People measure their self-knowledge by what the
average person in their social environment knows
of himself, but not by the real psychic facts which
are for the most part hidden from them. In this
respect the psyche behaves like the body, of
whose physiological and anatomical structure
the average person knows very little too.
-Carl Jung, ‘The Undiscovered Self’, chapter 10
Upon waking, Hoher Muot – Wyrd Consciousness even – is flooded by mental and physical attention, sensory attractions, ideas and thoughts, cares and confusions. When sleeping, the ever-fluctuating lower consciousness is also sleeping – unable to feel joy or endure struggle. While the high consciousness pulses gently – as a breeze or gentle wave – regardless of how we perceive ‘self’ upon awakening, it endures in purity.
One’s life is not their relationships or job, not one’s physical appearance or dwelling or vehicle, these things do not define you. It is your Hoher Muot that does this; not as a strict code of conduct, but an ever evolving movement towards that which one already is.
At the center of Ginnunga-gap, there is a still and silent eye, and that too is your center.
When I say, “I must be both scholar and seer” it is because I am that already. My role during this incarnation is to match the outer reality with the inner reality. You see, the mind within this body is that which recognizes thought and emotion – all the sensory and sublime input – making it but an instrument of perception. But the Scholar and Seer, that is my True Self, my Higher Self, my Wyrd Consciousness, my Fylgja and Inner Voice, it alone is sure and steady, unwavering and ever-connected to The Wheel.
I am not the labels applied to me by the society in which I live. I am not a gender or ethnicity, not a height or weight, not a ‘this’ or a ‘that’; for these are but external descriptions given by those who do not See. Certainly, I identify with a gender, and love my ancestry, equally as I strive to maintain physical fitness and eat healthy, for I appreciate self; but I do not identify as these things, which is why someone’s comments on them (you are attractive/unattractive, you are white/not-white, you are fit/too-fit) does not bother or disappointment me, or in any way cause a struggle within Being.
Change comes. The Wheel turns. The Great Loom is woven. How can I be ‘cast adrift’ or ‘lost’ in a sea of ever-present uncertainty? Enjoying that which is transitory is fine, but being caught in the trap of thinking those things are Self is harmful.
As a Seidwoman I have learned that the more I am connected with Nattura and the turning Wheel, the closer I am to unchanging Self – to Wyrd Consciousness. And it is this position that wards me from struggle; for from my proximity to Wyrd Consciousness, I am able to rightly discern what is self and what is Self. This is a Much-Knowing place, the Fjolkyngi place spoken of in Lore, of one “skilled in magic”.
As a child, learning the “hidden ways” from my grandparents and relations, I was taught that “Sida is relationship” (“Sida” being the word I was taught). By far, the majority of my lessons were outdoors in south central Texas, along the Rio de los Brazos de Dios, the “River of the Arms of God”. In the hot and humid Coastal Bend, I rode horses and herded cattle, watched Whooping Cranes hunt and care for their broods, kept hawks from stealing the chickens, learned the silent ways of alligators, and how to track peccaries. I learned that bobcat trails run parallel to deer paths, how to identify poisonous snakes (and what to do if bit), when to gather Indiangrass and how to make Longleaf Pine tea, the healing properties of persimmon and briar, how to make a fire from Blackjack Oak, and to find the freshwater ponds or the healing clays in slow flowing salt marshes. These and many more were my first Sida relations.
Everything in Nature has Spirit, is teaming with heart and soul as sure as I and you are. Being respectful and grateful of Nature opens one to receiving Her lessons; without assuring an assumption of reciprocity. Yes, “Her”, for She is the Land, Sea and Sky, and without Her blessing the hearth will never thrive. My grandfather claimed his land along the Brazos in accord to how he was taught in Ireland: To create a fire, then build a home with chimney around it. This is ownership, or as he said “right to claim fire for my children”.
There is only Nature. As far as recorded history can be revealed and unearthed, there is found a relationship with Nature. Today we call this ‘animism’ and define it as a “doctrine of belief in the existence of spirits separable from human bodies; a religious belief that objects, places and creatures possess spiritual essence”. It seems to me that once humans label a thing, they also put it on a shelf then move on to the next thing to label. For example, it is easier to chase after “magic” than Nature; with the definition of magic being “the use of rituals, symbols, or incantations to assure human control or utilization of supernatural forces”. So from this, the aim is to contact/connect then employ that which is supernatural; the definition of that being “that which cannot be explained by the laws of nature; of and pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to god(s), ghosts, spirits, and other non-material entities.”
The word ‘supernatural’ dates back to the early 1500s; a time when, well, virtually everything we know today as ‘common place’ or ‘ordinary’ or ‘science’, was deemed supernatural. Lightning and earthquakes were supernatural, germs were supernatural, and medical diagnosis relied on the supernatural science of astrology. What I am saying is, as soon as we label a thing we assume we ‘know’ that thing, then cast it aside to look again for the ‘next thing’, the ‘unknowable’ thing. All the while Nature remains around us. We are engulfed by entire worlds we do not understand (or presume that we do), that we are able to learn from, to grow from, to become from, if we were to but Sit-Out. When was the last time you stood outside at night, the Milky Way visible overhead, and felt – actually felt – the black sky ripple as the stars streamed across as a great river. Once there: Allowed your Self to soar above, while your feet fell away from Earth, to rise above all senses, to drift among meteors and dance to the sound of constellations.
Today, more than ever, with overcrowded streets and mindless food chains, with the numbing sound of human traffic and electric lights that block out night, the Seidu must dwell far-removed from the hustle and bustle, to seek-out the hedge, or the periphery of community. Seidr and its practitioners exist as intermediaries between humans and Other, and that ‘other’ is forest and field, bird and mammal, river and wind. They must be – as they have been since before recorded time – the intermediaries between human and ecology; and that flow must not be one directional, but as a Gift, reciprocal, or moving in both directions.
As of Old so Today, it is only through a continual relationship with Nature, the animate might, that Seidfolk are able to assist the human community.
As the Crickets’ soft Autumn hum is to Us
So are we to the Trees as are They
To the Rocks and the Hills
Fire and Sun are Gods, as are Thunder and Moon, Tree and Water. Today, we define disease as “a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury”. Even here, in our modern age, the original Seid meaning of ‘imbalance’ of ‘dis-ease’, is maintained, so that disease is traceable to a dis-equilibrium between the human community and the Natural forces around it. Who better than those who live on the hedge/edge – who observe Nature, Walking The Wheel – to diagnose, treat, and alieve that which ails the human and Nature community that they watch over.
As the ass that forever follows the carrot, too is the magic-user today ever-chasing the next-best technique or method or modality. That ‘one thing’ that ‘key’ that ‘power’ that ‘potion’ or ‘wand’ or ‘rune’ that will give them the “ability to alter consciousness at will” (the definition of ‘magic’). Yet, this latter is precisely what Seidfolk do. Wyrd Consciousness is the ability to readily move from one perceptual awareness to another / an Other; to make contact with, and so learn from, the Other, which is Nature.
Yes .. Nature. So close, yet so far-removed.
Want to learn Seidr? Want to do Seidr? Then nurture a relationship with it and with your Self in It. If you feel removed from self, you probably are, so practice patience with your self, be gentle with your self, be comfortable with your self, by not seeking outside of your self. To be your ‘best self’, to find your ‘higher self’, you must first Know self.
Find a place to Sit-Out, a place that has a pleasant or calming energy or memory. Sit there often. Then, when unable to be there physically, remember this place as you sit quietly. Let your every breath – inhale and exhale – seek deep into your core, to where your most authentic self resides. Once there notice that no matter how ‘hurt’ or ‘wounded’ or ‘pained’ or ‘sick’ you think you may be, that your seed-self is unstruck, unwounded, unhurt. Always. From this deep well, reach into the compassion and friendship of your Self to and for self. Do this every day! In the morning before the self begins to doubt, or before bed, when the self releases into Self. Do it for days and weeks and months and years, as you Walk the Wheel observing Nature and how you change with Nature; how you too have seasons.
Cultivate self in Nature to Know Self. And if Seidr is part of that Self, then pursue that; if not, find what is there, residing within self to fully manifest your True Self.
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