“Your course is set, your Fast intact.
Obey your Father, commit the Primal Act.”
I had a Dreamvision this morning; which is more than an ordinary dream,
but a meaningful one. In that I know the Sayings of Seiðr,
interpretation of dreams are easy.
In the dreamvision I was pulling an Irish Traveler Caravan into a parking space.
Next to it was another caravan, but modern.
Walking into a building, going straight to the washroom,
I immediately began to unpack my rucksack to clean and organize its contents.
The washroom was plush with polished opaque green glass,
spacious with privacy stalls that opened into individual hot tub areas,
with soft white towels, and a scent of lavender and sea salt in the air.
As I went about my business, a group of individuals came in,
accompanied by an elderly yet spry man.
No one introduced us but I knew he was ‘Father’.
The six women with him ranged in age from old to older;
and each was spry of body and mind.
They too came to wash and unpack
but their bags were in their hearts and minds.
What they carried manifest from the palms of their hands.
As I watched, each drew forth their Seiðr ability to cleanse and recharge it.
As I watched, Father said, “We knew you would be here,
and have come with an invitation for you.”
I heard his proposal as I deftly repacked my ruck (not stopping what
I was doing to listen). Watching my precision, he observed,
“Your ways are efficient, honed-well over many lifetimes. My offer will
condense that into a size less cumbersome.” As I closed the final compartment,
I touched the ruck lightly and said, “I am ready.”
It was here that I woke-up.
Feeding the Wihts this morning, sipping Angelica,
my mind is flowing over my many decades of Seiðr dedication.
-Where once were friends, there is a path grown over.
-Where once were friends, there are ‘Wiccans’, ‘Norse Witches’, and ‘Shamans’.
-Where once from this path I could see others in the distance, now,
it has been long since I have seen others.
Watching the Jays and Juncos vie for the nuts, seed and bread I have left for them,
it occurs that I see this situation in many who identify with Seiðr.
For example: Over the decades of my own Seiðr practice,
I have seen many come and go. Equally as I have seen those who claim to be
‘Vǫlva’s’, with a few years of practice, teach classes on the subject.
I am not that person. If anything, I am the fly in the ointment who asks:
-‘Have you translated the Old Norse and Old German verses that contain Galdr?’
-‘Have you collected and used the herbs that we know were found in the graves of Vǫlva’s?’
-‘Have you fell into The Well, hung from The Tree, or journeyed
‘foodless and sleepless’, past the world of men to behold Might, the Náttúra and Gýgjar?’
-‘Do you know Forn Þreifa?’
-‘Do you have long-sight over many lifetimes, are you able to be still and listen?’
-‘Do you have Much-Knowing Runelore?’
I recognize that none are gifted the same, but in Seiðr there must be a like-kind,
for the information is available, and becoming moreso every year.
I also recognize that of those who I have met who have claimed Seiðr,
but a small few are That.
Diana Paxson advises her students to “fake it until you make it”,
and based on what I have seen, this has contributed to that number
who claim to be Vǫlva / Seer / Spáwife / Norse Witch, and the like, who
lack both the knowledge of study and the wisdom of decades.
I further think the rise of those who claim Seiðr, without training,
has led to it being considered ‘new age’ at least and outright ‘not trusted’
by those who (perhaps) need it most.
Today, Witchcraft and Wicca are once again morphing
(I’ve seen it change several times since the 60s); both are blossoming into
means of female empowerment. (A situation clearly needed if women feel
so dis-empowered.) Yet, at one time, both were very concerned with the
‘reclamation of the Old Ways’. In my research, I am of the mind that
Witchcraft is what remained after the Church decimated its practitioners –
the soothsayers and cunningfolk, the herbalists and Forn Þreifa healers,
the scholars and lorekeepers, the midwifes and physicians, the astrologers and
keepers of sacred objects, the mediators and priests of yore.
Today, very few Witches and Wiccans are any of this.
Today, in ‘oracular seidhr’, for example, being possessed and
‘ridden by a god’ is ‘seidr’; any altered state of consciousness is ‘seidr’;
any core-shaman, any ‘medium’ or ‘spirit healer or ‘prophet’
can be said to be practicing ‘seidr’.
Where are the deep initiatory dreams and Night Mares; the inherited family line;
the ritual dismemberment; the crossing over and returning with information
that benefits the tribe; the ability to heal (and be healed); the spirit guides
and the soul-cleansing; where is the mediation and translation of culture and tradition?
Many today would call themselves ‘Witch’ or ‘Shaman’, yet there are marked differences between those things depending on whether one resides in the
Northern or Southern Hemisphere, whether one is East or West.
In short: The defining characteristics of any one form of Witchery or Seiðr or
Shamanism, does NOT occur among that of other tribes, healers or diviners.
In fact, this lumping of spiritual traditions and ritual seems to have first been
approved by the work of M. Eliade; who modernized the term ‘ecstasy’
and the ‘techniques’ necessary in achieving it. Further, he instigated the idea
of individuals fulfilling personal callings to those who are betoken to their
tribe / community. Seiðr is an Old Way, pre-Christian construct –
born of the merging of PIE, Eurasian Nomad, Finno-Ugric peoples,
and Northern European tribes.
Enthusiastic and persistent psychics and faith healers, Witches and what-nots,
do not a Seiðu make. Today, the essence of ‘shamanism’ and other modern-interpreted
spirit-arts are given general definitions like healing and drumming, chanting and drugs,
dancing and trance, but there are differences. For example, the Sami Noaide, the Siberian Saman, the Northern European Seiðu, all had a basic concept of gifted individuals who were developed through apprenticeship and self-privation, with an innate ability to invoke spirits, to aide community members, use divination, and cure affliction. Conversely,
the American Indian Medicine-folk put emphasis on spirits that possess the practitioner;
and the ‘shaking tent’ ceremonies are definably American Indian not Sami, Siberian or Seiðr.
When one seeks to ‘buy’ Shamanic services, or pay to learn Seiðr, the Runes,
or some other in a matter of hours or weeks, one has participated only in
mass consumer marketing. Which stands in stark contrast to the Old World and
Old Ways of custom-crafted objects and practices. The Nine Worlds are not occupied
by a Disney-world of benign powers, nor can one ‘invoke Loki’ to feel close to ‘danger’
or the thrill of living on-the-edge. To homogenize the rich traditions of a cultures’ history,
to ‘guide’ someone on a stereotyped meditation through a tunnel to speak with
‘spirit guides’, is not representative of Seiðr’s primordial folkway.
Yes, this is primarily female-calling (but not exclusively), and assuredly a means of empowerment (unmeasurably so), yet it is not easily acquired.
One cannot be this-thing by simply calling oneself that; and to a degree,
I think many still appreciate that. This is why Wise Home exists:
To bring to light not just my work in the research and application of this practice,
but the work of others. Wise Home then, is a working collective.
I think, perhaps, many become overwhelmed at the enormity of the practice,
which is why I suggest breaking it down to what one resonates with.
For example (as listed above), what are you interested in? A good way to answer that is
to look at either your profession, or, what you want to do (envision yourself as doing)
in the ‘real world’. Soothsayers and cunningfolk could translate to counselors and
care-givers; herbalists and Forn Þreifa healers could translate to nurses and
massage therapists; scholars and lorekeepers could translate to teachers and writers;
the midwifes and physicians are midwifes, doulas, and those who promote and
maintain health; the astrologers and keepers of sacred objects are astrologers
and scientists, historians and restorers; and the mediators and priests of yore
could be life coaches and theologians.
Find what you love, what your ‘calling’ is, and sacralize it: As of Old, so Today.
You were not born in the past, but rose from there. Those are your roots ..
so Know them and use them to draw nourishment from, but do not dwell there.
Develop a study trunk, grow your rings – deep and many – then extend your branches.
Nothing is holier or more exemplary than a strong tree.
Re-remember: We are Treefolk. Be That Seed, be that Strength, be that Surging Spirit!
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