Saturday, 4 June 2011
As it turns out, my links to Ireland are to a protestant line in all but one branch of my family tree. The conversion is mostly likely because of my ancestors married a Catholic and, at the time, the church required those marrying a Catholic convert before marriage.
I have found it interesting to learn there are practices within my family line that would be considered dubious, if not wholly unacceptable by the church and to learn that there are two definite lines along which my predecessors were known for certain things that might fall under the heading of psychic or magical. Until I explored my personal beliefs and came to my current path, I had never heard these things discussed, yet the more I delved into my family tree, the more my family became open to discussing those who came before and, given my interests, provided me with information which they thought relevant.
I don't claim to come from a long line of witches - certainly no-one in my family wants to be associated with such a term - but what modern day pagans and witches might term magical practices or psychic ability certainly has shown itself in my family's past, they just didn't use the same terms I might. I have found it suprising, always believing I was the only one who held such interests. To learn, just last year that one of my cousins (whom I thought devoutly Catholic) is heavily into Crowley was also somewhat of a shock.
I have had some very interesting conversations with my grandmother about her little nuances but the idea that I might equate this with a religion or magical practices is abhorrent to her as she is extremely anti-religion/faith, being a confirmed atheist. Even so, her knowledge of certain areas is invaluable to me and, if I can catch her in the right frame of mind, we have interesting discussions about "knowing".
All in all, I realise now that rather than look to the outside for inspiration, or influence I should have been looking to my own clan all along.