Monday, April 27, 2015

Reclaiming( Lay ) Folk Ways ~ Healers Witches Midwives ....

( upper left Shafia Atiyah )
yes this is a bit of a rant yet educational too
I began about 8 yrs back calling myself a folk person . I wasn't comfortable with other labels like shaman . Folk is the new cool term within many what would be called alternative communities .
anyone under the sun titling themselves folk healer , witch, midwife etc.
Even those calling themselves traditional witches using the folk label as well.
In the photo above You can see my maternal great grandmother . She was local spae wife , midwife , wyrt wife etc. she read tea leaves , bibliomancy ...
 as were some of my great aunts her elder daughters .
These are the people those so called folk claimers are claiming to be !
claiming to be  people like my great grandmother . They are not !
A folk/traditional /lay  midwife is not someone who has gone through midwifery nursing medical school for 4 yrs ! A wyrt wife is not someone who has taken a 3 yr intensive herbal course !
A folk magician is not someone who has an 8 yr university degree in botany & can afford $300 plant sigil books ! A Folk artist does not have a fine arts degree ! Energy healing was not a level 3 reiki master !
It does not mean that those who have had the vast amounts of money & time to study in this way do not have some knowledge or interest in folk ways .
But it actually is appropriation of what is not theirs to claim !
It insults our ancestors & elders who were folk people & it insults & takes away from us true lay folk people !
It does not mean that folk people were & are  stupid non intelligent people either !
 It does not mean we haven't attended a workshop or read a book . But for the most part folk people have learned via others just like them . & it is not usually or ever a career choice ! They also do not chose to teach hundreds of students at a time . They tend to teach those they see who are also called . & this is usually a small number . They also did not & still do not charge people vast amounts of money . often teachings are free. Often non monetary payments are accepted for work provided .
It does not mean that we never take money but it usually comes with standing right morally within our spirit before we do so.
 So there are people folk people teaching folk courses . which I have issue with because not everyone taking these are called to be doing this . not everyone who goes out gathering will do so properly . it leaves a huge opening for abuse . in midwifery we see all kinds now taking this on a profession who never would have been chosen by community to be midwife .
Sin Eaters , Fairy Doctors, Curanderas , Cunning Folk , Witches , Healers , Seers
in all places geographically & culturally these folk people existed . & they were chosen & accepted . people came to them
they did not have fancy grimoires , hell they often could not read nor write .
They did not order exotic herbs they used their local flora & fauna  .
folk lay people are professional at what they do but not in the way profession is perceived via accredited lengthy expensive programs .
I'm not saying either way is wrong but what I am saying is they are not the same & unique in their own individual way .
Did You know local doctors & folk people shared with each other ? Each had a place in community & often called upon each other .
People need to begin reclaiming their folk ways & also acknowledging those who are .