After re-reading the Well-Wight post, I decided to do a bit of digging into my old Livejournal to see if I had posted about my very first seidhr session. I was never quite as prolific at posting back in those days as Jo was, so I wasn’t sure I would find anything. But surprise! I did. The post is dated May 1st, 2007, which means I have passed my eight-year mark. Even more surprisingly, although the tools I use now are mostly limited to my seidhr crown, a ring of nine skeleton keys I use for unlocking doors (when necessary), and my drum, the basic method I use in my practice has stayed the same. This also serves as a reminder for me that my seidhr practice was always, first and foremost, about drawing Asgard and the gods closer to this world; answering people’s questions was a secondary goal (though I’m glad it has proven to be such a valuable one, as I enjoy helping people).
Also, for any of my readers who are starting out now learning seidhr, new to it, or thinking about learning it but daunted by the idea: believe it or not, I found it incredibly daunting too, at first. Everyone starts out as a beginner, and all these years later I still go into every session not completely sure whether I’ll be able to get any information or response–and leave it not understanding at all how I got as much as I did.
A note about the below post: I was calling my practice spae at first because the word seidhr intimidated me; there was a lot of mystique built up around seidhr practitioners within the heathen community at that time, and doubtless still is. Within my first year, I switched to calling it seidhr, because Odin told me in no uncertain terms that was what it was. For me, the defining difference is that seidhr is accomplished with the assistance of spirits, whereas spae can consist of simply having “the sight,” not necessarily spirit-aided. (Also, Odin said so.)
Last night for Walpurgisnacht I did my first-ever session. Oh, I’ve done plenty of journeys to talk to various People, but never before had I attempted a structured spae for the purpose of answering questions from others (as opposed to questions about myself or to satisfy my own curiosity about assorted other things). It’s something Odin’s been trying to get me to begin doing for several years now, but I kept arguing that I didn’t feel ready, didn’t have the necessary experience or training, etc.
This time, He wasn’t buying any of those excuses, and insisted that He would train me in it Himself (and what better teacher could I ask for, really?) and that if I didn’t start actually doing it I would never get the experience and never have the opportunity to develop confidence in my abilities. So I solicited questions from three guinea pigs, er, friends (THANK YOU, those of you who participated!!!), and awaaaaay we went.Of course, since this was for other people, I was much more nervous than I’ve ever been about undertaking a journey for my own benefit. I had no idea what I would be doing, or how I would do it. Odin insisted I keep things simple to begin with; all of the paraphernalia I thought I would need, and will get in the future (a high seat, a staff, a cloak, etc.) is for the purposes of enhancement, but not essential. It was decided that Jo was to be my helper and space-warder; she would drum for me, in addition to reading the questions to me and writing down my responses. (And she did an excellent, excellent job with all of that!)
Odin walked me through the entire process. To prepare, He instructed me to take a chamomile bath, and to burn mugwort while I bathed. In the tub, He had me run energy through my chakras to cleanse them (yes, I work with the chakras, as I’ve yet to find a really satisfactory Northern equivalent), and then taught me a new method of really clearing and brightening them by splashing them with ice-cold water while visualizing their colors. It really sucked (brrrrr), but it works!
Once bathed, I took my mini-cauldron with me into the bedroom to keep burning mugwort so I could inhale the smoke. (Note to self: need to get more charcoal briquettes before the next rune spirit feeding time at the new moon!) In the future, I will be getting a bar stool or bar chair that I can position so that I can inhale the smoke more easily during trance when I need to, but for now, I use a hard folding chair set up near my bedroom altar. I hallowed the space with my spear, took several deep breaths of mugwort smoke and wafted the smoke over myself, then settled myself in the chair and relaxed. Odin told me to let him hold my worries and fears about the session for me, at least temporarily, so I did so (though it wasn’t easy!). Then He told me to go forth with His sight. I signalled to Jo to begin the drumming and rode the drumbeats. A few breaths later, I found myself standing at the Well. In fact, it was so easy that it took a few more minutes for me to convince myself that I was really there and could ask Jo to read me the the first question.
Most of the time, I see the Well as being milky-white and opaque. This time, it was black as ink and I could scry into it until images appeared–which is what I did for most of the session, except when various People showed up to answer questions. Sometimes those who showed up spoke through me; at other times I repeated what they had said or simply described what I saw. It was very hard to speak while in trance, but hopefully this is something that will get easier with practice!
Obviously, I can’t repeat the details of what I saw or what was said in answer to anyone’s questions, but I think I am allowed to mention the People who were involved in doing the answering:
Loki – He just sort of stood around by the Well grinning, only had a few words to say and mostly seemed very amused by the entire thing.
Bragi – When He arrived at the Well, His presence felt like a sudden beam of sunlight on my face. I don’t mention Bragi much because our relationship is not typical–if there is such a thing; I don’t actively work with Him much, but I do honor Him, and I love Him very much in a completely platonic way. Simply put, He’s family, and I was glad someone asked a question that gave me an excuse to talk to Him–even though I don’t really need an excuse. He has a strong resemblance to His father, but a sunnier and more gregarious personality, always laughing or smiling. He is cleanshaven and handsome, with His mother’s green eyes.
Hela – I had been afraid I would have to go to Helheim (where I’m not even sure I’m allowed to go) to speak with Her. However, it turned out I was able to talk to Her through the Well itself, which functioned as a kind of two-way mirror. I had never heard of anyone doing this before, but that’s how it happened.
When the last question had been answered, I asked Jo to drum me back, although it wasn’t really necessary; Odin’s comment was that Asgard isn’t some alien place to me that I need to carefully retrace my steps from or fear losing soul-bits in. It’s part of me, my home more even more than Midgard is (although yes, obviously it could potentially have its dangers just as Midgard can). Going there energizes me, and although I was shaky after the spae, I felt more awake and alert than I had before we started. At times it feels like I pull parts of Asgard here when I go there, rather than my going fully there…but that’s a topic for another post entirely. ;)
At any rate, the people who asked the questions seem to be satisfied with their answers (thanks again so much, you guys, and I will try to answer your emails tomorrow; I am horribly swamped at work this week), and I can’t even express what that means to me. I know I serve the gods and my spirit community first and the human community only second, but still it feels good to know that all of my esoteric activities can actually help people. It’s good to see solid, constructive results here for what happens There. Really good. Makes me feel all kinds of useful, and stuff. (And afterwards, Odin said He refuses to give me back my fears and doubts, darn it; He is keeping them!) – May 1st, 2007
Did He really keep them? Well, of course, I continued to have some. But they didn’t keep me from continuing, which in the end is all that matters.