Concerning Codes, Virtues, and Resolutions

I am taking recess from my normal dedicant’s path and studies thereof so that I might scrutinize myself more closely. Specifically, I have tried to adhere to a personal code basically my whole life, though it was merely a vague thing for most of that time, only given true shape more recently, as I was becoming an adult . . .

Here is my personal code of ethics (modified from the original Code of the ThunderCats):

Justice (to act in a fair and virtuous manner regardless of situations); truth (to be outright and honest mindfully and to bear in mind that enemies are to be met with equal treatment); honor (to adhere to my oaths unfailingly or else willingly accept any consequences); and loyalty (to provide support and friendship unfailingly to my family, by blood or by choice, my friends, and my grove).

For comparison, the original Code of Thundera:

Justice (to strive to help others and fairness in all acts that are committed that is good); truth (to speak the truth at all times); honor (to honor and respect superiors); loyalty (to be loyal to family and friends).

Conversely, the nine Druidic virtues are as follows:

Wisdom (good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response); piety (correct observance of ritual and social traditions, the maintenance of the agreements, both personal and societal, that we humans have with the gods and spirits, keeping the old ways through ceremony and duty); vision (the ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future); courage (the ability to act appropriately in the face of adversity); integrity (honor, being true to one’s self and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, and self-confidence); perseverance (drive, the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult); hospitality (acting as both gracious host and appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the honoring of a gift for a gift); moderation (cultivating one’s appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health, mental or physical, through excess or deficiency); and fertility (bounty of mind, body, and spirit involving creativity and industry, an appreciation of the physical and sensual, nurturing these qualities in others).

I find it striking how similar my own code and the nine virtues of Druidic dedicants are. I also love the parallels that I notice between my very real, very historically-influenced faith of Druidism and some of the fandoms that I love in popular culture. Sometimes the struggles that the ThunderCats have faced or even the preachings of Star Wars‘ Jedi remind me so strongly of the Druid’s path—especially considering the congruity of the Force and Awen—I love how very universal these ideals seem to be.

I have recently begun to give voice to some thoughts that have been percolating for many a season and even more moons still. I find it interesting how the Christians view the apocalypse, the end of the world, and how they feel that the corruption that they see all around them will hasten its coming. And even I have to agree . . . I do think that the end is near. But not for the reasons that the Christians would cite. I feel that Ragnarök draws nearer because of the hatemongering that most followers of any Abrahamic religion collectively seem to tend to perpetuate. I feel that the golden horn is being prepared as a group of people who espouse the necessity of agape love actively scorn and despise others for having the courage to love any other hearts at all. I think that Jörmungandr stirs every time disdain is felt and especially expressed for another human soul.

And I harbor another potentially unpopular belief . . .  I do not fear Ragnarök. I certainly don’t look forward to it or hope for it, but I don’t know that it would be the worst fate within the realm of possibilities. After all, it is the end of a chapter, not the last period of the last sentence of the last book. To be sure, should I survive (and rest assured that I do not expect to), I would miss the gods who died. But forests that weather great blazes grow back stronger and healthier for it; sometimes sickness and weakness must be culled, the old must be decimated to make way for a rebirth of youth.

My life belongs to Cernunnos . . . my death belongs to Odin . . . my soul belongs to me. And so I will do my best to make my gods proud and be the best version of myself that I can be even though I will surely falter, fall, and fail many times along the way. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that all we can really do is try our best. Whether you follow the Code of Thundera, the nine Druidic virtues, the Jedi Doctrine, or any number of other spiritual principles, I’d wager that it’s likely to be that there is more similarity in the various paths we subscribe to, and even in ourselves as individuals, than there are differences.

If we want to keep pushing back the storm clouds gathering on the horizon, we must actively seek out what is alike and embrace what is different with open minds and open hearts.

I urge eclecticism. I urge attempting to find wisdom from many different places. I urge forging one’s own path. I urge looking for the good and what is right with vigor and enthusiasm.

I urge omnism.

Learn all that you can. Read much. Study philosophy, study religion, study science. Combine all of the information, all of the theories you can wrap your brain around, create something that makes sense to you, that means something to you. We cannot afford to hate or to be small-minded, we cannot afford bigotry.

I am not a pacifist. I believe that sometimes fighting, violence, is necessary. Neither am I naïve. Hatred is a very standard human reaction, as is aggression. You will experience both emotions many times over, it is simply an inevitable fact. The trick is tempering your actions and delaying your responses.

I know I can often fly off the handle; I have a mean streak that’s nasty and I run hot to match. I’m certainly not perfect. But I’m looking ahead at what I fear lies just out of sight, over the crest of the next hill, and I am afraid for what’s in store for us, collectively, as a whole, for humanity and all of the gods.

So I urge you all to be more mindful and more deliberate in the coming months and the years to follow. Adhere to whatever truths and standards resonate with you, and hold on tightly, stand strong with steel lining your spine. Women especially, become ugly; those who would do us harm are bound to take what they want regardless, but become like sharks with skin of sandpaper so you hurt them in the process. We must remain vigilant and we must fight back where we can. It is imperative that we remain angry and remain awake. We must seize and celebrate every victory, no matter how small it may seem. Rebellions are built on hope, after all.

Consider this my resolution.

Nine Virtues: Piety

Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary (simple definition of “piety”): “devotion to God; the quality or state of being pious”

Piety, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is to be “deeply religious; devoted to a particular religion; falsely appearing to be good or moral”. In my experience, “pious” is often used as an insult, as is “righteous”. I reject that notion.

Can the ideals of piety and righteousness be bastardized? Certainly. Any ideal can be bastardized. Thus, we have an obligation to personify our ideals. I recognize that no one can be their best selves at all times . . . and yet it is the duty of the righteous to strive for just that. This is how we best serve the Gods, make them proud. I often speak of how I wish so deeply to make my Gods proud, only to be met with reassurance that I do so just by being who I am. This, too, I reject.

I am uniquely the epitome of duality. There are many faces to me, so you can never quite know exactly which face of my die will turn up. I have great darkness and ugliness in me, and I have to struggle against my lesser nature to show my best faces. Sometimes I lose, and that is ugly indeed.

Therefore, piety, to me, is the ideal of always doing my best to roll well and roll high on my die. It is the practice of actively employing wisdom, listening to my heart and gut, trying to walk my right truth and path, and always learning. My personal opinion is that everyone has a destiny, but destinies are difficult to attain. Still, I do my damndest to achieve mine, regardless of the difficulty. I would rather suffer to become better than I was yesterday, than what made me, in order to earn my Gods’ pride than live forever in the purgatory of an average existence; I would rather be anything but ordinary. So I will struggle and fight to be in a nearly-perpetual state of growth, that I might do right by those to whom I owe everything . . .  I will strive to always honor them and hold them in my heart first, above myself and any petty desires or whims that may tempt me into a lesser fate than what lies in store for me.

Nine Virtues: Wisdom

Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary (simple definition of “wisdom”): “knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life; the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand; knowledge of what is proper or reasonable; good sense or judgment”

Colloquial analysis suggests wisdom is earned with age (yet Merriam-Webster states that it is “the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand”, in-tune with my own beliefs). I have found that it is often those who have lived the longest who are the furthest away from the path to righteousness, small-minded in spite of age affording ample opportunity to become better. Conversely, I have seen first-hand that wisdom often springs from surprising fonts in the innocence, imagination, and wonder of children.

I have long considered myself a wise person. Since youth, I seemed to attract others seeking advice, have had a passion for helping others. Wisdom has been one of my words for as long as I can remember, an ideal that I have always been strongly attracted to.

Growing into who I would be, I survived more than many . . . my history was wrought with troubles which, at length, I overcame, though my mettle was tested oh-so-early (even before being diagnosed with cancer, an adversary that plagued me with casualties and skirmishes along my way). I also have the disadvantage of simply feeling more than most anyone else, as well as being so very in-touch with my emotions . . . and I am near-sighted, in all ways.

Thus, wisdom is an ideal that I strive to represent via the “Now” of Wolf-Thought (a reference to Wendy’ and Richard Pini’s ElfQuest, in which the Wolfriders connect with their wolves so that they are not thinking about anything but exactly right now, in the present moment). There is certainly wisdom in seeing beyond the scope of the present, past the horizon and into the future, but it is not a skill that I possess. The way that I am wise and the reason why I have always been relied upon for advice is because I know exactly the best course of action to be taken at any given moment, how to make this now the best that it can be. To me, this, being able to evaluate my current circumstances and make a choice to produce the most optimal immediate results, is wisdom; this is my gift as someone who lives as though she will not see another tomorrow.

Walking the Borderline

I have felt, since I was very young, that I was duality incarnate. I can’t express how profoundly frustrating it is to feel this way. When you try to be your authentic self and that means professing two things that are equally true and often conflicting, it’s stressful, to say the least.

I know exactly who and what I am, but I am often so incredibly misunderstood.
It doesn’t help that I am clairsentient and an empath, to boot. I can literally feel the emotions, both negative as well as positive, of those around me.

I have also been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (a dumbed-down version of what that means is that I have personality traits from everywhere, all across the web of possibilities, so I’m not really any one thing and certainly don’t display any few particularly strong traits, but instead am fairly equal all the way around and totally at war with myself). I’ve worked very, very hard to make myself better, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m very fragile. In a lot of ways, I am not a whole person; I am damaged and broken, and in order to fix me, I was . . . well, the emotional damage was pretty severe. This was on top of my own baggage and self-inflicted pain and issues with my family.

The point is, I haven’t had an easy time just being in my own skin. I have a lot of theories about myself and my family. For example, I truly believe my blood is demon-tainted, and I have evidence to support that in the fact that when I was a little kid, between the ages of 2 – 5, I distinctly remember having an extreme allergic reaction to silver—I turned green, broke out in hives, had welts for weeks, the works! . . . and I was allergy-tested when I was older, closer to 10, and the scratch-test proved that I was allergic to sage . . . and guess what? I outgrew it. When I was much older. After I had decided I hated what made me and who I was and I had to be better (though I’ve always been obsessed with my ideals and morality and trying to be a “good” person).

I also believe that, if you deny the truth of your soul, the magick in your blood, it sours you as a person from the inside out. I think that’s why my family, especially the women, are all so fucked up. And guess who has borderline personality disorder? Most of the women in my family.

I’m just one of those people who doesn’t believe in coincidences, and I find meaning in everything. That’s all I’m saying. And those correlations, they’re in very fucking stark relief to me.

You can imagine what a great comfort it was to me when I happened upon a blog post specifically discussing the relationship between what else but Shamanism . . . and borderline personality disorder.

I was well and truly shocked.

Any number of my close personal friends can tell you the way I talk about my spirituality, how I advocate it, how I swear up and down that it’s changed my life, made me a better human being, helped me to heal what was shattered inside of me. For someone else, even just one voice, saying “You’re not sick, you’re just different and special, but still just as good . . . maybe even a little better!” was just . . . the gratification, the catharsis, the immense weight lifted off of my back was incredible.

Let me tell you something: It doesn’t feel good to be weird. It doesn’t feel good to be told that you’re wrong for having strong emotions. It doesn’t feel good to be special. It doesn’t feel good to not be one of the guys. It doesn’t feel good to be told you need to stop letting things hurt you. It doesn’t feel good to be told you can’t put up walls around your heart to achieve that goal. It doesn’t feel good to be criticized for everything you are in your core, and told that you need to stop, need to change, need to be someone different. That is an immense pain that I don’t think I can ever forget.

I say that I’d rather be anything but ordinary, and I mean it. But I also want so desperately to belong. And the bottom line is . . . I don’t. I do not belong here. I was not made for this world, it was not meant for me. But, still, everything happens for a reason. And so I suffer through because maybe there’s a reason.

I struggle with this every day of my life. I am equally predisposed to good as I am to evil. My good wolf, I try to feed her, I try to be kind to her. But my bad wolf is strong, and sometimes she will keep me alive, is the only one who can keep me alive. I have to fight against my lesser nature, that demon taint, countless times in a day. Because I came from what made me, and, whether I like it or not, I am like it. I am like each of my cruel grandfathers. I am like my sick grandmother and aunt. I am meek like my mother and grandmother. I am heartless and emotionless like my father. I am marked by the things that made me.

But there is also some goodness in my blood. My blood family left some good things in me. They also took away greatly and did much damage, but I can’t lie and say that they are entirely terrible monsters. We just are so vastly different. Different to the point that I hid my tattoos from my family for literally 3 whole years for fear that I would be kicked out of the house and disowned if my family found out that I had gotten one. Different to the point that I am firmly hiding in the closet about being bisexual for that same fear. I do not fit. My family feels that they are the black sheep of our extended family, but I am the black sheep of the black sheep. What a lonely place to be.

However, I also have an enormous potential for growth and change. I wanted to be better. I hated my aunt and couldn’t stand being compared to her, being told how similar to her I was, so I changed myself. And then I started getting out from under my mother’s thumb, and I stopped being so closed-minded, and one day I realized I had been living a lie for gods know how long to try to appease this family that I hid myself from because I knew that they would hate me if they truly knew the real me, without the false fronts, and I realized that I couldn’t be like that, couldn’t live my life like that, that I was still exactly like them. And then I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and it changed everything, turned everything on its head for me, and I changed some more. But the thing is . . . the only change that occurred was washing off all the shit that I had mired myself in.

I literally stripped myself down to the bone, a completely broken woman, and I looked at my best friend, my Deirfiúr Anam, and told her that I wanted her to teach me, because I saw her peace and her wisdom and I wanted to be like that. And when I was so reduced, even my notoriously low self-esteem down to mere fumes and pride, the universe, as it tends to, answered the longing in my heart. I asked to learn, to be taught, I did not declare myself. But, still, the universe answered. And I met my god, and I knew from that moment forward that I had found my right path.

My truth is not the only truth, but it is my only truth.

Healing in my soul is such a difficult thing. I have so many facets. I am simple in that all my faces are on one object, on one plane of existence, but I have so many sides to myself. I am like a D20 in that way; you never know which truth you’ll roll. And so what heals one part of me might be ineffectual or even hurt another. It is . . . an impossible task. I also strongly believe that I simply feel more than the average bear; my pain is not the only pain in the world or the greatest pain that ever was, but I feel it more than others do. It is one piece of myself that I cannot get rid of (and I have tried). I believe it is a side-effect of being empathic and clairsentient. And it is so difficult to manage.

I feel I am always having to defend myself. And, believe you and me, I have fangs. I am so good at hurting others; my words, which are my gift, are just as readily used as weapons as they are used towards the purpose of sweetness. And, being borderline and empathic, I am capable of knowing exactly what to say that will hurt a person the worst. It affords a special kind of insight that can be devastating when my bad wolf comes out to play.

I suppose all of this is why I am eclectic; being duality incarnate, I will never claim to be just one thing, though I often wish that, instead of having many moderate talents, I would be a great master at one particular thing, I want to have one perfect soulmate, I want just one. But, alas, I see many red strings of fate all pulling me in different directions. I am indecisive, and I waffle and second-guess and worry. I can’t get out of my head. And yet, when I decide, I am indomitable.

I don’t make any sense.

But amidst all my chaos and turbulence, there is this light, and it gives me hope. I have already worked so hard to be better, and here is this great opportunity to heal myself, to become a whole person again, to live my dream of being the person I never had and helping other people out of the darkness that I know so well . . .  It is amazing.

As a Christian, I was judgemental, cruel, quick to discard. As a Pagan, I embody more Christian ideals than I ever did when I was among their number. And the ideals we consider “Christian”? Their Bible, I’m sure you know, preaches for them to behave just as most of them do: The way I did, how I used to be.

I walk the borderline.

I have seen two sides, I acknowledge the darkness in me and celebrate my light. I know that there are more truths. But I was open, and the universe showed me my truth.

I believe that every person has the spark of divinity within them, that every path has truth and wisdom, and that every person has a destiny. We only have to be courageous enough to achieve what is set out for us in the great tapestry of our existence. Achieving your destiny is a difficult task; it will hurt you. But I have to believe it is worth it. You can choose to give up your destiny, but . . . greatness doesn’t come from sheep.

A wise man once said to me that the gods do not want sheep . . .

. . . they want lions.

Isn’t it, wonderful, then, that I am a mountain lion?

The World is Grey

My favorite weather is when the skies turn a lovely stormy grey, overcast and warm and inviting in spite of the chill. Fog or, gods-willing, mist—my most favorite thing aside from the rain—makes the whole affair even more wonderful. And, while I am rarely happier than when I am blessed enough to be able to enjoy such a day, my joy is doubled when I am able to collect a blanket, a book, and a cup of tea and listen to the symphony accompanying this most excellent of all kinds of weather, savor its sweet ozone and simple clean perfume, watch an occasional tendril of electricity race to touch the clouds (that is, supposing that I am fortunate and paying attention!).

Others complain about this weather, but I find that it is in its presence that I am the best version of myself just by virtue of the delight it affords me. I also find that I am rarely bothered by the chill which others find too cold to tolerate; walking around in a nippy misty day in a tank top is rather common of myself. Rain is part of the reason I’m convinced I don’t fit my air sign (aside from the fact that someone called Aquarius, who is also a water-bearer, logically ought to be associated with water).

And so I will rest here a while longer to enjoy this sweet weather, most sacred to my soul . . .

Heaven seems in a mood
stormy, turbulent, eyes dark
She offers a warning flash, a prelude
to the emotion that pours from her heart

This suits me just fine
for I welcome her expression of innermost secrets
I believe I can match even her as she unwinds
the tapestry threads coming undone at her temper’s onset

So I will stand tall in the rain
listening with my whole heart
And agreeing with her great pain
for we are two of a kind, and have been from the start

The richness lies beneath the surface
and I will drink it all
From the veins, their wisdom to purchase
where I will become transcendental

Outset of a [Shamanic] Journey

Adventures aplenty may be had in Odyssey, and yet, in ordinary reality, that is the stuff of legend. Adventure, in this mortal plane, is difficult to find. Certainly it is possible to lead an extraordinary life; you may try very hard to broaden your horizons, to escape the confines of the familiar. And yet, I feel that, in many ways, we are limited to simply escaping the mundane in middling doses (for all that glitters is not gold, to be sure). Not to imply that the solution is to forsake ordinary reality, no! It has its merits.

But what I think makes humans special (as much as I profess, and wrongly so, a hatred of humans) is the fact that we are literally of the gods. The spark of divinity is within each of us! This means that, like the gods, we can move between the realms . . . if only to a far lesser degree. The unawakened cannot see beyond the Veil, but the thing about the mist is that it knows who is initiated and who is not. It comes to those who call out to it. The trick is learning to ask in the right way; the mist is fleeting and will slip back to the etherium if a person wants too loudly, looks too hard, thinks overly much in the moment. Deep reflection is excellent! Intense scrutiny is not.

In order to be open to participating in magick, one must be in the right headspace, as it were. Techniques to achieve that particular frame of mind are plentiful; do you prefer Wicca? How about Druidry? Heathenry? Oh, the Ásatrú folk are especially dialed-in when it comes to invoking their ancestors’ power and gifts. There are so many paths to consider and there is so much wisdom to be garnered.

My personal belief, as someone who was raised in excess of extremely Christian, is that there is most assuredly wisdom in every path (this coming from a woman with a true hatred of Christianity as a religion; more on that topic later, but even I can admit that there is wisdom to be found there). And so, much to the chagrin of others within the Pagan community, I elect to wander among as many paths as suit me. I am a very multi-faceted person, and so the routes that I take, they are many! Hah, and perhaps “wander” is too structured, even, for what it is I do . . . I do believe that I meander!

Now that you have a clearer understanding of who I am not only as a person but as a spiritual being, I will examine one such branch—budding and freshly green though it may be—of my tree in particular: Shamanism.

I have been fascinated with Shamanism for many years, now. I began really craving experimentation and experience with it, specifically, perhaps a year ago. To that end, I decided (in an entirely safe setting wherein I had many people who loved me to watch over me) to do just that. Unstructured though it was, and, honestly, intended for recreational purposes by my fellows, I made the adult executive decision to try hallucinogenic mushrooms. I had never done anything like that before; as you can imagine from my alluded to upbringing, I was the stereotypical “good girl” for most of my life.

And then one day I just . . . stopped. I stopped caring. I got out from under my mother’s thumb for one moment and I could breathe and I realized . . .  I wasn’t happy. I was living a lie and putting on a face and being someone who felt wrong to me. But that was a self-realization that came later, and, again, a story for another day.

After I stopped, gave up the “good girl” archetype, I decided I really admired a very dear friend of mine. She has these amazing ideals that she will try anything once. She is so non-judgemental, open, and truly free in every sense of the word. I admire her so much. And that admiration grew into a desire to become like that, to attain that freedom for myself. So that’s what I did.

You don’t need drugs to get into sacred space. You don’t even need rattles or drums. You can get there all on your own. But, like falling into the Other Wold after falling asleep under a Hawthorn tree . . . some methods are absolutely easier than others.

It is so easy to connect to outside energies, energies from non-ordinary reality, when you are in that sway. You don’t even have to think about it. You’re just suddenly there. And that is why Shamans have been associated with sacred hallucinogenic use. It can be a very beneficial part of sacred spiritual practices, if used correctly.

I’m not going to lie. My experiences were extremely, well . . . fun. Just plain and simple awesome entertainment. But they also . . . weren’t. I didn’t connect to Awen that night. I connected to something greater, more vast; I connected to Chaos. And that was terrifying. I have never felt so singularly alone in my entire life. And yet it was also an extremely enjoyable and pleasant experience in spite of that; for the duration of its effects, I simply could not get enough of everything. I just wanted more input! And when it came time to contribute, I felt like I was touching the soul of the world, reading the universe. I unlocked secrets in myself and the Earth that night that are still in my heart now, a year later.

That was a kind of ecstatic trance, I believe, and I think it occurred largely due to the intentions that I had going into the experience.

What I experienced this weekend was no less profound, but it was also far less kind to me. In astral projection (which I consider to be a similar branch, particular to magick and the Pagan ways of Witchcraft though it may be, to that of Shamanism, along with Reiki, though they are all very different), I struggle with recollection. I know that I go somewhere else, my soul physically leaves my body, I know I do work. But I don’t retain what happens, only small flashes and brief sensations stay with me; I am mostly aware of feelings and moments as opposed to what, overall, happened. Shamanism is very similar, and a struggle, for me, in that I don’t totally have a clear idea of what I’ve just experienced after I’ve gotten back from a journey.

In addition to that struggle, a known challenge I’ve discovered through past endeavors, I found that Shamanic journeying via drumming, at least when unguided or without a clear goal in mind, led to some . . . rather uncomfortable realizations. I think journeying, for me, might be a kind of scrying, if my experiences this weekend are any benchmark. Perhaps it is my fault for simply assuming I didn’t need to meet another guide (I have one totem animal, not to be confused with power animals, of which I have countless), but, in our first journey, I had premonitions of the future.

I got confirmation of a theory that my Deirfiúr Anam (like anam cara, which is a soul friend, but more, my sister of my soul) and my theory about myself as it relates to my soul is true; not in body, but in my soul, I am the daughter of my god, Cernunnos. I also got confirmation of a vision that my Deirfiúr Anam had, oh, perhaps a month ago. It was all some pretty heavy stuff.

Let me first say that it was a shock that my guide who met me in the trance was not my old familiar friend, my totem animal who is what I am in my soul, underneath my flesh; instead, my god himself came to me and gave me not visions (for I do not “see” in a journey so much as I feel and experience, my Inbetween is very dark, hazy, misty) but premonitions nonetheless of what is to come. I think I learned my lesson. Clear goals. Clear questions. Such is in excess of important.

I used to be envious of people who had gifts for seeing the future. Now, I’m not even sure I want very much to do with tarot cards. Not because they are evil or in any way negative, you see, but because it is not wise or pleasant to know the future. I finally understand its curse and, consequently, my blessing for being literally short-sighted, in all ways (I am actually near-sighted in real life/away from keyboard, and, figuratively, I live in the “Now” of Wolf-Thought).

The rest of my weekend was fulfilling and rewarding, but there were no other happenings so significant as that first journey. Shamanic journeying is a fabulously powerful tool to me I think; it seems to deliver a huge amount of punch, given that I am in the proper mindset. I will definitely learn and grow more on this path, but, due to its extreme potency, I feel I will only use it when I am lost and need direction . . . which, if you knew me at all personally, you would realize is a fairly frequent, if not regular, occurrence. Even so, I rather hoped my dreams might be especially helpful, as dreams are particularly important in Shamanic practices, but I unfortunately do not recall what I dreamt. I seemed to fall instead into an exhausted state of immobile blackness; however, something more related to Shamanic journeying and along the vein of dreams of import did take place . . .

Driving home from drum circle, which is independent of my weekend workshop, I felt so connected to my gods. It was like I was a conduit and they were tapping into me. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratefulness and love, profound in its measure, for my car, for my gods, for my “tribe”, as it were. I experienced extreme forgiveness and catharsis, awareness of a personal as well as a spiritual nature that is unprecedented in my path thus far. I had epiphanies of life and love that I truly hope stay with me; I accepted that I had not found my person yet, and that I am good and worthy of love. I gave myself self-worth. I believe my journeying allowed me to tap into my own power and heal myself. It was . . . incredible. Fleeting, and I don’t remember the amazing things I said to myself very well anymore, only hazy general overtones, but still absolutely incredible. Still, with any fortune, the wisdom and peace with myself that I found will stay with me.

With regard to less substantial, more fun matters, I also got to be a part of something rather extraordinary in my workshop in literally retrieving an old power animal for one of my peers during a power animal retrieval exercise. Ironically, I brought back a hare for her (after seeing a bumble bee which was meant and retrieved for another of our peers, further confirmation of the truth behind Shamanic journeying) . . . and she found a turtle for me. I’ve never particularly associated with turtles or had any especial fondness for them, but I do have a literal whole forest full of power animals, so that fits in with my menagerie just fine!

As an aside, I’m rather proud of that fact, it’s a special badge of honor to me; most people get between three and five power animals, according to my working knowledge thus far. I have countless! And this is not something from me; my Reiki teacher, when I was learning (I am now a master practitioner), discovered that fact while healing some very twisted up energies in my body after a quite traumatic surgery.

Now, since I have thoroughly gone off on a tangent, as I am prone to do, I do believe this is a logical place to conclude my ramblings for the night. I am excited to have truly begun, formally, this piece of my assortment of wisdom and practices. I look forward to monthly meetings with my peers and seeing where this branch leads as it matures!

Ever onward, fellow travellers . . .

Of the Inbetween and Misty Eyes

Pedestrian colloquialism dictates that you have indeed heard the expression of a person being affected by misty eyes. So moved by something, a person’s eyes begin to water; it’s a form of crying in which (usually) no tears are shed, and it often leads to more expression of emotion. Often, the nature of the affliction is fleeting, the effect dissipating in short order.

That is not what misty eyes mean to me . . . at least not in the context of this text and, more importantly, my spirituality.

In the Celtic tradition of spirituality, independent of the notion of monotheistic or Pagan practice, there are certainly commonalities, universal truths. Among their number is the ideal of the mist. Mist, to the Celts, is sacred, and I have to agree with them (nevermind my opinion that, despite my body’s nearly exclusive Germanic heritage, I am Gaelic in my soul, for that is beside the point!). Mist is how we get to the Inbetween, how we transcend to higher awareness. In the mist, the surrounding ordinary reality is obscured just enough that we can peer beyond the Veil. Mist . . . mist is a great blessing, for it is a key to doors sans locks.

I am Ragnhilta Asvoria: Wise, strong, in contact with the divine (my adult name roughly equals “Sage“, the epitome of who and what I am, what I seek to embody). I would like to believe that I possess misty eyes. I would like to believe that I can perceive the quiet things that are neither truly here nor quite there either.

Intention is a powerful thing. It is my intention to explore avenues left to the ravages of time, now overgrown so that the path is nearly imperceptible . . .  I’d like to breathe life into places that haven’t seen much attention in recent history. I am eclectic in my nature and I often muse that I am simply duality incarnate. Therefore, like the air sign that I am, I go wherever my wind blows, and the direction that it takes is not something I can help or change.

Bouncing around as assuredly I will (in every sense, for I am generally a fairly joyful and exuberant individual), in these entries I intend to explore a deepening of my consciousness. I am already wide awake. Now I simply need to grow into what I am meant to become . . . and with that . . .

Onward, to adventure!