Shaman sickness

After I felt the calling and journeyed upon it, meeting a new spirit guide, I fell into a disturbing state of mind. I have suffered from depression before and this felt different — but upsetting nonetheless. I felt like I was going mad and didn’t know what was wrong. But because of the context in which this state of mind appeared, I labelled it as shaman sickness. This was the one comfort in several days of turmoil. I could at least have faith that I was suffering for a purpose, and that if I persevered, it would come to a completion.

I meditated on letting go and ego death but my suffering only grew worse. Finally, upon the advice of a dear friend, my wife took me to a beautiful tree in a conservation area. I gave it offerings and sat beneath it and journeyed. I met my initiatory helping spirit and through the journey was transformed, killed, and remade. I was given new eyes through which to view the worlds. Instantly I felt better.

My wife then took me down to the river and spoke of my transformation, pouring water over my head as a ritual. It was done; I have been well since.

I am now gently coming to terms with my new eyes, my new perspective, as this world has been shattered and the spirit world peers through the cracks.

Calling

Until yesterday I have never felt spiritually called to anything. I have been interested in a great many things and have walked many paths, but I would never say that I felt the universe directing me to a particular path or practice.

Yesterday was an ordinary workday, yet I felt called to the spirit world. I felt distinctly directed to get out of the office and get out of the mundane. I felt called to shamanize.

I couldn’t leave work so I stayed impatiently, distracted somewhat by my co-workers, feeling this great need for peace and meditation in the Other Worlds. Even when I got home, I wasn’t sure what to do with this calling. I felt bogged down and tired from the work-week so I thought perhaps the calling was just a fleeting mood that had now disapated. However, I planned to journey and in the evening I went for a ritual bath.

The great calm came over me. I wanted to stay in the bath forever, enjoying this peace. I felt the veil between worlds thinning. When I went to journey, the feeling only intensified. I don’t wish to discuss the journey too specifically, but I will say that it was powerful and enlightening. I was told, essentially, to step up my game. To practice shamanism, to strive to be a shaman.

I have been interested in shamanism for over a year, but not having felt the calling, I simply accepted that I wasn’t meant to be a shaman, and instead used shamanic tools and called myself a hedgewitch. I never expected anything more than that. Last night, when I came back from the journey, I felt still connected to the Other Worlds and wandered my home half-dreaming. I thought I might go mad. It was so powerful I hardly knew what to do — should I ground myself, or would that be closing a door I ought to keep open?

This morning I feel more normal, but it is like I have been given access to a deep well of spirit from which I can draw at will. And I can still feel this calling.

Journey Tree Hedgewitchery

After a long and stressful week, my wife and I are back doing what we love — making candles and lotions, going garage-sale hunting, and tending to the spiritual side of life. We’re packing up our handmade shaving soap and aftershave for my Pa for Father’s Day. We created simple labels with the name of our “company”, Journey Tree Hedgewitchery.

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I have a lot of spiritual work to do too, as I was reminded in a journey. It’s time to create inwardly as I create outwardly.

Offerings

We had some successful soap making and rebatching, and it was a beautiful night, so it seemed right to make an offering. We took the gristly bits left over from making beef tallow, and our small collection of little pets (rats, gerbils, hamsters) that had passed on. I should explain that we keep a lot of small animals as pets, which I will blog about someday — it can be a spiritual experience having so many critters in the house. We take great care of them, be assured! However, some had died and we were waiting for the right time to give them back to the Earth.

So we went for a drive in the country and found a beautiful spot to say goodbye to our sweet furry friends, under a near blindingly bright moon. Then we drove some more and I asked for a sign to help us know where to leave the suet-gristle. We saw tiny baby killdeers running about at the side of the road, but drove on. We went up a dead end which felt alive with mystery and spirit, and it was getting late so we left the suet-gristle there. Just as we turned around to drive home, we saw a mother raccoon and babies. This I took as a sign that our offering was accepted.

Here is the coffee-cocoa soap we made, which turned out much better than previous attempts. We’re getting the hang of it!

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Soap!

Here are three batches of soap my sister and wife and I made yesterday.  We’re going to rebatch some of the very first one we made, which erupted out of the mold hilariously. The uncut loaf pan soaps below did not cut well so we might have to rebatch them too. Making soap can be tricky indeed, but great fun! We cut the other batches up and it seems usable, though not perfect.

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