Chris ( aka Ammo ) O’Day, The Fitness Witch, has been in the occult community for over 20 years. She specializes in mind, body and spirit transformations through fitness, nutrition, energy work and magic. She is initiated in Santeria, Quimbanda and ceremonial magic and a 2nd degree Gardnerian High Priestess. She can be reached through her Fitnesswitch page on instagram or her website www.fitnesswitch.com for in person/online personal training, yoga, reiki, tarot and astrology. She currently resides in Redondo Beach California.
I spent a really long time avoiding working with the dead. Even though I was out of the broom closet in my 20’s, I wasn’t ready for such intense work. I was also already 30 by the time a close relative passed away, so death just hadn’t touched my life yet. But from that point it hasn’t slowed down.
I’ve lost so many people to addiction, Cancer and suicide that I’ve lost count. Once death started happening, and my loved ones still felt close by, to the point of appearing in dreams and visions, I realized it was the missing puzzle piece to my magical practice. I set up a simple altar and they were front and center from that moment, ever present and ready to guide in the right direction.
This magic has brought me to such an incredibly healing place, as well as to straight up slap in the face reality checks.
At 9 years old, I died on the operating table. My appendix burst while they were doing surgery. My childhood was plagued with stomach aches. This particular one was worse than usual and landed me in the hospital. After the operation, I was held there for 3 weeks, with a needle in some vein or another the entire time, eating every Italian Ice in the place, and driving the staff insane. I look back and see this incident as to what led me here, all these years later, working with the dead and my ancestors and preparing to be an end of life doula. The dead, at least my dead, don’t fuck around when they want me to learn a lesson.
As I approach the one year anniversary of my fathers death next month, which has shook the very foundation of who I am, I thank him, all my blood dead as well as all of those that have passed in my magical lineage, for their constant guidance and love, and for always having my back.
The best part of this practice is that it is relatively easy to reach the dead in your bloodline, even if you’ve never met. An easy set up to start with is a white candle, a glass of water, photos ( only of deceased people ) and an offering of some kind. If you know their tastes in food, alcohol, etc. you can leave those as well.
For example, my grandfather loved red licorice, so I always buy him Twizzlers. My grandmother lived on chocolate and lipton tea, so I always make sure those things are there, too. Choose one day a week to sit in front of your altar, light the candle, put out the offerings and just be still. Tell them your troubles and ask for guidance. Sit and just listen. If you have trouble making a connection, persevere, and over time things will start to happen.
Beginning a meditative practice will be of great assistance to help you quiet your mind so that you can hear what they’re trying to communicate to you. I’m truly stunned at all the distant relatives (and when I mean distant, I mean 500 years ago) that have made their presence known. And once that connection is made, you have a constant feeling of someone having your back and guiding you to a better life. I invite you to celebrate your beloved dead during the thinnest of veils between worlds, Samhain, and make magic that will change your life.