How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 4

How To Begin
Honestly, this is incredibly personal. Also, some people are not wired to journey, to see/hear/feel things at all. Some people will only hear things. Some people may only be able to hear and not actually have conversations. Some may only be able to sense presences, or emotions. Some may see flashes of images. Some, again, may not sense anything at all. There is no better situation than another. I can only speculate on the why of being able to experience the Gods and Otherworlds, and why some can experience these things, and some cannot.

With that said, the how of it really depends on you. If you like things elaborate, create a specific ritual that will get you in that headspace to be open to the Gods and being with Them. If you like to keep it simple, like me, try it in a very simple setting.

It’s good to have a foundation in being able to visualize easily if you want to journey. I think it’s about letting your brain be able to interpret what you experience over there, to have practice in seeing entire landscapes or minute details with your mind’s eye. Try remembering scents, sounds, how it feels to run your fingers through grass, the smell of your favourite flower. Here where memory works again for you, if you can pull up those memories easily, it becomes easier for your brain to pull upon your memory to flesh out your journeying experiences.

I think the only important thing I can say is ensure you are warded if you feel you need to, and to just try, just let it happen. Be open to it happening, be open to it being real. Be open to second guessing yourself, to thinking you’re crazy.
Be open to it being real.

What about brain-weasles?
Yes, the “am I crazy?!”, “did that actually happen?!” “Is that what my God/s want/s?”. Talking and journeying with non-corporeal beings may make you qestion your sanity, I know I did in the first year or so. Many times. When past that, it becomes a matter of wondering if I’m just making it all up. Here’s where discernment and divination comes into play.

At first, you will not know the “flavour” of your Gods yet, of the way in which your brain picks up on things. Even if divination is the only way in which you find you can communicate with your Gods, there is a “flavour” to the answers depending on Who you’re talking to.  Baldr doesn’t want me to be using my cards to talk to Him unless it is important, so I’ll get very contradictory answers to my questions, or a blunt “no” when asking if He can answer me through a deck. He wants me to listen for Him, or go to Him. Odinn usually gives straightforward answers, albeit, I often feel there is more to the answer than I am getting through the cards, and often, I’ve had Him refuse to elaborate. Frija doesn’t mind elaborating, Her answers so far have been at the same time gentle and firm when needed. She’s fairly straightforward as well, but with less edge. And this is what Their personalities are like with me, simply through divination.

When I think-talk to Them, I often get sensations, or an image of touch as Their different flavour. Baldr is usually a soft caress on my cheek. Odinn’s conversations usually come with the image and feeling of standing side by side and looking out over the land, the wind whipping around u/Us. When I talk with Frija, I feel warm, I feel like I’m in a close space filled with the smoky incense of resins.

When you begin to know Who you are dealing with with more sureity, picking up on Their patterns, it becomes easier to pick up on when one of Them wants to talk to you, or that They actually are answering back when you talk with Them.

I think it’s quite interesting the ways in which the experience of Them happens in a way that the sensations are all tied together, that I can know Who I’m talking to by how I feel, and the images that may not even include Them I see flashing in my mind as words are exchanged.

That all aside, you can see that there are ways in which They let us know Who They are, Who we are talking to. It takes time to get to know these things, and I find they get a little more elaborate the longer I’ve known Them and talked with Them over the years. It’s just like getting to know anyone in the physical world, we learn the sound of voices, easily recognizing them from others’ in time, the scent of their favourite perfume or cologne, even their favourite laundry soap, the feel of their hand on our arm as they’re talking to us.

Even with being able to recognize Them further along in your practices and communications, doubt will always find a way to seep in every once in a while. On those days, I just put it all down. I will focus on other things. I will also divine to see that what happened, or what was said, was what really happened or was really said. I may still feel as though I can’t trust the divination, and when that happens, sometimes I will ask someone else to divine for me. I usually get bigger check-up readings from someone other than me a few times a year to make sure that I am on the right track. Sometimes I have someone else read for me because I just need a little confirmation.

I don’t think the doubt ever goes away. We are dealing with People who many humans have been taught, for far too long, to simply think of as myths, Who don’t exist in any real way. We live in a time where empirical knowledge and fact is held high above all else. When you get involved with the currently inexplicable mystical, you’re thought of as bananas. We simply cannot explain what is happening between us and Gods with facts and data at this point. That doesn’t mean our experiences are invalid. That doesn’t mean it is not real. It’s hard when you move against the grain of cultural/societal beliefs.

Final Thoughts
JUST DO EET.
Write down your experiences so you can remember more easily, and you can look over it all and begin to pick up on patterns. Don’t be disheartened if it’s fuzzy at first. If you can only travel for a few minutes. It takes time, and like everything else, some people are more naturally able to do it than others. It doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else. The Gods want to work with us, to be friends with us and love us (not every single one of us, because who has time to love everyone, or even like everyone?!). If we just put in some effort to regain what abilities to communicate and be with the Gods that we’ve likely lost as indigenous religions were replaced, we can build up a base of knowledge, a base of acceptance, a strong foundation for future polytheists to continue our hard work. To bring our Gods more fully into our world once more.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 3

Memories
This aspect is rather important for me. Though it has become increasingly easier to completely immerse myself, and leave doubts behind, in the Otherworld and my experiences over There, my memories help solidify things in an interesting (to me) way.
When I am over There, I often feel like things progress in a wobbly way time-wise. Sometimes things take a while to move forward from one thing to another, it doesn’t feel natural to me, and this would bring about the doubts that it was actually happening, and quite effectively, at least at first, bring me out of the journey.  When I was first journeying, I would eventually think about what had happened a day or two after the actual journey, and realized that when I thought of it again, the memories came as though it was a memory of events that have happened in my physical world, the time lag between actions/events would no longer be there, though I knew they had happened. In fact, sometimes the act of remembering a journey makes it more vivid, more real.
I also realized that I could re-experience it again. This explanation kind of sounds just like what a memory can be like of a physical world expereince, but when I remember some of the first times I went off with Odinn, I’m there again, that moment exists once more for me, the place, the landscape, the trees, the buildings, the wind. I don’t change anything, though I believe I could, but I am there. My memories of phsyical world events never feel like that, and perhaps that is because those are memories of things that happened physically, places and circumstances that cannot happen a second time because we live in a realm where time is much more linear. Spirit worlds are different, and time does not work the same over There. So effectively, my remembering of my journeys makes them real once more, makes them occur again for me.

Thinking of my travels also helps to cut out some of the lag that happens, as I said above, seaming it together into a more natural flow of events, at least for my human sensitivity of timing. I can also step back and see the whole of it, it’s story, whilst still being able to feel everything again, to see all the details again.

What I have found interesting too, is that as I look back on some of my past travels, I can notice new details if I poke around, getting a slightly different perspective since time has passed, and I am not the same person I was when I first experienced the journey.

What does the journeying experience look/sound/feel like?

What I see:
When I go over, I see Baldr first, then wherever we happen to be (again, often forests). There is a moment to see what my spirit eyes can take in of the place, the wall of trees, the depth of the forest and the fading of it the further in the distance I look, or the more trees there are to block my view. Essentially, it’s almost like seeing any given place in real life. You take in the whole of it, then notice details. I notice the kind of trees, the colour of the soil, what time of day it is by looking at the sky, the weather.  Then my focus usually goes solely onto Him as would physical world senses when you are with someone in any given place. I notice what He’s wearing, what His mood seems to be through body language and facial expressions.

Now, as far as facial expressions go. I believe because I don’t have one specific face for Them, I can’t really see Their faces clearly as a whole. I can see the outline of bones, but each facial feature is revealed as the experience progresses, as things happen. I’ll get the image of eyes winking, of a mouth grinning, the wrinkles at the corner of an eye as They laugh, the pull of muscles that round out cheeks, the raising of an eyebrow.  It’s like watching a person in our physical world as you’re talking to them, you notice kind of passively individual movements, individual expressions, individual pieces of a face, pieces of a body as they express what the person is trying to put forth. But, at least for Their faces, instead of those making part of a whole image in your memory you have of the person, all I have are these pieces. And they change as They change Their faces. Sometimes I can see a face more solidly as a whole, other times, it’s just those bits and pieces of expression that don’t want to make a whole.

As far as seeing Their bodies, those are much more anchored, and have basically been the same since meeting Them. They are usually always wearing something different as suits Their moods, but Odinn is tall, muscular yet not body-builder muscular. He can hide it well when He wants, but He usually appears the same size for me. Frija is also tall, long-limbed, Her skin always glows like gold. Baldr is tall, slimmer than His Father, but muscular, and He glows with a whiter, sun-like light. Their hair is always changing along with Their faces. This makes sense as I find that hair is a very important expression of individuality and personality.

I am always aware of the place I am in, though I may not be aware of details again until I look around and focus. It’s rather like memories of moments in our physical world, it is made up of what we remember of who we are with, some of those facial expressions, body language, as well as some innoccuous details like your cat jumping up on the couch, sunlight filtering through very green leaves, or the patter of rain.

I will add here that I am also a product of the time I live in. A lot of the time, I watch myself with Them, in whatever environments, at least usually for the first while. We have so much film and television, and that takes an effect on how we think of ourselves, how we view ourselves in our minds. Even when I think on things that have happened in my physical life, it’s like I’m watching it from the over the shoulder angle filmakers employ all the time. Once I am fairly situated in the Otherworld, I slowly return to first person view, though sometimes I zoom out.

What does it sound like?
Again, I don’t talk much when I’m journeying, so voices don’t factor in much. I hear ambient noises if I focus, just like what I described of focusing on what I see around me above. The sound of the breeze rustling leaves, animals and insects filling the night with their calls.   Despite not much in the word department, there can be non-verbal noises. When I first walked through a group of my female ancestors, there was a sense of humming, of harmonies, dissonances, no real melody, just the buzz of so many voices sounding together..There was even drumming somewhere in the din.

What does it feel like?
Yes! There are definitely almost physical sensations that can happen when journeying for me, even when not journeying (such as hanging out in your living room and it just so happens Baldr’s sitting beside you). Touch is very interesting when we’re talking about touching the Gods, and interacting with the Otherworlds. When I think on it, i believe it is akin to how we feel things here in the physical world, we are never actually touching anything, but with a certain amount of force, molecules next to one another, some from my hand, some from the mug I’m holding, I can feel that pressure in my palm, my fingers, that information sent through my nervous system to my brain. The heat of the mug is fast moving waves, telling me that I should grab the handle. The pressure from the mug lets me know how much tea is left without having o look at it.
I think when it comes to being in a place that isn’t based on what we think of as physical, tangible, hard, it’s like our physics, our motion, but it is energy that is more easily manipulated. We are spirits too, inhabiting fleshly bodies. When we go to a non-physical world, our spirit can experience what our brains interpret as physical sensations.  When I feel something over there, it is almost a combination of the memory of touching something like it with my physical body, but everything also has a different sensation than that of our physical world, there’s a tingling to it… everything vibrates, and everything feels more a part of my spirit body as I interact with it, or with Someone.
It’s kind of like the idea that everythign is connected, yet when I’m over there, that notion is so much more real, tangible and observable; that I am truly connected to everything. Every object or Person flows into me, and I flow into it/Them. Even the places I find myself in. I can feel my own energy reaching out from my feet into the ground, and I can feel the earth reaching into me. I am part of the wind as I feel it caress my skin, swirling my energy around in it, as it moves through me and into me. My spirit body remaining fairly solid, but it acts more as an anchor; my spirit’s energy so fluid, easily combining, sharing with everything and Everyone. That sensation is actually very freeing… perhaps the “muscle memory” of what it is like to not be so solid in everyday life.
In the final installment of this series of posts, I’ll share what it is like dealing with doubts, brain-weasles, learning to trust oneself and the Gods. Along with that, some encouragement to begin your own communication/journeying practices.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 2

My Method
Ok, so I’m going to divide this into the talking/hearing communications, and the journeying communications.

Talking With Them
As I said, most of my conversations with what my brain interprets most easily as words, happens when I don’t have enough focus or energy to journey to Them. When I think-talk to Them, I usually have to be in a position where I’m generally not worried or fussing with a physical world thing, such as making dinner, or having to talk with other humans. It is often when I am already deep in reflection about one thing or another. In that state of mind, I am closed off and isolated from humanly contact and interaction.  It’s not hard to think of listening for Them because I’m always thinking about Them anyway.
Now, that being said, there have been times when Baldr will keep on talking to me as my partner speaks to me, commenting on what he says, or continuing what He was saying to me before my partner spoke. I find as time goes on, it’s easier to hear Them with more external stimulation.

My usual course of action, or of relaxation, is as follows to hear Their words and talk with Them:

– no pressing obligations I have to worry about in the next few hours  – do something that does not require too much thought: knitting, cross-stitching, walking, gardening, observing nature, etc.

– ensure the household is comfortable and doesn’t want to interact with me (but this is easily negated if it’s midday, or after everyone is in bed for me)

– music. Now, this may seem a strange one to some, as I am trying to listen, as it were, to the Gods. It’s usually lyric music I know so well that I don’t pay attention to the words anymore, or orchestral/instrumental music I still know fairly well to not be engrossed by it. Music, especially specific artists or genres, puts me in a trance, light, but trance nonetheless, very easily.  Music highly affects my state of mind, always has, as I’m sure it does many people, but I really can lose myself and open up to the infinite when I listen to music… for that matter, even when I sing. But singing doesn’t work so well for this purpose unless I know the music so well, and have been singing for quite a while that I’m lost in it in a physical capacity as well. This takes longer, but it’s definitely more powerful.  When simply listening, sometimes lyrics will pop out at me that I take as what They want me to hear from Them.

– I simply call to Them in my mind, usually waiting a moment or two to feel Their presence before beginning

– I have found it successful to just think-talk with Them. Speaking aloud definitely helps to cement what you are saying, to keep trains of thoughts a little more coherent, and usually when it is very important, I will speak aloud.

Sometimes I don’t hear anything, and I don’t feel any presence. Usually when I want to talk to Baldr, He is around. In fact, I’m not sure He is ever not there… 🙂 Though, sometimes, He doesn’t want to talk. And that’s fine. Often when this happens, it’s because it’s something I don’t need to worry about.

What do Their voices sound like?
For me, it depends on two things.

The first is whether or not I have a lot of mental energy. If I’m really tired, it sounds like my own thoughts’ voice, though the answers are still immediate and complete, and use language the way They individually do.
When the answers come when I am tired, sometimes my own mind likes to try and tack on more than what They say. When that happens, I end up thinking of what else could be added to Their answers, and I catch myself and remember that I’m not supposed to be answering myself, that if I have to think of how to answer it, then I’m making some of it up myself. I swiftly stop the train of thought. When They are answering, the answers are swift and complete and don’t require me to think of the answer; in fact, the answer comes before I can think of what I would imagine the answer would be. Remember, this is only my own experience.
As an aside, it’s weird having conversations in your head when Their words are in your mind’s voice, it’s hard to tell what’s you and what’s Them. It’s also easier to think you’re just crazy and have invented a new person to talk to in your head. This is where music can sometimes help, as lyrics will pop out and confirm something They’ve just said. You can always confirm with your divination tool of choice.

When I do have a lot of mental energy, I can usually hear Their distinct voice. There’s a caveat here, and I’ll explain that next.

The second thing this all depends on is what Face Whoever I’m talking to is deciding to wear. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m “seeing” Them. What this means is that Their faces for the entirety I’ve been hanging out or talking with Them, have collectively never had a permanent visual that stays in my mind of what They look like. It’s always changing. It’s not that it’s because of what role They employ that They want me to focus on, it’s just Their looks, They are always changing. Along with changing faces, is constantly changing voices.

Baldr’s voice has been a smooth tenor to a gruff baritone, and variations thereof. Odinn has morphed in and out of looks, demeanors and voices so many times for me, that there’s too many voices and faces to count. Frija is much the same, though when I just talk with Her, I feel emotions or little glimpses of things more than words.

I’m not sure if the looks/voices fluidity is because I’ve often told Them that even though They could use a face or voice I know, I would like for Them to present Who They really are. I have a thought that this is either Their selves unfolding from what my brain wants to substitute in as more easily recognizable; it could be that the changing is peeling back all my own inputs, for the eventual goal of having one solid visual/sound. Or, I have the feeling it could also be that They are simply fluid in those respects. At least with me. I always know Who I’m with anyhow, though for a while, I believe Odinn was changing how He presented Himself to overlap with Baldr, easing me into meeting Him.

Journeying
And what about journeying? When I’m over There, it’s a much more sensual experience than language. Sight, touch, occasionally smell, and ambient sound. It’s very intimate and personal when I can visit Them instead of just talk, as though They are part of me, or flow through me. It is still very intimate in a different way when I’m actually adventuring a bit with Them. The experiences themselves seem almost an entity in and of themselves, and I am intimate with those experiences, those stories of my own adventures with Them that become every much a part of me and my memories as my physical life’s experiences innately are, and often even more so.

As for my journeying methods, they are much the same as what is stated above, though I am adding a few more points for a more intense/fully in the Otherworld instead of straddling both situation.

– darkness, or little visual stimulation (a lot of this more intense journeying happens before bed)

– music still plays a big role, in fact, it usually plays a bigger role since verbal communication isn’t as important to my journeying as the experience; I become awash and filled with the sounds, the harmonies, the emotions of the music, which helps to take my mind off the physical quite a bit, and usually helps to connect me to wherever it is I’m going

– I do not do anything physical, as touch is a very good way to keep one grounded in our physical world, and lessen the almost physical sensations I can experience in the Otherworlds

– if I am journeying in the middle of the day, I will light incense, but if it’s when people are going to bed, I won’t shock everyone’s noses and keeping them awake, that’s just rude!

– to travel to the otherworld, I used to visualize the world tree, and travel along its wide trunk, finding a door that would take me where I wanted to go (usually to Whoever I wanted to visit so long as it was good with Them). This isn’t necessary anymore for me, it doesn’t take much for me to get where I want to be, I reach up and Baldr reaches down to pull me up to Him almost as soon as I can think that I want to be with Him. It’s almost like being pulled up by the hands out of a pool by someone standing on the edge. Except it looks like I’m coming up from the soil.

There’s not much more required other than that. I usually don’t make too much of a hullabaloo about it because my Gods have been very personal, not formal, with me from the get-go. I do weekly offerings to each of Them anyway, but on special journeying occasions, I will set up circle, or make offerings beforehand.

For the next part, I will be discussing the role that memory plays in my journeying and communications with my Gods, as well as what journeying feels/looks/sounds like for me.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 1

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, though it always seems strange talking about things that are quite personal. But really, I’ve given up on caring what the nay-sayers will say. I’d rather talk about these things and discuss them with those who want to, and perhaps put out there some things that others may be wondering about, letting us all feel a little less lonely, that we’re not as crazy as we like to think we are sometimes. Though I will grant you, talking to Gods and spirits can definitely make it seem like you are going crazy.

I will put the caveat out there that this is only my experience. This is not the only way you can communicate with Gods or spirits, in fact there are likely thousands of different ways through which we can experience Them and communicate with Them.

My Journey

The Beginning
Now, it’s only been nearly four years since I began truly interacting and communicating with any God or spirit. Odinn came in a flash to me one night as I walked from my kitchen to the living room. It was just an image in my head of Him, in armour, hair blowing in the stormy winds, looking right into me. I knew immediately it was Him, though He had two eyes, one embellished by a scar on the lids.

What I kind of marvel at, looking back on it now, was that I immediately knew it was Odinn. I have mentioned before on the blog that preceding this Odinn moment, I had not had much inclination towards the Northern Gods, and I suppose Skyrim likely opened that door for me. Yes, a video game, gotta love pop culture paganism! The Gods use ALL THE TOOLS at Their disposal. The game really allowed me to love the strength in the Northern culture, especially the stories of strong-willed women. Skyrim definitely has its share of strong-willed Nord women, that’s for sure!

At the time, I was dealing with the not so nice thing that was happening which led me into a pretty terrible depression for the next year and a half, perhaps more. It’s a little hazy. This was also the time I had decided I was no longer interested or had enough energy to continue pursuing a degree in music. It was a pretty difficult time because a lot of things were dying for me. And through that whole situation, a very big personal transformation was under way from that point onwards in terms of who I am, and what is important to me. It’s strange-looking back before this point and realizing how different I was.

I think He came to usher it all in, the change in me, and even the way my brain worked (I became very forgetful, which necessitated me doing things RIGHT THIS MINUTE, lest I end up doing nothing ever again). It has actually gotten quite a bit better over this summer (I began writing this post in early June, and there has been a marked improvement since then) which I am very thankful for!

Since then, I had been visiting with Odinn, working through depression and my issues with death, getting to see the connection to my ancestors, and the cultures they were part of. I am so grateful to Him for helping me through this time, as it was definitely a particularly shitty time in my life.  As I believe I’ve mentioned earlier this year, He has taken a step back as Baldr has become number one, so o/Our visits have become less frequent.

With Frija, the communications and experiences have been fewer, but much-needed when I was working through the reality of being female in our current, very misogynistic, culture. This came shortly after depression hit, by a few months or so.  There wasn’t so much adventuring with Her as it was more of a tutelage, discovering the great strength of being a woman, that it is no less than that of any man. I admit that I never really had much reason to either fear death, or feel so helpless or weak as a woman. My mother is the pants-wearer in my immediate family. I never heard from anyone in my life that I couldn’t do what I set my mind to because of being female. Before I realized I was a good singer, I wanted to be a doctor or marine biologist, and that was encouraged. It’s strange the things that put us in a tailspin with no true cause.  It has all definitely made me much more aware of the fact we have a long way to go when it comes to women’s equality and rights in society, not just in law, but in the daily, small, seemingly inconsequential misogyny that happens, that is inherently taught without thought as to its effects.

But that is a topic for another time.  Frija pops in when I need Her, or when there’s something pertinent She wants me to know. I can always look to Her to help me see my worth.

Baldr came when I had already been communicating with His Parents for a while, so it didn’t seem much different. Though somehow I cut myself off for a few months in the spring, thinking I was not ready for some reason, that I had to wait. Interesting that… and strange in retrospect. Baldr has  been the easiest of my relationships with the Gods. Things have been so very comfortable, there doesn’t seem to be anything in particular w/We need to do, as Odinn helped me connect with my Ancestors, as Frija helped me connect with my own power. We just hang out, w/We enjoy each other’s company, laugh at silly things, and generally just have a very relaxed time together.

The Initial Communications

Ok, so what about the communication part of this?

When I finally got around to accepting that I could communicate with Odinn on my own (more because I wasn’t exactly sure what the Hel to do or that I would be fumbling terribly), it took a while to figure out what was going to work for me, and how I would experience it.

First was honing my meditation skills once more, creating a ritual around it in order to get in that proper head space conducive to being open to Them, well, Him. If I hadn’t meditated in a while, it usually took up to a week to get into the meditation groove of being able to focus on emptying everything out that isn’t helpful, and connect with Them.

When I connected with Odinn, it just happened that I end up journeying to Him. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why this happened fairly quickly for me, but it just did. Perhaps within the first few times of trying to be open to hear Him, I ended up on some interesting adventures with Odinn.

I happen to have a very vivid imagination, very vivid dreams as well, so I suppose that helped. I was also already doing my own inner journey work before Odinn came along, which is where w/We adventured a bit. He was working with the landscape I had already created, creating openings and doorways to what He wanted to show me. I still had the safety of being somewhere, or close to somewhere, that I was already familiar with.

It seems now, I don’t often travel to that first landscape much anymore. I remember quite vividly what has happened there, and I do think of it once in a while, enjoying the views behind my eyelids. I made it, so of course it is somewhere I think is beautiful! Now, my journeys seem to be in a lot of sunlit, starlit, or lantern-lit boreal forests. I don’t think these new places are my own invention any more.

The bulk of my communicating and interacting takes place when I have the solitude to journey, whether it’s before sleep, or while I’m making something (as of writing this, it is my Yule gifts which are coming along quite well!), or out biking or walking. Often I slip into the Otherworld, where I can see Them, and straddle both worlds.

Other times, if too much of my focus is in my mundane world, I will hear Them and feel Their presence. Words seem to come more when I can’t be in the Otherworld, which also happens to be the times I need to talk to Them anyway, to hear words and get more difinitive answers.

In the next post, I will be talking about how I talk to and visit the Gods.

Let’s Catch Up

So if any of you have been with me on this blog for some time, you’ll know that spring is quite a momentous time for me. Things get planned, plans become actions, and generally there is much happening for me. This runs into the summer, and hopefully this year it will run well into fall (especially concerning my garden and processing my harvest).

Well, along with plans of how I’m going to be spending my time (either in the garden or crafting things for Yule, yes I start early, as well as beginning to write music again), my spiritual life has taken an interesting turn. Thor has popped in as the Gods I regularly work with have stepped back. I’m not too sad about it, though I do miss Them, however Thor has proven quite helpful, if not direct. He’s pretty funny, and the snark ensues at times, though He’s pretty gentle when needed.

It seems I’ve just got some things to undo, some weird thinking about how I interact with my regular People. And the main point… THE MAIN REASON is that I need to be DOING. That’s all He keeps hammering (hehe) into my head. Just do things, make things, do magic, write music, go work in your garden, do, do, do!

I asked Him why He decided to help me out:
“Because I like you, kid.”

In terms of the thinky things, He’s actually quite perfect for this in a few different ways. You see, no matter that at least one of my People has been around for a few years, I still have this weird way of thinking that things must be super serious, and even with Odinn, that’s usually not always the case. There have certainly been moments, however, the general feel with Him, Frija, and Baldr is that of my loved ones, family, good friends. Even when one of Them would crack a joke, I would laugh a bit, but still try to impose a more serious face on Them.

With Thor, I don’t know that it’s because He’s very accessible to people, that He’s got a pretty friendly reputation, partnered with the fact that so many are quite aware of Him now (though that’s more Marvel Thor than Who He really is). I couldn’t possibly pin it down to one particular psychological reason to be honest.
This all ties into the doing He’s been emphasizing. We had a chat when I stayed outside under my umbrella the other day during a very light thunderstorm, and He let me know that I’ve honoured Him more wholly, and just more, whenever the thunder and rains have come. I know that I have honoured Odinn when the howling winds begin stirring in the autumn, or when a strong breeze moves through me while I’m in the garden. Or Baldr when I’m standing in the Sun, letting the warmth permeate my body. Or Frija when I marvel at the beauty of the green things growing around me.  I know sometimes I’m not going to feel that kind of wonderous energy that really kicks up any of my interactions with Them, and that’s OK. 
But what this has made me realize is that I can’t possibly schedule in something that’s so tied to my heart. Hmmm… I believe I’ve talked about this before… Yet, I need to seek out those things that help me connect to Them more easily, more whole-heartedly.

All of this is allowing me to be more in the moment. When I feel moved, I get up and light my candles and pray to Them, thanking Them for whatever inspirations have come when thinking on Them, or just letting Them know something reminded me of Them.
It’s odd business trying to have relationships with Those you cannot touch or have Their physical presence around. in this way, it makes the relationship that much harder, really having to remember that They are there, or that you should probably hang out with Them, cuz, you know, it’s been like a week, and would you really go that long without talking with those who are incredibly important to you who are corporeal? Likely not.

So here I am. Doing. Being in the moment. My relationships with Them are very important to me, so why am I making it out to be more serious business (especially the business part) than They actually have shown They want? Yes, there are things that They want me to do, want me to learn, and those things are business, but once I know my tasks, the rest of o/Our time together is quite relaxed. And to be honest, all They’ve indicated is for me to be a witch (lots of doing), and to be with Them, journeying as often as I can. Yes, certainly I need some time after certain travels that require some unraveling, but otherwise, apparently They like me, and that’s just as well, because I happen to quite like Them 🙂

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 😉

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!

Happy and Tired

It has been a busy month, and this past week and the next has been/will be pretty busy still. It has been really nice to have the Holidays with the family again!! We’ve already chatted about going to the East Coast to spend some time next Yule (well, Christmas for them) with my grandparents since they haven’t had their grandkids for the Holidays in three years (due to some selfish planning on my uncle in law’s part). Ah well, what’s family and the Holidays if there isn’t any family drama? Though I have to say this year has been pretty quiet on the drama front. Very happily quiet!

It’s also been nice to be able to get gifts for people again (because shipping is expensive!), and by getting, I mean making, since I still have one more thing to knit for our last Holiday meal and gifting next weekend. Just a toque, nothing major. And yet even with all the Yule knitting over after that, it seems like I have another 5 or 6 knitting things to do come January. I have already decided that next year’s knits will be started waaaaaaaaaaay early, like maybe even after I’m done the next few things I’m knitting. I wanted to give gifts to more people this year, but there was just not enough time in two months for it. Ah well, I have learned the lesson.

And now for the magickal part of my life, which is actually pretty much the entirety of my life 😉 , the Yule season has been quite lovely. Each day I light the candles and incense at night, some for my Ancestors, some for my Gods, and some for the things I want more of to harvest this coming cycle. I had planned to do a lot more journeying each day to spend much needed time with my Gods, however, sleep has been eluding me enough along with the Holiday craziness wearing me out that I haven’t had enough energy to go off. I just fall asleep. Rest is quite important to keep your focus (I just read an article that people who only get around 6 hours a day have the cognitive and reactionary function of someone who’s blood alcohol level is 1.0), but I’ve been reassured there will be plenty of opportunity and time after the Yule season has ended. Tonight may possibly work out, but we shall see.

I am excited for what’s to come, the learning to be had in the coming year, the relationships to be deepened, and all the things that will be growing. I hope you all are enjoying lovely Holidays, whatever they may be and however long they last.

Much love and blessings. Happy Yule and Solstice tidings.

Week One Finished NaNoWriMo

It’s been one week of NaNoWriMo so far, and I have been on a role! After having successfully completing last year’s run, I already know I can write a lot, there is enough inspiration in me to spew forth All. The. Words. Why I chose the word “spew”, I do not know. Let’s move on.

I always do this to myself, but I have forgotten how much writing (among other creative endeavours) speaks to my soul. It may take a while for me to get into a scene, but when I hit the groove, I am basically going into a trance. And since this story of mine involves the Gods, I am also listening and feeling whatever direction they want me to go in. It’s been such an amazing exploration for me so far, letting this story unfold, letting things develop and present themselves in my writing.

I’m really enjoying describing sensual experience, the way my MC observes and experiences the world and people around her. This is especially true when she straddles the worlds. The one thing I’m still struggling a bit with is the characters, writing them complexly without making them contrary. Each day, I have ideas about all the potential paths the story could travel if my characters were “this way”, or what if they were a little more “like this”.  It’s only been yesterday and today that I’ve kinda begun to accept a more solid personality for them. I’m not worried about it not meshing with the earlier stuff I wrote though, that’s what editing and rewriting is for! Plus, keeping track of what I write every day in a plot map.

As much as I had planned in October, a lot of the plot has changed. The main plot points are still firmly in place, but the story itself has gotten so much darker than I originally planned it to be, but hey, Odin is one of the main characters, how could it not get dark and dangerous? Not to mention Who else will be popping in.
I’m definitely not regretting planning out as much as I did, it allowed me to begin exploring early ideas sooner, and for a few weeks before beginning. But it definitely seems like I need to sit down to write to see what’s actually going to happen.

Welp, I said I’d maybe post excerpts, and here is the first one! If you like it, let me know! If you think it’s a big pile of poop, also let me know! 😉

She was dressed as shieldmaiden now, a terror to see. Her hair seemed to flow as if in water around her, creating a copper glow as the sun shone through each strand behind her. Her eyes were furious, and their gaze bore into my very being.

It was as if every human part of me was being stripped away, my hopes, my fears, my loves, my memories. Each piece revealing the bones of me, the bones of her. I couldn’t have screamed if I had wanted to, she had taken my voice, my eyes, my ears. In a moment that lasted but seconds, and an eternity. I was before her, not seeing her or any of this world, just knowing it, viscerally. All of my flesh burnt to ashes, but I could feel those ashes coming back to me, reconstituting, rebuilding. My flesh clean, pure.

When I was whole once more, I stood before her, the rage in her steeled, she pulled out a short blade, sharp, and slid the point from the base of her palm to the tip of her middle finger. She took my right hand and did the same. She then grasped my hand with her own, and then I felt her moving through me as I moved through her. A flash of what must have been my ancestors so very long ago, being with these Gods, laughing with them, fighting alongside them, calling them kin.

I saw their marriages, their lovemaking, their children. Their blood flowed together, for generations. Both sides strengthened by the bonds, humans connected to all that was beyond their world in Midgard, to see that though their life was short on that plain, they would be reborn again and again, their spirit immortal. The Gods able to enjoy each day as it came, viewing their long lives with the eyes of a mortal being’s, allowing themselves to not become indifferent and stagnant.

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!

2014-07-08 13
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 Hölle 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.

PBP – Journeying & Validation

Peggy's Cove - Miaerowyn © 2014

Peggy’s Cove – Miaerowyn © 2014

Lately a lot of what’s been on my mind has been the peculiar need for validation, especially when it comes to the experience of communicating with Gods and Spirits of all sorts. As an aside, communicating can take any form, it’s not all about just words or visions.

Journeying has become a big part of my own practice, even though I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. At first, like anything, I was unsure of what I was experiencing, if it was just the sock puppets I have created in my own mind when it came to encountering entities. As time goes by, I recognize more easily when I am playing with those mental sock puppets, and when I am actually communicating with an entity. I recognize as well when I am creating something that I ‘see’, and when I am actually encountering a landscape and entity that is a genuine communication.

Discerning between the two can be very difficult, and I admit sometimes to over-thinking it and disbelieving that it was ‘real’. However, I have been Told that whether it is ‘real’ or is not ‘real’ doesn’t really matter, as long as it nourishes me in the way that I seek. I stick to that idea, because just meandering around in my own inner landscape is beneficial, I do self work in there, and that’s a wonderful thing. A lot of the time, it is relaxing, and inspiring, it recharges my batteries. But when Something outside of myself presents something to me, it nourishes in another way, not greater or lesser than doing my own inner work. It is simply a communication from Someone that spurs me towards something They wish me to pursue, with the added benefit of confirming my path and rendering me in awe.

From the past few posts I’ve written, you can see I’m not one for relying on others and their opinions much. I do find myself sometimes very much in need some sort of validation (just like everyone) of if the things I am doing are right, or if the things I am experiencing are real. As far as experiences go, no one else can tell me that they are real. I have learned not to put stock into ‘realness’, but to place it in the value I find, the lessons, the knowledge, the wisdom, the comfort, and even the discomfort. Nothing else matters, and the more I continue to hone my skills, the more I know I will get from it, as I hope to find focus in what I need to be giving in return for the wonder and fulfillment that is having relationships, or even just brief moments of contact with Them. I understand seeking advice and validation from other humans, however, no other human can verify that where your path is leading you is correct in any which way, or that Who you might end up meeting and interacting with is ‘real’ or correct to their vision of said Being.

To elaborate on the Who bit, in terms of the Gods, especially ones who are known for donning many masks, another human who interacts with the same God cannot possibly tell you that the mask you see isn’t valid. I would question someone who seems to just want to say “well my God communication penis is bigger than yours,” and generally just wants to show off about how much more magical and pagan and witchy and amazing they are, otherwise, I believe the Gods appear to us as we need Them to be. The way in which Odin has come to me is not in a way I have ever seen depicted anywhere, and yet, I know it is Him. He has even appeared in a few different guises, yet in each one, He is Odin.

While I am so lucky and happy to be able to communicate now (I think Odin had a hand in opening my head up), it wasn’t always so. I’ve been on this path for 14 years now, and have only in the last year been able to connect. I know if things were different and I was still unable, my faith and belief in Deities and Spirits would be there yet. It’s a comforting thought that shows me my spirituality does not rely on any one other than myself, and that seems right to me as each individual person’s experience of spirituality is quite different from the next.

So seek out the techniques and the advice on how to perform them, as many of them are ancient and have worked for thousands of years; seek community with those who are on similar paths, but know that at the end of the day, we are experiencing different things from one person to the next.