Land. Death. Tools. I don’t even know.

I feel reasonable comfortable with where things are with Loki. It feels like there’s an understanding there, no major questions to resolve, things are steady. (I am aware this might change at any time, but I’m okay with that. That’s part of the “steady.”)

I feel almost nothing of the sort with any other part of the Weird Stuff in my life.

. . .

I don’t even know how to put the words together to describe how I feel about it, partly because I don’t know what it IS, or what words to use.

The things I am doing – for Hela, for the land spirits out on the coast – seem to be (unsurprisingly) getting deeper or more intense or more involved or . . . something. I have little bits of information about some of them that give me a sense of where they are going – in the long term.

I don’t know how any of this is going to be integrated into other parts of my life. Or IF it will; see, my understanding right now is that the career I’m supposed to wind up at some point may be related to some of what I’m doing with spirits. Emphasis on “may.” I don’t know.

I don’t know if the work I’m doing for Hela is eventually going to be more integrated in what I’m doing for/with various land spirits, or if that’s its own separate thing – except for the times when I find a dead bird in the land spirit’s territory, in which case I guess it’s a good thing I’ve learned what some appropriate things are to do for the dead.

Some of what I’ve done for the dead birds has been more involved than just treating their remains kindly and saying words. I was expecting the additional stuff, but the first time it happened – well, after I’d finished and cleaned up, I had to lie down and stare at the ceiling for a while.

So that is getting more intense.

And then here’s a thing that happened. Two things, really, but the same sort of thing:

I found the remains of a young bird in my neighborhood several weeks ago. Along with it, I found some objects that Loki informed me I should put on Hela’s altar and ask Her about. So I did that. She gave me some instructions about what to do with them, to make a particular object She said I need to carry with me whenever I’m tending to dead birds.

Now I have some experience making art and crafts (I’ve made a bunch of jewelry using stones and wire), so I have some experience with the experience of “looking over the array of supplies to figure out which bits are /just right/,” so while Hela said “bind those things together” She didn’t specify with -what-. So I got out some likely bindings, and one of them really just looked right, so I went with that. (Very nervously. Because I didn’t want to fuck up a tool that is not just mine, it is Hers, too.)

On my trip to the coast in July, the land spirit I was visiting gifted me with several objects. Again, made me nervous, because I figure “no taking from the place what belongs to the place,” but it was made clear to me this was okay – and I also didn’t want to cause offense by rejecting a gift, either.

I put these on the land spirit altar (which is being completely covered by bits of tree branches, because I cannot go for a walk around here without some tree nudging me to take a chunk of a fallen branch hELP what is happening in my life, I went to buy groceries and came home with a branch) and um, well, thought about figuring out a better way to arrange them, and that was it.

Until a couple weeks later, when I looked up, and suddenly felt like really, the right thing to do was lay them out, get out all my colored thread, and bind some of the objects together. Oh and they needed beads, too.

That turned into a surprisingly energetically intense work session, at the end of which I had these . . . things. That I didn’t know what to do with. Should I take them back to the land, and leave them there, as devotional objects? Or, since I’d been told by at least two spirits out there that the original objects were gifts, I should keep them? I felt like I was missing something about these objects, which were frankly unnerving me.

I cast runes, asking if I should take the things back to the land spirits – and they told me to look closer.  And stop asking questions.

I think I had maybe started to understand at this point, but I got the objects down, and about when I put my hands on them I understood: these are tools.

. . .

Didn’t see that coming.

I spent some time trying to feel/see/understand what they do, and then I experimented, and I can’t say I know what they “really” did, but they did do something.

(I did take them back out there, to show the land spirit.)

My last trip to the ocean and the land spirit were pretty intense. I buried some sea birds. I found one that had already been tended to: someone had mounded seaweed in piles around its body, and put large rocks on top of the piles. That was really lovely to see.

I left shiny stones at several places out there that seemed of particular importance or interest, or that needed special attention. One of those places was where the hillside had been damaged by people walking on the base of the slope, not the path, because the path was muddy. The ground was torn up, some plants had been uprooted. It was a painful spot to be in. (Not as bad as the place I encountered the previous month, where about 10-20 feet of trail had apparently recently been widened, by tearing into the hillside. That was almost overwhelmingly painful. I left several stones there, and said some words about the state of things. That seemed to be sufficient, though it felt terribly, terribly inadequate.)

I spoke with several trees in the land spirit’s realm. A couple of them were extremely powerful presences – one, from at least 20 feet away, felt powerful enough – or the area immediately around it, I am not sure – that I felt like I really needed to kneel. I haven’t felt that sort of Presence except around one or two very large, very old trees – and deities Who are manifesting strongly enough.

A thing I noticed on my July trip was that while several of the trees did speak to me, none of them were as friendly as the city trees I’ve talked to. None of them seemed directly hostile, but I think the best way to describe the undercurrent there is “anger.” Not, I think, at me personally, and I can understand why tree and land spirits out here (or any wild area, really) might be pretty angry at humans in the area. I got a similar vibe from some of the trees in this area, too.

The land spirit seems to like me though.

Of course I also picked up trash I found along the trail. Except for one piece of brightly colored fabric that I got strong “Nooo! Leave it!” sense from the land spirit about.

I am definitely going out to the same beach and trail area next, er, this month. I’ve gotten the impression I need to spend a fair amount of time there, deepening my relationship with the land spirit (and other spirits out there?). I don’t really know what’s expected in the long run. I’ve restocked my supply of tumbled stones. I need to shine up some more pennies, too.

At least my work for the Undines remains the same: fruit, blood, clean up some trash, banter about how no, really, I would freeze and DIE if I went into the water deeper than my knees, but I wish I could go play with Them. (And I do. But DAMN the Pacific is COLD.)

I have no idea what’s really going on though. With any of this weird spirit stuff. I’ve done some divination. I have some vague, big picture kinds of ideas. But. I just. I don’t know.

Some day I’m sure it will make more sense, but for now, it’s filed under: Things that make me want to crawl under the desk and refuse to budge.


About Fjothr Lokakvan

More or less Northern Tradition polytheist.
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2 Responses to Land. Death. Tools. I don’t even know.

  1. Heather Awen says:

    I like this blog!!! Would you like to have your writing included in the Animist Blog Carnival? Oct 1st issue is themed Death and Hela would be wonderful to include. You can use old posts (like this one!), just follow these steps:

    ABC Contributor Guidelines

    Write an essay, poem, memoir, conduct an interview, etc about the month’s theme. Or film a song or photograph an image or art piece that is about the theme. You can contribute old writing/art.
    Post on your blog with a link to the month’s hosting blog and a link to the ABC HQ.
    Send link to your post to that month’s host by the last of the month. (By Sept 27, Pray to the Moon momafauna (at) gmail (dot) com
    No hate literature or attacks on specific people will be allowed.

    • Oh, thanks!

      Uh – maybe? I’ll think it over; if I submit something for October, I’d rather write something more focused (and more polished) than this one.

      I got a lot out of reading last month’s animist carnival; I’m sorry I didn’t find it sooner.

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