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'The Calling'
Intaglio etching on paper, 2004
Copyright of the Artist

I began this Work in late January – the tail end of winter, and at the waning of the moon.  I’m not done yet, and the process hasn’t worked itself out to completion. Still, I’ll tell you a bit about it nonetheless…

When I was younger I would occasionally have dreams in which I travelled in the form of a crow. I could fly through the passages between the worlds that make up the landscape of my dreams (not the only way to cross, of course, since there are many ways between worlds), and fare here and there within them.

Earlier this year, I had been pondering ways to be more proficient at dreaming well and true, and ways to be more in tune with the secret face of the world around me.  As I considered these things one day while drifting in meditation, I remembered my crow dreams, and felt that I was on the verge of discovering a way to attain the things that I had asked for.

The Crow’s power is that of finding ways through, and seeking out secrets and hidden things – primarily in the realm of Midgard.  By Midgard I mean not only the physical Earth that we inhabit, but also the hidden overlay behind and within it- the Otherworld, the Greenwood.

Soon after this revelation, I went into a trance meditation with the aim of figuring out what I should do next, and to see if I could figure out exactly how my desires and the working towards them would play out.

During this trance, I saw in my mind’s eye the image of a great forest. I was standing on the limb of an immense tree, and looking out across a lowland plain crowded with more tangled trees. The sky was the blue-purple of the hour of twilight, and a soft winter breeze stirred and rustled the bare branches of the wood. Far off I heard the cawing of crows, and saw a few wheeling close above the trees.

As I stood in the great gnarled tree and looked out over the Crow’s Wood, two symbols came to me*. I realized that these symbols comprised part of a rite to help me to call a spirit in crow’s form as a familiar, who would help with dreaming work, and other things which I would find useful, but which I have not yet been made aware of. I was to send a call out to the spirit, in the physical world as well as from this tree in the Crow’s Wood, and await the one who answered.

I found this exiting, but also daunting, as I have no experience at all in calling spirits to me, and no real idea exactly what kind of ‘spirit in crow’s form’ I was going to be making contact with.

Still, I resolved to push forward, even though the whole scope of this endeavor isn’t clear to me. How could I not?

*Regarding the symbols. I explicitly cannot share them, but will say that one is a variant on the ‘Druid’s Foot’ (or Crow’s Foot) sign, and the other looks like a kind of modified sun-wheel.