Forest Witch Tarot: Eight of Air

Eight of Swords or Eight of Air in my deck is a card that is about feeling trapped in a situation or mindset but in reality you have free will and the ability to find your way free.

From The Forest Witch Tarot

“The day had already started out wrong. The rabbits’ ear mites had returned even after a week of diligent treatment and two of them had gotten loose while I was trying to wrangle the matriarch. As I was running around trying to catch them, I noticed that the garden was infested again and one of my chickens had died during the night. Suddenly, I had this overwhelming urge to just sit down in the dirt and cry. I felt trapped in an unending cycle of chores and duties and tending to the needs of others…when would I have time for myself, to do the things that made my heart sing? My skirts had gotten tangled in the brambles next to where I sat and as I was pulling the thorns out of the hem, I noticed an indigo bunting flying out of the hedge. A single feather floated down from her ascent. I realized that I wasn’t trapped, I had chosen this life. This life brought meaning, it brought a satisfaction and a fullness that fed my soul. Some days were hard, that was true, but most days were good. I was the creator of my own life…I had the freedom to make it however I chose and I chose this, the good and the bad.

Forest Witch Tarot: Six of Water

Six of water…friendship, nostalgia, the sweet ease of being with someone who gets you.

From the Forest Witch:

It was a restless night and I couldn’t sleep. The rain was dripping down through a hole in the roof and it pattered relentlessly in the bowl I had placed on the kitchen floor. I decided to go for a walk. The crescent moon lit a small strip of the path and silver light played among the leaves of summer. I stepped carefully in the darkness, not sure how far I wanted to go. Ahead of me, I saw a patch of rather large mushrooms, their white faces turned up to the moon. Two rats sat together, their backs to me. They were so engrossed in their conversation that they forgot to listen for footsteps in the night. I stopped, gazing upon them happily. The way that they leaned towards each other, their soft tones reminded me of the days of my youth when I used to sit under the stars with my sisters. We would talk of anything that pleased us and we never needed to worry if our words would be taken the wrong way. Being alone in the world is a relief for that, but I do remember what it was like to feel complete ease of body and mind in the presence of others.

The Guardian

Where forest meets road, when the moon shines dim in the morning light…I am a light in the darkness, a darkness in the light. Call to me when your heart is breaking and your blood spills to feed the earth. I will answer you. It may be in the curve and sweep of a copperhead, it may be in the blue of a bunting’s wings but I will answer. Look for me in the liminal places, the places that belong to neither air nor earth, water nor fire and I will be there, arms wide open to pull you into my embrace.

The Great Bird

GreatBird.jpgThe Great Bird flies high into the sky, his viewpoint from above allows him to understand the bigger picture…to see his place in the divine whole. When you are struggling to understand the direction your life has taken, fly as high as you can until you can see the bigger picture and then you will understand the divine magic that has brought you step by step to this place. Your whole life and your lives before have brought your beautiful soul to a this challenge, this serendipity. Rise up and accept the beautiful wholeness of your existence.

 

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.