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Religion & Ethics

I am struggling with a conundrum only my fellow witches may understand. It is a struggle of ethics and of religion. I’m not even sure how or where to begin with this post. Maybe I should start with the conundrum itself and then go from there? There is no real beginning but the problem anyways.

I need graveyard dirt. Plain and simple. There is a hoodoo protection spell and it involves graveyard dirt. It requires the dirt of a soldier or a loved one. I can buy it online but it’s stronger if that person is related to you because obviously, we want to protect the ones we love. Soldier’s will protect anyone, that’s their job, so it works. It’s twice as potent if you have a solider who is a loved one or a soldier who died in battle.

Now, I actually have both of those (though neither died in battle). I have an ancestor who was a soldier (a pretty famous one albeit for a terrible reason) and who has passed on. Only he is buried in Denver, Colorado. I’m in Southern California. I do not see myself traveling two days by car or taking a plane ride for some dirt. It’s powerful stuff but that’s pretty expensive when the local cemetery is seconds away. Unfortunately, the only soldier and relative “buried” there isn’t actually in the ground – he’s in ashes in a Mausoleum, about 5-7 feet off the ground and indoors (boy is it stinky in there)!

My problem is that going and digging at someone’s grave, a strangers grave actually, to me seems unethical. I am also afraid of being “caught” but more so being asked what I am doing, saying it is for religious purposes and then being…laughed at? Ridiculed? Heckled and persecuted? We have freedom of religion but people reject the unfamiliar and people do horrid things to others out of fear. Salem Witch Trials anyone?

If it was my Gramps or my great-great-great-great-uncle john then I would be like “Gramps, I know you didn’t know I was a witch and that you were super Catholic but you want to keep me safe right? This will keep me safe. Thanks a bunch!” or I could go “Dear dirtbag of extreme proportions, you did a horrible thing to hundreds of innocent people. There was no one there to protect them from you, and this is no way can make amends for what you did, but you can throw in your lot with this dirt and protect me from horrors similar to the ones you committed.” By the way, my ancestor is Col. John Chivington and he massacred a whole tribe of Sand Creek Indians in Colorado. So that explains the backhanded and judgy remarks right?

But I don’t really have that available to me. I feel conflicted. I’m not using it for a bad purpose, I’m not doing a bad thing but there’s a prejudice that comes with being Witch and while I thought I had fully accepted that being open about my religion comes with consequences. Even though being Catholic comes with no judgement, no harsh remarks or weird looks, being pagan does. I thought I had accepted that.

I guess I just wanted the excuse of, “I’m not desecrating this land. I actually paid for it, well, my relative did. I’m their blah blah blah.” and to use that as a talisman. Now some of you are probably saying, go at night or go every day for a week at different times and scout it out, see when people are there the most and when people aren’t, ect. I’ve done that. I visit my Gramps all the time, but I live in a heavily populated area and people are always there. I can’t believe I am saying this but I miss the country. I wish I lived in an area that had seasons for obvious religious reasons. For those of you who don’t know open fires are FORBIDDEN in Southern California and burning a Yule log is OUT of the question. There’s also no rain water or any natural body of water that you could, you know, dump out spell components into privately because any body of water from mid-March until Nov is mobbed by people trying not to fry here in the Sun’s jockstrap. Seriously, if Californian’s were eggs we’d all be scrambled.

Am I making this too much of a thing? I mean obviously if I ever go to Denver I am bringing a whole box of gallon size ziplock baggies to dig up and store dirt in and I won’t even care if the grounds keeper catches me because I’ll simply explain to him about my ancestor and come packed with a family tree, the wikipedia article on Chivington and then I’ll take my dirt bags and call it a day. I don’t plan on making a mess just taking some dirt that the worms lived in that fed on his remains. No big deal. I’m kidding about the worms, obviously those worms are long dead.

But I’d really like opinions if anyone reads this or suggestions. I guess it is kind of awful that I live in a country that was founded on freedom of religion, that makes judgement about other people’s own bodies under the idea that they are encroaching upon religion and yet I am afraid to go gather a supply needed to practice my religion for fear of prosecution. Literally, it could be deemed destruction of property and grave robbing, although it’s just dirt and not belongings or body snatching if they wanted to take it far enough.

I feel like that last was a bit of a stretch but I like to think best, worst, probable and improbable before I do anything or make an informed decision about something. Helps me to cover and patch up any holes I poke in my own theories.

But I’d like your help. Here’s a stick, poke away!

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