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Of course, I admit, I really have no idea what I’m doing. I will never learn if I never actually do anything. Of course, I could just not dabble in any kind of contact or dreaming or faring forth; just make offerings and turn cards, and leave it at that. But I don’t want to. To learn I must try, and to try I must be kept from the twin paralyses of perfectionism and fear. Spirits are Dangerous! What if you do it Wrong? You could go mad! You could die! You could lose your soul! What if what if what if….

***

Last autumn when I gave honor and offering to Herne the Hunter, the taste of beer cool amber in my mouth and sticky on my fingertips, the flames of the candles danced in the eyes of a figurine upon the shrine, and it looked back at me. A spirit is in it, I thought. A spirit is in it or one wishes to come through. But I did nothing till now, save offering a portion of those things which my Fetch (who, though a part of my own soul, also has an independent existence) prefers to be given. I didn’t know what to do, or how to proceed. I still don’t, not really. But it would be rude to do nothing, like ignoring a guest upon the doorstep. Either invite them in or bid them be gone; but do not look at them and pretend they are not there.

***

The moon was dark, turning to new. I lit the candles and laid certain things upon the altar – a smoky quartz crystal, not a clear; as the moon is dark. A smooth Selenite stone to make it easier to sense the unseen. Water and meat. I sat on the floor before the altar and shuffled cards, turned them over, asked how to proceed. I scribbled the results in my little black journal by candlelight, and as I wrote out my interpretation of my question, a folded piece of paper fell out. A jewelry design sketch I had made and forgotten about – a pin in the shape of the head of a {creature like the figurine}. Well then.

I cradled the statue in my hands, picking it up carefully and with reverence, as though it were a living creature. I closed my eyes and whispered to the figurine, Hail and welcome unto thee… I bid it welcome if it wished, to inhabit the small statue. That was all. Cradling the figure in one hand, I ran my the fingers of my other hand gently along it and felt intermittent prickles of energy on my fingertips, like the excited nips of a puppy. I closed my eyes to try to visualize what it ‘actually’ looked like.

The spirit is the size of a normal {animal} only chalk white and inanimate-seeming, like a thing of clay or chalk in truth, only having a sense of ‘inhabitedness’ about it. This I see clear in my mind’s eye. It does not move, not yet – is this because the season of its activity is not yet here? Because it is a thing of the Dead itself? I don’t know, I don’t know exactly what kind of spirit it is, save that it does not feel baneful or frightening so far as I am able to tell.

***

I am taking a shower before bed a week or so later, and idly turn my mind to wondering if this spirit (because it doesn’t do me much good to ride the wheel of was-any-of-that-real-what-if-I-was-just-making-it-up, and so will act as if it is real and true until proven otherwise) would like for specific offerings. Even before the thought is wholly formed, the answer leaps into my mind, clear and bright and insistent. MILK, MILK FROM YOUR BREAST and I can feel its eagerness. I cannot.  I have no suckling babies, nor any children for that matter, Nor will I ever have such, I reply, as I step under the warm water. MILK FROM BEASTS THEN, BUT MILK; FRESH MILK!

Very well, milk. Then I will begin the process of finding out what you are and how you would like to be called, and what kinds of skills and talents you have, and what your price is for the services you would render.

Is this how it’s done? This closed-eyed seeing, knowing that the answers you heard were not in the voice of your own words? Knowing that the bundle of chalk and bones came halfway of its own volition, and knowing that I must stretch my hand out to bridge the crossing? It is… a thing of earth, a Crom-thing; something from Underneath, or something from the autumn air, something in the train of the Hunt…. I think. I am not afraid. Out of bravery or ignorance I don’t know. What else can I do?

Hail and welcome unto thee

I stretch out my hand.

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