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Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the sacred and divine in beings of all genders and manifestations.

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Lunar Cycles and Healing

It is no secret that we witches are deeply connected to the cycles of The Moon.  We use lunar cycles to make decisions about planting and tending herbs for healing, food for nourishing our families and communities, and what kind of magic is appropriate to do personally, communally, or politically.


Right now The Moon in waning, going from bright and Full when she sits directly opposite the Sun in our sky, to completely hidden when She passes between the Sun and our home here on planet Earth.  She is always there of course, but it is our perception our perspective that changes how much of Her we see.  As witches we know that whether She is fully visible or completely invisible to our eyes, She is still there, powerful, beautiful, mysterious, our ally and partner in our magic.


And so this weekend as she wanes I will be working with seven other dear witches at my home to do a ritual of releasing and transforming a particular sad and painful ancestral legacy that has been in one of my familial lines for generations. A legacy of cancer.


For two years I have been uncovering a story that was hidden like the Dark Moon but still held great power over many generations of my family.  This legacy comes from my great-grandma Josephine Romero Lindsey Smith’s line, has passed to her grand daughters my Aunt Hazel and cousin LuEllen, and on to my generation touching my cousin Albert and his son, AJ, and now I find has been growing in my own body.


Two years ago I begin working on researching a book about Great-grandma Josie.  I had only one small court document hidden away for years by my Grandma Winnie telling the story of her family living in a refugee camp in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire, a sad story of her mother Josie dying of “a cancer of the throat” and the children being placed in orphanages.


Since then I have uncovered a long and rich story of Josie’s life as a child and youth in Alta California on Romero Hill in Spanish Town (near present day Montecito), then marrying and moving to San Francisco in the early 1880s.  I have lived with her through the 1880s and 90s, and through to her death in October of 1907 through census records, newspaper articles, documents discovered at the California Historical Society in San Francisco and SF History room at the Downtown branch of the Library, hours of internet searches, history books, and novels of the times.  As a witch I have tranced and danced and dreamed her story continually since I first discovered her.  She has been coming alive in my DNA, in my collective ancestral memories, in the tilt of her head, the wildness of her hair, the depth of her eyes passed on to her children and their children, and their children, and sadly through the cancer cells each subsequent generation also grew in our bodies.


I feel deeply called to do this magic of legacy releasing.  To fully see, acknowledge, mourn, and then release and transform this particular part of great-grandma Josie’s legacy while continuing to hold dear her life story and vibrant ancestral spirit.


I feel especially called to do this because I am a witch, surrounded by other kind, compassionate and powerful witches.  I feel especially called to do this because I discovered that I was born in a hospital in San Francisco on October 23rd 1959 that came to be through the merger of several hospitals including the one where Josie died on October 25th 1907.  I feel especially called to do this because I discovered that the new Mission Bay Campus of UCSF Medical Center where I began the journey of my own cancer treatment was built exactly over the spot where Josie and her family lived after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.  I feel especially called to do this because my cousin LuEllen, from another part of the state and I ended up at UCSF on the same day at the same time, she ending her treatments, me going into them, both of us determined to change the outcome of the story.  I feel especially called to do this to honor Josie, who died of “a cancer of the throat”, my Aunt Hazel who died of a cancer in her throat, my Cousin Albert who died of cancer in his face and neck, my cousin LuEllen who survived and Albert’s son AJ who survived, and my current experience of cancer in my face and neck.  I feel especially called to do this for all of us and for generations of descendants.


And so on Sunday I will gather physically with six witches and one from a distance astrally to do magic under the waning Moon, to do magic of ancestral release and healing.  Our intention will be: "With love and compassion we see the ancestral legacy of cancer in Lizann's family and body and release it to be transformed by The Elements with gratitude for the wisdom it gave.”  We will call on my dear allies The Moon, the compassionate Jesus, his mother as The Virgin of Guadalupe, The Celtic Goddess Brigid, the Norse Trickster God Loki, my ancestors and all their descendants.  We will ground, cast a circle, open ourselves to the transformative power of Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Center/Spirit/Mystery.  We will chant and drum, pour libations of whiskey, and trance and dance and laugh and release this multi-generational legacy with gratitude for the wisdom it gave.


If you would like to join us in this work and magic in spirit I invite you to light a candle, pour a shot, say a prayer, kiss a beloved from anywhere, anytime because what happens between the worlds is timeless and knows no bounds of geography and I and my ancestors would be grateful to you for adding to the magic.


Blessings on all our ancestral legacies may we come to release and transform the painful parts, and embody the joy and wisdom of the whole of it.

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Lizann Bassham was both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister in the United Church of Christ. She served as Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley working with a multi-faith student community. She was a columnist for SageWoman magazine, a novelist, playwright, and musician. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A. Lizann died on May 27, 2018.


  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Sunday, 17 September 2017

    Divine love, compassion and hope to all who suffer, from those whose families have been touched by the same scourge.

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Sunday, 17 September 2017

    yes, thank you Ted, blessings on your ancestors and all their descendants

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