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Who was this?

Never before have  I woke up screaming. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning.

An hour ago or so I was half asleep, cuddled up with an absent husband’s pillow, enjoying those precious last minutes in bed. I was aware of drifting in and out of sleep, and when I felt someone crawling up on the bed next to me I was fully aware of it just being a dream. Still, it was so fragile, I knew that if I moved or turned to look I’d wake up and see no one. But I could feel her, and I wanted to savour the moment, so I stopped myself from waking up.

I could feel her, I wrote. Because it was a female presence. I didn’t dare turn my head to look, being so close to waking up, so I just kept entirely still, and listened. I could feel her weight against the bed, her hands on my legs. Her voice was gentle.

“It took me a while to find you. I had to look through a couple of generations.”

She was a heavy, comforting presence on the bed next to me. I don’t know why, the talk turned to the issue of children.

“… you did right. Waiting, you needed to mature first.”

But it wasn’t a choice, I protested, feeling tears well up in my eyes. I’ve tried. Her comforting presence started to withdraw, she said she wouldn’t come back for a good while.

She left, the warmth gone from the bed.

And then I heard someone entering the room. It surprised me, she said she wouldn’t be back for a long while after all, this had to be someone else.

Someone was watching me, and I heard a man’s voice.

“I like your–“

Hearing the strange voice, I flinched badly, looked towards the door and screamed. It tore me from the dream and plunged me back into reality, with a scream still leaving my throat. I saw no one, I was awake. But he had been there, I was sure.

Now, I still feel a bit… shaken up. I was dreaming, I know I was. But it felt so real, it felt like I was at the same time asleep and awake, resting inbetween.

Who was the male presence? He scared me, quite badly. What woman wouldn’t get terrified when a strange man suddenly walks into her bedroom when she is supposed to be alone? First time I’ve woken up with a scream.

I wonder who it was. Of course I wonder who She was too, who had searched through a couple of generations to find me. I hope it won’t take years and years before she returns, I would very much like to talk to her again.

Him, though. Who the heck was that?

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It was long overdue, the candle and offering I promised to Ochún. Finally I got to it, last night at the woodland shrine. I brought fresh water, sweet  dried apricots, a gorgeous golden peacock feather ornament, and a bright yellow candle. I was looking all over town for honey caramels, but found none. Next time.

All afternoon I had the rhythms of Ochún playing in my mind. I remembered the dance steps, my hips moved, my feet moved, my arms and hands moved.

Once I was there, at the shrine, and brought my offering to Her, it was beautiful but strangely silent. I felt humbled. I felt almost ashamed. Realization struck, why I have never entirely connected to Her. Why She always felt distant. I never felt myself good enough, beautiful enough, sexy enough.

Ochún, stand with me. I desperately need Your guidance. 

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I am only becoming more and more certain that the spot we call our shrine, that I have mentioned and described in this blog several times already, really is a powerful spot. Even my atheist husband feels it, and strongly. The four big rocks, almost as tall as I am, cradling a fifth “altar” stone, about half the size. And underneath the altar stone, a natural cavity.

That cavity under there. It feels like a gateway. A portal. I still haven’t explored it fully but I just know what it is, what it means.

Offerings I normally place on the altar stone. I bring food, mead, beer. I light candles. I meditate, pray and just listen. The gateway underneath is not for offerings. Not normal ones, anyway, I think. Without anyone telling me, I just know, that I should leave an item in there to infuse it with power. I just know that if I need communicate with the other side, that gateway can carry a message. This I just know.

There is something twirling around the back of my head, this feeling I can’t shake. I think I shouldn’t be hogging this for my own use only. Not all have the luxuary of an open portal in their back yard. I have a hard time writing this because I do not wish to sound arrogant or self aggrandising but

I can’t even finish that sentence. It still isn’t clear.

Ancestors, embrace me.

Spirits, guide me.

Gods, be with me.

You who listen, help me find my voice. 

You who speak, help me understand.

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Today has been a day of both sadness and strength. I have been closing one chapter, left an era of my life behind, and opened up for a new one. There have been tears, many tears, but they have felt good because I knew it was the right decision.

It was right on time. My darling husband cracked, tonight. All the stress got to him, all the exhaustion. He cried, and he fell. I am so glad I was here to hold him and pick him up. It’s time for me to be the strong one now.

When he was broken, crying and drunk, we sat outside and talked. For a long while, just talked. Remembered and felt. Talked about our home. Our connection to the land. And let me tell you, no one listening would ever think him a “cold” atheist. He spoke with such passion about the land, this piece of land, how we belong here, how it is a part of us. It was deeply spiritual in nature.

Before we went inside we went by our little shrine, and offered some beer for the ancestors. Husband poured it onto the altar stone and asked for help.

And then let’s not talk about how he started talking about the four chaos gods from 40k. *cough* I literally had to stop him from calling on Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle and Tzeentch. >.> Let’s blame the beer, alright?

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A Nighttime Offering

There are no words to speak. None that needs writing. They are here. Here, is now. Here is then. I see a sliver of truth. A sliver of existence. Almost close enough to touch. We do touch. Here is now is then. I can almost grasp it.

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Whipped cream. A bowl of whipped cream, with something in it. I eat some. I eat some more. 

What’s in the whipped cream? I look closer. Ticks. Still living, wiggling, blood filled ticks. 

I stop eating, feeling sick. 

An unusually disgusting nightmare. I can still feel the ticks wiggling around in my mouth before popping. Absolutely distusting. How would I interpret it? Ahah, that’s a fun one. The meaning is quite clear to me, actually. It’s not something profound and solemn, it’s not grand and spiritual. This is not prophecy, this is communication.

“Think of this when you see whipped cream. It’s disgusting, you don’t want to eat it.”

I love whipped cream. I could seriously eat bowl fulls of it. But with this dream fresh in memory the idea of eating whipped cream makes my stomach turn. Disgusting but very practical for me who needs to NOT eat such. Yuck. Uuäääh. No whipped cream, please.

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I was on my way to the university one day, some ten years ago. Not knowing what the lecture would be about – other than guessing that it would be archaeology related since I was in fact studying archaeology.

As I shoved my bike up the long, arduous hill that I had to pass in order to get through town, a thought popped into my head. A question, out of nowhere.

What is time?

The unexpected question gripped me completely, and I was completely lost in thoughts about time until I got to where I was going. It felt as though I got the tiniest insight, a little fragment of the puzzle that is truth, and it amazed me.

I walked into the classroom, and on the whiteboard it was written, in large letters:


Turned out the lecture was about how time has been viewed by different schools of thought, from traditional folk lore to esteemed philosophers to very current physics theory. Me already being in the philosophic head-space and focused entirely on the question of time, had perhaps one of the most rewarding lectures during my years at uni, that day.

The fragment I stumbled upon is  hard to understand. Its apparent simplicity is deceiving.

All times exist simultaneously. Yesterday was always existing yesterday, and that never changes. Today is today no matter how many more days pass afterwards. 

Part of the problem is that we can not discuss something as existing simultaneously with another without including time as an aspect. But what we must try to do here is see time from the outside.

Imagine time as a line. Yes, that is an immense simplification and perhaps not at all accurate, but for the sake of the explanation just do it. Time as a line. Tomorrow is one point on the line. Yesterday was another. One cold evening a thousand years ago is another point on the line and sunrise 2 million years ago is another. Step out of the line, see it from the outside. The line exists. The past does not go away, it will always be there – if you imagine the word “always” as not being locked solely to the concept of time.

A simplification would be to speak of it as layers, like pages in a book, each one existing on top of the other. Each time, a different page. But that simplification is also difficult to deal with, it helps in one way but messes up in another, since it gives the impression of separation. That the person existing on one page is somehow separated from the version of himself on the next page, or the one before. And that is simply not the case. Just as yesterday’s me will always me in the now yesterday, and today’s me will always be in the now today, and tomorrow’s me will always be in the now tomorrow, it is still the same me.

A person, or an item for that matter, if seen from outside of time, consists not of separate little instances, but the sum of all. If I could step out of time and look at myself, each fraction of myself, existing in each moment, are all just pieces of a whole.

And when I hold an ancient object in my hand, I know that if seen from outside of time, that item is not only in my hand, but in a countless number of other nows as well. Somewhere another hand is holding it too. Somewhere it is created. Somewhere it falls to pieces. Not one moment of the item’s lifetime is ever gone. It all exists in the same time.

There is the fraction of an existence, which is in the now – whichever now we speak of – and there is the entire existence.

Time is but another dimension. And just as my town doesn’t mysteriously vanish just because I have left it and gone to visit another one, the past doesn’t vanish just because the fragment of myself that is now can no longer see it.

Fragments of existence are mere fragments. Live in the now, they say. And yes, we should. But we are also more than that. I am today, yesterday, the day I was born, the day I will die, and everything in between. The true self is not each fragment, but the whole.

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