This and that ....
Recovery, Retrieval, and Re-enchantment
It has been a while since I had an entry here and I figured that now is a good time as much is changing in my life.
The ongoing learning with my teacher cancer continues, and it well documented elsewhere so I will not go into that, and, while the Alcohol and other Drug use work I do is highly volatile and not dependable due to the nature of clients (which I refer to as my people ) coming and going, has seemed to be coming to a clinical end more and more in recent months. Lately, the director has indicated that he may be ready to retire from some areas of his life--our practice being one. He is my only connection to this work because I greatly value his 40 years of experience.
But that is not what I want to write about right now. Instead, I would like to turn my attention to Seidr. If you are not familiar with the term, Seidr is basically northern European shamanism that has existed since before the region was converted to Christianity about 1,000 years ago.
Though my work with the Norse tradition as a rune caster took down a spiritual approach path, I have been a fan of the classic Norse mythology since I was a kid. I even listed my first name as Loki on my one and only fake ID in high school in the early 80s. But Seidr remained a mystery to me.
As I took up the path of the Shaman many years ago, I naturally tried to combine my understand of the pre-Viking Age Norse world and core Shamanism through teachers such as Michael Harner, Sandra Ingerman, and Hank Wesselman. Also strongly represented was the inspirations given to me by the Nagual Lujan Matus who has had the single largest impact on my life of all my teachers.
Last year, I began a two-year training in Celtic Shamanism, and this coming fall I hope to begin a two-year teaching training from Ingerman. While the later is exclusively core Shamanism, the Celtic work is much more mystical in my approach.
So I felt that the time was right to learn about Seidr. I approached a group of people that I know, and then the four of us opted to jump right in with our limited understanding but vast about of experience is similar practices.
In his book The Re-Enchantment, A Shamanic Path to a Life of Wonder, Wesselman writes, “In my humble opinion, the time has come for an upgrade in our cultural mythos, and at all levels, one that will include respect for that which will serve and support us forever.”
Also, having come from an experiential background in Shamanism, I wanted to equip myself with a basic understanding of Seidr as presented in classic Icelandic manuscripts and some respected modern day practitioners. However, like Shamanism itself, I found there were many differing views on Seidr even among the practitioners. It was clear we would have to figure this out on our own as we went along, and that is exactly what we have been doing for a few weeks now.
The four of us come from very different backgrounds, but the overall intention of our works have been helping either ourselves or others in spiritual matters. That said, the path is highly charged at times, and at other times rocky--at least for me.
I enjoy the group, but I do not get the same out of it as the other three, at least not yet. I keep running into myself in my pre-existing condition of core Shamanism. Since I am first and foremost a practitioner of the later, I can not distance myself from the need for a nature and ancestors aspect of mystical work, and as of yet we have stuck almost exclusively to Norse mythology tending Icelandic Magic.
I have journeyed on this a few times of late and find that I am shown temporary connections and shifting paths that eventually resume in the center. I still do not really understand Seidr, none of us do because like Wesselman suggests, we are re-inventing the mythos. I do, however, hang around if for nothing more than curiosity in my exposure to the spiritual capsule that is being born.
I will find my place in this at some point, but as of yet my awareness has grown so wide in my gaze that I can’t seem to find the start point. So I flow, like a river, and that is all I can ask for until the messages of Spirit are finally received and my mind illuminated once again.