Kailey Tedesco on automatic writing and being haunted
How have you used writing as a healing or trauma recovery tool? How does it give you autonomy and self-understanding?
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly interested in automatic or trance writing. It sounds strange, but I’ve been told often that I am a person who is haunted, or who is in touch with what is beyond the veil. At first, this was always something that sort of frightened me, to both hear and feel. Since I’ve started embracing all of the things that “haunt” me through poetry, I’ve been able to work through some very real fears and traumas in my life.
Letting the words spill from me in a way that feels as close to clairvoyance as I can currently achieve has given me more insight into what it is I need, as a human, to move forward. I’m hoping to take this practice a step further by attending some open meetings with psychic mediums in my community. It’s not that I necessarily believe that I am psychic, but I do think there’s a lot that can be learned, as a writer and a person, from those who work within other realms every day of their lives.
Do you integrate writing into your ritual/spiritual/magical life?
Absolutely. Most of my usual rituals involve incantations, verse, or sigils built from poetry in some way. I was raised Catholic, and I have a very distinct memory of my mother teaching me how to pray. Around the same time, she also read me nursery rhymes and fairy tales. We got into a routine of praying and reading Mother Goose or The Brothers Grimm back-to-back before bed. I think I sort of meshed these practices together now, in my daily spiritual life. Prayers and rhymes and archetypes are all language, filled with magic and purpose. I try to write poems and cast spells with the same power.
If we put three writers or books into a circle to summon you, who/what would they be?
This is tough! I’ll go with the three books I visit most often: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, The Devil in Massachusetts by Marion L. Starkey, and my specific copy of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It’s a rare 2nd edition that was gifted to me by my husband early in our relationship, and so it actually says it’s by Victoria Lucas.
Is there a single piece/book of writing that has helped to heal you? How has it helped?
I don’t think I could attribute the process of my healing to one single book or piece of writing. There are certainly words that echo in me and make me feel safe, but this is constantly evolving.
There are several libraries and churches in my neighborhood (Allentown/Bethlehem, PA) that offer free courses for ESL learners! My husband and I used to volunteer at one of these libraries, and it was a really wonderful program.
FOLLOW KAILEY TEDESCO