So I am back from my trip to Denmark, and a had very interesting time.
In my daily life I work a lot with shamanism- offering healing, teaching, and holding a regular circle. I welcome people from various traditions and enjoy the experience, but I was really curious to see how it would feel sharing a circle with people from my own chosen path.
My path is Stav- originally a family tradition and very much based on the runes. Rather than start explaining what Stav is you can find a link to a website explaining all right here. (very simply it is a wisdom tradition based on the Norse runes. )
This trip was a really big deal for me. I consider my personal path to be Stav- but how would that fit when I actually work with others from a Stav path? Honestly I was so nervous the only way I handled this was to presume it wouldn't happen. Which Is why when the plane actually took off I was left feeling quiet surprised!
Actually it was a fascinating weekend, and very enjoyable- I really want to focus on my spiritual experiences here, other's stories are not mine to share. (There was also great company, visits to some local places, amazing scenery, good food & plenty (plenty) of beer.)
Together we held a sweat tent. Our feet on the frozen icy earth, with the hot rocks in the centre. As I led the chant I felt the tent open up and I started to see the Gods & guides that I have met along the way in my journey. I saw Ull with a bear, two ravens circling overhead, Frey, a stag, wolf eyes. I felt calm, and then the land itself seemed to come alive- the nature spirits rising up and dancing, the stones seemed to vibrate. I felt as if I was in the ocean, in the land, and in the stars all at the same time. I felt full of joy, and there were plenty of tears.
The chant gently came to an end, more hot rocks were bought in, and the chant started again. This time it felt like a purging, a releasing. As if all the negative energies were being released. I saw a clear image of us in the sweat tent- each a true individual but our roots entwined. I felt strength from each person, and the collective strength of our shared path. A rootedness to the land and the people sharing that moment.
Working in that place, and with people from my path simply felt like coming home. I have no words to express it other than that.
I had the chance to wonder into the forest on my own to connect with the land. I was dropped off (with promises made to pick me up!) and I walked into the trees. It was so beautiful- but I was pulled in one direction. I saw a burial mound and knew that was where I was meant to be. The mound was covered in snow- and there was one set of prints clearly across the burial mound- a deer, my power animal, it seemd had been here before me.
I stood at the base of the mound, where the deer had walked across and called upont he Gods using s specific chant (if you’ve been to one of my circle’s you would recognise the song).
I noticed the tree I needed to sit with was a Spruce and felt a little apprehensive, in Sav this is considered Loki’s tree. Trickster he may be, but also the fire of transformation- so I sat down in the snowy roots. I intended to chant, shut my eyes to focus on my breathing, and it felt as if the earth fell away. I could feel myself falling, falling, and falling- then I was deep in the roots of the earth. It hard to translate into words what I experienced but where ever I went Hel was there holding a mirror to me.
Each time I looked into the mirror I fell more deeply into another place, becoming more and more disoriented. I focused on my core and found my feet, and followed the roots to find the Norns. As I looked into the pool I saw Hel again but this time she spoke. Some of what she shared was very personal- but the core of her speech was that my role as shaman & tarot reader is to hold a mirror to a client so they could more clearly see themselves, and how they are affecting he strands of orlog (fate) to be able to make wiser decisions for themselves. She explained that it is hard for me as I really need someone from my own path to work with to be able to see my reflection clearly- and that was why she was holding the mirror for me on this occasion.
There were more tears, and some personal understanding, and I felt myself drifting deeper. I was vaguely aware that I had now lost all sense of connection with my physical form when I clearly heard the sound of hands clapped twice. I knew this was my host & lift starting the stances- and the sound pulled me back. I connected with my physical form and realised how bloody cold my feet were.
I had a flask with me, and sipped some tea, poring a little onto the roots in gratitude. I focused on my breathing, and the earth fell again. This time the journey was much softer. I have worked with Frey, Freay & Hel for some years now. I have a prefereance for Frey, have grown used to Hel but still struggle ot connect with Freya. Now I saw the three as a trio. They morphed in and out of focus and I understood why these three are so perfect for me. There was more understanding on the mirroring of Orlog, and how this work is about untangling the past and perceiving patterns to predict the future.
I enjoyed another sip of my tea, checked in that I could still feel my feet, and then connected with the earth again. I recognised the path easily- it is where I journey for soul retreavals. My soul retrieval was focused on swords. I still need to work through the associations- but it is connected with the rune poem for Hel “Riding they say is worse for Horses. Reginn forged the best sword” , with Frey’s sword (which he gave away according to legend) and I saw another sword which I was told was “gram”- a name I recognise from myths. I will be exploring these ideas and piecing together the message for me- as and when time allows.
At the end of the soul retrieval Frey was waiting for me. In the past he has walked away from me telling me I need to work with Hel or Freya to continue my journey. The message this time was that the way forward is to understand the message of the swords and the value of working with all three of my guides- it was a great relief not to have to say goodbye (again) to my favourite of guides.
Before when I worked with freya she seemed pale, and slithly austere. Since returning home I have done several shaman healings with Freya and she has appeared to glow from within. I see and connect with her far more clearly.
I travelled to Denmark hoping beyond hope to find that my Stav path is still my home. It really is I feel humbled and very happy to have had the chance to connect so deeply in this way. I am still in the process of fully grounding myself in the UK again......