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.

Norse Runes – Ansuz

 

Odin - Lynn Perkins

Odin – Lynn Perkins

 

Ansuz
“Anne-sooz”

Translation
Literally: the As, the ancestral God, or Odin
Associated: breath, ancestral sovereign God

Meaning
When Ansuz shows up in a reading, it is a time to be on the lookout for messages and communications. You could be just about to receive some information, or the Rune could be telling you to be mindful of your communication skills with other people. Be open and aware of the words you hear and the words you choose to convey your thoughts, use your intelligence and wisdom.

It is also a rune of inspiration, of that ecstasy that allows inspiration to flow in. Remember, it is connected to Odin, and He is the very epitome of ecstasy. Connected to this inspiration is also poetry, voice, chanting, singing, songspells, language. The tools we use to convey whatever inspires us.

Touching on the ancestral aspect of this Rune, it is the breath of the ancestral line that we take in for the first time when we are born, given to us by our Ancestors. It is also exhaled the last time before we die, given back to our ancestral line, ready for the next life.

Reversed or Merkstave

It goes without saying that Ansuz reversed denotes misunderstandings, miscommunications. You will not be able to receive clear information at this time, whether that is because you cannot understand it at this point, or because someone is being dishonest.
This isn’t a time to debate or reach a decision as you will not have the right information.

Inspiration is blocked, and words fail you.

Ansuz reversed also reminds us that we may have many words to describe something, but it doesn’t mean that those words are said thing. Can we not experience something we have no words for?

Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World

Such an important thing to remember when we are in spiritually fallow times. It’s a balance to strive for as well, not just in said fallowness, but at all times. Learn to read omens in our physical world, and you will never be without your Gods.

A Forest Door

I just had a great conversation on-air with Galina and Sannion during their Wyrd Ways radio show. And it occurs to me that the point I called in to make is something I’ve never really seen addressed, and something that would be useful to talk about here.

I’ve talked about fallow times here before, when you can’t hear/see/feel the gods the way you usually can, and how to survive them. Any mystic knows that you cannot just drop your practices, that you need to be able to endure these times of silence and keep your faith. Even for the most connected spirit-workers and devotees, the ability to sense and directly communicate with the gods and spirits ebbs and flows over time – just like an artist will not always be able to access their inspiration (and will suffer just as badly when they can’t as a mystic when cut off…

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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.

Pagan Blog Project – I is for Intuition

"Intuition" - Bente Hansen

“Intuition” – Bente Hansen

I’m not talking about intuition when it comes to divination, although I’m sure some of what will follow will be related.

No, what I’m talking about here is the intuition that is needed when you have relationships with deities, ancestors, and spirits in general. When you first begin on this path, no matter what path you call it, it can seem disheartening when you don’t receive straightforward answers, or even an answer at all from the Gods you worship, or the ancestors you honour. Ours is not the easy path.

For myself, I believe that for a long time, I had been blocking off communication, in both the ways of not allowing it to penetrate whatever walls I had put up, and in ignoring it when I did fleetingly have it come through. I think a lot of us do this, until we cannot possibly ignore the things our Gods and spirits are trying to tell us. And I think many of us do this because we are not yet ready for the kind of experiences and relationships that are in store for us if we bide our time in becoming the spiritual person we hope to be.

Another reason why I will say I know why people can’t connect as readily is because we live in the age of information. There are so many blogs and books out there giving us information that applies to ONE PERSON, or at the very least is regurgitated, and still applies to that original person who wrote the base material. We are all different, our minds work in different ways, we learn things differently than others… why would the Gods and spirits come to us in the exact same manners and interact in the exact same fashions as with every other worshiper? When we do eventually sit down to practice what we’ve read extensively (and too much) about, all we can do is allow our minds to impose these specific ideas of how this is supposed to happen.

While I will not discredit research and reading others’ blogs and talking to others on a similar path to yours for the sake of community and that lovely feeling of validation that what we do is very real, that it’s not wrong (or insert whatever obstacle that’s been in your way concerning your spirituality), sometimes we need to just be silent.

Do not take in more information about other peoples’ experiences, and experience it for yourself. I can say be prepared for appearances that will very much take you off guard, but there is no real way to prepare for that. Also, if the Gods choose not to answer you, then that is ok too. You can be a devotee, emanating the values and traits that drew you to your Gods; not all of us are meant to work directly with Them. But this is a topic for another time.

Back on topic, I can’t stress enough how important it is to meditate. Ritual purification has always been important, but it’s not just physical purification that is required. We need to clean out the cobwebs in our minds. We need to be able to either maintain a very clear of thought mind space, or at least be able to not pay attention to thoughts that happen. If we are constantly full of our thoughts, our questions, our doubts, our expectations, then there is not enough room for what They would have us know. This skill takes time. Some of us are more naturally able to clear out our minds, others are not, and that is ok. What we do is not meant for everyone to be able to do. Not all wish to devote much of their time to this. Ours is not the easy path.

When you feel you have received some sort of communication with a Deity, it’s ok to ask for some clarification from others, but I would suggest pondering upon it yourself, do not reveal all the details as this message was for you, and other people’s views of things could blur what the truth of the message is. Other people will find meanings in the imagery that are connected to their own life experiences and spiritual experiences. You need to apply your own experiences and meanings to your message yourself to really understand what They would have you know.

Intuition is a powerful tool in regards to communicating with all spirits and Deities. It may take quite some time to develop the skills, and in most cases, we’re really not ready when we really want to be. We must work hard, and realize that for some, we’re not meant for that type of devotion, and it is OK.

New Imagery?

So I just found out earlier this week, we can now upload background images to wordpress blogs! It’s about time, I must say! So as soon as I discovered this, I decided to make myself a background. I love Photoshop, I really do! I decided to go with some written words because, well, this is a blog, I do write here!! lol. And some feathers and birds because they are creatures of the air, and air is associated with communication, ideas, thoughts, creativity, the mind. I thought it was appropriate 🙂

How do you like the new look?? 🙂

Anywho… strange things a-happening yesterday. We went out to get groceries, etc, and for some strange reason, I was so disoriented and felt very weird. It was like I couldn’t look at enough around me, and for the life of me, I couldn’t focus visually on one thing very well. Had to give the shopping list to the man so he could make sure we had picked up what we needed. Needless to say, it was very strange and I was glad I wasn’t out and about alone. It seemed to clear up when we got some food… strange, very strange. If anyone has experienced this or knows what it is, I’d love to find out! That’s pretty much the first time it has ever happened to me though.

I’ve been thinking about plants again! He-he. I just can’t stop it. The winter weather here in the Pacific Northwest is just so different, that although we’re still in January, I feel like Spring is just around the corner. I feel sorry for my family in Ontario who are dealing with three feet of snow, and crappy winter weather, but am glad all I need are a good pair of rubber boots and an umbrella, lol. This year, I want to finally grow the lovely witchy seeds I bought over a year ago. I think I will buy a few more seeds some witchy (belladonna, henbane, clary sage, angelica) and some for foods ( chiles (jalapeno & ancho), I already have some nice tomato seeds, so salsa and tomato sauce here I come!). I’m also thinking of growing from a bought avocado and getting some seeds to grow my own bay laurel tree. That would be wonderful. Although, I will have to sit down and really think about what I can realistically grow because my apartment is quite small, and the windows don’t bring in an enormous amount of light. I’m also not sure if I will be able to make a little garden in the yard.. will have to chat with the owners about that one!
What are you folks planning for your gardens, witchy or otherwise?

Elemental Magic(k) – Air

Elemental magic(k) is a basic sort of magic(k) that is easier to learn if you are new on the path because of the focus on the elements, and easier to work with if you’ve been on the path for a while and you are in need of something really quick in an emergency as we generally familiarize ourselves with the properties of each element fairly early on in the magic(k)al learning process. This sort of magick makes for a good basis to work more elaborate magic(k)s down the road. Of course, you can make quite elaborate spellwork calling upon more than one element, and more than a few correspondences.

Air is the element of the East (or South, depending on your tradition), Spring, the soul, creativity, the mind and communication. When you feel as though your mind is stagnant, your focus strained, your creativity has run out and you are surrounded by miscommunications, petitioning and working with this element is a definite must.

Herbal/Oil/Incense Associations:
Agrimony, Butchers Broom, Caraway, Red Clover, Dandelion, Eucalyptus, Hops, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lily of the Valley, Linden, Mace, Meadowsweet, Mistletoe, Sage, Slippery Elm, Star Anise, Pine.

Stone Associations:
Aventurine, Azurite, Mottled Jasper, Celestite, Kyanite, Mica, Pumice

Elemental Beings:
Sylphes: wish, dream and knowledge granters; rulers of weather; protectors of magic(k); beings who fly.

Animals:
Birds, flying insects, dragons, flying horses.

Tarot:
The suit of Swords (although when not reading, I feel that Swords should be fire as they are made in fire); The Magician; Justice; Wheel of Fortune; Temperance; The Star.

Gods:
Zeus, Hera, Uranus, Chaos, Amun, Horus, Nut, Shu, Latobius, Caillech, Arianrhod, Thor.

Magic(k)al Workings:
Communication, knowledge, ideas, education, creativity, freedom, travel, writing skills, meditation, divination, visualization.