Not so long ago, I was sitting in my sitting room chatting to my husband online when there was this really loud popping plasticy noise. It had been in the same room and yet I could see nothing.
Being the inquisitive type, I went around the sitting room looking for what could have caused it and everywhere else. I checked all plastic things I could find in the house, I checked the electrics, even went to the breaker box to check that nothing had gone funky there.
Still, I felt like I was being watched, especially in the hallway and so I just told whatever it was in English and German that if it was here to cause bother then it should bugger off because I'm not in the mood and I will deal with it. However if it was here to just hang out and not do anything then it was ok by me.
A few nights ago, I was once again talking to my husband when I saw a small man (not much higher than a metre) come walking towards me wearing a shirt and breeches. I told my husband.
'Wow, that sounds like a kobold!!!'
So I looked it up and the house dwelling kind indeed were the size of children in the lore and wore peasant clothing. The bit I didn't like was the bit about them being very similar to boggarts. My native area is boggart country. We know boggarts and I wasn't too keen on having something like one in my house. But then I figured if it was good then why not?
I did get the very definite idea not to leave it offerings though because it would only keep demanding more and more and doing things around the house until it got more and more.
Last night I made offerings to the Gods and as I was pouring the wine into the offering dish I heard a series of bangs throughout our apartment.
'Look you!' I said 'I'm not a Christian, so don't go getting demanding on me or you're gone. The Gods and ancestors are the only ones that get stuff in this house!'
It's been quiet since *touch wood*
One thing I have noticed since it's moved in though, is odd looking items of cutlery that I didn't buy keeps turning up in the drawer.
Watch this space. lol
I go where I'm pulled and when I give up control I'm running naked through woodland, a bow in my hand.
'The high places aren't for hunting, they're to watch' the voice says. I nod and continue to run until the animal comes into sight. Mid-run and with more skill than I know I have, I shoot the animal, a beautiful white deer down.
It falls, bloodied and breathing heavily as it pants out it's last breaths.
Acting on instinct, I unsheath a knife that was carried around my waist and put the animal out of it's misery. I stab it in the heart, I gut it and I mark myself, my breast with the blood.
'There is always a price' the voice says. 'A vision doesn't come for free'
I go to the high seat, a place in a tree used to watch the animals and I look at the cloak and headdress.
But then I'm in a clearing and it's suddenly night, primal drums beating to firelight. I'm being confronted, told what is, told what I must do next. Things are explained. An offering is demanded, a gift for the vision and I agree.
'Go' she says 'this is a vision within a vision and you are still to collect, the rest of what you seek will come later. Things are going to happen much faster now'. I go back to the high seat, don the cloak and headdress and climb up.
The height dizzies me and I look over the land again,the animal trails crisscrossing down below. A map for the hunter. I see people, lands and places, things I've already seen and things I'm yet to come across. I know when it's my time to part. I leave the high seat and run back through the forest the way I came, this time in hunt of my own body.
During my first month here in Germany, while I was looking for somewhere to live, I lived in a tent that was pitched on the banks of the Regnitz river.
It wasn't an ideal situation but it was much better than sleeping at the barracks with Josh and having to get up at 4am every morning. The army doesn't recognise unmarried couples and so I would have to leave for 5am and then spend 2-3 hours wandering around with nowhere to go until cafes opened. The campsite was a much better option.
Actually it was really quite nice.
The weather was good and I'd actually missed living outside.
Yes that's right, I'd actually missed living outside. There is so much about living outside that I love. I love waking up all snug in my sleeping bag, the air cool around my face and taking in a breath of really nice fresh air. I love the little green lights of fireflies settling on my tent at night just as I am going to sleep and I love sitting out(obviously covered in DEET) as darkness falls. Solid walls, while I wouldn't ever want to forgo them in winter shelter us from so much. Most of all a feeling of just being a part of it all.
Nothing compares to being in a tent during a really huge thunderstorm.
It exhilarates and yet calms all at the same time.
The only downside to living in a tent that I can think of is the lack of security and feeling of being exposed.
One night I woke to hear footsteps outside my tent. You learn to sleep light in a tent, especially during high season on a campsite because you just never know who is knocking about and torches make really good clubs. Quietly I reached for the torch, trying not to give away the fact that I was awake so as not to lose the advantage of surprise should anything untoward happen and that's when I saw it.
Unbelievably there was a girl stood in the middle of my tent. She was dressed in clothing from the 20s/30s and dripping wet. I didn't see her head. My tent is only a dome tent and she was too tall. One can only assume that her head was sticking out of the top if there at all!
At that point I did the only thing I could be bothered to do. I swore, turned over, did my best to ignore her and tried to go back to sleep despite the constant feeling of someone walking over my grave.
Eventually she went and I went back to sleep wondering if I could shift my pitch from the riverside to under the nice oak tree further inland.
Being as I am from the landmass surrounded by water in Northern Europe known as Britain, there is often some crossover between beliefs and practices that are straight up Heathen, stuff that is Celtic and things that come from the folk traditions of my native area. I don't see this as a bad thing. Balances are important to me and so is the number three. For me, balancing between two things is when I go wrong, however balancing between three is fine. It's like the number three makes a lot of sense in my head.
Halloween is a time where all three of these factors in my practice come together. Winternights was celebrated earlier but that was in Iceland where things are colder faster in the year. By Halloween, the British Isles have usually seen some cold temperatures that signal the start of winter and so it often makes sense for me to celebrate that at the same time as Halloween.
I never do anything too crazy at Halloween in terms of ritual. Or at least that's not the aim. I rather like having a no-shit celebration and then getting to settle down and relax with a movie and a glass of wine or two. Usually I light some candles for dead family members and make offerings to the Gods and Disir. I also leave food and drink for them. When I have my own house, I will probably make a meal for my family and set a place for those that have passed before. There is something beautiful about the Dumb Supper. Slightly chilling but beautiful all the same.
Normally I don't get decked out in anything. The only reason I usually wear a costume is to scare kids that come trick or treating and that consists of a lot of black, a witches hat and a skull attached to a stick. That tends to do it!
This year was different though. I didn't get decked out in any special clothes but I felt really sort of like I had to put my raven feathers in my hair. I don't do that unless I am going to do some serious Seidhr. However this year, it was not so much an urge but a sense of not having a choice in the matter. So I did. I also put on my ritual amber necklace (never usually cracked out unless doing some crazies). Putting this stuff on was just bizarre. But once it was on, I thought to myself 'eeeh, Josh hasn't seen me like this before, I'll take some pics'. And so I did. I then got on with my blot and even though I felt the pull to do some Seidhr at the end, I stopped myself because I really wanted that movie night and Seidhr is something you cannot just do in five minutes. It takes some commitment in terms of time and potential shit scariness. Especially when it comes to dealing with the dead.
After the ritual, I took out the feathers and the amber and then checked the pics to see which to send to Josh. One photo really stood out. I need to give you a little backstory on this so you understand. During the time that I thought that Seidhr was all about trance journeying, I went on a journey. Like all of these journeys, they are pretty realistic to the person experiencing them. In this one, I came across Old One Eye and ended up being asked to sacrifice something in exchange for a gift. At this point, I felt this pain in my right eye, as if it was being ripped out. Being very wary of him, I told him I wanted time to think about it because I didn't trust him as far as I could throw him. He told me that he would allow me that but that I wouldn't have too long. 2-3 months later, on my way home from work for 3 days straight, I was met by two huge ravens(real ones) on the path to the bus stop (which is in the middle of nowhere). They would sit on the fence and let me get within 2 metres of them before flying across my path and leaving a feather in their wake. Ravens aren't rare in my area but crows are much more common and I was leaving work at different times of the day for those three days. I decided to take it that my time to decide was up. So I decided to say yes and see what happened. As soon as I agreed, I felt like I had the most horrendous pain in my right eye that lasted for about half an hour. Eventually it subsided and I went to go and look in the mirror. When I did, for a split second it looked like my right eye was gone.
All the trance journeys I did after that were only with one eye.
I don't do trance journeys really anymore. My idea of Seidhr has changed a hell of a lot. I'm not even sure how to regard the story above. My 3 raven feathers are still packed away at home in England and I get lots of irritation in my right eye before anything of significance happens in my life. And yet I really don't know what happened. I am also not adverse to thinking that I had some kind of delusion because quite frankly that is the better option to making a deal with One Eye.
So anyway back to the photos. I took two of them. One after the other, sitting in the same place. The first one is freaky. My right eye is messed up to fuck, the lighting is somehow different and quite frankly, I look at this picture and I know it is me but I see someone or something else there instead. I don't look like me. The second pic was taken seconds after and is completely different.
So, what do you guys think is going on with that?
Sunday, November 2, 2008 Weirdness - the fini LOL Yet more unbelievable shit from Cat.
Today I went for a walk to take out the food and wine that I had put out in a kind of a mini Dumb Supper. My original aim was to walk to the Hain and that lovely clearing I found last week and then leave them somewhere private.
However what really happened was way cooler. I didn't even make it to the woods. I was walking along the canal bank below the court house and I noticed this raven hopping around. He spotted me and hopped off away from me and I stopped. Thinking I would try my luck and how perfect it would be to feed those offerings to a raven after the weirdness of Friday, I turned my MP3 player off and crouched down. I opened the bag of cake and the cheeky chappy looked interested. I threw some cake down a little distance away and waited. After looking at it and me for a few seconds, he hopped up and took it in his beak before hopping over to some grass and hiding it under a leaf. While he was doing that, I took the opportunity to sprinkle some crumbs a little closer to me. He came and started to eat and so I decided to pull out some more cake. This time, he took it from my hand and ate it. Some more people started to come along the canal bank and so he flew away. Thinking he was gone, I got up and started to leave. The people passed and so I went back. Crouching again, I pulled out my bag and started to make a clicking noise that I hoped would coax him out. I spoke to him in English and told him how beautiful he was and he came back. I fed him the rest of the bag and it was amazing. Ravens are such beautiful, intelligent and comical birds. At times I could have sworn he was laughing. I am so going to go back, this time with my camera, and try to get some pics of him because he really was a fine looking bird.
When I was a kid and bored in class at school, I used to daydream. Well not just daydream because it wasn't just mindlessly staring off into space. I was really gone. I had such a great desire to be outside (especially in Religious class)that I would find myself running around in the woods outside of school, my body left sitting in class and staring off into space.
I guess that was the beginning of it really.
Then came the phase of physical affectations, where my sense of smell would go ridiculously senstive. There was this one time in France where the smell of mint was driving me mad and I had to look for it - in the end I found this tiny plant about five metres away. Another time it was the smell of sand that sent me bonkers - until I figured out what it was. Then there was the sight thing where all colour except blue would go. Everything was a shade of bluey-grey and I know this sounds fluffy as fuck but I felt very wolverine.
It didn't take long before I was trying to push it a step further and actually take my hamr for walks. It takes extreme effort and it makes me really tired. The feeling of that squashing sensation from having my arms, my front paws so close to my heart and lungs is just bizarre.
I once made it half the way up the street in this form before I was really exhausted and had to come back to my body.
A bird seems easier, though not as connected for me. I don't feel the same connection, nor do my senses change in the same way as they do when I am a wolf.
I don't always take another form, sometimes I stay as I am. Another form is a handy disguise when dealing with folks that know what they are doing. I always travel in Midgard and cannot understand why anyone would try or want to go off round the nine worlds. There is already so much here!
For me now, it either takes extreme effort or extreme need and sometimes anger to do this. I need that push. Just like I need to go the extra mile for mound sitting usually and go inside the mound (if possible). I never get nearly as close just sitting on the mound. Things don't shift the same when outside. There is this moment when moundsitting, especially inside, when a 'shift' occurs. When things go from being the realm of the living to being the realm of the dead, where they have the power and when you can understand the caution that folks had for the practice and for the howe dwellers.
Most of the time I don't do this kind of stuff and rarely plan it, but there are times when instinct just takes over and before I know it, the crazy is happening. A few months ago, I posted about choosing between Seidhr and the path of a wife and mother but now I see there is no choice. I am both, I can be both and need to be both for myself and for my community.