Archive for the ‘spirits’ Tag

In a solstice threshold   Leave a comment

I had the wonderful opportunity to be out with a group of my spirit sisters last night for an exploration that was new for most of us.  As many know, the sunset thresholds closest to the Summer Solstice are often thought of as the best time to see and interact with nature elementals, earth spirits, Fae, or assorted other beings by whatever assorted names you may call them.  We prepared quite a lot for it, for not only did we want to have a good experience, we also are smart enough to know that spirits of any brand are not there for our personal amusement and like nature itself, they have their nurturing friendly side and their destructive side too.

We had our drums, bells, rattles, gifts for what we hoped would be our new spirit friends, and some soft colored lights.  A local nature center gave us special permission to be on the grounds after dark, and so we trekked back into the wooded area along the path to what we like to call the “Mother Tree.”  It is a grand old tree with many arms; just right for nurturing her many children.  Under Mother Tree, we set up our circle.  Before it became entirely dark, we were somewhat distracted by trail-goers who seemed a bit curious about what the group of five women was up to under the big tree with drums, some lights, and whatever else we had going on under there.  One couple passed by twice, and then we did not see them again.  I am sure they wondered what that symbol was that one woman was carefully tracing into the soil in the center of the circle.  Finally, all was quiet.

Though I am not especially in love with ritual forms and formats, we did use a  protective circle this time.  I mean, we don’t really know these spirits, do we?  Anyway, once we got situated, we started to drum. I had thought we would need to drum and rattle very slowly to help our human brains and hearts slow down but we were going way too slowly to get into a trance state.  With some advice from one of our more experienced drummers, we got up to a better pace.  Before that, however, we put out our gifts for the Fae: milk, honey, crystals, jewelry, sparkly things and other niceties.  What really got their attention though….appears to be the home made Kahlua that one of the ladies brought.  Seriously, it was really good!  She put out some for the spirits and we all had a shot ourselves.  (Arguably one of the highlights of the evening.)

Anyway, once we were sufficiently settled again, we got the drumming going and I noted that the woods were starting to almost pulse around us.  My eyes were at turns open and then closed, then open again, taking in the site which had grown very dark as we lost the last of the sun.  When I would open my eyes here and there, there was a fog or a mist in our circle, and then sometimes it would be gone.  I thought it likely that my eyes were just tired and getting blurry.  Contact lenses, what can I say?  It would at turns be very thick and then the air would become clear again, and then again, thick.  Later, I learned that the others noted that as well.

I turned slowly as I heard sounds that were too quiet to be a person in the underbrush, thinking maybe I would see some small wildlife.  What I saw was a shadowy form of something almost as big as a person, peering out from a group of trees.  It quickly withdrew.  If it had been a corporeal human in the underbrush, he or she would have made so much racket we would have heard it a mile away.  It was even too quiet to be a deer.  It moved like the spirits of the dead, but it had enough physical form to break a few sticks while it was poking around back there.   It was interested in the treats outside the circle.  It was neither friendly nor unfriendly.   Anyway, I went back to my drumming.  I was vaguely uneasy, as I may be in the compay of unpredictable persons.  We continued a good while until one by one, each woman stopped her rattle, her drum or bells and then we went silent, looking at the night and letting the night look back at us. 

Each woman had her own experiences.  Many had dreams the following night related to our outing.  I did not.  I am a pragmatic individual who though very spiritual, has to purposely suspend her disbelief to get anything spiritual accomplished.  The elemental spirits were busy in those woods that night.  Some of them are pretty formidable.  I also felt the presence of the dead attached to that land.  I saw some of them and this time it was with my actual eyes, and not my “inner” sight.  (Whatever that may be, whatever you call it.)  That was new.

We had another shot of Kahlua and checked the clock to find that what felt like 30 minutes had actually been about 75 minutes and it was time to go.  These experiences are so hard to explain or even to express because a person with any rational thought can easily consider many alternative causes of those experiences.  I therefore don’t talk about them much.  This was very interesting, though.  In a threshold, you never really can rely on rational explanations, for human reason has no power in the in betweens of the world.


Posted June 24, 2012 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Just getting started….   2 comments

There’s so much I don’t know, it’s ridiculous, after all these years.

My tradition has always talked about venerating the ancestors, and so I do, in my way.  However, only through exploring other cultures and traditions have I realized that not only can one venerate the ancestors, one can actually work with their spirits and other spirits too, for that matter.  However, this requires some relationship building.

I have, for my own reasons, somewhat avoided working with the dead.  This is partially because I have not been on board with my own grief and healing process for my dad, and I lost him a long time ago.  Like…18 years ago.  I have carefully avoided the concept of the dead, life after death and whatever else. This is absurd, of course, and I know that.  It probably also has limited me in a lot of ways.

So I have now set up my first “ancestor altar” though I don’t like that term so much.  It feels like I’m trying to reach into hallowed antiquity or something.  So I am calling it my altar to the spirits.  I have a small film strip of me as a baby, with dad.  I have his class ring.  I have other things on there that he would have liked, like driftwood from Lake Michigan and Petoskey stones and Michigan iron ore and anything from local nature.  My dad was an outdoorsman. I added a glass of water and a candle, which I am told is pretty standard for these sorts of altars.

There is a Saint Jude candle on here in this picture because I was asking Dad for some help with someone who meets the definition of “lost cause.”  My dad would probably find that amusing.

I have recently added the favorite costume jewelry of another of the family’s beloved dead; someone I didn’t know but who was close to my husband.  I want to bring her into our home.

So I have no idea if this is even how it’s supposed to work!  Just trying…clueless…but with good intentions.

Posted June 4, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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