The Pagan Experience – B is for Baldr – The Road So Far

Ha, I just realized my title is akin to the Supernatural season finale/premiere title. Now I will proceed to sing “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas for the rest of the day. You’re welcome if I got that awesome song stuck in your head too ūüėČ

In the spirit of sharing about the Gods I work with, I will speak a bit of how things are developing with Baldr. I want to share because writing these posts are always good for self reflection. I know I could write for myself in a journal, which I do anyway, but writing for an audience always requires for decent explanations that bring not only understanding to the reader, but to me again as well. Not all the things can be kept fresh and poignant in one’s mind after time has passed.

So, I haven’t really talked about Him much to anyone. It is still pretty new, but It’s amazing I’m coming right out of the gate and putting this up, in public even! Bear with me as I deal with my shock at myself! :O
Now, forgive me for perhaps becoming shy about discussing it, like I said in last week’s The Pagan Experience post about Who I work with, sharing the Who is a bit difficult for me, especially here on the interwebs since this place is known to have many trolls and assholes in general.

I ended up having a few readings done (well, the first one is how I found out Who was hanging around). The readings have said that magick was coming for me this year, as well as Baldr. And so far, that has held very true, which is what I want to discuss with you today, dear gentle reader!

The first thing that has come from this is regular divining on my part. Baldr has come through very clearly with my tarot cards. Communicating with Him has been quite unlike any attempt at communication I’ve had before. I’ve also done readings for myself for some things, and again, what comes back has been unlike any attempt at reading for myself I’ve done before. The only thing that ever seemed to be truly accurate was my new year readings I’ve done for each month of the year for the past I don’t know how many years. Other than that, I would get myself in those silly read and reread, and get ridiculous cards that just don’t make sense to me. Reading for yourself is just, sometimes you’re simply too close to see the big picture clearly (and that’s not just in divination).
Needless to say, if ever I had doubts about how people can be in contact with their Gods and Spirits, they’ve been thrown out the window. Of a very tall tower. Atop a cliff that drops hundreds of feet to the ocean.

Right now, this is what w/We’ve got for communicating because, for lack of a better analogy, I’m not quite wired up right, yet. I also feel like w/We are both going slowly about this. While of course I sometimes become impatient, I usually quickly remind myself that I also kind of want to relish this. I don’t want it all to happen in the blink of an eye. I want to learn, to really grasp what I’m doing, I want a solid foundation in this, not only o/Our relationship, but what I’ve been learning, and what I have yet to learn. I want to really know Him, I want that to develop naturally. There isn’t a rush on either end of this thing.

What has also come about is some interesting dream things. Not dream work or dream travelling, yet. Those things are to come, but for now, He’s asked me to begin a simple practice every night. I light a candle in my dark room, and breath Him in for a few minutes. Very simple. Right up my alley. Part of this practice came about because I was experiencing some really nasty dreams (not nightmares, but non-consensual sex things). I was already breathing in cleansing breath before bed anyway to clear out all the day’s thoughts for me to be able to fall asleep better. He suggested adding His own energy as an element to this practice.
Well, guess what? No more icky dreams. However, my dreams are different since I began doing this. Very different indeed. The feel of them is, I don’t know, more immanent? I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, I remember dreams I’ve had as a child all the way through to now. I’ve also been able to control dreams when they became not so nice for a very long time (I even remember the first dream I did this in, I believe I was five; there was a mustard incident in-dream, and I wanted to clean it badly enough that I made myself do that in-dream).
But back to my dreams right now, I don’t know. They’re just different. They’ve even shown some things that I don’t feel are visions of the future, but like a path the future could take me on, I guess? What I do understand and undoubtedly feel to my very bones is that I’m protected. Even though the dreams have seemed to be in a twilight, and interesting dark things sometimes happen, I’m not ever in danger.

I’m sure I’ll find out what the dreamy time things are about in time, though. He’s let me know that they’re where I’ll be travelling with Him when the time comes. The wait now is for my nightly practice to establish itself firmly, and through that, letting Him in little by little. The course this is all taking seems planned out, which I can appreciate. I’m not a fan of not planning, I usually only like spontaneous things if I’m the instigator or if very few people are involved. It’s kind of nice that Someone else knows what the plan is, as adults, we rarely get led onto adventures, or have true surprises (a big reason why I hate knowing what people are gifting me beforehand), so I am enjoying everything as it comes, though I have a feeling that it won’t always be without stresses and tests.

Of course, I sometimes want things to happen quicker, to get to where I’ve been hinted to w/We’re going, and then I ask if there’s anything else I should be doing. Nope. Just keep on with what’s happening now. Gotta build that strong foundation. Can’t have your house crumbling down at the slightest tremble of the earth.

Well, dear gentle reader, that’s kind of where it stands (well, not as of now, because when this is posted, I’d have already written this a week early, who knows, I could edit it in the interim with some amazeballs thing, though I don’t quite think so :P). Stay tuned for the continuing adventures!

The Pagan Experience – Deity & the Divine

For the third prompt of The Pagan Experience, I made the realization that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned much about Who I work with. I usually say something vague, but imply that there is Someone/multiple Someones I have contact with, but not much in naming names.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I love being out on the trails and in the woods. If you didn’t know that, well now you do! So yes, this very much means I work with land spirits, spirits in the winds and waters. I’m very much an animist, and a lot of inspiration comes to me from the places I love to frequent, where there are barely any humans, and the wild things are wild. I do also love my garden, and there’s lots of inspiration and lessons to be learned there for true and certain, but the wood is where my heart lies. Especially if the woods are very close to a beach…

I also honour my ancestors on a very regular basis. They have leant much support during my not so sunshine and rainbows period (read below).

So as for the Gods, I think part of the reason I hadn’t usually shared with many people, including on this blog, Who I had worked with is for quite a long time until a few years ago, I always fancied the Greek pantheon, even called on Aphrodite and Pan most oft in whatever magick I was doing, or occasional ritual. Though I had an interest in Them, I’m not sure the feeling was mutual, perhaps they appreciated my honouring Them from very afar, I cannot know. So up until a few years ago, things were less polytheistic, and leant more towards all Gods are one sort of thing. The God and the Goddess archetypes, and Their many faces. With this distant sort of relationship, I guess I was just getting myself worked up that it wasn’t worthy enough? It suited me just fine all on my own, but in sharing, if ever it changed (which it did), I wouldn’t want to be seen as flakey or, whatever word better suits this situation that I can’t currently think of.

It’s really quite an interesting cognitive dissonance on my part because I’m very much a proponent of the constant learning as you go along (we’re never done with learning). This means that things will always be changing. It didn’t necessarily mean that I was or was not going to be working with Aphrodite and Pan for the rest of my life, but I think maybe I knew even then that They weren’t really the Ones for me. Along with the change aspect of learning is the fact that just like human people, I know some Gods, some Spirits would come and go. Each with Their own lessons in the contact and relationship, however long or brief.

So this was a little over two years ago. Then Odin showed up. That’s when I realized that it was natural for me to honour a few Someones Who inspired me, but now there was actual interaction with Someone. Thing is, I had never really been interested in Norse mythology or their Gods, it was much too hard and “not pretty” to my younger self who was very much into the prettiness, the decadence of the Greeks. I will admit, Skyrim probably honeyed the way for me into the Scandinavian cultures and Gods. I have since come to love the Norse culture, especially since after Odin popped in, women’s issues became very important to me. It wasn’t that He spurred this lady stuff on, it was a culmination of everything that was going on for me at the time. With that in mind, Scandinavian cultures being what they are and were even a long time ago when the Vikings were doing their thing, how free their women were, well, there were a lot of lessons in simply the study of the culture and mindset as well as the Gods for me.
A lot of it has allowed me to really strive to live the way I want to, more so in being firmly rooted in who I am as a person, and how I interact with other humans. In not apologizing for not wanting to fit into a teeny little culturally/socially appropriate box. In not apologizing for saying no (something it seems women are thought not supposed to do).

But back on track! Along with Odin, came Frija. She hasn’t been, and is still not very prominent, or at the forefront of it, but more like Someone to aspire to (a lot of contemplation over Herself being so very secure in every role She plays), and Someone Who has let me know is there, even if She’s not very close by. She’s been a gentle but tremendous support for me.

That all being said, as I look back over the past two years, Odin and Frija seem to have layed stepping stones for me. Brought me through the gate leading to Who I’m supposed to be working with; they’ve eased me into familiarizing myself with Their stories, Their values, etc. Well, hang on a moment, I can’t say that this time was easy, I dealt with a lot of depression then, things were very dark at the time for several reasons I shall keep to myself. Needless to say, Odin sort of ferried me through a mostly awful year and a bit. He was a rock for me. And I am incredibly grateful for His role in all of it.

And to end it with Who is currently coming around, well, it’s Baldr. It seems kind of fitting that Odin has brought me to Him, He is a psychopomp, and have I not been brought to One Who has died? Dead, and yet not dead and all that.
I suppose this relationship is something that I will likely be sharing more of in the future, as long as He approves. The only thing is that there doesn’t seem to be many of His devotees, well, at least online. I realize this is a sad thing in terms of seeking a bit of community, but a good thing that my experiences can be truly my own with Him, not tainted with doubt because my interactions don’t look like others’.

So there it is. It’s all laid out for you, dear gentle reader. If you had only kind of guessed at what my spirit interaction looked like, now you know from my own mouth. Well, my own fingers. It’s a good time for the Gods, and spirits of all kinds, methinks.

Hail to the Wights of Land, Sea, and Sky!
Hail to the Ancestors!
Hail to Aphrodite and Pan!
Hail to Odin and Frija!
Hail to Baldr!

It Doesn’t Always Work How You Think It Will

So it’s been a bit difficult lately in terms of my ability to concentrate. Which means meditating and trying to journey has also become difficult. I ground, center, and cleanse, then try to empty the useless thoughts out. Well, shortly after becoming empty, all the weird, pre-dreaming thoughts come into my head, without much notice from me until I’m almost asleep. I suppose it’s helpful that I can fall asleep more easily now, having sweet slumber come more readily lately is a blessing after the past year. I’m definitely grateful for that, make no mistake.

But back to¬†that journeying¬†I would like to be doing, she’s being elusive. Funny thing is, when I drew some cards yesterday before going Somewhere, I got these three cards: Seven of Bows – Clearance, The Journey, and Five of Stones – Endurance.¬†Quite fitting, really, as yes, I began falling asleep with those weird, pre-dream thoughts during my attempt at journeying, and failing. Endurance to endeavour, indeed!

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The past few months have seen much less attempts at journeying, so I can understand why it’s been difficult for me to go back in. With that being said, I also know that even though there have been fewer attempts at journeying, I’ve had one foot in the Otherworld and one in this for quite awhile now. So, really, I am Somewhere else most of the time. I’ve been able to directly interact in both worlds quite easily while out and about on the forested trail, and even in my backyard, since it overlooks a swamp and there’s a plethora of plants, animals, and land spirits to connect with. It hasn’t required much effort to be in this state, other than allowing it to just be what it is. It’s been strange adjusting to this new way my brain likes to work, since like I said, I have less focus, and for a few months during the winter, I was having a really hard time remembering things.

Now, the memory has come back to an extent, much more manageable, but I don’t seem to be remembering all these little things like I used to be able to do. But I love that my brain is readily able to empty out without much effort as I’m going about in the yard, and there’s always this magick that seeps into the emptiness. I get to feel more wonder in the world about me now, and that makes me even more open for the interactions because I don’t get in my own way with those terrible thoughts they teach you are a part of being a grown up that nothing is “real”, it’s all fantasy and make-believe. Those thoughts are useless, and hinder. It’s about finding how these things are “real” and manifest for you. Even when they do pop up in my head, I take a moment to look at why I have them in a more anthropological fashion, and dismiss them.

What I’d also like to iterate is that most common of sayings, that anything to do with the spiritual, (in this case, journeying) is¬†different for everyone. There are¬†basic ways of teaching and learning how to do these (and many) things, but the continued practice will see it morph into what it needs to be for you at any given moment in time. This is probably why most of my magick and honouring¬†kind of just flows from me, from the moment, from what feels powerful at that point in time. However, there are times when having that structure in place, the words or songs or actions repeated, are equally as powerful. It lends a prolonged focus to my¬†workings as I have to prepare whatever ritual or working I need to do.

I know, I know, I seem to go back and forth on these thoughts, but it’s more of, I see that all of these things can work, in their own times. Structure really helps when you’re doing work in groups, structure can heighten it because there is comfort in structure. Yet alone, after having structure in place, after knowing why I do what I do, there is comfortableness which allows my actions and words and songs to pour forth and be equally well received. It is very much akin to creating any kind of art, sometimes you want to sing Mozart’s very technical Queen of the Night’s aria “Der H√∂lle Rache”, sometimes you just want to scat whatever inspires you in a sultry jazz song.

It’s important to not get hung up on any particular way or idea on what or how things should work for you. Be open and fluid, because that’s how the connections and inspirations from the Spirits and the Divine can flow in and through you. So for now, I endeavour to build up my ability to focus for more in depth journeying, however, I will also enjoy the walking in both worlds at the same time in my everyday life and what nourishment that has and continues to bring to me.