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Firejewel

Firejewel

I know I’ve done a similar photo like this, but this is just so beautiful! A bottled sunset with catseye glowing.

The wheel it turns…

Beth from Wytch of the North noted it on the west coast, Sindr from I Greet the Dead noted it across the pond, I’m noting it here in the Midwest.

The Wheel Turns.

I felt it, a few weeks back. I Felt the Pattern Shift, Felt the rush like a sudden cold undercurrent, cold wind whistling from a black hole even while the air sweltered and the sun shone.

The White Woman
The Old Woman
The Bone Woman
She calls

I feel hooves, claws, pawing at me as they would the ground–restless. My Lord of the Forest, my Lord of the Hunt, is gone and riding throughout–the deep places, the dark places, the Thick of the Wood, Stirring the Things there…

Many of us can feel it, many have noted–the Winter will be hard/long this year. It felt like late August in late July, it was almost like I could smell the leaves and the crisp in the air, feel the rustling as the wind blew…the season, my season, my Twilight Hour, the time when I Come Alive and Stand Tall…it approaches. The time of dark and cold and firelight and wool and woodsmoke, of mulled wine and smiling eyes, wild eyes.

The wind howls, and phantom hounds with it. This surface world that we see…it hasn’t changed much. The days are milder, surprisingly so…but underneath, it is Autumn already. The visible part is just catching up.

I need to pick up my bow. I need to renew my FOID card. I need to prepare to Hunt.

How do I even know this is real? I asked silently at my altar. They waited. I thought. Maybe some sort of signal? Something that rarely happens and is unusual enough that I know its really you? Immediately the few memories of me falling–the sensation, the utter shock–flashed into my mind. I looked at my melon-sized knee apprehensively.

Falling down is something that qualifies as rare and unusual for me. I started dance lessons at the age of 3 and continued them for 11 years, and while my flexibility’s gone to shit the thing I have maintained is my balance. You’ll see me slip and stumble and trip and tumble a thousand times, but RARELY will you see me fall. I always catch myself, even when it seems like I shouldn’t have been able to. With my knee swollen, immobilized at an angle, and blazing like a furnace, the addition of a cane had further IMPROVED my balance, not lessened it. (3-legged at the ripe old age of 21. HA!) The idea of falling potentially injured not only my knee, but my pride.

There’s something else that can be used, surely. I thought quickly, wiping the idea from my mind. I ran a list of possibilities through my head and picked something I felt would be suitable. Okay, if this is real, make sure that happens. I thought at my altar before gathering my supplies, loading up on painkillers and entheogens, and stumping out into the night to do some magick.

I went out to the node on the golf course, which is a 3 mile hike round trip, so I easily forgot my previous conversation as I limped there, did my thing, then started limping back.

I was 3 quarters of the way home when it happened. I knew the treacherous area of the golfcart path well, patched with dips. I made sure I would miss them and walked ahead confidently…and somehow my good leg came down into the self-same pothole I had just avoided, my cane caught on a crack, and instinct compelled me to catch myself…on my bad leg. My vision went dark as the weight of my ritual bag swung ’round from the lurch and pulled me forward, stool and empty bottle sent flying (safely into the grass), and my ritual bag landing (safely on top of me). (Spirits are jerks, yo. They’ll trip a gimp just to prove a point.)

I lay there for several minutes gasping in shock and pain, tears stinging my eyes. Gradually my breathing evened as I felt the stars shining on me. Slowly I tested to make sure everything was still in working order, when the realization of what had just happened came crashing down on me and I began gasping for air again. I FELL. Son of a bitch. Eventually I cried out “Fine! FINE! Message received! Jerks!” Then I picked myself back up, gathered my things, and set my rickety especially-painful knee to working so I could get home in the wee hours of the morning and hopefully get enough sleep before work.

They have never forgotten how effective this was.

I fall more often now than I ever did before, because they know it gets my attention, shocks me out of my headspace and lets me know they want something. Once it was because Things were Afoot. Once while hiking I started to take one path, then turned to take the other when the ground gave way beneath me and I fell. I took this to mean that I should take the first path, and lo and behold there was a bag of doggie poo someone had taken the trouble to hide up on a ledge that definitely needed to be disposed of–one that couldn’t be seen if on the other path or coming from the other direction. There have been other times as well–I think I may have fallen more in the past few years than I did in the entire decade preceding.

I still don’t fall that often, but I know to Pay Attention when I do.

Seeing-stone

I had a strange…vision, I don’t know, last night. I’ve been working with this necklace I got at PSG recently, charging it to be ritual jewelry as an ‘oracle enhancer’ or summat. I’ve been receiving some sort of instruction on that front, listening to the quiet inner impulses to guide me in its crafting. I’m not sure who the ‘voice’ belongs to, but it seems to be working well so far. I’m only allowed to wear the necklace for matters of divination (to my dismay, as its a lovely amber piece that I would enjoy wearing often), and I’m allowed to use it while its still ‘in the works’ as using it in readings helps the process.

As such I donned it last night as I lay out my cards, and…something happened. It wasn’t even something related to the reading, because I looked it all over again once I had distanced myself sufficiently and it was fairly straightforward and hopeful. But what I saw….triggered by the first card, the “Heart of the Matter”…was something entirely different.

I was confused by the card, the Six of Swords, as the heart of the matter. The book says it relates to deceit (I’m generalizing), but as no particular meaning was forthcoming I gazed upon the card to intuit what it was saying.  What I saw…experienced…was not related to the reading. Its like the card was serving double-duty in that respect.

It was very dark. The air was dusty, dry, choking. The floor beneath me was rumbling, moving. It was in the back of a van or a train or something, as we would periodically pass a yellow light above that would briefly light the car. I was on the floor, being held from behind with a large man’s right hand clamped over my mouth and nose. I kept trying to twist away, get my mouth free so I could scream for help, but it was no use. My legs kept being grabbed at as another man tore at my boots and jeans. I think there was at least one other man (to my right, the car wall was to my left), but no more than four in total.

That was what I got, in flashes, as I gazed on the card. I was able to unpack more details later…my right wrist had been broken, stomped on by one of the men when I kept struggling. My front left teeth had been broken, and I spit out the pieces with blood at one point. Waking up later in the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, loved ones let in to see me at last (2 I knew in front, 2 I didn’t behind).

I don’t know what this…vision, or whatever…is. However, IF it were a future event, I’d estimate it in the 3-4 year range. It was…disturbing, to say the least. I had some trouble processing it, and was really out of it afterward. I woke up this morning and *poof*, its a new day! No lingering ill effects…which is fortunate. I feel strangely ambivalent now towards the events unfolding in what I experienced, though at the time I was…horrified. Was that…or rather, will that be…me? Did I go through someone else’s experience, with my mind re-interpreting certain things for sake of understanding? Was it just some sort of hallucination?

I don’t know…but here’s to being able to change future events.

 

**Update**

The night after this happened I was talking with my empath friend, and found that he had recently experienced something unusual as well. He was alone working 3rd shift security when suddenly he was overcome by this feeling of terror, feelings of they’re coming for me, they’re going to kill me, they’ll hurt my family…which NEVER happens to him. Our going theory is that this is something that is (has?) happening(ed) to someone else, a teenaged girl. We’ve been looking through news reports, but so far nothing’s turned up.

Firejewel

image

“You are one of Freya’s jewels, sweet. All you need do is shine.”

The Sacred Hunt

Its been about a month now, since I Hunted. I knew it was time. Hel, last year everything but myself was ready. This was long overdue, yet also timed perfectly right. With the ordeal I’ve been going through since February, all of the pain and anguish, somehow I never realized that a deep, deep cleansing was going on. The kind of thorough scouring that tears your skin off. Somehow its only with hindsight that I can see what was going on…but perhaps it is the nature of these things.

It was with the Hunt that finally this cleansing was done. If one chooses (or rather, is chosen) to Hunt, it is for one of two purposes: It is either to rid oneself of something, or to take something into one’s own being. Either way, at the end of the night one makes a “kill”.  So, SO many experiences wrapped up into this event! 

This year, I Hunted. I Hunted for my Tribe, I Hunted for myself. I Hunted myself. My true self. No more the shadow of who I think I’m “supposed to be”. No, now…no more masks to hide behind, this is me. And what’s “me” is okay. Not evil, or repugnant, or shameful. Me.

I knew going into it…this would challenge me. My general state of being was already so weakened and fatigued that I didn’t have much left to give, but I was willing to give everything I had left if that’s what it took. I wanted to do this right

The very first thing we were tasked to do if we wished to Hunt was track down the Huntmaster in a camp of over 1000 people before the limited number of slots (8) were taken. This is where it helps to be sensitive and already friends with the Huntmaster–I just felt around for his energy and followed it as the clock struck three, finding him shortly after he first blew the Hunting Horn.

It was time then to find our Huntspace, out in the wood surrounding the camp. I didn’t know what I was looking for, honestly, but Cernunnos is my patron and the Sacred Hunt is something I do in his honour, so I asked for His guidance as I wandered. Eventually I made my way around and back to a spot I had noted previously, and began to clear things away to see if it might make a decent Huntspace. Looking around I finally nodded and said “Yup, I think this is it.” As soon as the words left my mouth I looked down and to my left, to see a sun-bleached raccoon skull sitting there pretty as you please. Frankly, I was stunned. I had just spent several minutes clearing the space and never even noticed it, can we say timing

I knelt and greeted the skull, asked if I could remove it from the space…and was told no. I honored its wishes and resolved to come back with offerings for the spirit of the skull, which I did. A plum, five cherries, and a landjäger made with venison from my dad’s deer (a dearly treasured treat for me) laid out in a pretty little arrangement. When I came to meditate and work with the space in preparation the next morning, the offerings were vanished save for a gnawed plum pit, and the skull moved from sideways and sitting on its brow to upright and facing me (I took this as a rather auspicious sign).

I carved my Hunt weapons myself in preparation, a short spear and a sacrificial dagger with the ‘blade’ one-sided and curving in, meant for slitting the throat. I stripped the bark from the wood, carved thin blades from their substance, engraved and inked them with bindrunes for my task, and bloodied the blades’ edge with my own blood so they might know their prey. White of wood, red of blood, black of ink, and they were ready.

It is recommended that Hunters exhaust themselves for the Hunt, fast and take vows of silence and whatnot. I fasted for two days and spent the day of physically exhausting myself as best I could without taking too much of a toll on my knee and ankles (swimming, yay!). Silence, however, has long been my comfort; as such I resolved to gab, since talking with people makes me uncomfortable (it was never formalized as a Vow of Gab however). 

Oh, the night of the Sacred Hunt…how I wish I could share it! So much to experience, the energy, the uncertainty, the dogged will, the stumbling and spinning about and falling and FEELING my hands shoot out and CATCH branches that I couldn’t see but knew were there, the work the work the work spiraling down and down, keep going, keep working, as the drums pulse and I shriek with everything in me, with desire and pain and fear and hope, the small thoughts of am I doing it right and gods I’m thirsty/hungry and is it over YET? being swept away and drowned out by the tirade of endless NOW.

SO MUCH I wish I could share, but I never could…the only way it can truly be known is if one goes through it oneself. So much I am bidden keep secret, so much I have already shared but probably shouldn’t, so much I wish that I could share still.

Finally finally FINALLY sputtering and dizzy and disoriented with the blood of my kill fresh on my tongue and the stars spinning above me, unsteady as a newborn colt and a warm woven blanket about my bare shoulders and the best water/fruit I have ever tasted in my LIFE. Offering some of my “kill” to the fire, the feast, giving what was left of my abused weapons to the fire–many Hunters keep their weapons, but these were spiritblades. They were not meant to hold physical form for long, and their task was done. Taking the leavings of my feast meal and offering it to my Huntspace (which, interestingly, was not gobbled up by raccoons but took the natural course of time to decompose and return to the land). Finally asking the skull again and being told Yes.

My life has been so much better, since the Hunt. It functioned much as a soul retrieval for me. The cleansing is finished (for now), I feel like I’m heading into an upswing…but it is still time to rest. My wounds have not healed, merely scabbed over. I find myself in an odd period of getting anxious once again to practice, but feeling those not-healed wounds pull when I start to flex. Now is the time of Isa, of the Four of Swords (still learning that Tarot!). Guilt is not what I should be feeling now for not working; it is much-needed rest. Still, it is hard to convince myself of such…I was in so much pain for so long I hardly could practice, and now not practicing still I feel remiss…but I suppose I must convince myself it is necessary. I can’t go barreling off into the woods on my next adventure with the stitches still in.

There was something that happened, a while back. It happened back in early February to be precise, but the feelings were so raw and I’m still dealing with the fallout of what immediately followed that I haven’t really been able to comfortably share it till now, despite wanting to.

That weekend, back in February…was bliss. Pure and simple. It was a Spring rain for the parched earth of my heart, and while I had it I relished in it. But dear gods y’all, the Ancestors were trolling my ass. Or at least the Disir were, I haven’t quite been able to distinguish between two…but they were playing for keepsies, sinking the hook into this relationship I’ve tried so hard to avoid.

They weren’t being terribly subtle about it either–I’d turn to hug him and all of a sudden the music playing softly on the radio swelled while the singer pleaded “Isn’t this the love we’ve been waiting for?” If it were just that instance I might’ve chalked it up to coincidence except for the little zing of energy that accompanied it every time–but it JUST KEPT HAPPENING all throughout the weekend. (And no, he didn’t cast a love spell on me, 1) I checked and 2) there was…more to what the Ancestors did) Like I said, not subtle. It even got to the point where I woke up suddenly around two in the morning, because in my dream a bunch of people had just shouted “Congratulations, It’s a Girl!” and started cheering complete with a banner and streamers and confetti and shit. (THAT freaked me the hell out, let me tell you, but fortunately I was not in fact pregnant. Wouldn’t be surprised if that was the objective though, friggin’ Ancestors…)

As I mentioned briefly though, there was…more…to what they did. I’m not sure how to describe it, because there are parts of it that defy words and are just a matter of feeling and knowing…but I’ll do my best.  There were points, during, where I sort of tranced out and was experiencing two things at once. First the (quite enjoyable) act itself, and this alternate…experience. It was…ah bloody hell, why is this so hard to write?!? Fine, freeform poetics is the only way I’m getting this out:

Red
Black
Deep and dark and warm and wet
We travel, now–
We Travel–
Down, and Down, into the Blood-Red Cave…
And in, and out, and in,
Again and Again,
With Passion and Violence and Screams
This Death
So Beautiful, so Precious
Death
I see you, I feel you, You are Me
I am Death
And Life
It is One
The Same
In the Blood-Red Cave…
I, It, We
ARE
one

Umm…right, that probably made very little sense…and ended up a lot more sexual than I was intending, though I shouldn’t be surprised. <.< Basically it was the knowledge…that sex, and death, are one and the same. More specifically death like on the battlefield, because of the stabbing and passion and lust and violence and…you get the picture. The point was that there isn’t terribly much difference between the two–like hitting the power button with electronics, one turns it on, one turns it off, but you’re still hitting the same damn button, you are completing the exact same action. What I can’t express is how…significant, how revelatory this was, even though it seems simple and even from a logical standpoint mistaken. Very Women’s Mysteries-esque.

That part of the lesson didn’t end there either, even once the weekend was over and that giant shit of an ordeal hit the fan the very next day, all these synchronicities kept popping up everywhere I turned emphasizing the sex/death chalice-of-creation/crucible-of-destruction theme with women’s bodies….especially this particular part from this documentary, though the rest was still quite relevant and I highly recommend you watch the whole series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=gy0TbZ-B8WQ#t=198s (totally want a replica of that figurine now, btw)

Still processing the upg, and I know that it is/will be significant to my practice, I just don’t really know what to do with the information. >_<; As for the Ancestors I imagine they had a few different motives for their…involvement.

1) They had…what to call them, Bone Memories?…to pass on.

2) They want the line to continue and are trying to get me knocked up

3) They wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t decide that it wasn’t worth it and pack up once the ordeal started

My bet’s on any combination of the above, and possibly more that I’m not realizing.