As I have begun this adventure into the writing and publishing world I find myself realizing that most people have trouble focusing on their projects.
I’ve seen many tweets about this very topic.
I would have to agree that this is a tough one.
Luckily, I have the velvety black and red bag from which I can pull a Rune for guidance.
The past few days have been rough. I have felt a lot. That’s not quite the norm for me.
I’m finding that I keep most people at arm’s length. I didn’t think that was the case.
Anyway, before I dive into all of that...the Rune I pulled was Gar.
Gar is above all else for me my connection to the Otherworld.
It’s my connection to my psychic abilities.
It’s my connection to the Nornir, those who weave the tapestry of life we live.
And it grows more and more to be a connection to Odin.
So what did it tell me?
How did it prompt my writing today?
I was instantly focused on the center. That very much focused my mind on one point.
I was no longer chasing streams. I stepped into one.
Let me take a moment to explain the streams. This is the best way or visualization I have found to describe what happens.
Some of my other psychic friends describe it as reaching out and grabbing a string that is connected to someone or something.
I really do see myself stepping into a small stream.
This stream contains the energies of and/or around someone. This is where the information I get psychically comes from.
What stream did I step into? A stream that has gone from muddy as fuck to semi clear.
I have been in the mud.
I believe the reason concerns the Rune Ansuz.
One aspect of Ansuz is that of clearing. It has definitely been clearing things.
In this instance, I see it as water running down the hillside in sheets. It is picking up all manner of dirt and debris that then end up in the stream.
It has been muddy.
Another aspect is that Ansuz helps one find their voice. Definitely appropriate.
Last week I caught a cold. That put a bit of a damper on my plans to get things settled. I still got some shit done but I really needed some rest.
One message I am getting from my body is that I need more rest.
Some days I need a nap, others I don’t.
I keep thinking of that saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That was my excuse for being “busy.” My reason to run myself ragged.
Getting some rest helped. I needed it for some of the shit that I experienced over the last few days.
Last Sunday was an eventful day. I had planned to go to Portland to record an episode of Web of Resonance and then go to a storytelling class.
The morning was nice. We worked on clearing some overgrown blackberry bushes.
After that I drove to Portland.
I think I wasn’t quite prepared for that. I live fairly isolated.
There are a fuck ton of people who live in Portland and they all have the movement from their lives swirling around them.
I became overwhelmed quickly.
I stopped for some food to ground me a little and then was on my way to record the podcast.
Web of Resonance is a podcast I record weekly with my friend Theresa Carmody of Elemental Journeys.
The show is about connecting to the current energies of our world and using our tools of divination to do so.
This is mostly done while standing in the stream. Whichever stream that is.
This doesn’t drain me. But, most times I cannot always remember what we’ve spoken about until I listen to the recording. That can be one side effect of standing in the stream.
Needless to say I would normally need to ground into this physical realm. This was going to be a different day.
Right after the recording I was heading down to a class on storytelling.
I was taking this class because some of us were wanting to experience storytelling from the shamanic point of view.
To detail it out, I wanted to dive into storytelling while connected to or channeling a being from the Otherworld.
Also, quickly, Otherworld just refers to some place not in this realm.
You see, being in this state of altered by standing in the stream was, in my thought pattern, going to be good.
This was maybe too altered for class.
The class was a great class.
I say that from the perspective of a teacher/facilitator.
The exercises were spot on. The students participated. It ran on time.
The teacher, a friend of mine, was fantastic. I had a lot of mud and debris slough off into my stream during class that made it semi tough for me to stay present in that moment.
After the introductions and expectations part of the class we were asked to go on a little mediation/journey.
The goal of this exercise was to pinpoint which of our senses were strongest. This would aid in forming more whole stories to provide connection opportunities for everyone in the audience.
I’m super visual so I need to make sure to add things like scent, sound and tactile descriptions. Make sense?
Ok, so the journey ended in coming to a stream. Do you see where this was going to be a problem?
I reached the stream and without thinking stepped in.
I could hear her continue to guide us but that was in the background.
My focus became the stream in which I stood.
Another goal of the exercise was for us to allow story ideas to surface.
The facilitator stated that she knows the story that needs to be told because it’s the story that terrifies her.
I don’t mean as in horror movies, of course. It’s that story that makes you vulnerable.
That vulnerability is the thing that terrifies us most.
What terrifies me most? Who knows.
Maybe by the end of this article I’ll be closer to answering that question.
The first chunk of mud that floated past my leg was a memory from childhood.
I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. In this memory I was walking with my dad.
We were coming home from my grandparents house only a block away.
He asked me what I had done that day. I had played with my cousin.
As most kids do we pretend to be adults. One of my favorite shows as a kid was Dukes of Hazzard. So that’s who we pretended to be that day.
I told my dad that we played Dukes of Hazzard and he asked who I had been.
told him Daisy Duke.
He told me that Daisy was a girl and I was a boy, so next time I should be one of the boys.
I don’t remember the exact feeling I had. It was strong enough to burn that conversation into my memory though.
I didn’t see what was wrong with pretending that I was Daisy.
I know now the implications of breaking that social norm.
I died a little that day.
My dad was and is an amazing man. He worked hard to make sure he provided for us. I grew up in the small town he did.
There were 300 in our small community. There was no way in 1980 that he could have known that conversation would be part of this article 40 years later.
He did the best he could. I appreciate that and do not blame him for anything.
This stream I stood in during class was that of death.
I realized that after the next two clumps of mud slimed me as the flowed by.
In fact, I wrote and posted the piece to the right after it all.
My realization was that these experiences were deaths.
They became the moments that told me it wasn’t ok to be me.
I died a little each time.
The next stop was to another childhood memory. It wasn’t long after the first, maybe within a year.
We had a lot of family shit happening.
Mostly adjusting to the death of my youngest sister. I have one or two memories of her. I was four when she died.
We all sat in a circle at the family therapist’s office.
I recall the smell. It is like a scratch and sniff sticker of an 80's office. It’s not musty but you can see as well as smell the heaviness in the air.
No free and clear breezes. Stuffy. The light is always warmer in tone to me, too.
The one thing I remember from the discussion was the therapist asking me if there was anything I wanted to talk about.
I knew in my gut what she was asking. I knew she was asking about the Daisy Duke incident.
I knew it was not acceptable to do that. I had learned the lesson.
I simply said no. She asked again and I repeated my answer.
Something still feels very secretive about that time period in my life.
The third and final memory surfaced before we were to return to the group activity and discuss what we experienced.
This one took place at maybe the age of 12 or so.
I grew up going to the Mormon church. I say Mormon now knowing they prefer not to be called that and part of me feels good about that.
As young men and women in our teenage years part of our responsibility was to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. Work for ancestors is a big thing that religion.
Little did I know that it was always a calling for me to work with the dead.
Anyway, our young men’s group had gone to the temple and completed some baptisms for the dead.
On the way home we were riding in one of those cool 70's vans that had the open seating backs, not rows.
want one of those still. Focus.
A song came on the radio that I liked and knew the words to. I began to sing.
A boy just older than I turned to me and said that no one needed to hear that right now and for me to stop singing.
It felt like a fucking knife in my chest.
This moment would prove to resurface 30 years later when someone was saying the same thing to a friend of mine. I cannot duplicate the look I gave but apparently it was more than enough to shut that person up. A
s soon as it happened, that memory came flooding back.
So much in that one is tied to my voice.
Finding my voice.
Using my voice.
Fuck him. And fuck me for allowing that to kill me.
After my journey to the stream and back we discussed our experiences. I found myself quickly disconnecting from the group and looking deeply, maybe too deeply, into what I had just experienced.
I was so resistant to the possible victim that I was confronting in myself.
As for the others, I’ve been entertaining the shit of others for so long I just couldn’t do it. That’s what I felt at that moment, true or not.
The remainder of class I participated but was very unconnected.
Maybe not the best thing to have happen right before a two-hour ride home.
The ride home was filled with listening to the song “Shallow” from the movie A Star is Born. Of course it continues to play in my head.
I pull up the lyrics and read them daily.
So much is appropriate and I feel like I’m missing something so I just keep at it.
What terrifies me?
What makes me vulnerable?
Those are good questions.
I am terrified of being looked at as a victim, of being weak.
I guess the problem comes when I ignore the bleeding wound for so long that I bleed to death.
What do I do with all of the deaths I’ve experienced?
With such an important question, you bet I asked the Runes.
The picture was the response.
The overarching theme is one set forth by Dagaz (the one face down.)
It’s all cyclical.
Winter turns into spring.
Night turns into day.
This is the thing to remember.
As for the other Runes, we have Eihwaz, Calc, Othila, Kenaz and Cweorth.
Those deaths need to be used to fuel my fire.
Offer them up as sacrifices.
They are meaningful to me; each of those parts of me that died.
This fuel will be directed to fulfill my goals, to honor my ancestors and keep the wheel balanced and turning.
That’s a lot to take in but so simple.
So simple I had to cover my eyes and just allow them to impress upon me the meaning.
Silence and darkness.
So what now?
I think I will construct a funeral pyre and burn those bodies that have laid dead for so long.
Those bodies that I’ve drug behind me.
I will free up this energy for future goals and workings.
I will honor by building an altar to the Ancestors, the Nornir, Odin and to those parts of me that have been sacrificed.
If this resonates with you in any way, maybe you can try it too. Try silence. Try darkness.