Sunday, 3 July 2011

Wise woman or witch?

One of the great influences of my life was Bill Vanstone.  The other one was my grandma.  I lived with her till I was seven and she taught me day by day.  I'm afraid that in the old days she would have been thought of as a witch but in fact she was a very wise woman. She was a herbalist  and much of my childhood was spent in the fields with my gran,  gathering.  She made me a special pinny with lots of pockets to put in all the wild flowers we collected.  She taught me how to dry and  use them all and many more things as well.
She could read hands and that was one of our lessons too. So I can read hands.  I have not gone through life admitting this very often  to people. Being a fortune teller was never one of my ambitions.
I have though always looked at the hands of those I love. My children on the day they were born had their hands read!
I have always looked at my own hand and seen it reflecting the storms and set backs of life as I went. So you see the residue of belief is still there.. Looking at my hand is as normal to me as drinking a cup of tea. It makes me face up to the bad traits of  my  character. Knowing yourself well is vital for any sort of well being I think.
 In the years since my priesting though I havn't really examined  it much. Certainly never in public, though during the duller moments of church meetings I have been tempted.
This morning I arrived at church very early and had time to think quietly on my own in the vestry.
For the first time for ages I looked at my hand, thinking to glance away again when I saw something new had appeared. I have always had a teaching square. As  I was a teacher that was to be expected. Now right in the middle of the teaching square is the cross of Christ, properly proportioned...
Two less  compatible people than my gran and my priest  you could never hope to meet.  They never met. Until today on my hand.  I dont  hope or expect to convert any of you to palmistry or indeed any other occult practice, but although I  have taken everything my gran taught me with huge dollops of doubt, some of it has stuck fast. There seems no reason now I am an old woman to discard any of it. I am as God created me!


  1. I would love to know more about herbal medicines. I think these old ways can teach us so much. Modern medicine is so expensive and we have these things on our doorstep.Coming from an Evangelical background I have shied away from things my Granny taught me,but she had a sixth sense and always knew about things that were going to happen. Much like visions others have attributed to the Holy Spirit. There are many "mysterious" things,some we can explore others we won't know until we get there! Isn't life fascinating and God is wonderful.

  2. Surely, reading palms could be regarded as another aspect of Healing Ministry. Just saying..

  3. its worth noting that as well as being a herbalist my gran was also a Welsh Baptist. The two things sat well with her. They never seemed to clash and she gave lots of advice to everyone in the village on health matters long before the NHS came into being.