20 February 2016

Banshee

One of my relatives just passed away. They weren't someone I knew personally (I actually only "met" them as an infant, so I have no recollection of it happening apart from my parents telling me that it did), but, like with everyone else in my family who has died since I was born, I predicted their death. Usually it happens in dreams; there's this telltale atmospheric shift when suddenly I'm visited by a shade who is glowing internally with the same red I am, and then they grab for my warm hands and cling until I wake up. The one time it was different was when I was around eleven years old. I was drawing on some paper in the middle of class, and all that happened was I straightened my head, heard a long sigh, and then thought to myself: "[name] from back home died."

In all of those instances, I told someone, almost always one of my parents, that someone passed. It was only in that last weird case that I actually knew precisely who; with the others it was more the how. We'd receive a phone call from someone back in our home country thirty minutes to two hours later with the announcement.

Precognitive abilities run in the family, specifically the women. My mother likes to say it skips a few generations every now and then. It's not exactly spoken about, but it is silently acknowledged in its own way. Almost everyone is non-religious, being either some form of agnostic or atheist, while at the same time being completely confident that if you were to pose a question concerning someone's health or chance of surviving an illness to one of these "knowing" women or girls, the answer you'd receive would never be wrong.

Double-belief is one of those sociological concepts that has always thoroughly fascinated me. It seems that it doesn't matter what your religious and philosophical persuasion is there, folk wisdom and omens are taken more seriously than anything. The same uncles who are always cracking silly jokes about religions and zealous believers would never speak so lightly about certain legends. It's like they have a special kind of "reality" that's somehow realer than everything else. I don't really know why predicting familial deaths is something that manifested in me and not the other women in the family whom I know share similar gifts. We seem to have most of our oracular traits completely in common except for this one. I wish I could say it's because of the near-death experience and spiritual initiation I had when I was younger, but the first person to die after I was born did so later than then, so there's no real way for me to know.

I have a light out for this person whom I never really knew on my white table right now. I don't think it is really them, or anyone else, that I feel when these shades find me and hold on to me for warmth the night of their passing. Perhaps it's one of those restless parts of the soul that dissolve soon after death, but not before spending a few days connecting to the living of their line. Or maybe it's a kind of subspecies of thoughtform, though with a chthonic twist. It's honestly been a while since the last time this happened, and for all of these I was too young, inexperienced, and overwhelmed with growing into everything else I was coming to understand to dedicate any real kind of thought to the phenomenon. I'm probably still most of those things, but I've also come a long way as a witch, and I know what I should do right now. The torches need to be lit by those that can see.

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