from the distance, I am standing

bear

There is a brick building facing a street and I am viewing it from the distance. I find myself by the water.. it’s still body surrounded by moss laden trees. Something is gliding along in the murky depths but I cannot see it.. gator, I think. I can feel its movement. I am barefoot in a loose white shift.. feet sinking into the muddy bank.

I find myself entering a shop.. is this the brick building? The girl behind the glass counter has long heavy dark hair and her face is painted like a sugar skull. I see an impression of the stag’s horns coming from her head and his skull flashes beneath her skin. She is of the old ones. The room is dark and hazy. I can smell Baba behind the fuchsia curtain that closes off a further room. She smells of warmth and food.. and a bit of death. I can hear her humming.

I am back at the water’s edge, crouching in the mud. It is sticky and humid. I can still feel the creature’s movement just underneath the surface. He wants me to join him. Bear is peering out from the trees across the way. Her eyes catch in the light and I can see them even from this distance. The mud smells like decay but I do not move. She is waiting for me to decide.

I am once again standing in the shop, covered with mud and I stink. My hair is dirty and there are bloody tears moving down my face mixing with the mud. I still cannot see Baba but she whispers to me in layers.. welcome home.. this is your home.. come home.

I had gotten up really early that morning to join the quiet. It was raining softly outside and so I opened up the workroom door to the garden while I smudged. I applied the ointment, lit the candles, and set the incense to smoke. I cradled bear’s skull in my lap, running my hands here and there over her while I settled my breath. My fingers danced over her nasal cavity and up her forehead. I stroked her there for awhile, whispering things I cannot remember. I explored her eye sockets and her remaining teeth. I noticed how the base of her skull was still slightly greasy, even after all this time.. and I continued to whisper to her.

The journey was not as usual. There was no slow methodical work towards where I was trying to go. I did not see the brown one or the white. I was breathing and stroking.. stroking and whispering.. and then I was just there gazing at the brick building full of windows. After I was done, I left offerings for those mine and the old ones. Then I left a something extra for bear and went to spend a few hours working in the garden.. and I brought the blackened coneflowers in for Baba.

deerjaw

.. this was some time ago last year and I have meant to post it many times but life and other found me putting it off. It was to be my last belated post of the year but seems to have found itself to be the post of the start of a new one.. funny that. So much has passed since and although I seemed to have put my journey work to the side for the now, I find myself quite busy. I have lost and gained so many friendships over this past year and greatly deepened some existing ones. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My tribe is yet again evolving and I have even joined in on a new group.. something I am quite excited to see the evolution of. It has been a long time. Lola and I continue to walk together in path and that relationship has brought so much to me. I gained a new name and cemented a relationship with a brother of path.. recognizing in spirit something we already knew. This I will carry with me always.

The solstice came with some work still needed and a deer jaw tied in silence. I spent the holidays surrounded by old friends. I caught a fleeting glimse of the shadow man and dipped my wrinkly toes into a few new things.. something I plan to carry forward into the coming year.

little town of the sea

image

I am walking through the seaside town, this place is where I will live. There are no huge beaches but a bit of a small one.. more shell and rock than sand. It is backed by a forest. There is a bit of a larger rocky cliff to be seen in the distance. I walk out onto a little jut of land to where the tree is growing. There are many beautiful speaking trees in this place but this one is my favorite. I lay my hands and face on it as I dig my toes into the sodden earth around its roots. A man approaches to speak to me about starting my job, apparently I already have a place here. We exchange pleasantries and then he is gone. I head back through the town.. it looks very much like a downtown and feels like home. I am at peace here. I see a brick apartment window high up in one of the buildings and realize that I had been there before. I was here with the horse once and I’m pretty sure that bit of beach is where I buried the bones.. found the bones.. or both. I pass a tiny house, the front is all glass like a shop but I know it is a house and I will live there. I head back to rejoin my party.. it is the husband and my mother. They are the best and the least of my life thus far. On the way out I pass an old lover of mine I once cared greatly for and he smiles when he recognizes me. As I look back, I am thinking that he doesn’t look like himself. I am falling behind because I am not wanting to leave. I realize that I have a seashell in my hand and I am happy for what is to come.

Over the years, I’ve dreamed of the outskirts of this place, never seeing in.. or so I thought. This was my instance of realizing I was in all along.. finding many familiar dreamland places within this place by the sea. It is here where I sometimes seek others, bury bones, and visit the waters with Bear. Here is where I’ve met the red eyed horse.. my beast of burden. Here is where the shape shifts and I listen to the pounding drums. I am curious to know if the hyena and the old woman can be found somewhere in that forest..

all the little ones

cyp

Something was moving under the water in a long serpentine rope and I heard the birds chattering all around. Across the creek the woods had sharpened, the trees appearing starkly white like bone. I saw a skunk sitting on the bank, there and not there. To the right squirrels were moving down the many tree trunks almost in unison. Three blackened trees stood side by side in a line, standing out from all the others. I sat watching the bank for a bit, putting my head down on my knees after a time. I heard a bird cackle over my left shoulder, very close and then it was gone. I could feel shadows moving around me in the distance and I looked to the water once again.. tucked into one tree’s exposed roots appeared a giant crow’s head. It stared intently at me for the longest time before I became distracted once again and all things bled back to normal.

Late one night, not long after I’d seen some of my girls (which I needed), I heard the owls calling. Seeing the girls reminded me that I was sliding off track, and the owls that it was time to get back to it.. a plan slowly started forming. I decided to venture out to the place where I had once gotten lost and found an owl feather. The where was really not so important, just that it was a place of being turned around and just where I felt I needed to be. The day of, I headed out to my chosen through the sea of mournful cypress only to veer off onto a left hand path.. not the place of my intention. I found the bank a good ways down the path just over a fallen tree. Once I settled, I found on the unpack of my go bag that I had forgotten many things. I started back several times but something kept stopping me. WB made mention that it was a lesson – all that was needed was inside me.

I had with me the Ave’s ointment, Nelia, and my hawk feather.. I did have the incense and candle but no fire to light with. It was very cold and I could not seem to settle into my journey position. I wound up sitting on the bank with my arms wrapped around my knees. I was seeking guidance on hawk and found nothing to do with hawk, except at one point I did tuck the muddy feather behind my ear with the thought of “safe for now”. That in reference to the hawk, it is as it is.. I was brought here for another reason. It was one of those everything’s going wrong kind of days but even so, it was one of the most successful workings that I’ve had in some time.

cyp3

Of Sarah’s Aves Ointment:

Normally, I would test out a new ointment before a working, just as a precaution. Often, I will take a watcher with me if I am going to journey in unfamiliar territory.. safety and all that. This time, I did neither of these things. I wasn’t overly worried, having let my usual watcher know my whereabouts just in case (and when I was out) and I’ve used Sarah’s ointments often.. they have never done me wrong in the past. I was more worried about being able to concentrate in the cold as I am not a fan. I started with a smaller ointment application than I would normally (maybe two small peas).. being that wormwood loves me and belladonna is always a strong presence for me. I have also been more of a light weight with substances here lately.. I don’t know what is up with that. It took effect in approximately fifteen or so minutes. Everything around me just sharpened and after around thirty, I no longer felt the cold. I applied just a bit more, maybe a small fingerful and started my working.

I could still feel it, though a bit more muted, about forty-five minutes or so later when I was done. I am not sure if I’d call the working a journey, at least not in the sense of how I usually experience things. It was more that I was seeing in layers.. what was actually there, what was there but not there, and that which was playing out in my mind’s eye. It was a great and different way from the usual. The ointment eased away all the niggling thoughts in the here and just sharpened all that was around me. I will note that things seemed visually clearer in the distance more so than in the closer. There was just a feeling of “more” that I don’t know how to explain. After, I got up and went for a walk through the woods, everything was very vibrant and I saw many pathways off the trail. I stayed on path. The effects lasted, including the taper, for at least an hour and a half. I am not sure if this one worked particularly well that day due to the bird association and timing, but it is right up there with the mandrake ointment as my favorites.. I may have to pick up some more as I have only a sample that was gifted me.

cyp2

 

on the revisit

cheshire

It’s been a long while since my last journey and I thought I’d revisit some of what I’d written, my personal notes, and what hindsight would bring. Often I have these things left open, and it’s much later (if at all) when they come back to me. One might say this is filling the events, and I must also not rule that out.. all things being possible. Also, sometimes I do forget to follow through.. which was the case in the early of Baba. Re-reading my notes, I can (now) see where she may have been my first warning of things to come in my personal (again, hindsight) and also how aspects of her parallel that of the one of mine I felt she was for. I think specifically that the wise woman imagery, ties to the nature spirits, working through doubt, and recover after failure; were all paralleled for the both of us.. though in very different matters. I have been thinking of how the third answer was missing.. now I think it may be/have been symbolic of where we are going to take our paths from here.. our recovery point of sorts. Baba is still, as always, slightly vague to me.. hard to read.. but then so is my one of Baba. The second to come, and the one I had to seek out in the mound, was the bloody lady. She clearly then and does still now, feel of the very strong archetypes.. Morrigan.. Lilith.. very strong. For my one, I see where she brought forth a message of strength. My one is such a strong one in her personal, and this I feel had/has to do with her personal.. but it is her greatest gift in working spirit that will also lend to her the strength needed. And my last, Peg, the lovely lady beneath the waters.. of mysteries and the knowledge of passage.. she brought just that.. knowledge, challenges, and a growth of path.

Revisiting also brought to mind my pledged workings through midsummer.. which up until this past weekend, I had thought to be uneventful with the exception of a few requests early on. I had thought of the man of shadow and how he’d led me to the idea of the pledge’s need. I had wondered if it all came down to support, again.. and wondered if maybe my job had reached completion.. even if in a somewhat anticlimactic way. Nothing wrong with that. I like the idea of quiet completion and a call answered. Who says it has to be all bang and fuss, anyways? For some reason, I thought of my odd unremembered conversation with the human cat.. which is in shadows.. but then, as Walking Bear pointed out after we tried going to ground this past weekend, I did pledge to work in shadow. We had been on our way to visit heron (and pick up supplies), to bring her a bit of heron, and a heron flew over.. which made me think it was as it should be. While there, she mentioned shadow, and Walking Bear looked at me.. knowing what he knew.. but I said nothing.. it was as it should be.

We tried going to ground, a failed attempt, his path being not my path.. but in the end a violently stark realization was brought.. so maybe not so failed after all.. it was as it should be. And later, on the subject of paths, he mentioned how my turn away and residual feelings of that old path, though not a bad thing, was still a part of my shadow. He is right. With all of this came the realization of the three of us (or so I think, always with the threes) – one who reminds me of that path, one who is the bridge and walks a similar path now, and I working with the shadows of both paths at the moment.. maybe heron’s shadow was what had called to me. We were all three going to be needed for the work ahead, whatever that is, once (if) I make peace with these particular shadows. I think that maybe that was what the human cat was trying to tell me.. or maybe it was that I think too much.

**as a further revisit – The yarrow’s work was done and this was/is a good thing, and I kind of already knew that. Looking back on Baba, the wild reading, and the ostrich.. yes, lots of clear warnings.. yes, I almost ignored them.. yes, I still struggle with it but I am glad I came around. The citrus cleaner wasn’t sticky unless not thoroughly wiped down. The hawthorn did leaf. I am still working with the hare’s mask but it’s better. Oh, and I didn’t try the arnica myself but I have gotten reports that it works well.

blood on her skin

I felt the snake slither across my stomach and knew this time I would need my wits about me. It all went very quickly, which is not the norm, but then I already knew it would not be. One minute I lay there covered in winged insects with my hands dug into the ground, in the next the roots had closed in, dragging me under. I could taste the dirt in my mouth and I could taste blood. The first thing I noticed when the winged ones left me was that she was waiting in the shadows, her hand outstretched and she was covered in blood. I looked down and realized that I was as well, but I took her hand anyway… that was why I was here. I could feel things moving in the dark and her hand felt like a dry cicada shell. I told myself to calm as I trailed along behind her like a child. I concentrated as best I could on the damp earthy smells and not those moving beyond my sight. I had been with them before, I realized sometime later… the white one brushed against my ankle to reassure me. I gave him a smile of thanks. I was not without protection here and the brown one would hold the gate. I had my bag of tricks and the fiery one was waiting on the other side to call me back if need be… calm.  “You haven’t been listening,” she said… “I know,” I replied. “I have something to show you,” she said… “I know,” I replied.

lilith

We worked our way further into the darkness. I could see but I couldn’t. She stopped abruptly and told me that I was to be here. “Where is here?” I wonder… but I didn’t ask, knowing there would be no answer. Here somewhat resembled a large rabbit burrow, the white one seemed content. I could still feel the movement around me and I still could not see them… calm. She was staring at me like I should know something, like she was waiting. She seemed kind of melancholy but maybe it was because I was not hearing her. I felt a pull on my chest like my heart was trying to leave my body and she grabbed my ankle… I found it odd because I was sure she was standing right in front of me, but it didn’t matter, I knew I had to stay. There was water(?) dripping and the air was very cool. I sat and she handed me an uncomfortably large spider as she took her leave. The white one settled next to me as we began the task at hand… but what was the task?