Seidr- the deep connection I find through chanting in the old barns
One of my main passions in life is experiencing “Lokk-Seidr” A chant (lokk) which creates an altered state of perception (seidr).
I use this in groups to help others to connect to the nonphysical world, in Zoom groups, and as a shaman to work for others.
I can’t define anyone else’s experience of Lokk-seidr, each is so unique. This is a personal sharing of my experiences- with some reflections from my group work.
Before I start chanting I clear the space in the barns energetically, centre and ground myself (sometimes this is a struggle- I can feel my energy rising before anyone else arrives.
Once people have arrived and settled I use an opening chant (the Jarl galdr) to call closer specific deities to aid our work. I call Frey as a particularly helpful guide for me, Odin as the God of seidr, Freya as the Goddess of seidr, I may call in a deity to represent the work we are planning to do or the season.
I also ask our guides to step close, and ask the spirits of place and ancestors to support our work. I find the energy changes at this moment. Its as if there is a stillness, a light pressure around the circle, a readiness.
We start with a few moments of focused breathing. Often I ask people to breathe in through the soles of their feet to allow the earth energy to rise. And then allow each out breath to be a gentle release. Lokk-seidr works by using breath and sound to create an altered state of perception- and the chant itself is created with intent to allow some focus.
When the group seems ready I start the chant, and the group join in as suits their mood and need. The chant follows a pattern- yet is different each time, changing slightly over the years to accommodate and reflect who is in the group. When I chant solo (for zoom groups and as a shaman) I follow the pattern I feel- I never have to think about the chant, the chant just is.
At first when the chant starts I am conscious of chanting, I am conscious of the others chanting, I am choosing to chant. Then the chant “catches” me and I become aware of energy, colours, patterns. I often experience a vortex in the centre of the circle with the energy flowing over us and into the vortex- raising the energy within the circle.
Next I become aware of the barns around us in a non-physical way. There may be power animals wondering around, ancestors, guides. Most often Odin will walk in, and I have a male guide standing behind me, a loved one now passed. It is odd to express these deep inner experiences in typed word. I am aware it may sound slightly mad- it feels like a living dream at this point of the chant. The validation comes in that many of the group have felt the same presences. I remember once opening my eyes to look around, and seeing group members lean slightly as clearly a power animal (it was a bear) was weaving between the chairs. I could track how the bear moved as pairs of people leaned out- totally caught in chanting- to allow the bear to move between them.
Then my most favourite part- I start to journey, to enter another space, and most usually get to chat with my guides. Often I am walking through a woodland, most often Graf-Frey is there to talk with me, or it could be Odin or Hel or more recently Thor. Sometimes they offer healing, or remove negative energy from my aura. Sometimes it’s relaxed and comfortable, other times they are a bit more demanding- letting me know what they think needs doing. Odin will usually have a riddle, Thor a mug of beer- they each have a distinct personality and I have a feeling for what I need to do based on who is waiting to talk to me. Sometimes I have specific work I am doing for myself or another, but usually I just accept what is there.
As I am still holding space for the group- the chant will morph though different sounds as we chant- I can feel the group around me like a bubble. I can feel if people are going too far, or if people are having a really challenging experience.
If an experience is challenging for someone in the group I feel into their guides to know whether to draw the chant to a close, or whether to let it continue. It is rare I draw the chant to a close- often people are working through things that are emotionally painful, but needed.
If someone is drifting too far energetically then it will depend on their level of experience. Students with a lot of experience I let go, otherwise you will feel a barrier in your way, and energetically I will ground you and bring you back. You may cough, fidget, and feel you are “suddenly aware” This rarely happens- as I have learnt how to keep loose ties on people who haven’t experienced the group chant before. But I keep an awareness on the feel of the “energy bubble” I have created for us- and I can get a sense of when to tighten it, and when to let it loosen. Unless I am only with experienced students or peers- then I can let go of this role and totally connect.
In time I begin to hear the chant again, to feel the energy, to hear the others chanting with me. I get a sense of work coming to an end. I start to feel the presences in the room- the guides, spirits of place, power animals, and “interested others” who have wondered in.
They seem to slip away, I can feel the energies- often see them, the chant reaches a peak, then seems to end.
Then the beautiful moment of shared connection, peace, and outbreath. The gentle stirring of those in the group. Now is the time for me to call people back, to ask them to focus on their breath, their body, to fully connect.
I glance around the group- there’s usually someone who is not keen to return. Sometimes this work is ecstatic, soporific, it can be a struggle to reconnect. I find my strong “teachers voice” is helpful. Clear instructions that they are expected to re-connect, underpinned by the trust we have in each other.
Then the gentle chat, the sharing of experiences. Very often there is a theme, shared images between people. Often we experience a “temperature difference” with certain parts of the circle feeling very hot, others very cold. People often heard the same footsteps, the door close, the wind pick up.
Sometimes people just zone out and feel the chant, rest or find peace. Other times there is annoyance at the chant as they struggle to connect, sometimes there is deeply personal work, other times much shared group experience.
An acceptance is needed with seidr-it is what it is. We receive what we need, not what we want.
Then we chat, support, reflect, share insights.
Slowly we start to ground. I close space by thanking the guides, the spirits of place, the ancestors. A closing chant by me (jarl galdr) to thank those that helped.
We accept haling from the raised energy, then release the raised energy to those who couldn’t join us- loved ones, named ones, and anywhere else it is most needed.
And often the session ends with relaxed chat, an adjustment to daily life. Note taking, rune discussion, reflection. An unwinding back into the mundane world.
It feels very odd to share such a deeply personal experience- but as my students expand from in person to further apart in distance I am keen to find a way to share my experiences. I hope to write a regular weekly blog- exploring seidr, rune lore, shamanic healing. Sharing a little of my experiences.