Legacy of the Witchblood and Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches
“Lasher, for the wind that you send that lashes the grasslands, for the wind that lashes the leaves from the trees.”
In her classic first volume of the Chronicles of the Mayfair Witches, The Witching Hour, Anne Rice bases the witchy status of her characters on their relationship to a discarnate spirit called Lasher. Conjured through the veil in the 17th century by Scottish Merry Begot, Suzanne of the Mayfair, Lasher’s presence is heralded by the branches of the trees and bushes lashing the wind.
Suzanne’s unwise choice to dabble in magic got her burned in Donnelaith, but not before Lasher fell in love with Suzanne’s beautiful daughter, Deborah. He gave her a bottomless purse of gold and a large emerald pendant with his name inscribed on the back to be passed down to all the Mayfair witches. For all his gifts, Lasher’s witches suffer tragic untimely deaths and madness. Deborah was burned at the stake for witchcraft in France.
Symbolism of the Emerald
The emerald is the classic stone of Faery and has many occult associations, not the least being the color of the green earth and the favored eye color of Faery beings.The Holy Grail is associated with the emerald that fell from Lucifer’s crown when he fell to earth after the Battle of the Rebel Angels in Heaven. It signifies the Emerald Tablet of Thrice Great Hermes and the philosophers stone.
In each each succeeding generation of Mayfairs, the spirit, Lasher, would attach himself to a female child gifted with the “sight”, granting her the emerald and a bottomless purse in exchange for the energy he needs to gradually acquire a physical body. Sometimes Lasher is referred to as the Devil—-the traditional King of all witches—- Lucifer.
The Question of Witchblood
Though The Witching Hour is a work of fiction, thought by most people to be a fantasy, Anne Rice got me thinking about my own inheritance of the Witchblood.
*In modern witchcraft, Witchblood is usually thought of as bloodline stemming from ancestors who practiced the Craft. It is a formal initiation that is passed down from parent to child. My abilities did not come to down through a line of practicing witches, at least not consciously.
*In Celtic Faery Tradition, Witchblood can be the result of mediating Faery—-the archetypal Realm of the Ancestors. If done long enough, your ancestors “wake up in your blood”. Since the ancestors of most, if not all peoples of earth, were pagans, then any cunning craft or magical abilities they had will come back to life in the Faery Seer’s blood.
*One thing that Anne Rice suggests is that the mark of a witch is the possession of psychic powers and the ability to see spirits. I agree that those abilities are all of a piece. What is it about these abilities that make one a witch? What is a witch anyway?
I think a witch is someone walks on the earth in a sacred manner and all of nature responds. Especially spirits. Like animals, they know who comes from the heart and who doesn’t. But if a spirit is summoned for selfish purposes—well this a realm where indeed you get what you give.
How Do You See Spirits?
I have been seeing spirits for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the woods and most of the spirits I saw were spirits of those woods. I saw the past life of the land roll out like film reels. I saw ghosts. I never feared these beings, rather I thought they were marvelous and they intrigued me. I never questioned why I could see them, I just did. I also knew by instinct that very few other people had these visions.
In The Mayfair Witches, Lasher reveals his agenda to Rowan Mayfair. She is the thirteenth witch in the family line and thus the one who is strong enough to help him to gain what he wants most profoundly, a human form.
This notion of the witch having the strength to assist a spirit to manifest got me re-thinking about how we see spirits.
The spirits exist independently of us, whether we see them or not. Since our age of gross Materialism, very few people see them any more. Some people call the ability to the view the Unseen, a “gift”, or a special dispensation from God or the Devil depending on your view. Most people who think this don’t have it.
(I think Anne Rice has it…)
I always thought this clairvoyance was just part of a package with a sensitive, nervous temperament and was kind of enhanced power of creative imagination.
Then I thought it had to do with innate spirituality. Some us are born seers, people who in ancient cultures would have been members of a priest class.
Karma was another explanation, previous lifetimes of spiritual practice that opened the Third Eye.
These were the ideas I played while reading The Witching Hour..
I also thought it might have been a genetic inheritance from my French, Irish and Iroquois ancestors—–natural mediumistic races all. I also thought of trance mediums oozing ectoplasm and causing spirits to materialize and bump the table up and down.
Now that might have at the back of Anne Rice’s mind when she was writing her book, among other things.
After reading The Mayfair Witches, I have another idea.
Spiritual Frequency as Materializing Force
Anne Rice suggests that Lasher’s ability to materialize is strengthened as each succeeding Mayfair witch grows stronger. The tide of passed-on experience and Lasher’s interference in the gene pool of the Mayfairs by pairing the most psychic family members to conceive the next child, increases the power of the new witch to bring him through.
What this means to me is that my ability to “see” spirits may not be a “sight” based thing at all. Rather, I emit the right energetic frequency that allows discarnate spirits to densify in my presence.
When the Tuatha deDanaan came through my house back in 1997-98, they came as holograms —-complete and life-sized 3-dimensional light bodies dressed in the clothing of 12th century France. By that time, I had been working as a full time energy healer in the long wake of a full blown kundalini awakening in 1989. My frequencies were sky rockets.
This level of frequency can only be attained when one is aligned to the vibration of Divine Love and the Soul of the World. It comes from the heart where no malice can be exist because it is instantly neutralized at that vibrational level. This is why I know the Faeries are not evil.
So—-did I simply lend the necessary vibrations to these Faeries that allowed them to take on material substance?
Would they have been coming through my house even if I couldn’t have seen them?
Or were they attracted to my space because of the frequencies, and knew I would be able to lend them form—and see them?
When they ordered me to start painting the Grail Keepers Tarot, I asked them why they chose me. I had lapsed as far as art was concerned and wasn’t good enough for such a project. They told me I was the only one who could do it, because I could see them and they could see me.
Children and the Sight
That still doesn’t explain how I, or anyone, could help them appear when I was a child.
The time of early childhood is a more likely time for these experiences. Is that because the purity of the child’s heart and thus vibration is so much stronger than an adults? Are many more of us born with the Witchblood than we realize?
Part of the lore of Faery is that they love to materialize. They seek to share with us this creation of life on earth. Anne Rice’s Lasher is a trickster figure, not really evil so much as corrupted by desire and ambition learned from his contact with human beings. This is also an interesting idea. The pure spirit is innocent. Physicality exerts it own influences. In Faery Tradition we say that the Faery being takes on the form we project upon it. We have the ability, in creating the conditions that allow them to materialize, to also influence their natures.
It has been my observation that many people who are raised, even today, in cultures where magic is practiced and the spirits are corrupted, flock into Christian churches for protection. They’ve been burned! The trouble with doing spells for worldly things has to do with all the desires and guilts and unclear emotions that human beings bring to the spirits. If the spirits screw it up and your magic backfires, it is because that is the energy you were exchanging with them. Love begets love, malice begets malice, and even trickier, lust begets lust and all the Seven Deadlies.
Just like Lasher…
My Faeries were never evil, but then I didn’t expect anything of them except that they show me what they wanted all of us to know.
There was a time, I believe, when many many more people, if not all people could bring spirits through. The advent of the Industrial revolution and its rampant destruction and disregard for the natural world have not only closed our inner eyes, our minds, and darkened our knowledge of our origins on planet earth, but has closed the portals to Faery. I think witchblood flows through all of us. I think it is the life force of the earth. The sad part about losing it is that we are out of harmony and taking everything else with us.
For a really great blog post about The Witching Hour by Anne Rice check out Caroline Tully’s blog Necropolis
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