It’s been a pretty dope year filled with lots beautiful family memories, fabulous vacations and overall good health; 2017 was very good to me! The list of things I am grateful for grows longer each day, and I am doing my best to remain mindful and constantly counting my blessings. Unfortunately, some things you just can not hide from forever, and one of those things is death.
With my Aunt/Godmother Pauline, passing unexpectedly this summer, and then my Paternal Grandmother Jacqueline, passing just a few months later, I was reminded of the fact we all take for granted-that one day, those we love, cherish and hold dearest in our hearts won’t be here anymore. And the same goes for you and me. Death seems to affect me differently each time. But I am aware that it is only a transition, and therefore I just try to take it in stride. They may not be here physically anymore, but their energy still exists somewhere out there, and that’s comforting because that means I can call upon them when needed. And I do be needin them.
Honoring the dead in some way or another varies from place to place. Some cultures burn their dead at sea. Others wrapped their dead in linen cloth. Still others throw festivals and party all day. Food and drink is shared and offered to the deceased while dancing and celebrating life ensues. My family chose the latter to celebrate and mourn the life of my Dear Aunt and Godmother over the summer. With the passing of my Grandmother so closely after my Aunt, though, my feelings are a bit wrecked and I’m having a much harder time this go around. Sometimes you aren’t aware of how hard something has hit you, until it hits again. My Grandmother wanted “no fuss” and requested cremation. So thankfully, I did not need to attend another funeral. But I still wanted to do something special for my Aunt and Grandmother to honor them in my own way.
If you know me at all, you know that I include my Ancestors in almost everything that I do. My altar at home is dedicated to them as well as my Spirit Guides, Loas and the Creator. The jewelry I wear, the candles and incense I burn, it is always with them in mind. In honoring them, I honor myself and my children. For without them, there is no we. So of course, pictures of both of these beautiful women have been added to my altar at home. I also wanted to do something different to honor them and thought of doing a seed blessing ritual.
I have been wanting to start an herb garden, and this unfortunately has been the thing to get me started. Some people buy stars in the name of their loved ones. Some plant trees which is so cool. They even have these little pods now that you can place the ashes of your loved one inside and then plant the tree! How freaking cool is that?! I think I might want to do that when I pass. Or burned at sea. Not sure yet. ;)
Anyways, I have about 15 different herbs waiting to plant, ranging from aloe, vervain, rosemary, milk thistle, thyme and so on. But I picked a few specifically to plant for my loved ones. I picked up some Sage to represent them both and give a nod to all of my indigenous Ancestors in general. And because, you know, you can never have too much sage around. I then chose Lavender for my Grandmommy. She was always very calm and soothing. You never saw her get her feathers in a ruffle. She was miss cool. And Lavender has that very same effect. Then, I chose Peppermint for my Dena. She always kept Lifesavers Peppermints in her purse. I remember always sneaking them when she wasn’t looking which was stupid because she would just give them to me had I asked. I like to make my own toothpaste so the peppermint will be a great addition to my lil garden.
You will need:
-Seeds of your chosen plants Clay Pots (preferable over plastic)
-1 Bag of Garden Soil
-Blessing or favorite Prayer
Light your 4 candles which will all represent each of the elements, or the four corners, or whatever they symbolize for you. Recite your prayer/blessing as you light. Candles are an essential part of any ritual, regardless of beliefs. I always use white candles for blessings, but you can use any color you like. Then I made up a simple prayer that went a lil somethin like this:
“Give thanks for your life~ No more pain, no more strife ~Be easy now, rest ~May your journey be blessed.”
"I plant these seeds in your name, Pauline, to honor your life and bless your soul. With appreciation and love, your Niece.“
Then I covered the seeds, watered them and set aside to thrive. I let the candles burn out. In my case they were 7 day candles, but any size candle will do.
The thought behind this is to dedicate a positive action in the name of your loved one. It’s a way to acknowledge their death by cultivating life; to watch the herbs grow and thrive and always be part of your garden is really lovely to me. Taking a few moments to set your very clear intentions and connect to the process emotionally and spiritually will ensure the positive energy generated with your actions really take hold of the seeds and earth. Resulting in continuous blessings for your ancestors and your home. Boom-instant MAGIC! Whether you believe in the stuff or not. And you can use it in other ways, as well. You can infuse your seeds with any intention you have regarding any part of your life, and plant them so that your dreams and desires manifest as the plant continues to grow. Not only that, but growing your own herbs is an awesome and simple way to get started growing something! You can do it in your kitchen, your patio, pretty much anywhere in your home where there is a window. Growing herbs and spices and learning how to use them not just for food but for medicine, beauty and other random household uses is so much fun. Your kids can even help!
I loved doing this; it legit made me feel better and I know for sure my loved ones are still here; their love and protection is literally growing in my kitchen. Dope. I hope this helps someone!
Love & Light Boujee Hippie