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.