Journal: Journey to the Underworld

On the new moon I wanted to create, I wanted to make space for magic in my day, but everything I tried was exhausting or got muddled. Finally I gave up and lay quietly for a while. I played Seidrunar by Runahild and closed my eyes, listening and thinking about an Owl painting I had done. I have a plan to start an oracle deck with only birds and call it Messengers of Spirit. Birds keep coming to me, one after another, each with their own beautiful message. I struggle to put their message to words, especially Owl because it is so powerful and mysterious.

I began to dream walk, half asleep, half awake. I saw Owl flying above me and I was a small human or child. A man in a coat leaned down to give me a handful of coins. I didn’t see his face but I knew the coins were for payment to cross into the Underworld. I moved toward the river and suddenly was flying with Owl, swooping along with her, riding her energy.

I was called to the waking world and its responsibilities, but I walked in a fog for nearly an hour since the dream vision had not been completed.

That night, when the house was peaceful, I played Runahild again and called to Owl. She came quickly to me, as though she had been waiting. I tucked up in her feathers and we rode the wind currents silently through the night, flying down into the land of the dead.

She landed in a tree with wide, softly twisting branches and we sat together for a moment while I gathered my courage. I gave her a piece of chicken meat as a thank you for taking me here. Then I glided down from the tree, landing in a clearing. My loved ones who had passed on began to gather near me and while I was happy to see them, I was overcome with sorrow and guilt for things I had done wrong while caring for them, trust I had misused, mistakes I had made or times that I had ignored them or not appreciated them. I began to weep, saying over and over again “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. One particular pain was for the babies I had miscarried, the ones that my body couldn’t carry.

It hurt like twisted, wrenched guts and I doubled over in pain. It was then I started to realize that it wasn’t quite my own pain…I stepped back from it and there before me, on her knees, grey and worn, steeped in shadows was…another me. She rocked on her knees, crying, moaning “I’m sorry” over and over again. I pulled her up onto her feet, turned her to face me and hugged her. I held her close and smoothed her hair down with a gentle hand. Slowly, quietly, she moved into me, melted and disappeared into my spirit until we were just me.

I said goodbye to my loved ones, embraced them all again one more time then flew up to Owl in the tree. I tucked into the feathers on her back, closed my eyes and enjoyed the swooping ride home. When we arrived at my Spirit Portal, my woodland garden, I gave her another piece of meat and thanked her, so grateful to her for the amazing gift she had given me.

Owl had taken me to the Spirit World for a soul retrieval that I didn’t even know I needed. This Shadow part of me was frozen in guilt and pain, reliving all the ways I had let my loved ones down or made mistakes while caring for them. Owl helped me to find this part of me and pull her from perpetual agony, to become whole again. This is her profound and beautiful power, to walk with us in the Darkness, to embrace our Shadows and become Whole…again and again if we need to.

I awoke gently, the music still playing and as I lay there I began to wonder what Seidrunar meant. After looking it up on my phone, I learned that Seidr is shamanistic witchcraft from the Northlands, practiced by the Volva. This is something I need to research more because I can feel Freya and Odin’s call to this.

For now, though I need to simply process this profound journey to the Underworld and sit in gratitude to Owl for her Guidance.

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