Cemetery Visits & Graveyard Dirt

Across from one of the oldest taverns in the city of Chicago lies Rosehill Cemetery.  This Victorian-era resting place is the largest in the city and it’s stone walls appear to go on for miles.  I often saw glimmers of this cemetery along my daily commute on the L train, though I had not yet walked it’s labyrinthine pathways.  That is, until today.  

This morning the air in the city was filled with that uniquely autumn smell.  Pleasant, yet difficult to describe.  Some kind of petrichor from the morning dew combined with the subtle decay of plant life.  The air was crisp, tinged with a note of the upcoming winter months.  My leather boots crunched across the brown leaves scattered along the sidewalk as I walked to get my morning coffee and contemplate my plans.  It was one of those perfect autumn days, a prime backdrop for an adventure.

I went alone, for I find cemetery visits are best without casual chitchat.  Approaching the cemetery I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a massive entrance.  The wrought iron gate melded into beautiful limestone towers with detailed embrasures.  A red vine snaked along the opening leading my way through the arch.  

I meandered along several paths through the cemetery letting the statues lead me.  I saw a large quantity of striking angels and obelisks scattered throughout.  Through it was the trees that truly captivated me.  The leaves fell in waves of burgundy and scattered among the tombstones.  The canopy shaded the paths and dappled sunlight glimmered across the branches.  

As this was a spur of the moment journey, I did not think to collect any graveyard dirt.  Though next time I visit, I will be sure to collect some.  Graveyard dirt is a crucial ingredient in many spells.  If you do decide to go about collecting graveyard dirt, It’s best to not actually dig into the earth.  Instead, simply gather a handful of surface dirt.  Or, you can collect the dust atop a tombstone.  Afterwards, leave a small offering like a coin or libation to appease the spirits.  Graveyard dirt can be used for both positive and malevolent purposes.  Below is an example of a spell using graveyard dirt from The Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes.  

Protection From a Loved One Beyond the Grave

Step 1: Fill a red bag with a small amount of dirt taken from the grave site of a loved one.  Also add one flower from the funeral and a pebble from the cemetery.

Step 2: Anoint the bag with drop of the deceased’s favorite perfume or cologne.  This bag can be worn or carried with you as a protective charm.

Have you used graveyard dirt in a spell before?  Post your own experiences using this ingredient in the comments below.