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.