Ancestor of the Craft – Cora Anderson

I am currently engaged in a year-long Priestessing Apprenticeship program with three amazing Reclaiming teachers. More about that in a future post. An assignment on getting to know an ancestor of the craft has provided an amazing catalyst for my own relationships with ancestors and descendants both. Thought I’d share it here.

My study of/work with Cora went broad and deep for a couple of months, taking me on all kinds of journeys. For many reasons, writing this study by hand felt more devotional, so I’m sharing it in that form. It took more time. And because much of what I wrote was direct quotes from Cora and others, it allowed those things to go through me rather than simply cut and paste. The link to Thorn’s poem from when Cora was dying is the only exception.

This work was the final push to get me to create space for an ancestor altar. A cool thing about that is: I used to have two kind-of ancestor altars, one for my mother, and one for my big sis, who were killed 6 years ago. The altars were more about my grief – it was pictures of them with me, etc. I have now moved them into place on the ancestor altar, and the pictures are more about their life and their essences, rather than just about their roles as sister and mother in my life. They are surrounded in other ancestors of my blood-, milk- and story-lines. It’s a big change, in my home and in my heart. It feels really really right.

Gratitude for all this…. To my teachers, to the teachings, to Cora, to all who have taken time to write about her life and record her wisdom, and to my community in apprenticeship.

Timeline of Cora’s Life

Cora on our Ancestor Altar

Written about Cora by Others

Writings by Cora

And because we learn from how our ancestors lived as well as how they passed, I’ll include this poem from T Thorn Coyle, a student of Cora’s, and one of my teachers, written as Cora was dying.

❤ Queermagic

Blog Post by T Thorn Coyle written 4.30.08
Anderson, Cora. Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition. Acorn Guild Press, LLC, 2005
Anderson, Cora. Kitchen Witch: A memoir. Acorn Guild Press, LLC, 2010
Witch Eye: A Journal of Feri Uprising. Issue 16. Several articles and poems in memorial.
Email correspondance with Ravyn Stanfield, Feri Initiate.
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