A shrine is a place or object that represents, holds and makes a space for a certain entity, abstract concept, idea or belief. At the shrine, offerings are made or prayers are said to and for what is held there. The practice of building shrines has many functions, some of which are psychological in that they allow us to externalize certain ineffable concepts, like the soul, or a relationship to a powerful but unseen being. Externalizing means giving form to something that we only feel, perceive and understand as untouchable, within or numinous. The practice of externalizing helps us to actively work with them, consider, and care for them in a way that is different from when they remain unseen or are internalized only. With the shrine, we are able to take that relationship, being or concept and place it in a concrete form outside of ourselves, look at it and interact with it in a real time, three-dimensional way.
According to Italian folk belief, il malocchio, the evil eye, can afflict anyone at any time, in any place. One can never be too careful. Believed to be a common cause of distress—physical, spiritual and emotional—it often needs addressing. It is believed to be caused primarily by jealousy which in the Strega tradition is seen to be the root of all trouble: jealousy and envy.
Annie is a seer, Italian wise woman and diviner in the Dagara stick tradition. She grew up in southwestern New Hampshire and still practices her medicine in her ancestral hometown there. Annie answered the call of becoming an initiated diviner in order to bring a unique earth-based healing to those in her community as well as others in need.
Annie has been on the path to becoming a diviner since the age of twenty. She was first called to the path in a stick divination years ago. From there, her Aunt who is also a stick diviner and an Italian Strega mentored Annie.
In a divination my niece Annie and I carried out to learn more about our family lineage, we were told that Oscan is the language of our lineage. After, we did some research and discovered that Oscan was indeed the language of parts of the Abruzzo in ancient times. We began to explore this Oscan connection. Oscan is an extinct language that was spoken in South and Central Italy from the 6th century B.C.E., until the 1st century C.E. It predated the Roman takeover and was also eliminated by it.