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Posts Tagged ‘spirits’

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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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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It is something I come across so very often in the online polytheistic “community”. Blog posts describing chit chat with the this or that God, in which the God is portrayed as well, the writer’s best buddy. Where the God is said to chat in a very human way, and one pretty much gets the impression that the writer has a direct casual chat line with the Divine, and the Divine speaks to them just like how a human buddy would.

I try very hard not to judge. It is not my place, and it is not like I can judge what is true, what is false, what is imagination, what is spot on exact and what is creative interpretations anyway. There is no way I can tell anyone that their experiences are wrong. I can only look to myself, to my beliefs and my experiences.

Part of me thinks I shouldn’t even write this, since I know that some might take offense. But it is a recurring thought that I finally decided to be worth a little blog post. So first, let me apologize if this ruffles any feathers. Know that I am speaking in rather general terms, and I know very well that I can not say anything about your experiences specifically, and I do not claim that you are wrong.

But this is what I think.

The Gods are not like us. They are not our incorporeal buddies hanging out with us, ready whenever for casual chit chat. They are powers beyond our comprehension and we should be careful about humanizing them to the degree that we lose touch of reality.

Humans have an amazing ability to interpret input in ways that are familiar to us. We make sense of what we see, hear and feel by subconsciously translating it into words and sights that are compatible with our expectations and comprehension. This is not limited to spiritual life, this is very much present in our mundane and physical existence too. We see with out eyes, but only really see some – while the rest is filled in by our brains in our interpretation of the input. We are bombarded with input, signals from the world around us, which our minds make sense of. We work constantly at interpreting and translating the signals into something understandable, whether or not we are talking about what we see, hear, smell, taste or feel.

It is the same with our spiritual experiences, whether we are talking about divination, communication with spirits, communication with the Divine, and so on. There is input, and there is our interpretation of the signal. Never forget that last bit, our interpretation of the signal.

To make up a completely fictive example of a conversation between a human (let’s call her Anna) and a God (pick a God, any God)….

Anna: Are you there?

God: Hey! Yeah I’m here, just keeping an eye on you. 

Anna: I’m trying to figure out what kind of offering to bring you. Would you like meat or fruit? Or flowers maybe?

God: I’m in the mood for meat. A rare steak, please!

Reading polytheists blogs, these kinds of conversations with the Divine is actually relatively common. Some experience actually hearing the words of the God, some feel them. For some the signal seems clear, for some it is more fuzzy. Either way, we can’t forget that our perception of the experience is filtered through our minds, and while a person may perceive actual words being spoken by the God, it is entirely possible that the word never was spoken by the God in the first place, that the God doesn’t speak in words at all but that the words are our interpretation of the Divine signal.

So look at that example above. What did the God actually say? It’s pretty much impossible for an outsider to judge. But potentially it really went something like this:

Anna: Are you there?

The God doesn’t speak, but is present and Anna is able to pick up on His energy. 

Anna: I’m trying to figure out what kind of offering to bring you. Would you like meat or fruit? Or flowers maybe?

The God again doesn’t speak, but there is a slight signal indicating meat. Anna’s linguistic sense, combined with her perception of the God’s personality, combined with her skill (or lack of skill) in interpreting a non-physical signal, translates this into the dinner order: rare steak.

So what do I see, when someone retells a conversation they have had with a God, is this. At the core there may be an actual signal, but it is filtered and reshaped through the human’s mind. I personally am not too fond of interpretations of the signal that humanizes the God too much, because while it still may be true, it is also very coloured by the human picking up the signal. Anna may be completely right in her interpretation of her conversation with the Divine even though the words are her own. And while I respect Anna, I am more interested in the signal she is picking up on, than her human interpretations/additions of that signal.

I see how this has a very practical function. The Gods can be hard to understand, even if you do manage to pick up the signal. Translating the signal to our human way of communicating is probably a coping mechanism we need to even be able to understand them. But there is also a risk in it. It can easily lead us to humanize the Gods, to forget that they are not in fact like us only more powerful and without physical bodies, which in turn can lead to false expectations and heart break when reality doesn’t match what our perception – since the perception is so very connected to our interpretation.

I am not claiming that anyone’s experiences are false. But I do claim that us humans interpret the signal in ways that make sense to us, and the way we interpret it can cause a true message to be warped. Or misunderstood. Or perhaps picked up picked up spot on. But the more of the human I see in the words of the Gods, the more layers of humanity I expect to have to peel away in order to get to the true core.

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I was outside, it was in the late evening and it was just starting to get dark. My husband was right there next to me, standing on a ladder up against the garage, working on something. As I looked out over the fields surrounding our house I saw something.

Little people. Like humans only much smaller, I thought. Shadow figures, two of them, holding hands as they made their way down a little slope. I wondered if they were land spirits.

The shadow figures came closer, started running across the field towards us. As they came closer I saw that they were children. A girl in a summer dress and her hair in two braids, and a little boy holding her hand. Three, maybe four years old? Ghost figures.

Amazed at the sight I crouched down to get down to their level and held out a hand towards them. They were smiling, running together towards our house as if coming home. Not noticing me, they ran straight through me.

I stood up and looked around. They were gone, I couldn’t see them any more. Happy and amazed I looked up at my husband and tried to explain. “Either I am not entirely awake and imagining things, or I just saw two ghosts!”

And then I woke up. The emotion was still happy and intense. I had to wake up the husband and tell him, and when I did my eyes grew moist.

My dreams are returning.

The husband told me that last night I had been talking in my sleep too. Haven’t done that in several years. I had been speaking English, almost arguing, being very assertive, but he couldn’t quite hear what I said. That must be coming back too.

I don’t quite dare hope that the dream was more than just my subconscious expressing how much I long for children so let’s not get into that. But it was beautiful.

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Would you be willing to help me learn and develop, by letting me read the runes for you regarding a specific issue? 

Yes, that means I am offering divination services. No, it does not mean I can claim to be competent.

It means I am learning and expect to get it wrong as often as I get it right, but I am at the point where I just need more experience to improve.

Why do I at all believe I can do this?

While I am not particularly experienced in divination, I do have a history of spontaneous precognition as well as a strong urge to further develop a connection with the spiritual realm. I have had promising experiences in the past and it feels right, I just need practice.

What am I looking for here?

Anyone willing to let me read the runes for them in answer of a question. Not too specific – I really am not at the level where I could point out where you forgot your keys, no. Not too wide a question either though, if any answer is as true as the next well then it won’t really work. Because what I humbly ask is for your feedback afterwards. Did I get it right? What did I get wrong? Did anything strike you as especially noteworthy? I am learning here, and I will need that feedback.

Will I tell the world about it?

I won’t tell a soul who has asked what, or anything specific. Might say something here on the blog about how I am progressing but nothing that can be tied to you specicially unless you clearly state it’s alright for me to post some interesting detail.

What kind of question again?

Not names and numbers. That means no lottery numbers, phone numbers or the name of your beloved pet. I am just not equipped to pick up that specific information (yet?).

If it regards the future, please have it be the NEAR future, such as next week. Otherwise it’ll just be damn hard to get feedback while it is still relevant.

Not Yes/No questions. Call me ignorant but I still just have not found a good way to handle such with the runes.

Alright, how?

Leave me a message, let me know you are interested and I will get back to you asap. You can reach me at journeymaid.@gmail.com or just write me here on the blog!

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I am still struggling. The last days have been horrible. I’ve fought heavy anxiety and grief that came as the result of a depressing appointment at the fertility clinic. It seems as though we might not get IVF yet, it was quite clear I thought that the shrink is going to not recommend us to get at it yet, on account of me being in recovery from depression. A depression brought on and made worse by the constant grief of not having managed to get pregnant. So, the last few days have been terrible.

But that wasn’t what I was going to tell you about. I was going to tell you that I am still dreaming. More and more, vibrant dreams like I used to have. I still have trouble remembering them but I remember that I did have them. Tonight, every time I woke up, I couldn’t wait to get back to sleep to carry on dreaming. Haven’t had that for years.

And then in the morning when I was lazily laying on my side, waiting for the husband to call out that the tea was ready, I felt a cat jump up on the bed and walk up behind my back. I turned around in bed and reached out to pet him, looking to see which of the cats it was. The bed was empty though, neither of our cats were there.

Oh.

Then I wondered if it had been Lillis or Ronja, the cats I grew up with, that were part of my family for so long. And then it struck me, I haven’t been aware of a visit like this for years. Just as with the dreams, other experiences have been absent for a couple of years. It used to be such a natural part of life for me but somehow it disappeared. I hope this was a first sign of it coming back.

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Let’s talk about bugs again. This time it wont be mosquitoes though, I promise. And heads up, there is some santería related stuff in here, and I would LOVE to receive comments from those of you who are more learned than me in that particular religion.

I just read this blog post over at Mystical bewilderment, which was about spirit bugs or bugs being used as spiritual warnings, which made me think about something that my mom experienced a couple of years ago.

Me and my mom wre on Cuba, experiencing the not-so-touristic sides of Havana. We were there as a part of a cultural exchange project, focused on dance. For years I had practiced afro-cuban dance and this was a way for my dance group to get over there and learn more, dancing with one of the local dance companies. Since the dancing revolved around Santería it also came natural to learn more about the religion, and one of the favourite moments of the trip was when we attended a “birthday celebration” in which there was lots of food, lots of dancing, lots of sacred drumming and people going in and out of trances. Crazy cool.

On the last day in Havana, my mom took a short walk through the local market. An old man suddenly came up to her. The man held up a wooden staff in front of mom, and said that she was going to buy it from him. Now mom isn’t easily fooled by street merchants , but as she described it afterwards this old man seemed so very… weird. He was so serious . It seemed important. So she gave the man some money and received the staff.

Later that day we were moving out and going back to the airport. The leader of our group, our teacher and choreographer who is also a santera, caught sight of the wooden staff in mom’s hand. She froze, staring at the staff and looking slightly shocked. She asked mom where she’d gotten it, and shook her head in disbelief.

The staff is about the size of a walking cane, but thicker and shaped a bit differently with a bug knob at the top. It’s painted all over in bright colours, and at the top knob there is an eye. My dance teacher explained that this kind of staff is used in specific rituals, very dark and dangerous rituals about death. Such a staff would NEVER be sold to a tourist just like that, which was why it made her so shocked to see it in mom’s hand.

So what about the bug? Well, we came home. The staff was placed in the living room. It made mom feel uncomfortable, and it had the same effect on me though not as strong. But it felt scary. So we didn’t touch it much, it just needed to be there. Then all hell broke loose in our lives as my grandpa died and our family broke apart. It was a time of heightened emotions as well as spiritual experiences, as both me and mom seemed to be going through a sensitive period.

One night when I wasn’t at home, mom was woken up by her two cats making an unusual amount of noise. She went out to the living room and found both cats intently watching the wooden staff. Mom took a closer look.

On top of the knob there was a huge bug. An unusually big and veeery colourful beetle. It had the same colours as the staff it was sitting on. As mom looked at it, it flew up and crossed to room, eventually landing on top of an old cupboard (almost 100 years old, that used to belong to my mom’s grandparents).

Mom told me about what had happened as soon as I came home the next day. We went looking for it, but it was nowhere to be seen, though I could see traces of it in the dust on top of the cupboard. We went on to look up every kind of beetle known to exist in Sweden, and found nothing even remotely close to what mom had seen. Too many colours, too big. It just shouldn’t have been there.

Mom is still convinced that the bug was physically there, but that it had to have something to do with the creepy magical staff. I tend to agree. Not sure how it all connects though, and what it means. Most of all, I would love to learn more about what that staff really IS. Ever heard of anything like it? As I wrote in the start, we were told it was the kind used in rare and dangerous rituals of death.  Does it ring a bell to any of you?

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