Listening In

My health and my spiritual studies compete for my time. I have had the message a few times now, via my tarot and runes, that I am out of balance and my connection won’t progress/deepen until my health is back in balance. Since working at my practice, mainly yoga every morning, I’ve been starting to hear things – get messages – like when I’m half asleep or daydreaming – or during yoga or even just during my daily activities. Regarding my heath I have a feeling like there is something I’m just not getting. If all physical ailments begin in the energy body, or energetically, then we should be able to heal ourselves on that level if we find where that blockage is. I’ve been working on this – as well as making changes in the physical plane, like diet and yoga – but I feel like I keep bumping up against an unknown thing – something that is blocking me, or something going on in my body that I am unaware of. I’m missing something.

I tried to go to a medical intuitive this week – but the guy stood me up! Twice! Since I’ve been asking for guidance towards the right person to help me, I have to take that as a sign this guy was not the one. But – it left me feeling quite disappointed and frustrated. I put a call into my naturopath when I was super ill and desperate, he didn’t get back to me for days. Turns out he was away. I feel like whenever I reach out for help with this, I get nothing back. There’s this sludgy feeling – this molasses. The spirits are not with me. I am left to flounder around in the dark by myself. And to get up and do anything about it feels like climbing a mountain. My motivation, my mind, my energy levels – all are effected by this disease. Finding the path to wellness feels impossible, much less walking it. And – am I to do it all on my own? Is this the lesson?

At any rate – I’m going to try to record these little messages when I get them. Try to make a habit of listening in and paying mind to them, instead of letting the thought float in and out of my consciousness. I’ve been asking for guidance – first thing is to learn to hear it.

So I might be posting odd little short posts here an there – just as part of the exercise of listening.

OUP on cutting words from the dictionary …

Sky Bray:

Did you know that Oxford Jr Dictionary no longer has the word ‘beaver’ in it? ‪

Originally posted on Elen Sentier:

Reaction to #naturewords



Oxford University Press replies

On Monday top authors, poets and naturalists were among 28 prominent people who wrote to Oxford University Press calling for some of the fifty nature words lost from their Junior Dictionary to be reinstated. The issue first arose in 2007, was not corrected with the 2012 edition, and is now a growing concern as we look for cultural leaders to help resolve a seemingly unstoppable problem – the rapid decline in children’s formative experiences of nature. The letter sets out the problem here, and now we have a response from the OUP.

OUP Statement

PictureWest Oxford School: year 3 prehistoric art

Press and social media coverage since Monday shows that concern about children’s disconnectedness from nature is widespread. The Oxford Times spoke to the Headteacher of West Oxford Primary School Clare Balden, who backed our letter and said the 238-pupil…

View original 40 more words

Saami Joik

This song makes me think I’m in the Lord of the Rings.

Beautiful song by Mateli Kuivalatar (1771-1846), Ilomantsi, Finland. Sung by Liisa Matveinen & Tellu Virkkala (Turkka), accompanied by Ritva Talvitie playing the bowed harp. Pictures of Finnish winter.

“Alahall’ on allin mieli
uiessa vilua vettä
sukkeloitessa suloa
jäänalaista järkyttäissä.
Alempana minun sitäi
viluvatsa varpusella
istuissa jääoksalla,
vilumpi minun sitäi.”

“Low are the calloo’s spirits
as she swims the icy waters
shuttling the slush
diving below the ice
Lower are my spirits than hers
lower than those of the shivering sparrow
perched on an icy bough
lower are even mine.”

More on the Saami here

9 Pillars and Awenydd Practices

This post is a landing page for the practices and concepts that I am being taught in the 9 Pillars tradition –  overlain with my existing daily and weekly practices from the Medicine Wheel and the new practices I’m learning from my teacher in British native shamanism. I probably won’t do all of these every day just due to time constraints but I’m thinking they can be somewhat alternated. Out of respect for my teachers, I won’t give a detailed explanation of everything.

For the most part a lot of it can be done when meditating. I do these during my morning yoga sessions. That trinity, yoga, breath-work and visualization is creating a foundation for my path. Meditation hasn’t worked its way in there yet.

9 Pillars

Vard(th)lokkur – the art of singing oneself into trance
Practice, weekly – meditation work on Freya’s day (Fridays)

Tasks: Set up a Vardlokkur altar. I’m using my mesa for this because it’s transportable. I have another altar space in my dining room on top of my piano, but this is where I usually pray in the mornings and leave offerings. My mesa is more like a bundle with power items in it that I can fold up and put away when I’m done. It works really well as a working altar, whenever we open our mesa it is a sacred space. For this work with Freyja I have added some items to my mesa to ‘cook’ inside there: an amber beaded necklace and dried Calendula flowers.

Idnajord – grounding and living within the cycles of the earth
Practice, daily – grounding visualization with morning meditations. Morning chant – 5 minutes of ‘Idnajord’ (ith-nah-eyorth)
Weekly – walks in the forest, tending to outside altars.

Mindframe: to engage with life from a position of groundedness and focus, ‘as rooted as the rock and the tree’. This ‘reflects the spiritual focus of the volva: one who is deeply rooted to the rhythms of the Earthplane and who directs herself in her life with focus and centeredness.’

Tasks: Take time to attending to the non-human world. Rigorously observe and engage. Spend time outside: sunbathe and star-gaze, put naked feet in the earth. Be of nature.

Journal about blocks to balance, focus and centeredness.

‘Attend to and commit to memory the diverse stories of the earth’. By: learning about natural processes, observing the natural world with the same intensity that we do the human world, opening ourselves up to communicating with non-human species – this requires a willingness to hear and attend to different ways of speaking – from the macro to the micro level of existence (so planets, people, bacteria).

Bregda – generating energy in the universe. Similar to nourishing chi/qi, bregda is maintaining internal power. It’s the energy needed to get to the next step, as well as that which holds everything together.
Practice, daily when possible, with breath work during morning meditations. Also chanting the word can be used. Bregda sits in the solar plexus – it is a blue icy fire.

Tasks: Take time to visualize the blue fire in your belly every day
Encourage others and yourself through positive support
Acts of generosity. When we give freely our energy is rejuvenated
Engage with diversity
Practice optimism and hope
Practice dedication

Awenydd (Awen-ith) Training

Earth/Sun Exercise – This is a visualization is a variation on projecting roots into the earth and out of your head into the cosmos.
Practice: Daily with morning meditations

Recording dreams – Practice, daily. As much as possible and when you remember them.

Task: Ask for guidance and assistance from Elen of the Ways, the ancient reindeer goddess of pathways and dreamways. Ask to remember your dreams at night. Ask, to be helped. Practice asking.

Sit With Exercise – used all the time in awenydd work. Similar to sand paintings, this is a listening, a hearing technique. Practice, whenever you think of it.

 Medicine Wheel

Kapalbhati pranayama, Shining Skull Breath
Practice, daily: with morning meditation – 3 rounds
Visualize the breath-work energizing the star rites (we were) given in the Wheel. They can be visualized as black pants, red belt, silver and gold tunic, crystal tiara and rainbow headdress. These rites shield our energy bodies, protect us. Also in Indian tradition, the shining skull breath is used to build energy and push it up the spine and out the top pf the head – so the skull ‘shines’. Visualizing this is quite an experience.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama Alternate Nostril Breathing
Practice, daily: with morning meditation – a full traverse from root to crown.
Visualize the breath (alternating from one nostril to the next) coming into each chakra, opening, expanding and then energizing each one. Create a rainbow body around yourself. Energize karpais, spirits or essence who live in each chakra. In the Peruvian tradition we have the serpent at the root, red chakra, the jaguar at the belly, orange chakra, the hummingbird at the solar-plexus, yellow chakra and the eagle at the heart, green chakra. See your animals, give them light and breath.


Hatha yoga – every morning for 45 minutes to an hour, followed by breath-work and visualizations. Yoga is the most important practice I have yet come across. I find it indispensable in my life on a spiritual path. I can’t say enough here.

Prayer – mornings with coffee. I pray and leave offerings.

Offerings – bring tobacco, corn meal, coins or other offerings with you at all times. When out in the world, leave offerings for land spirits, tree spirits, water etc. when speaking to them.

featured image, Winter Morning in Vancouver by Gord McKenna

Journey to Find a Power Song and Pouch

This is a school assignment – my first final. The journey is to Midgard, to ask for a ‘galdrar’ or magical song, and our medicine pouch (pungr) – what it looks like and what should go in it. Also we are to locate our first tools – a staff, precious stones, tin buttons and a touchwood – which is exactly how it sounds – a piece of wood worn to touch and ground. All of these items are in the lore as what the volva (seidr practitioner) wore.

I have many staffs and random hunks of wood in and around my house. My husband works in our watershed lakes and brings a lot of wood home. I’ve had my eye out for a working staff since I first ran across seidr a few years ago. So I have a few – but for this I chose a gnarled and twisted petrified yew staff with the bark still on. It’s old growth. It’s quite heavy and yew in one of the strongest woods so it feels right.

I dug a few tin buttons out of my grandmother’s sewing box – I think they’ll do for now though, I want to look for more. Maybe Etsy? Or our local flea market. I’m a little confused about the tin buttons because they are supposed to ‘function as a lateen’ according to the lore and my readings – how do buttons function as a sail?

My touchwood is a bracelet of prayer beads I’ve had for a long time – they were waiting for a purpose. I think they’re sandalwood. Also though I have a piece of red rock that I was given for protection while journeying. Where I’m from any red rock is considered a power rock or to be sacred by First Nations. This rock is flaky – I was told to scratch some off and make a paste with water and paint it on my face.

I have a lot of semi-precious stones around the house – jade, quartz, amber, other crystals. The only precious stone I have is a large un-tumbled garnet that fits in my fist – it lives in my mesa as a root chakra ground. I brought it with me today.

I did a journey today to look for my pouch and song. I’ll transcribe here (try to keep it short).

I have to admit I used a rattle today to go into trance – with chanting, breathing and singing. I find the repetitive sounds work so much better for me – I may just be used to it – but I really wanted the journey to ‘work’ and the last couple I’ve tried, with just singing, didn’t.

I came out to the front of my house – my neighbourhood was the same except further down my street reality seemed to be swallowed up by a dark fog – like colours bleeding into black. I felt nervous but this time I stood in the middle of the street and thumped my staff on the ground (it turned white and spat light for a second), and said something like, “Know you all, I am not afraid. Nothing can harm me here. I am of the Divine, as is everything. I fight only my own demons.” I felt instantly better. I walked towards the darkness – which faded into a forest trail – funny fat and squat trees with green bark (with carvings on it?) and lush leaves lined the path, which was thick with mud and ditches – as though a tractor had just driven it. I come to an opening in the trees and there at a fork in the path, off to one side on a pedestal, sits a great lady – huge golden wings, yellow hair, white roman-like gown – except she’s drawn, like animated. She is one of my own drawings actually come to life. When I ask if she is Freyja I hear a yes. I ask about my pouch – what should go in it. I see it at my hip. It’s brown, rough sued with no markings or beads. Functional. Utilitarian. I get the impression the pouch itself doesn’t matter – just pick a pouch! Then I see a bear paw drawing, then bear claws – are they hanging from the pouch? Or are there tassels? Anyways I think the bear claw is supposed to go in my pouch or be a part of it.

I begin to doubt that this is Freyja in front of me so I continue on the right hand side path – it turns into a meandering country lane with banks of grass and bush on either side – to my right is a cow fence – posts and barbed wire. A large brown and white cow peaks over the fence at me. The sky is blue and sunny. I begin to relax and enjoy the walk – the birds singing. Peaceful.

But then I figure I should direct myself somewhere so I decide to go to my power spot at the beach. Immediately the path shifts downwards and gets rocky. I can see the ocean below. When I come to the beach I have a hard time at first surveying my surroundings. It seems like all I can do is look micro close at a rock or the ground – even the ocean tries to get massive in my face – hard to explain – it’s like all the Beings trying to get my attention at once – and it’s almost in a menacing kind of way – more like… a test. I tap my staff again and say ’No!’ and all goes back to normal.

I sit at the edge of the beach and ask Freyja for more info about the pouch – I show her a large flat table-like rock to put the things on. I see a green stone colour maybe tourmaline or similar – but large – I see a red ribbon, something in brass and the bear claw. I ask if I can put turquoise in as well and it seems to be ok.

A few more things happen but I’ll jump to the end – after wandering around for a while looking for my song I decide to go home. Just as I get to my house, Midgard comes up from behind me and goes past me – my house disappears into a dark forested path. So – I walk down it a while and sit on a park bench. My Song comes to me, floating on the air – it is a few silver rings, like bangles floating in and around each other – rather like the olympics symbol floating in the air. The sound is monotonous – just two notes – the words are ‘see-lou see-lou see-lou see-lou see-lou see-lou see-lou see-LOU”.

I thank the song and go inside.

Notes: every-time I tap my staff on the ground it lights up and turns white. This is cool. I feel like Gandalf.

What I’m wearing: the same or similar brown sued boots with ties and fur-lined. A blue cowichan sweater again – this time indigo blue – but with red stitching again. This sweater had a hood and ‘wings’ like those 80s style sweaters – but – also had huge black feathers coming out of the shoulder area. Throughout the journey I practice getting air with these wings. At times there are also little gold wings coming out of my back. Interesting. Interesting that blue and red together have come up in many journeys for me now. I’m thinking these are my colours in otherworld.

I’m not sure of the song – I tried for so long to hear a song in this journey – neat how it cam upon me at the end – but it’s not really a song – it’s just a hum that I’ve used in the past to try to go into trance. So it’s not a new sound.

Blundering through the sacred


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