Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

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Dreaming of the Dead


There is a belief that we can communicate with loved ones when they have left this earthly plane. They may come to us in the form of a bird, the sudden smell of roses in a room they enjoyed or visit us in a dream. This is the ideal moment, when the veil is the thinnest, to make contact, to enjoy their company, to listen to the messages that they may wish to impart.


This Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), pay special attention to winged creatures throughout the day. Did someone love cardinals in your family that is no longer with you, or did they have an affinity for butterflies or even little bats as they appeared at dusk? Be sure to write down your observations in a journal or Book of Shadows. How did the creature appear? Did it look directly at you, or present itself without warning right in your path? If it does make contact, be sure to acknowledge its presence in some way and see if you can pick up on what message it wants to impart. If you’ve been going through a rough time as of late, or need a boost of inspiration, these are key instances when the spirit of a loved one may choose to reach out to you. You can cherish these as magical pick-me-ups just when you need them most.


If you are someone who remembers their dreams vividly and are keen to the symbolism to that presents in them, be sure to ready yourself for a nighttime visit. Light some cinnamon or lavender incense and meditate with a soothing candle before readying yourself for bed. Enjoy some chamomile tea and set out mementos of your person that you wish to communicate with in your sleep. Turn off all electronic devices and relax your mind. As you drift off, think of a question that you might like to ask them. Or if you would appreciate their advice on a matter, focus on that. Be sure to have a dream journal and a couple of pens handy to jot down your dreams when you first wake up.


When you do wake up, see if you can recall first impressions and key symbols, colors or moods in your dream. Consult a few dreamer’s dictionaries if you have them. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a visit on the first try. With some practice, you should be able to tune in to communication that your dearly departed wish to convey to you.




Photo by Elina Sazanova




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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


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