My family has lost another family member. We are dealing with the loss. I have also been recently giving serious considerations to more fully integrating ancestor reverence into my spiritual path. The last discussion Owl’s Well had about spirits and how we relate to spirits in our personal practice, reminded me of how important mediumship and channeling is to my spiritual path. Its easy to lose sight of being here now, and forgetting that not everyone has the same experiences. I shared some experiences at the discussion that I don’t usually share with people. Someone called me the Saint Louis medium. I’m not fond of titles like that for myself, but it has become very clear that this is very relevant to my path. A recent tarot reading by a very good friend of mine pointed to the exact same thing. Finding and reading The Mighty Dead by Christopher Penczak, last weekend, couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Ancestor worship and spirit reverence has long been a part of my path, but ideas of ancestors of our passions (in my case, writing, poetry, myth, archaeology, philosophy) was not something I had ever really considered before. Ancestors of our spiritual path was an idea I have come across many times before.
Spirits of the land have been on my mind lately, especially about the ancient and eldritch energies of the land, and the history of the lands we work with. And often I find myself thinking about the prehistoric energies of the land. It is clear that there are faerie energies on my land, but also the land spirits themselves seem to have flourished as we have nurtured them through soil work, watering, and offerings.
Next month, I am leading a discussion on the autumn equinox. The subject of death and spirits isn’t far from the purpose of that discussion. It centers on underworld mythologies and the mysteries of death and rebirth, in addition to questions regarding the energy and the themes of the autumn equinox. I will be posting a brief set of notes on the autumn equinox to the writing blog so stay tuned.
We try to better ourselves and fill our lives with the things that we value. Those spiritual pursuits, however, have a way of changing us. We realize we are imperfect creatures with layers of awkward and uncomfortable shit in our lives to deal with. We know we want to do something meaningful with our lives and can’t possibly imagine how we can still be considered wise enough to counsel others when there’s so much of this personal, inner turmoil. But that’s exactly when we know that we are doing what we’re supposed to do. There’s no such thing as perfection. The imperfect know what its like, because they are living the journey of self-mastery.
And this is why I identify so closely with the underdog, the strange and unusual. The people who were cast out of paradise long ago because they move to the beat of a different drum. I identify very well with it. I’m not looking to find a safe place, just a place to call my own. Its late July and all I have is this rant. But its more than I have written in a while. So for that I am grateful.
My writing has slowed down a bit. I have spent the last couple months focusing on Pagan picnic, my Witchcraft II studies , and trying to focus on daily devotionals, and everyday life. Pagan picnic was a very exciting time for me. I gave two workshops at this year’s picnic, on Otherkin and Psychic Vampirism. It was nice to be in a public space talking to other people about these things. They are very much a part of my life, and have been for a long time, even if I haven’t been active in these communities in so long.
The rest of my time has been spent getting ready for Midsummer, preparing a ritual for Spirit’s Edge, and a salon discussion. Writing the discussion for midsummer has drawn my focus back towards the tuatha and the aes sidhe. The focus of my spirituality is tied to the spirits and gods of Norse and Celtic mythology. And for midsummer I am turning back towards the celtic (irish and welsh) gods and spirits.
This Ostara was an extraordinary opportunity. I wrote and led my very first group ritual. It was in the spirit of Northern Tradition and called upon the Norse gods. It also included a sumbel, which really amplified the feeling of ritual as a communal gathering of people. It was a very connective and powerful experience. Someone told me beforehand that it would be a wonderful experience because I was “born” to do this kind of work. I have been feeling a very strong pull in this direction for a long time, and writing/performing ritual feels very natural to me. Afterwards, everyone who attended had something to say about how it touched them on a personal level. Its nice to know that I can help connect other people with meaningful experiences.
It seems as spring has returned, so many new opportunities are arriving in my life, each of them filled with far greater expressions and chances to do things I might not have considered before. Two weeks before Ostara I led a discussion on ‘the sacrificed god’, and then alongside Ostara ritual, also led a discussion on Ostara. I have submitted a few proposals for workshops I would like to run at Pagan Picnic this year, and as soon as it is approved I will begin writing those. Also beginning to plan for Midsummer. Hoping to get the chance to vacation and attend a troth event up in Canada this summer. We will see how things develop between now and then.
Last month was especially difficult. It was the middle of a hard winter, and a very close friend of mine went home to her concept of the divine after a long battle with cancer. Other things have come up since then and I wanted to write about so many things, but I write what I can in the time I have. I came out of a meditation one day feeling like this was going to be one of those deeply transformational times in my life, but also in the lives of others. An old adage says that opportunities come knocking when the time is right. Recently I lost a friend, and virtually at the time of the black moon I gained a deeper relationship with a current friend of mine.
I am on a cycle of returns. Where I walk in my path these days, I see myself returning to places I have been, subjects I have studied before, and now I see them in a new, yet renewed light. One of these areas concerns subjects like psychic vampirism and otherkin. In my twenties this part of my life was lit brightly while my magic kind of waned. I had no idea then how I would have ever integrated the different parts of my life. And just like that an opportunity came knocking. Someone who recently joined a group I am a member of, had serious questions about psychic vampirism and I found myself thoughtfully searching my own past for those replies. Before I knew it I was thinking about writing on these topics again. Things I had not considered in over a decade. And my reasons for leaving those communities were valid ones. I was bored. That doesn’t sound very valid, but it is. I didn’t like the direction I saw things moving in, and rather than sacrifice my true feelings and reasons for pursuing the subject as I had, I just quit, and focused on other areas of my life. But like with all things grand and bigger than ourselves, when it is a strong connection, it calls us back.
In the near future I plan to write some articles on the subject. The basis of this is to provide a resource for others who are looking for introductory information. If it develops into something bigger, then that would be awesome.
Samhain came and passed with an incredible feeling I haven’t felt in years. Nothing at all. There was no terrible fear that wrenched me at my core, like I had experienced so many times before. For Samhain ritual with the group that I support, I had drawn up a series of art cards, each with visual concepts of the predominant stories, legends and energies at this time of the year.
Many of the Welsh symbols and stories had come to me at this time as well, and in particular those of the lords of Annwn who lead the wild hunt. Never before had the spirits and deities that I attract ever been so straightforward or so simple to me, in a way that it made sense. I long understood the Norse connections. They have always been there. But for the Welsh gods, I was very confused. One of the predominant themes that the spirits have driven home to my mind have addressed ancestral connections to geographic locations, and to the old gods of those regions. And my strongest link via ancestry inevitably ties me to the landscape of England, though I have never been there. The truly amazing revelation was when I realized that some of the ones who have come to me at this time, I had dreamt about nearly 12 yrs ago. The same ones were trying to teach me the same things then, the only difference is now I am listening, and now I am ready to walk those paths. It is said there is a time and place for everything.
I have always kept journals that record these things – dreams, waking visions, and other things, and periodically I need to go through what I call work journals, because they’re an amalgamated mass of things all muddled together. And maybe I’m a bit too structured for such disarray, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll realize what an amazing paradox that is. And many of the recent records capture information about experiences where specific deities have been popping up a lot. I will search within most of the time to see what lessons they are trying to teach me at that moment.
Among the Norse gods, I am experiencing a heavy pull towards the Rokkr, what are known as the giants or primordial ones. And given my history with gods and goddesses of Chaos, that makes perfect sense. I continue to walk a heathen path, one where the Norse and Welsh gods are predominant, alongside ancestors and nature spirits. One of the things I have always loved dearly about the Norse gods (and this is based on a longer tour of duty with them, as I have worked with them for longer), is that my experiences have taught me that many of them are very supportive to the people who honor them (whether they are blood related or not), and who are strong in heart and soul. And if you are one of those people and you break down, they will absolutely be there for you.
Mabon marked a one year journey. It was this time last year that my family began attending ritual with a local group that had begun its own. It was a wonderful experience to be able to have included my son in ritual during this time, and with the approach of this Mabon we will be celebrating his second birthday. Also, it has been a harrowing experience for me. I have witnessed many changes within myself, primarily associated with the direction in which I find myself walking. During that time I have taken on greater roles in ritual. I have also taken on greater roles outside of ritual, both in my own personal journeys and in my relationships with others, reaching out to friends and making myself available to assist others in need.
My own journeys have led me into deeper realms of Norse and Welsh spirituality, and also deeper elements of my own mediumship and seership. Shamanism has taken on a decidedly important role. The divine feminine has manifested itself in many different ways throughout the past several years, and has shown me that there is a necessity to understand and utilize its messages and imagery in our world. This has made itself apparent in my writings and in my illustrations. It has also manifested itself as a strong link between my spirituality and my professional vocation (historical research).
One of the most earth-shaking experiences I have garnered from my work with others in public ritual has been how it has opened up all of my senses to the concept of community and support. On the anniversary of when I began my work with Spirit’s Edge, last night I found myself sitting and really listening to people for what feels like the very first time. Not only to what other people are saying about their own experiences, but what they aren’t saying. It reminds me of some of the things that my father taught me about observing others in their element, and in the general environment. He was a student of nature, and in many ways I have also followed in his footsteps.
Recently I have been feeling a very strong calling to continue to explore my studies in witchcraft and also to take it to the next level. For years I have had people tell me that they felt I would make a very good teacher, and the last month or so has found me surrounded with spirits, guides and gods who have made it very clear that it is time for me to pursue an in depth study of what it truly means to serve the greater community as a walker between the worlds. The time I have spent engaged in ritual has taught me that what I want more than anything is to help other people. Being called to ferry messages between the dead and the living is only a small part of this experience. And not all of the work and interactions between people happens here on the physical plane, but that it happens across many dimensions.