The Nine Worlds

The other night, my Seiðr mentor led a group of us, four women, on a powerful journey. She did not know where the journey would lead, but let the journey take us where it would. After inducing one of the most intense trances I’ve experienced through the magical singing and chanting and stav rhythm, which took a long while it seemed, we delved through the wells of creation, Mímisbrunnr, Urðarbrunnr, and Hvergelmir, through the Gaping Void called Ginnunga gap, and from there were led into Niflheim, the realm of the dead, where time is slow as winter, a place made of ice and mist and surrounded by walls of flame. My Hugin, an eagle, leapt from shoulder and soared in this place, its great, black shadow cast against the orange flame walls. Hugin is Thought. I could feel the goddess of this realm, Hel, take my hands into hers, without seeing any other part of her, I could see her hands holding mine, and one was flesh, the other, a bony skeleton. I could feel an immense sense of love from her through my hands. She seemed to regard me as an equal, as much a power as she or any who walked with me on this uncanny journey. As we journeyed through Hel’s realm, my legs turned as cold as the ice she lives in. We were led through secret paths that do not open to many (apparently) to Menglöð, her mountain of medicine, I saw a great hill and a woman upon it, larger than life, and we approached as healers. I was honored that my mentor referred to me as such, and I felt it through my very core that I am indeed a healer, in my way. We were allowed to walk the path of wise healers throughout time, throughout eternity. I had no sight in this part of the journey, other than the initial view as we approached, but simply felt that I belonged, and was welcomed. We then ascended the great tree, up through Midgard and to Jötunheimr, where the primal energies of our bodies live, in the base of the skull, then quite unexpectedly, my knee started to jerk and I could feel something in it, or as if something was holding it. My mentor then started to chant to Óðinn, by several of his titles, and suddenly we entered Valhalla. It was a field of the dead, all from battle. It looked as if it were the dead of all wars, of all time, spreading across a green and beautiful field that seemed to stretch into eternity. I saw no blood, and could make out no faces, only many, many bodies as far as the eye could see. It seemed almost as a painting, colorwashed-greens seeming to dominate. We then chanted to the Æsir, and I felt very little in this area. We then went in the other direction, to Vanaheim, and greeted the Lady Sovereign herself, Freyja, the lady of birch. The path to her was as I normally see it when I journey in her wood, as a pathway of golden-leaved birch trees, rustling in quiet winds. I’ve often felt Freyja’s presence when I journey, but I’ve not seen her directly, or only glimpses, a ghost of an image or her arms directing me. This time, I could see her, and yet, I can not describe her countenance. She seemed still elusive, and yet more near, more welcoming, more present than ever in a stav journey. I thought she also held her hands out to me, and as my mind swirled with intensity and my lips buzzed and vibrated and my legs felt still cold as icy bricks, I could feel two hands cloaking me with some kind of fabric cloak. This has happened on several of my own journeys, and those times it seemed to be black bear skin I was being cloaked in. This did not feel like a skin, it felt like fine linen. We remained in this realm for awhile, and I seemed to lose track of time, my thoughts, my self. Suddenly the chanting and rhythm seemed to change, and I was being led away and back into the room we staved in. It took us a long while to stav ourselves back into normal consciousness. It was truly an amazing journey.

 

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