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Bejeweled and Bedizened

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My grandmother–my mother’s mother–was a great wearer of costume jewelry. She had dozens of pairs of clip-on earrings–earbobs–and many had glorious great necklaces to match.

She worked in retail for many years, starting out in a local hardware store and finishing her working life at an Eckerd’s Drug Store where she specialized in the tobacco and photography departments. She was always beautifully turned-out from the top of her bobbie-pin curled head to the tips of her high-heeled shoes.

One year i wore a different pair of her earbobs every day throughout the month of October. Every time I chose the Pair of the Day, it reminded me of her wearing them and I could see her sweet face every time.

As a result of that delightful exercise, one of the reminders I set for myself during this busy, holy time is to wear several elasticized bracelets on my left wrist. This year’s are orange beads but it varies each year. Throughout the month, I share these bracelets with clients and friends who share their own Ancestor work with me. And they always remind me–as I put them on in the morning and wear them throughout the day–to listen to those quiet voices and to recall the stories I know of their lives.

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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