Being & Doing

I seem to be straddling this place between “being” and “doing”. On the one hand, my practice is about being an active participant in life, creating things that I want to see in my world, and cultivating and sustaining the relationships I have, including those with nature, spirits, and deities. On the other hand, it seems like there is this still point where I need to actively NOT feel the need to DO anything, that I need to be in tune to my deep consciousness and that in doing so, that is where profound changes happen to not just soul, but to the earthly landscape itself. It’s been a dance, and I still struggle with that feeling that I’m not doing enough in my practice because I have no clear idea of what to work on. I’m also concerned about how I’m integrating things into my life, psyche, and practice. In listening to Christina Pratt’s podcast about Integrating Shamanic Peak Experiences, I’m concerned about my effectiveness at integration. I know it when it’s been done properly because I feel the difference, but since I have no real guidance from my human teachers on this particular topic (or not that I can recall) I’m not sure I’ve completed this portion of the work in each instance, and where it has not happened, what can I do about it. I’m still listening to the podcast for tips on how to integrate, but this is the trick: I think some of what she’s talking about is a KNOWING from spirit on what is the next step, and that usually would be deciphered by the shamanic practitioner doing the journey for you, or your teacher in working with you personally, or by the individual but they would then have to be able to read that TRUST and KNOWING already. If that makes any sense. So for beginners who may be struggling to hear or trust their intuition, it may be quite difficult for them to understand what it is to DO with the information given.

For instance, all of my journeys to the Great Reindeer included pieces of ancestral information that built upon the previous journey, and as I encountered the Reindeer, I was introduced to a village of Sami people and noadde (Sami shaman) who would then take me into a sauna tent in order to teach me things. In these journeys, I kept seeing my mother’s father seated next to the noadde, and each time, I would just KNOW that I was supposed to do work in ordinary reality on his (my grandpa’s) behalf. Each journey, I would understand a little more information, even if it wasn’t obvious to me until some time later (within a few days or weeks.) So after several of these journeys, I was then initiated by the Reindeer, the village and the noadde into another level of spiritual wisdom, or whatever, and that was recognized by ceremonies and gifts given to me in that world. In the final journey, the noadde showed me my grandfather as a boy, and the noadde imparted to me that I needed to “call him in” at that age because the ancestral trauma that he inherited was significantly dumped on him as a young boy, and there seemed to also be personal trauma that he endured at that time. In order to heal that part of my lineage, I needed to call him in a final time (I had already called him in several times to release some of his grief) as a boy this time, and when I finally did that, I could see his spirit as a boy, I released the grief that boy had acquired and when I felt the grief lifting, I saw my grandpa’s spirit appear to me as a man, and a look of great relief and gratitude, and a lightness about him, and he smiled at me and said, “Thank you”. And after that, I knew the work “felt” done. See how subtle it all is? The thing is, though, this work is tricky, and I had done this all based solely on what I was compelled to do by spirit. That’s not a bad thing, and in some cases I think it’s good just to jump in and give it a try, but there are some pretty significant dangers to the living in doing this work, and it should be done properly so that the living do not become sick. This is when I stopped ancestor work and I am learning methods to do this work with more precaution by wisdom from the living on these matters.

(A small tangent…)
I had a healing done by a couple of trainees of my shamanic teacher, and they told me of some ancestral “sticky black stuff” that was draped over me by an ancestor who stood at my head during the healing. They sensed it was a masculine ancestor, and that this was not a malevolent act, but rather that it seemed to be residue (from what I assume comes from the work I did with my grandpa) and that their spirit helpers could only eat away some of the residue, and that I was supposed to actively work on the rest of it, that it is work that I MUST DO. Also, they sensed the blockage in my neck, that has been present for quite some time, and they worked on releasing this tension. I think I’ve blogged of this before, because in staving, Kabbalistic systems, and Traditional Witchcraft, the neck is an area of primal energies (and is the physical location of the pituitary gland/reptilian brain) and is a difficult area in terms of energies as well as initiatory learning. I have done a lot of work in this area in terms of spiritual encounters (this is where you can let the ancestors “into” you, and is where Jötenheim (land of giant/primal/chaotic energies) resides. In the Kabbalistic map, it is called Daath, and is a place of great struggle. Because of the work I’ve done, and likely not being thorough in asking for proper protection or asking spiritual guardians to stand at this gateway, I assume this is the reason (at least partially) for blockage in terms of energy flow in this area.

Anyway, I have been mulling this idea over in relation to the past few journeys I’ve had within the framework of my past year’s training (of which I have to keep most details private) in journeys to Cerridwen and the Cailleach that I’ve been pondering how to integrate the information I received. What does it all mean? In those journeys (which were dismemberment journeys) am I supposed to DO anything with them, other than understand that I have been dismantled again in order to be put together differently? In these journeys, it seemed more like a passive kind of “allowance” to be dismembered, and I didn’t seem to get that nagging feeling that something needed to be DONE in ordinary reality. But what if I was supposed to do something, but just didn’t understand what? I suppose the answer to that would be, “journey again and ask”. This is where I think private work with a practitioner helps, but when I’ve done this with my current teachers, they don’t seem to give information on how to integrate this, or what is to be done next. This seems to be the single most important reason a practitioner would do a journey for someone, and so I guess I’m a little discouraged by that. But I also see this as test of my own trust. And when I really look at the situation, I already have a lot of skills in this area, and I can’t always go crying to teacher. I think this was largely what the initiation with the Reindeer was all about; that I have come into and must accept my own power.

 

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Too Heavy

So for a few years, my Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) charm has not wanted to stay around my neck. This disturbed me as I have worked with Thor as a protector and began to get very paranoid about not having his implement on my person,  but I also know when something repeatedly keeps happening, it is wise to pay attention. I finally, FINALLY, realized that his protection is not like personal protection. I cannot wear his implement because part of Thor’s mystery (as I understand it) is as a protector of illusion. In other words, he keeps the illusion of consensus reality in place. He protects the mind, as well as the earth, from the obliterating nature of primal chaos, whether that be cosmic space junk or the full realization of human consciousness. He is a border, he sets parameters, and he holds those strong parameters in place and he is a conductor of energy. Most of my personal work is to dismantle this illusion, to see beyond the set parameters of the mind, to let in the chaos, to experience the Unseen. Just like Thor, I am slow to learn!

It is said in the myths that Thor cannot walk on the Bifröst because he is “too heavy”, and therefore he comes to The Thing (Norse parliament) by walking through rivers called:

“…Körmt and Örmt
and both the Kerlauger
these must Thór wade through
every day,
when he goes to give judgement
at Yggdrasil’s ash,
since the Bridge of the Æsir
is flaming with fire
the sacred waters glow.”
(The Prose Edda, S. Sturluson, pp. 43-44).

The Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge, which means Shivering Voice, is a pathway from Midgard (Mannaheim: Man-home) to the Unseen realms.

Belladonna

Quite awhile ago I purchased a flying ointment from a reputable witch/herbalist/ethnobotonist/professional chef. I have only used it a couple of times in ritual, and I am considering using it again. My intention was to use it every full moon, but it has not happened. I was reading in her newsletter that her current belladonna medicine salves are used for some of the pain and inflammation that I’ve been dealing with, so I may also try to use it in a medicinal context. The trouble with that is that one of the side effects is dilated pupils! It would be pretty conspicuous to walk around like that all day. It also made me kind of agitated and it was very difficult to get to sleep, and I certainly don’t need any assistance with insomnia. I have a retreat coming up next week, and I may just pack the belladonna and see what my teacher thinks about its use in my journeys, etc. I was admonished by my other teacher when I had used my dream oil during one of our journeys, and I had actually just used it as a quickie lotion since I was out of regular lotion, and I love the smell of it, but when I mentioned that I had applied it before I came, she said, “Well, it’s important to tell your teacher when you’re going to use something like that” or some such. I guess I didn’t think it was a big deal because my dream oils contain mostly just kitchen herbs and nothing poisonous or psychotropic. At any rate, it’s on my altar getting old and probably should be used up. I worry a bit about having a poisonous substance in the house that is pretty inconspicuously labeled, but since my niece is now a teenager and never comes over anymore, there is probably little need to worry. I used to keep it in the medicine cabinet, but thought someone may think it’s lip balm or something innocuous, so I moved it to my altar. I’m interested to use it now that I am a more experienced journeyer, and see if it may help me get over this hump of feeling like my journeys are not as visceral as they once were. I may also purchase some of Sarah’s other ointments to see how they do with both pain and soul-flight.

Accord. A Chord.

OK, so to spin directly off of my last post….the immense power of creation (and destruction) available to humans.

I’ve been pondering this whole thing in listening to the Word books because some of their teaching is a bit difficult to get a handle on. But it seems that what they are saying is falling eerily in line with what I have been shown through my dreams, my strange waking experiences with different types of consciousness and meditation, and also what I am starting to experience in normal consciousness more and more through what apparently is their “vibration” with which they’ve imprinted the books. In reading the Mastery books available so far, the teachings become more “out there” for the brain to understand, but I think I’m finally starting to see what they are saying about the power of creation within the human consciousness.

There’s a bit where they are taking about war and how we will never be able to change the concept of war with the force of will. Where we need to change it is in our consciousness (creation of a thing), and understand that the collective consciousness is, indeed, a thing. And this is where the immense power of the human being can be put to use, by its focus. (And don’t even get me started on how this all relates to Óðinn because we’d be here all day!) So take the idea of war, and the idea of separation, a “lower energy” creation through the human consciousness, and imagine that our planetary system has been wrapped up in a matrix of “lower energies” and fear for two thousand years or so, most of which were created by us and then stick around as manifested energy that some people can actually see but most can’t because of our beliefs shaped in this lifetime and impressions written into our DNA from past lifetimes and our ancestors, and these beliefs shape what we actually can see or bring into being (this gets into the concept of thoughtforms, demons and some other esoteric shit.) So if our FORCE OF WILL cannot dismantle the matrix of fear and belief in our separateness and the subsequent mistreatment of others and reinforcement of fear, this change MUST come from within our consciousness. Here’s the thing: we do not have control over another person’s will. Not ever. But here’s another thing: our individual consciousness IS enough to create new thoughtforms, weave new matrix’s that are above fear, and where the matrix lifts above the vibration of fear, and fear does not exist there. So we are ded powerful, because we each contain the spark of the creator within us. And here’s the other thing: when one starts to weave a higher vibration into being, that song is felt and heard and begins to lift all things into the higher chord. Higher chord.

Man…if you knew how fecking much this relates to the Norse mythos….it is some cool ass shit!!!!! Sound waves. Ymir. Heimdallr. The rivers. The emanations.

So…many animistic belief systems believe that the worlds, seen and unseen, are created through songs, or sound waves. Many of these stories begin with the idea of two opposing energies (ice or mist and fire or heat) coming into contact to create an immense reaction (the big bang) from this life-creating environment (that I liken to yeast) and from this reaction many rivers or emanations or sound waves are made and this is what I think is like the One Source consciousness from which all other consciousness is derived from and is essentially a pantheistic belief, but I also believe that due to this, everything is conscious (containing life force or spirit) and this is an animistic belief. I also believe that different consciousnesses can be created by our thoughts, and thus, the ideas we have of godheads (gods, goddesses, demons, other spirits, etc.) are also unique consciousnesses themselves, and are reinforced and build in power through veneration or perpetuation. This idea falls into the realm of chaos magic, which is a complicated system to understand, but basically it uses belief as its main tool to create different experiential environments for the consciousness to explore. (Read Phil Hine’s “Condensed Chaos” or Peter J. Carroll’s “Liber Null & Psychonaut” for in-depth exploration of chaos magic.)

Because we are all containers of this immense power of creation, and are linked to the one power from which it stems, we can traverse the landscape of this world and unseen worlds by accessing the “body” of this power. In the Norse mythos, this is represented as the world-tree Yggdrasill. The name Yggdrasill means “Terrible Horse” and also “Odin-Horse” or Odin AS a horse, a centaur. Odin (Óðinn) is extremely complex, but as Yggdrasill, he is the tree itself, the consciousness that can “ride” it, and this refers to both the landscape of the person (microcosm) and the landscape of the cosmos (macrocosm) and thus, this tree can be accessed to traverse the “inner” world of the Self and witness the bigger “worlds” of the Norse pantheon (if you are using the tree in a Norse context), so Yggdrasill is both the landscape (the tree) AND the vehicle (the horse you ride). One of Odin’s functions is a representation of the human consciousness, and how it is one created from many. Another one is that of the shaman, or initiate, and psychopomp (one who travels into the realm of the dead.) Another of Odin’s mysteries is his role as a berserker, which is another lengthy exploration of an excitatory state of consciousness in order to achieve certain goals. Ugh, I wrote about all of this much more eloquently in a paper I did for my Scandinavian Myths class. Ok, so I could go on and on here, but read both The Seed of Yggdrasill by Maria Kvilhaug and The Fire From Within by Carlos Castenada. Also, check out http://www.sacred-texts.com and check out some of the older and indigenous belief systems for some very beautiful stories of creation.

The Dreaming

My dreams since beginning the “I Am The Word” book series by Paul Selig have become intensely strange, different, visceral and sometimes too nebulous to even describe. Sometimes I can catch them in words, especially if I remember to use my dream recall oil, but most times they drift away in the ether. I ceased worrying about it because The Guides in the books describe some of this process as needing to come through the soul and not through the intellect. I have begun to try to let go of the need to intellectualize things, which is why making art, coloring, singing my spiritual songs, meditating and dancing have been so beneficial to me.

I have virtually stopped journeying as a regular part of my spiritual practice. I was getting all upset because my journeys seemed to just cease bringing any information and I was using that to berate myself as not being “spiritual enough” or whatever. It is kind of depressing that after having so many visceral and incredible journeys that they would suddenly just stop. So I began to reiterate to myself that some of this work is learning to trust, to have faith. And I’ve been clinging to that for some time now. In the Word books, The Guides speak to this idea that humans have about our spirituality and “enlightenment” and their comments about it are quite interesting. They say that when one is seeking enlightenment, they will not find it for it is only in “being” that it is so.

One of my last journeys with my Huginn and Muninn, where I asked them to show me the true nature of their opposing energies, or how to work with their energies, or something to that effect. Huginn means “The Thought”, and for me is Eagle, and is the higher realms, the cosmos and the power of ascension, creation, destruction and re-shaping from a “high” or “external” aspect, and Muninn means “The Memory” (ancestral memory) and for me is Komodo Dragon and is the deep earthly realms and made of the dead of all time and the memory of the soul of the earth itself, not just humans, but all things that ever manifested here and is the power of descension, creation, destruction and re-shaping from a deep, “internal” aspect. They both emerged from their realms and plunged me into the volcano Kīlauea as it was erupting (interestingly, the volcano was, in actuality, erupting at the that time!) and the message I understood was that the meeting of these two primal forces (the Spirit, the higher self, meeting or connecting with the earthly, manifested self, the “monad” that contains within it the power of creation, the creative spark, the “black sun”) has the ability to create an incredible amount of energy or force that can create new potential of anything within this amazing, explosive reaction. It can then be directed into anything you wish, any dream or project or whatever. And not just the stuff we know, the stuff that obeys the laws of physics, ok, but like, ANYTHING. Whatever way we dream the new world, it can be so. We just need to be brave enough, creative enough, to dream another reality. It can be created here. We are the spark of divinity that can bring this new world into being.

We need to start feeding a new dream.

Precipice

At one of my altar sessions, I had called to my guides with some request or other, probably vague as I seem to have great difficulty in wording succinct questions, I shifted into another state of consciousness and I could see this great void of potential in front of me as I stood upon a precipice looking out over this great abyss. It was not merely visual, it was a full sensory experience. I felt as if I stood upon a gigantic mountain and looked out over the great ocean before me, and as if a small breeze might come along I could be blown over into a free fall into death. I sent out my deepest feeling of trust that I could in the face of this immense fear, and I felt it come to meet me. It met me at that high place of unknowing, and I felt as if I was unequivocally supported in my blindness of the Known. It was sort of like in Beetlejuice when the dead couple leave their known ghostly safety of their home, and step into the realm of the absolute ridiculous and bizarre. It is this trust that I have been trying to work with lately, finding it, trusting it. Trusting amid all the thousands of ill-formed questions in my mind that die in the air as I try to find voice for them. I do not even know what I want to know, or to ask, or how to ask. I am more lost and more found and more known and more unknown that I have ever been. I am in a state of daydream. And yet, all the while the daydream dreams, I am trying to stay grounded in the physical realm so that I do not engage in escapism, as I am so prone to. I realize how much what I attend to in the physical realm matters. I realize how well I attend to my body matters. I realize how well I focus on love, trust, creation, song, art, wonder and awe matters. It matters.

Forget all else, and create love. Create art. Create music. Create wonder. Create awe. Create joy. WITNESS it in all you see, in everyone you encounter. See their soul. Forget all else and do this now, for this is paramount to how we build our future. It begins with you. It begins with me. It begins WITHIN.

Above all, trust your inner voice. It is your soul singing you into the next thing.