the divine was connected, cross referencing deity in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, orisha worship, Santeria, and other spiritual and religious sects. My grandma Socha also when I was young worked in a factory that made crystals, back then TV's and electronics required these crystals to work, and every day she would come home from the factory with crystals that didn't pass quality control, and they looked like quartz crystals, maybe a little bit cloudier, but they had sharp points, they were very interesting, and I remember my grandma using those as energy transference devices, she would charge them for different intents, and these were items that she sold or gave to others to help them manifest. she used to give a lot of those to me and my siblings and my cousins, of course we were young and really didn't realize what grandma was giving us, they were for protection, you just don’t take that stuff seriously when you’re a kid, I wish I would have held on to those crystals. She taught me all about signs and synchronicities, you couldn’t drop a utensil in the house without grandma reading it, there was ample salt throwing, and birds were watched meticulously lol. She had prophetic dreams and taught me the importance of unraveling the meaning of imagery in dreams. And so my grandma had three children, one of them my mother Linda, the middle child. When my mother was a young adult, my grandma told me about a haunting in the home they lived in at the time, it started when my mom was about 18, until they all moved out when mom was a little over 20. I was born in that house. I lived there for a year as an infant. Grandma believes those spirits were attracted to my mother’s essence or spirit, as she had never had to deal with spirit, or spirit work or attachment before this incident. Anyways, that’s a whole other story, the things that happened there blow me away.
my mom was a gifted divinator. As a teenager Ouija was her thing, it was the new ‘parker brothers’ era of fortune telling! She had a powerful aura and spirit. She actually could see other people’s auras emanating from them in all the hues of a rainbow. Spirit was attracted to her. This was good and bad for mom. Her aura drew them to her like a magnet. she also had the gift of vision. when I was a little kid, I would say maybe around the age of 10, I remember my mom having a dream in which there was a plane crash, and in that dream, it was very vivid, she seen the people, their faces, she seen them dying, and she absorbed some of that, it was a horrifying experience, and then the next day there was a plane crash, and a coordinated with what my mother had seen and experienced in the dream. after that, between the spirit stuff and then this horrific dream prophecy, it scared my mom so deeply that she kind of blocked her gifts. she just blocked it out, not all gifts are meant for everyone I suppose, she turned away from everything. so at that point my mom kind of turned her back on her abilities and has never really looked back. she struggles now with me working as a practitioner, I think it is more out of a protective thing, like fear for me, kind of projecting the fear she felt when she was younger, and the things she experienced.
Then there’s me. I think I’m the first one in our fam to bring a scientific aspect into our work. Physics was always an area of interest to me, especially quantum physics. Science tells us that all things, animate and inanimate, have an energetic signature, a frequency, a vibration, and that those signatures and frequencies can be altered, which they do every day in labs all over the world to create things like medicines, to change the weather, to make food, and to experiment. Magick is the same as physics. It’s the art and science of energetic manipulation, taking things from a high vibration and frequency to a low one, and everything in between, and vice versa. its manipulation. We do that by combining herbs and roots that raise frequency, or lower it. That attract spiritual energy, or expel it, or block it. When people scoff at magick I ask them if they believe in science, physics, earth sciences, proven result based theories, because if they do, they cannot scoff at magick, it is one and the same. Just like in omnism, it all interconnects, we as a society just choose to not acknowledge it lol. They say that there is one chosen in each new generation that needs to carry on with practitioning. I don’t know why it was me and not my sister. Just like me mom didn’t know why it was her and not her sister or brother. The divine chooses. Maddy and lane are my daughters, and both have had the exposure and knowledge passed on to them, they both are developing their skills, but I’m not sure yet which one will carry the torch.
So this was just my maternal lineage. You will find in families with strong practitioning backgrounds, that they often times interconnect with similar families, call it fate, or divine sourcing. Someday I will carve out time to review my paternal lineage as well.
I’m hoping someday maddy or lane will write a book about our family, our experiences, and all the wild and crazy things that have gone on someday. I don’t have the time to lol.