Skryclad: Clothed In Visions
Observations of the light and the dark of what is, was, and might be in the Pagan community's expansion and evolution.
I'm a witch; it's one of the many terms I use to describe my religious and spiritual nature. For me being a witch is inextricably connected to being a practitioner of magick and communing with spirits both great and small. I also identify as Pagan, a Polytheist, a Wiccan, a magician, and a whole list of other terms that is longer than is needed for the purpose of this blog. I'd like to talk about the reality of magick and of nonphysical beings. Rather than engage in debate about the terms, the tenets, or the tribulations of the various communities that are wrestling with these topics, I will speak from my direct experience of them. I've had many spiritual and overtly supernatural experiences. I have selected a few of them, that from my perspective, are all the proof that I need for myself. These vignettes are brief but I hope that they contain enough detail for you to understand why I considered them a confirmation of my sense of the universe.
Many years ago we had a large dog named Ciaran who we would let out every evening for final run before bedtime. We have the good fortune of living on 102 acres of forest across from a state forest, which from Ciaran's perspective was bliss. He was no longer young, he was around 14. That evening he did not come home. Nor did he come home the next night or the next night. After four nights, we were desperate, and had given up searching the property. I started painting to do my vision of the Swan of Tuonela. As I painted, Sibelius (The Swan of Tuonela, Op.22 No.2) played in the background and with each stroke of paint I envisioned Ciaran and asked for the Swan to return him to us. On the seventh day of his absence we held a brief ritual of remembrance for Ciaran having assumed that he must've passed. I finished the painting that evening. The next night, at the time when dusk yields to night, there was a gaunt shadow at the sliding glass door. I thought I was seeing Ciaran's spirit. I opened the door and he dragged himself in. He was weak on the left side and we assumed he'd had a stroke. He had lost a lot of weight, we saw from his stools that he had gleaned corn from the stubble of a farmer’s field. With food, herbal potions, baby aspirin, and energy healing he regained full use of his left side. He lived to be a month shy of 18. When he passed it was a sudden and kind death. Interestingly enough, it was while Ásatrú/Heathen friends where visiting for a sauna and a blót. We had been discussing the Swan the night before he passed.
In December of 2014, I was at a long weekend retreat with a number of friends and colleagues. During our discussions we all became aware of a presence that wanted to join the conversation. After listening deeply some of us had the sense that it was a deceased author that was also a friend of of a friend. With some trepidation, as it is not my favorite thing to do, I offered to act as a medium to allow the spirit to speak more clearly. In the evening we conducted the ritual and I spoke for just under an hour. Much of the material that came through helped to clarify some of the ideas we had been discussing in our retreat. Some of the suggestions that came through are still having an impact on some of the attendees’ work, practices, and writings. The skeptics among you might say that what I’ve just described could be simply a bit of psychology and the power of the mind in an altered state. I can tell you from my seat in the ritual, as a medium, that I felt the person’s presence within me. Here’s the part of the material that came through that can't be so easily dismissed. In response to a question, we where given specific and unusual details about a ritual that had occurred over 30 years ago. None of the people present had been at the ritual nor had known of its enactment. A month after the seance we had verification from someone who had been at this ritual that had happened over 30 years ago. We had been told the nature and intent of the ritual, and even how its main sigil was created during the seance. Additionally, we had verification of some of the life history and personal matters that had been shared by the spirit.
About a year and a half ago, I was teaching the section of one of my workshops that deals with the ancestors. A woman said that she was adopted so she did not know how to proceed so I gave her my standard suggestions. Amongst these were to work with the ancestors of those that adopted you. The magick and karma of adoption is powerful. I also suggested that she explore the idea of spiritual ancestors. I also said to consider getting one of the many DNA tests that are now so easily available. She asked me to make a guess about her biological ancestry so I opened my psychic senses and looked at her. I shifted my sight down to her etheric body to see what I could see. When I am in that state I often blurt things out. I said that it looked really strange. She jokingly asked what she was? I told her that she was a chimera. Her eyes got big, and I told her that I wasn’t saying she wasn’t human. A chimera is a person that carries two or more DNA sequences and whose flesh is a composite of these. She did have DNA testing done and confirmed that she is a chimera. When I looked at that densest level of her aura, it looked like different areas had variations in color and texture, and in some places it looked patchwork or braided energy.
I live in Delaware and in 2012 we had a visitor named Hurricane Sandy. Actually Sandy was about 16 miles from my front door but that was too close. Did I mention I live in the forest? We have a sturdy geodesic dome home, but we have lots of trees that can and do fall in storms. We are always prepared and keep enough food and water in the house for a month or so. As the forecasts grew more ominous I prepared a weather ward that I had successfully used before. I had no fantasy of being able to turn away a behemoth like Sandy. In those cases, the goal is to create a microclimate, a pocket of lessened severity around the home and garden. I got out the items I needed for the ritual and set up the altar in the kitchen, the heart of our home. My husband Jim was outside making sure our chickens were as safe as they could be. Our friend and housemate Brian was watching the local TV channel and also had the weather radio blaring in the background. I asked him to tuck in his energy and keep still while I put up the weather ward. At the end of the working, as I slowly raised up my hands, placing the ward, the television and the radio when to static, white noise, and then returned to normal. The wind lessened and we had no damage to the house. All the trees that had fallen missed anything important. You may be skeptical, about protection from a hurricane, but the timing of the loss of radio and television signal is hard to explain.
My mother died in 2005. A have a lengthy and remarkable story about how my parents and sister threw me out of the family when I was 18 and the many shenanigans that followed. Mercifully, I was only on the streets for a week before I found safe lodging. It is better that this story be told at another time, if ever as it is worse than most such stories. It is enough to say that being queer and a witch was not warmly received. Early in 2005 I started to dream that my mother was ill. I had not spoken to her in decades and I lived over 80 miles away. My family had private phone numbers which they had not shared with me, and my emails were ignored. I asked a friend that worked for a hospice to see if my mother’s name was on the list, and it was. I contacted my father at his workplace. In the end I was told by my father, sister, and mother who would not come to the phone that I was not welcome to see her before she passed. About a month later I felt her passage as she died and verified the time of her transition with the hospice nurse. That evening her spirit visited me by my bed. I was barred from attending her funeral and was not mentioned in the obituary. Nonetheless the connection between us was stronger than brokenness. We have talked twice since her death.
I was going to share stories of my encounters with God/dess/es but that will be in another blog. When I was thinking about what to share, I came up with a list of 32 significant stories with external markers observed by others. I am sure that given time the list would have gotten longer. My truth is that I have magick in my life every day. Most of it is of the sort of being struck by the beauty of a spiderweb strung with beads of dew in the morning light, or the warm glow I feel within when Jim and I chant as we light the candles on our home altar. However, there is much of it that is spooky, otherworldly, witchy, leaves a mark and cannot be explained away. In fact it is the unexplainable and the ineffable that were and are both the cornerstones of my practices and first stepping stones on my path. Working to re-enchant the world is easier when you are already enchanted.
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About Chimeras Click Here
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