The weaving of lokk-seidr.
Where "lokk" is a chant, and "seidr" is an altered state of consciousness, similar to a shamanic experience.
About 7 years ago a Tarot student became quite insistent that he wanted to learn lokk-seidr. I wasn’t offering teach anything shamanic, but he was fascinated by the concept and soon I was drawn in.
I could remember the chants I'd learnt in Orkney but had never really led a chant before. So, we started in my caravan- sometimes the two of us, sometimes up to four of us, playing around. We chanted, and gazed, talked, and shared. In time we created a soft lyrical, weaving “norn-a-norn” chant that I refer to as Peter’s chant. Because without him I would never have found that song.
Others became interested and I took a leap of faith to open the group out to more people, moving to some barns I rent near me. Since then (apart from during lockdown- when I moved the sessions online) I have been holding lokk-seidr sessions in the barns. Usually twice a month, but sometimes on a weekend too.
We created a pattern with new chants being introduced slowly. Lokk-seidr is strange work. You are never completely in control – so I wanted this energy, this space to grow slowly. To put down roots in the people coming, in the space we work in, and create a slow and steady growth.
First, we added a second “Norn” chant- more monotone, which I think of as the ancestors chant. It feels like a slow sea shanty, as if nets are being woven or mended. There is a sadness, a call, a remembrance to this sound.
Then a masculine chant was introduced (and not by me I should add, a man bought this into our circle) it varies depending on the mood- but is woven around a “rune-da-rune” sound. This chant is a push, it can feel like a direct hit to the solar plexus, it can reach a height of sound and release that is physical as well as emotional. I love this chant, and if I am working one to one with a client this means hard work is being done.
At some point, and I’m not sure when or how, a grief chant was found. It is still a “norn-a-norn” but it is a wailing sadness. It reflets the loss of all those who have walked before us, the loss in our own hearts, and often triggers a release of sadness, or perhaps simply a relief.
For years we sat and chanted in a circle, working with these sounds. Journeying, feeling the energy in the barns, and in us change. Talking afterwards about anything experienced and learning as much from each other as from the experience. Then several things happened in close succession to create a bigger and deeper change than I realised at the time.
“Craft your own chants !”
There was a time just before I wrote my Tarot book that I was planning to professionally record my lokk-seidr chants as a healing journey. I talked to various people within my tradition of Stav about this concept. There were some hearty discussions about the project which felt difficult at the time, but were also very useful (in the end the book seemed like the easier project- I may well still record at some point).
One of the discussions included – if you are going to record then some of the chants should be yours, not re-woven traditional chants. I hadn’t thought about this (it feels odd now) but as a group we settled into this with a real sense of exploration. We chanted rune sounds, deity names, we played around with the sounds, integrated them into our chants, always discussing what we loved, how it felt, what we had learnt.
I now have a real palette of sounds I can use in both group and 1-2-1 healing. Certain sounds align well with the chakras, some are protective, others expansive, some bring light, others release.
This playing with a wider variety of chants has allowed me to create more focused energy healings within look-seidr, and also find “my” chant which is “mann-oh-mann”. With Val-Freya as my main guide, it seems obvious now that chanting the sound of her rune would be a powerful sound for me.
The song of silence.
It was a normal barn evening, I’d opened space, we had chatted, and were ready to chant. I spoke my usually words inviting everyone to join- but must have spoken them differently somehow. Because I started the chant, and no-one joined. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, but I tuned in and just went with it.
I chanted on my own. It felt liberating, and I was able to journey just as deep, and lose myself in the chant just as well. Afterwards the group said they weren’t sure why they didn’t chant- but they loved the experience.
Around the same time a dear friend came to see me. He was very frail, and towards the end of his journey. He wanted us to chant together one last time. After one chant he felt tired- he asked if I would chant for him. I had never chanted solo for someone to journey (I would have used my drum for this) but I did, and it was beautiful.
I chanted, we journeyed together as we had so many times before, and I realised the powerful way lokk-seidr can be woven for a more traditional 1-2-1 healing as well as group work.
Lockdown hit at a really (really) bad time for me- I was only just out of a 17-year marriage, and I needed all the support I could get. The isolation hit really hard. So, when people (OK- one person in particular) asked if I could find a way to chant online to allow the “barns” to continue in some way- I gave it a go.
I tried leading a shamanic journey by drum (it seemed the easiest way) but annoyingly the drum didn’t really work that well. It kept dipping in and out. I heard a voice in my head (Odin of course) saying “just chant” so I did. I chanted the group on the journey, and it worked. It worked for them- and it worked for me!
This was an absolute game changer. Prior to this I worked 1-2-1 as a shaman by drumming, or gonging, to journey for a client during an in-person healing. Now I was able to journey and offer healing 1-2-1 via Zoom using lokk-seidr.
I love this work! I have used this for past life work, ancestor healing, entity removing, and find it just as powerful as working in person. In fact, if I am working in person and the work is really challenging, I will move into chant as it gives me just a little more oomph if I’m facing a difficult challenge.
Each October I hold a weekend retreat, and this our chance to reflect on where we are- and be inspired about the year to come.
It’s a powerful time for me because I co-host the weekend and co-host the chanting. A genuine delight.
Each October has brought in powerful change, but perhaps this October brought the best yet.
The chant started, but I felt drawn to do deep personal work. I tuned into the chant, to the group, it was beautifully held, and I felt totally confident to “dip out” and leave my co-host and the group holding the chant. The chant held, morphed, different people stepped in to hold the chant, and it was delightfully even stronger for this. It was the first time I had felt the group was able to hold the chant in this way. Partly I felt more confident, partly they felt more experienced- it was a deeply transformational and wonderful change.
Lokk-seidr feels like an energy that is created by and encapsulates the group. There needs to be a continuity that is kept ensuring that each person is safe within this energy- and that is usually my role. To be aware of the different individuals, and to feel into the emotional safety of each person's experience, adjusting the chant to balance healing with safety.
For the first time I felt as if the group was doing this of itself, a sort of hive-mind experience built up over years of practice. Even though some of those in the barns were new, or fairly new to us, the strength of this connection allowed them to be a part of it too.
New chants were sung. At times people led a chant, whilst others created a sound background to support them. We stepped into a new way of chanting that is even deeper, richer, and more magical- and I am so excited to see where this will take us.
This blog is a love letter of genuine gratitude. To all those who chant with me- in the Barns, and on Zoom. Any “power” you perceive in my ability to create transformation or healing using the tool of Lokk-seidr is down to us.
Chanting, and chatting, and laughing as we learn.