Once in a great while – usually at night, in Spring or Autumn, when there is a certain atmosphere about of magic; of potentiality – I become restless and pace, stir crazy. Maybe I will have been enjoying wine or beer and merrily talking with friends; or maybe I’ve been sitting quietly, reading, when I hear the wind outside or or a sound or scent catches me just so. It isn’t the kind of bored frustration that comes from being cooped up indoors too long, but rather a fast-building feeling of energetic excitement.
The urge that comes over me is to go outside and run and smell the night air; out into the greenwood or meadow, and dig my fingers into the earth, to growl and peel my lips back from my teeth – to act in an atavistic manner, beast-like.
Usually, if I ignore it, the feeling passes. And so I’ve always done. Lately, though, I’ve received messages, through divination and meditation, that pointedly suggest I shouldn’t keep ignoring this urge lest it fade and come no more, and that this would hinder greatly some of the work I’d like to do and things I’d like to learn with respect to Travelling, shape-shifting, fetch projection, and so on. I don’t have much knowledge about these things yet, but I’ve gotten the clear sense that it’s Important to find out about them.
Two nights ago was a waxing quarter-moon, clear and cold. I felt the restless energy begin to build, and so I decided to follow it. I told my partner what I intended, and put on boots and jacket and gloves, took my bag with keys and phone and such, and went out.
Now, before I go farther I will say this – Don’t go out alone at night or into the woods alone unless you feel safe doing so and know the area well! I am not encouraging anyone to do as I have done, merely sharing my own experience as a Witch who has wandered by herself through woods and fields most of her life. Keep your personal safety foremost in mind and don’t do anything stupid just because you think it will help you “feel Magical.”
I headed toward the park that lies about a half mile or so down my street – near the edge of town. An area of restored prairie, a little stream, some trees. I’ve been there countless times over the years, I know how the land feels, where a few spirits are, and so on. It’s a place I’m familiar with, and while it’s no woodland, it does well in a pinch for various outdoor activities of mundane and arcane nature.
The night was clear and I could see stars bright at the dome of the sky – including the constellation of Orion, the Hunter; and under my breath I hailed the Hunter as I walked.
I thought of my Fetch, the loyal Hound, and called him to be near me; and I also called to the figure of the Silver Hound (who, recently when I was giving offerings to Herne, I looked upon and am pretty sure I saw a Spirit look back from his eyes). I called these two Hounds to walk with me and run as they would.
The air was cold and smelled of night and woodsmoke and the incense-like perfume of pine resin and fresh fallen leaves. I drank it in, my lips pulled back from my teeth as I trod quickly through the darkness, my boots striking rhythmically against the sidewalk. (I had worn boots instead of sneakers so if I met anyone on my way they would hear me coming and be alerted to my presence. No need to appear suddenly out of the dark as a rictus-grinning, black-clothed specter. At least not on this night).
The park felt me coming. It was different at night, awake and more aware. That made sense, since many creatures are more active in darkness; and also, the hordes of people who walk its trails in the daylight had gone away. As I crossed the road to the park, and as I set my foot upon the bridge to the prairie trail I spoke –
‘Hail the Spirits of this place! As a Child of the Old Ways I come. As a Walker on the Crooked Path I come. I ask entry into your kingdom, knowing I shall not be denied!’
I went over the bridge and into the prairie, off the trail in a mowed clearing by one of the public sculptures. A layer of fog drifted above the tall grasses, and lay in the dips in the land, just visible in the streetlights away at the park’s edge. I thought about going further down the trail, deeper into the park, but as soon as I considered this I smelled a strong whiff of sulphurous stream-mud and got the distinct impression that Something was there and didn’t want me traipsing around on its private territory at night. So I didn’t.
I stood there for a bit, just feeling the energy of the place and drinking in the wonderful autumn night scents, and then I headed back toward home, called the Hounds to come with me. I didn’t have any big revelations or strange experiences as I stood in the meadow’s darkness, but I didn’t expect anything big; I just knew it was important that I had done it – had listened to the urge to go out and experience the night, rather than ignoring it til it faded.
As I was walking back, serene and beginning to go slightly tranced from the sound of my own footfalls, I saw in my mind’s eye a simple Sigil that has something to do, I think, with use of the earth-current, especially with regards to the manifestation of the types of power available at this particular time of year. I wrote it down as soon as I got home so I wouldn’t forget. I’ll have to meditate on it and figure out exactly what it’s for; but it was nice to receive this bit of unexpected knowledge. It’s amazing what just following your small intuitions and listening will accomplish.
One other thing – as I was getting ready to leave the house, it occurred to me that I didn’t have a talisman or charm to ward against Spirits that I could wear on my person. Wow, major oversight! Especially if I’m going to go out into woods and field as much as I can (which I did when I was younger, but back then I didn’t know anything about woo-woo stuff; and I think that now that I have the knowledge and experience to have an idea of What is Out There and What Could See Me, It behooves me to act accordingly). So, my very next project is going to be a simple ward of protection (probably runic in nature) that I can wear.