That Time I Didn’t Take the Toad Venom

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About a year ago, I encountered a man who supposedly had something I was looking for. I had been passively seeking out any shamanic practitioners using the meso-American toad venom here in Canada, for healing, therapeutic, as well as psychedelic ceremony. The little know bufo alvarius or Bufo Toad, known to spend years underground in the Sonoran desert around Hermosillo and the chaparral of northern Mexico. The infamous ‘Sapo’, poison or medicine depends on dosage. It is administered into the blood stream through small burns in the skin that are scratched away and smeared with the secretion of the bufo toad, which is collected from its glands. The effects of which are blood cleansing, oft hallucinatory, clairvoyant, and heat inducing. The flush of the saponin chemical is what takes hold of the body. However, this won’t be the space to pontificate about the biology of the toad, nor the chemical constituents of its venom and how it affects the nervous system, nor is it about the long held tradition of use by the Aztecan Indians for visionary and hunting magic, but it is about the kind of relationships we form with the psychopomp, who in other world cultures also fulfills the role of the shaman, the trickster, or the medicine man.

In this global culture, people who are interested in magic and psychoactive medicines/drugs are more and more interested in travel to far off countries and cocoons of the world; the Amazonian rainforest, the Mexican desert, the highlands of the Andes, or the Siberian arctic, and some choose to stay at home, for localized ritual settings, with imported ingredients and plants shipped from the source countries. In this instance, the latter option was more practical for me as I had only returned from Mexico that winter and was not ready to return yet. I found a man, who told me he had some of the dried venom, and made ceremonies in a small yoga studio in a city near where I lived. I decided to book a session with him, I sent the deposit, and he returned a mail with vague directions to the studio, a date was arranged, and I had reserved a spot, I was committed. No turning back now…

On the day of the ceremony, I spent the morning in the garden thinking about what lay ahead of me, this calmed my mind into the potential changes that the frog venom is known to induce in a persons behavior, I knew I could not control the situation once I received it, but meditating on it seemed to create a sense of grace about it all. I arrived at the place of the studio, but only to see several commercial buildings in a kind of generic outlay fringing a large parking lot in a highly urban setting. The name of the yoga studio was no where apparent on any of the business signs, so I ended up calling the man of the hour with further questioning. When I looked up from the call, he was on the other side of the glass in one of the shops ahead of me, itself the least decorated, with no signage, only an A5 printed paper advertising for a therapeutic treatments, and an impromptu office space. He unlocked the door and we shook hands awkwardly. His grip was shaky as he held a Tim Hortons cup in the other hand, obviously much too caffeineated for 8 in the morning. His beady stare seemed to be like insect eyes, which were red from either severe lack of sleep or misuse of opiates. He started to complain about a couple of other individuals that canceled last minute for the ceremony, and discouraged me from joining this one, asking if I would like to reschedule. He led me to the ‘studio’ which resembled a warehouse or factory with high industrial ceilings and concrete walls. The ambiance was not particularly inviting, I rolled out my yoga mat in the center of the room but he insisted I should recline against the wall. He turned on the radio, which was a chaotic strain of brazilian music that was too intense for the mood. Something felt off, in this place, in this man, in the whole fluidity of the ritual, it just did not carry the consciousness that I expected from the use of a sacred medicine.

He exited the room, but it felt like he exited the engagement of the ceremony completely, then another man arrived and met with the same nonchalant hospitality, and was ushered into the studio with me to await the beginning of the rite. The man came back and set out a cloth and set upon it with mysterious looking snuff pipes, and unlabeled mason jars, then turned the music down at request. He scrutinized me for having eaten a breakfast of oats and cacao some hours prior, as this was not rote for the ritual. Apparently fasting was the protocol, of which I was not told beforehand. We were both asked if we desired to continue with the ceremony, the irony was relevant to me, because I instantly asked myself the same question. I had come here because I had pre-meditated this moment for years, yet now I felt a strange air about this whole operation, and actually did not feel quite comfortable. I acquiesced to my better judgment, as did the other man beside me. The sapo man, whom I shall keep anonymous waved his hands and commenced an improvised ‘four doors ritual’ that if not for the cultural language setting, was simply a charlatan attempt at the sacred, made in haste and which such error and lack of reverence, that I instantly lost the sense of grace and humility of presence that could have been preserved pre-ritual, and instead experienced a kind of commodified and watered down version of any brand of known shamanic workings I knew about.

I changed my mind, how I let myself be burned and poisoned by someone as unconscious as this. His demeanor was not the type of a wise medicine worker, his attitude was aggressive and his pace was rushed, he lacked the virtues or vitality of someone who used psychedelic plants and animal substances for self betterment and spiritual growth. His physical representation was like that of someone who did not take care of themselves, or used too many drugs irresponsibly. Maybe I was overseeing the scene, but with matters of this nature, I needed to temper me ego that I could get this sapo in me and talk about it afterwards, and come back to my sense of well being, and the ever important set and setting, that now had everything to do with my decision. While he was burning the first stick to mark the first ‘gate’, I told him that I would actually prefer to wait for the venom until another day. His disappointment came out more like resentment, so he proceeded with the other man who was of a more ordinary civilized type, to burn the gates and smear the sapo into his arm. He asked me if I would prefer to use the hape snuff, so I went with it, I had not come this way for nothing, and I had used the brazilian tree snuff before with interesting experiences. I took the snuff pipe in one of my nostrils and he blew the grey calcined powder through me, then the other side of the nose. Then I received two drops of iboga root extract in each eye, an eyedrop tincture for hunting magic which made my eyes burn…

The burn was lovely mind you, and the snuff was not altogether unpleasant, I felt a lightness of my skull and a loftiness in my entire body as it tingled with electricity and high vibratory energy. If it were not for the industrial style roof, it felt like my body could float out of the room and with closed eyes, I had sensual feelings of being in lush jungle with high canopy, launching from the ground and soaring above it, but I just couldn’t seem to transcend the rift between the physical reality of the studio and the green jungle plantation that tried to present itself. I lay in serene personal silence for twenty or so minutes before being asked if I was alright. I was definitely feeling good. I just focused on my yogic breath, while the man beside me seemed to be enduring some deep discomfort, which eventually led an air of anxiety to the whole scene as the man with the sapo kept knocking on the door of the rest room to ask if he was still breathing. He came out later sweating profusely, and the two started talking about various other chemicals and psychotropic plants they had used, while I simply remained present in the room, and eventually observed the snuff pipes and the mason of hape powder, of which I purchased a couple grams.

This time I did not take the toad venom, the effects of which I had observed in documentarial style footage of the Mexican indigenous and sourced from shamanic plant books by Christian Ratsch, and Terence McKenna. Now was not my time, nor did I know when that time would come, but I learned a lesson from not taking the poison’, in that it is highly imperative to be centered and aware at all times, and think for yourself when it comes to matters of the heart, and the nervous system in this case. That the guru, shaman, psychopomp can also deceive and embody the shadow side of the archetype, the trickster or huckster, out to glean their own personal interests before providing a bridge for healing and transformational experience. It is the plant, or the animal substance that is doing the real great work, not the person, they are merely an agent that purveys these hard to forage antidotes for us to experience, and it serves us well to not back down on our higher intuition and even or lower ‘gut feeling’, when it involves the dynamic interplay of medicinal magic and egoic personalities. Trust the spirit, and the heart when it comes to these things and you will remain unharmed.

Personal Power

“It doesn’t matter what one reveals or what one keeps to oneself. Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power. If we have enough of it, one word uttered to us might be sufficient to change the course of our lives. But if we don’t have enough personal power, the most magnificent piece of wisdom can revealed to us and that revelation won’t make a damn bit of difference.” ~Don Juan in Tales of Power

Incredibly Trippy Portraits of Famous Psychonauts by Nicolás ...

This simple utterance, also reverberated by Tim Leary in his book Exo-Psychology is a testament to the human being, or in Don Juan’s world, the perception of the sorcerer. To recognize, one’s own personal power lies in their transparency to divine energy, through the heartbeat, one’s own soul stuff. This tenet is masqueraded by many writers and spiritual thinking minds, but its gravity, and the responsibility it entails brings in a much larger reality to contemplate.

What is the most infectious and vital thing working on a human being? A parasite? a tape worm? A cancer? No. It is an idea. A single idea can be like a rapture, a thought planted in the core of the soul, deep in the neuronic pathways of the brain. This is why consciousness, somehow matters, because even with all the academic literature and books, and information, and teachings, the mind is the source, and the memory is the agent that travels back to meet the mind in the past present. Since we can not actually remember the past exactly as it was, or predict the future precisely how it will unfold into novelty, but we can travel to these places, just as we do in the physical world. Except when we go back to these familiar destinations, they are slightly different, and our memory just forms a limited map of what what, is, will, be there. Well, what is mind? In my own opinion, I think mind acts more like an antennae, tuning into, and sending these secrets truths and messages that are known, like one’s personal power realizations.ESOTERICA: CARLOS CASTANEDA VERDAD o FRAUDE

That’s why I’ve been taking some extremely perspicacious steps into the cosmic quantum fields of consciousness, and attempting to move my spirit onto a level that has for years, discouraged and kept me at bay. It is one that worries about the body second, because it transcends the basic larval bio-survival circuits; the ego territorial bondage, the adolescent imprinted culture shackles, and the domesticated human adult circuit, it is a maturation from all of these, which was seen to really erupt in the sixties with these fifth circuit beings, the yogi/hippie, and the tantric sublime. You can look at it as a scale, where the newborn recapitulates all the stages of animality, then goes through the fraktal evolutionary cycles of unfurling into the human potential, where it starts in a kind of nadir, and builds up to a zenith of full realization that you are actually greater than your own form, because you carry something called mind, and DNA. Using these tools, your ‘personal power’, you realize you are never stuck, even as a species.

Alejandro Jodorowsky said some very wise things about the cosmic repetition of individual lives, they are essentially fragile, and impartial, that your own ego is an illusion, but once you embrace the illusion you really start to live! Essentially, you break free from the illusion because you no longer have to negate it. Dreams may be seen as surreal, or ‘unreal’, but once they become lucid, they seem indistinguishable from normal waking Alejandro Jodorowsky tarot cards |life, hallucinations under entheogenic influence can be written off as delusion and psychotic behavior but when they lead to ‘real’ life revelation and impersonation of the spirit that moves through you, you’re left wondering if reality really is in as much the sacred as the profane. After all, anything ‘surreal’, is just ‘so real’, you can barely take a handle on it.

When you have personal power, you start to move, and behave in a different way altogether. It is like a state of super-conductivity, like enlightenment, because you realize that mind is also in a symbiotic relationship with physics. There must be a man, or woman for the mind to take place, and this kind of power engenders a unique opportunity to play with the world. You move into a state of this fifth dimensional noosphere, where mind has influence over power in very interesting ways. Like instant manifestation of need, and desire, and hyper-sensual stimulus that reveal knowledge and information that you would never be able to access otherwise. I know these things because I’ve traveled to those places several times, but they are not like tourist resorts where you get to put your feet up and relax that everything is taken care of for you, they are highly charged and ephemeral spaces to exist in, and it is easy to fuck it up. It’s like taking a drug, without the right set and setting and not being prepared for it, or these places on the earth that are like these global chakras, or power spots as Don Juan told Castaneda throughout his training. They are volatile, and risky, but beautiful if you do the work and know what to do when you get there. Human nature takes courage.

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I think we are in a new age, one that can’t be measured or recorded, but felt. We are literally in the process of speciation, and people are changing their lives, one thought at a time. As Don Juan put it, it’s the single idea, or thoughtform that can completely bend one’s world into shape, (in the beginning was the word), can really bring one’s perception into focus. I am grounding my own realizations of personal trust, and how much I let that emanate out into the civilizations I tend to evolve in from time to time. I feel that there is too much… giveaway, too much… marketing of instant gratification, and spiritual contentment, without the work being put into it, and people are trying to jump on the fast train to hyperspace without really working on themselves and training for the leap. Now it seems we are undergoing such a rapid sense of novelty, as Mckenna predicted with his timewave theory, that the succession of change is just like a straight line, because we are making headlines everyday. We are moving so fast into a brave new world. This is what really happened in 2012, nothing dramatic and eschatological, just a build up beyond the point of return, where the record player is going 300 rpm and you can’t even enjoy the music of the cosmos anymore, or at least it seems that way. You know, where there was once a beautiful rainforest or a chaparral is the next day a plantation or a quarry.

What I want to make straight-lined here is the point that a simple thought can change one’s world, and it can be a beautiful apostasy of personal transformation, and through the gradual allowance of set ideas and memes to take hold on one’s fabric of the self, the personal power grows in relation to it, and you begin to realize that not only is reality stranger than you suppose, it’s stranger than you can suppose. Awe-fully filled with energy, momentum, and the ability to change your life on the natch. What you’ve just become is a new identity, a new person, and in a single moment of an immediate present experience, your destiny forms a new constellation in your mind’s sky, a freshly blazed trail that leads out before you into the infinity of the horizon.

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(this is my 300th post on aferalspirit, perhaps a testament to the endeavor of the thinking ape. As I tentatively look back from time to time, I see where my own mind has been traveling, what ideas I formed 5 years ago, and how I have refined, but at the same time expanded almost to no limit of potential for understanding in this world, on this long strange trip I’m on, that we are all on)

Gamla Uppsala Utiseta & The Secrets in the Moss

What follows is a journal account of a highly personal experience at the Kungshögarna (Burial Mounds) at Gamla Uppsala.

A man without a hamingja is a mere mortal, as good as cattle they say in the Sagas. For a man to seek the Gods, he must enter the mound, and commune with that which never truly dies. The legend of our religion, it’s heroes and heroines lies buried but not forgotten. The last stronghold of this heathen faith was at the cultic center at Gamla Uppsala, where every nine years, the Ting of all Swedes (allra Svía þing) was held, and nine of every head were sacrificed in a special grove. The Vikings would also seek favor from the Gods and Goddesses in return for these sacrifices. This ancient paradigm mirrors the ur-ritual of Óðinn, giving his self, to a more improved and updated version of his Self, and his Tribe. On the mounds there is an ancient dead ash, with tree rings numbering in the hundreds. At the time of it’s growth, the sea in Östra Aros (Gamla Uppsala) was higher, and there were many natural reservoirs of water here. I believe this could have been the ancient ash. ‘Next the tree roots were the Rabenbrot mushrooms, said to grow where a man had been hung. Strange and convincing dreams came to me, as I lay in my tent on the first night next to the mounds in a nearby nature reserve. Dreams of wandering the barrows in a haze, making etchings of the stones with charcoal and moss, rubbing them on every surface, onto vellum paper, and revealing a lyndworm of runes, and barely legible but clear runic staves, as well as the pictures of men in procession, beast heads, and Christian symbols. This happened in the subconscious, and the next day after examining the stones, which appeared to be nothing more than rock deposits left from the last ice age, did actually show these runes, animals and men! Confirmation for the curators at the museum grounds confirmed this for me, and I was told there were several of these stones in the vicinity that were not studied, or moved that were unknown to the public. The grey blue mosses lining the shallow trenches of the stones effaced :Runes: not gone but barely readable.

The mounds grew in obsession as I strolled patiently around them, and something kept me off them, an ancient code of respect and honor, the sun was still high. These menhirs that obfuscate the secrets of the never dead were of deep intrigue. The plaques erected near the base of the mounds spoke of Kings and Women found within, but was it instead the Gods images themselves? I would have to find this out for myself, for this was Valhöll itself, the hall of the slain. The sacrificial tree grew on the dolmen, with it’s roots growing into the well of Urðr, from the river of Fyris. I knew from the Ravens of my mind, that it had been time. 9 years since I had become conscious of the existence of Uppsala, thousands of miles on this heathen pilgrimage, and I now stood at the central axis of our heathen religion! I needed a heiti, and hamingja. I sought to be marked by the Gods on this night, given a weave in the eternal tapestry of the Norns. I knew I would lie in utiseta on these hills this night, and I would either be cast back to Miðgarðr a mere man, or given the honor of a name and a purpose.

Dusk fell, and Thor’s rain pettered the dark heath, Skaði’s winds bent the grass in uniform, and the clouds took on a shade the skin on Hel, but a calm resisted the night, and I sat at my tent, waiting to be informed by the Runes. A man must visit the mounds to learn from the Norns, impersonating the God of Death, he must separate his Lík from his Sál and ride the wooden stead down to Hel. He must carry a taufr of his own, in this case, a braid of my longest hair wrapped in the grass of the mound. Then sit in silence, until he is let in…

Taking courage from the solitude, I ingested the five or six grams of Icelandic psilocybin mushrooms I had left, and waited for the effects to take course. Making my way to the mound in patient stride, I approached and entered.

‘It is time to speak from the seat of the High One,
hard by the Well of Honor,
I saw and was silent, I saw and pondered,
I listened to the speech of men’There are the Maidens, all things knowing
three in the hall which stands beneath the tree
One is named for Honor, the Second the Coming,
The Third, who engraves on tablets
They lay down the law, they choose out life
they speak the fate of the sons of men’

No turning back now, the mushroom works it’s way into my body and I feel a disconnection from the reasoning mind. The lamp lights swagger with shadows on cow fields, and the birch trees sway in a melancholic dance. I meet a Dís in my intoxication, and I remember. ‘He must pass their tests, he must answer their riddles, understand their secrets, and know the true meaning of their sacred verses. He must be chosen by them in order to be reborn again’. The hamingja must be earned, here and now, rightfully claimed from the judgement of the Norns, earned from the rites of Honor in the world of men. The valuables of the burial mound are mine to know, and I remember…

I remember the shining sanguine Sun
the frozen forests and fallen leaves,
and the hollow hill under the sky.

I remember the complex cold caverns,
the long tranquil tunnels
and the large underground lakes.

I remember the dim depths of the Earth,
the lucid lady in the light
and her sacred stanza.

I remember the bright beast in her boat,
the tall troll telling her tales,
and the honey in the haunted hollow.

I remember the protected password,
the secret soothing symbol
and the old Oðal objects.

I remember the red runes on the rock,
the spell of seeing being sung,
and the bold opening up of the beautiful burrow.I remember the coming of man reborn,
the birth of Baldur the bright,
the return of a world that was woefully lost.

I come down, trembling, shaking, cold, and hungry. Bound to eternity, I have passed this test. Váli has seen to my recovery, and I saunter back to my tent. I look back at the mounds, and remember my ancestors, the kin of my folk, and the high ones, their last home in Miðgarðr. Here they were, when the new religion imposed, and the Vikings made blót for the Gods. They buried them here so we can remember too, where they fought and sacrificed, and celebrated and lived again, for the last time, and each and every day. Dying and being reborn with each sun! The webs were spun, and I could merely find the strands that let back to the center of the Hagal matrix. The spiritual light was emitted with the warm runs of Sunna’s gaze, and life went on, but not as before. Ásgarðr and Folkvang are not heavenly realms but are right here on earth, for those who can see, but only for those with hamingja. It knows no law except that on consequence, and obeys no impulse except that of nature. It is a sweeping world force set free upon man and woman, left to work itself out in the universe. It renders the events of life as inevitable as the Sunrise.


Where do your roots go? and where do your branches grow?
May I continue to sit with Saga in her hall of stories, and sing to my own mythology…
Hail the Old Gods! Her ék em Gróa.
:RtR:

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Ska María Pastora: Divine Sage

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Father grizzly protects these power plants, Cattle lay down their hides in the dust,

The medicine wheel spins neath a tipi of fire, and sacred herbs are sent spiraling in smoke to the sky,

Jade sits hot in the west, in the mouth of the Jaguar. Lapis is sunk in the eastern ocean,

Crystal shards of earth and talismanic fauna reflect the mystic’s path of knowing,

In the Sun is the most potent medicine of all of them. In the vessel, a seed matrix for the flower of life,

A peyotero sings his father’s cantos , for the blessings of this sacred gift to create,

And a simple man is humbled by his song, as he navigates through the teachings of Awe.

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Two evenfalls ago, I sat with Stag. He was found on the other side of the Cattle field, his haunt was the marsh, and his life was ended by the insignificant with a bullet. I dis-entwined the grasses and snow that bury it’s head, and raised it aloft. One tine on the left side had broken off, at an undiscerning time, and the antler though partially healed over, was bleeding down the mantle of the skull. I carried the ally across the fields to a pond, then a hillock, then onto a circle grove of larch trees. This ring of trees is surely heathen, and I have come across similar spectacles since I have lived here. The first time I sat in the ring was during the night, when I heard brother Owl. I took the stag through the circle, with it’s hollow in the middle, and stalked back towards the bunkhouse with the crown on my back, and cleaned it of it’s remaining flesh and left it dry in the wind before moving Him inside.

Later that night I took Stag out to the tree ring, with herbal smoke I sat again, waiting to hear the voice, I saw the clear division between the mountain and the dead forest, I saw the astral dear watching headlights, it told me to protect their kind, warn them of danger, throw the bullets in the river. A grouse cackled at me from afar, and for the moment I thought they would congregate in the hollow of the tree ring. I looked and sat with Stag. Rain pouring now, dripping from my long hair and the black metal logos in the trees, and the blood seeping tines, Runes written there in branches outlined in mist and moss. I see the moribund IMG_1898deer walking in a dead forest. This is where the spirit dwells in winter. Inhaling, exhaling, more aromatic smoke plumes. The dusk is overhead, I take up the ally with new respect, and return to the farm.

With skull in hand, resting up to my bone shrine, the antler bled even more, dark red, nearly purple, sticky, sweet blood, I tasted it twice and stared into the void of its eyes. I took out the carven antler runes I had risted the day before, waiting for the stain. Blood. I knew. The vial would be enough, with an Icelandic crow feather, delicately, I filled the hollow tip like a calligraphy pen and filled the carved runes with the essence and gave them life, and gifted the Runes, and communed with the moribund relic before me, and Odin, my own Self. I lie with stag, the ripe smell of it’s skull and blood dripping out of the antlers intoxicating my senses. A near swooning, and a banishing ritual of poison and shadow. 24 runes of :RED: carved into the vertebrae of the world tree itself, into talismans of the wild. A couple droplets fall onto the bandana holding the runes, concentric patterns imagining the mind. A lot is made, two Runes revealed  . So I thought of my thinking, and thinking thought me.

I slept… in Ginnungagap of Dream, Into the Depths I Stared..

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Wyld Jagd/Oskorei/Woden’s Hunt

Two moons ago, for Samhain, along with a few other Saxon ruffians, and their maidens, we went off to sit at the barrows for the Wild Hunt. November 2 was the night proper of the Lunar Samhain, the dying of one celestia cycle and waxing of the next. First, we drove up to the medieval style tavern in West Kennet and traipsed through Avebury and the standing stones. I stopped awhile at one of the larger stones, attempting to ask it exactly how it became to be. A cold mass, a subtle vibration, the fungal starch leeching all over it’s many faces. Then we walked on, into the dark so thick it enrobed us, cold as liquid wind seeping under our garments. There were booms of tank firing far in the distance that carried over the hills, as Craig put it ‘modern Thor’. And flashes of light in the sky which I still think of as his forge, sheets of light being thrown away from the anvil as he hit it with solid metal. I have had a peculiar feeling as far back as I can remember in my young age, probably being 3 or 4, of the Gods either wrestling, or dropping something, making loud thunder. It is interesting how it has carried this far into my life.Odin

DSC_0541We tumbled across some raised grass ridges, lightly illumined by a pale glow, showing shadow and lunar light making out it’s form. It was the mind map labyrinth, with helix half circles and rotating spirals that led us rotating like madmen through to its center and out the outer side. In Scandinavia they used to be marked with stones, built by fishing communities to trap malevolent winds, and trolls, but are found almost universally, in Greece, Nepal, India, South America, Australia, Egypt and Java. Wodhanaz raised this one, and forced us to leave the ego behind, become inspirited with odhr, and come out through the quantam side of the mind.

We walked on, bewildered to the bare rooted beech trees, steadfast on 21025b57c8d1the hill, rustling like the sound of the chariot through cloud at Godspeed. Whispers of runa in their branches. Craig spoke to Odin, and we all gazed star-ward for the dust trails of the Oskorei. Following then, the chalk line, discoursing the Kurgan and Scythian mythos and funerary rites, coming back out beside the first sarsen stone, Ymir’s bones. Riding on through the avenue of smaller stones and stopping off the road of the West Kennet long barrow, with Silbury Hill looming in the foreground like the tumulus of 108 Einherjar and their horses.

Jeering like folkyngir, wandering through the flint covered farmland on the way to the barrow entrance. Met to the sound of three bodhran, we had company. We set up in the two front chambers, and then huddled into one, lighting the Ganja incense, and burning the death staves, while Craig called on the Draugur Odin, Valdr Galga, with black gealdor, James and I keeping a pulse with the skin drum and hollow bone. Lucy chimed a Tibetan bowl, sending frequencies swirling within the alcove. Unfortunately the others stayed much longer than expected, playing on and on with a Celtic/druid style rhythm that was fairly distracting and more fitting for a tribal dance ceremony, it just didn’t seem right. The dead are slow movers. Craig and James, went out and started yelling for Oden and his ghostriding wain to come and take them with him, then we followed and went mad with trance to the beat of a horse galloping drumbeat. A fair amount of the ganja smoke already working through us, falling over, of the barrow, and stepping in anti-syncopated patterns across the DSC_0541turf, shivering and barefoot.

Lying on the rampart, one-eyed stargazing and watching as the celestial vault moved in the night fog around Tyr’s star. A firey blaze shot across the black ether, and burned up as quickly as the embers do the exposed air. This was a special moment for all of us. Wotan and Freyja had were gaining, Sleipnir set on fire, and riding roughshod across the Shire. We went back into the barrow, where a cap stone rest in one portal, and sat away from each other. Consuming the binaural dream beat again, our faces distorted by the Fenrir candleflame, incense smoke and a mix of corpsepaint, barrow mud, and char. 3 knocks, thrice timed, Ansuz mouth silenced. Then we exited the barrow, all but Craig, making provisions for the draugs, at the enclosed room. We left, reeking of must, and millennial old filth.

Psilocybe Semilanceata: Mushroom medicine

It has taken me until now, roughly a month after my time in the Nevada mountains where I took the mushroom ally of Psilocybin, and had the medicinal experience, accompanied by a fellow ATWA supporter. It was during Stella Natura festival. I wish to share the experience, for recollection upon further use, and insight for others who are interested with working with this totem.

semiI was lying on giant boulders, and it seemed like my friends body was shifting deosil on the face of it, every time I peered up my head. The frequencies of the music were like seed sounds coming out of the universe itself, as if I could hear the movements of distant planets and celestial objects, whirring and spinning, and flashing. I didn’t really feel very social, and by the fireside, everyone had ecstatic faces, as if they were also heavily intoxicated, either by mead, cannabis, or some of the herbal tinctures that some were dispersing amongst us. Whenever I lay down on the stones, I could feel a pulling upwards in my torso towards the sky. The stars kept swirling as if dust, and re-arranging the constellations at will, some stars fading out of existence, others come out of the maw of the void. I wandered over to another part of the forest, and lay freezing and numbed on a floor of straw. I saw my friend come over me and ask if I was alright. I could not see the face, only a green shroud wrapped around him, and though he was one of the Viking brotherhood security. I was in a good place.

The gods came down, and I could see knights fighting, with trailing shadows brooding on them. A jar of Finnish moonshine was handed to me with a bird’s claw and flowers in it. I was drunk on the fermented plants and totally entranced by the aura that Arktau Eos was the medium for. Walking on the soil felt like a primal act itself, I could see prismatic multi-colored snakes slithering, and the detritus and cracks in the ground forming a great Runic puzzle in the soil. Each stave entwining with the other, shifted and turned to fit. After the show, I found myself chanting the entire futhark, the ether around me vibrating my very vocal chords and producing the galdr, then risting a Valknut into the dirt, and eating part of a stick that had fallen to the ground. I feel as if I regressed to an animal.

Galdragildi self initiation rite

 

3 months now I have been an apprentice of the Galragildi. I was taken on by the former gildmaster Gandvaldr after conversing with him for several weeks. I have been studying the runes since then, and increasing my capacity for literature by reading the sagas, the poetry, Germanic history, and articles on the way our ancestors lived. It has taken until now for the right time, that I felt I must perform my self initiation rite. I had lived in the metropolis of Montreal when joining the gild, and did not feel the environment around me provided for the right setting. Now I have been living in the forest for over a month, and am becoming more attuned to the traditions of the land. Before I actually did my ritual, I spent a lot of time getting in touch with the land, practicing survival skills, identifying plants and birds, making traditional recipes, and building the Ve.

DSCF9102The county where I stayed is called Ignace, 4 km into the thick bush. I was encamped at some hunting ground, with a bleeding post set up for moose and deer carcasses. There had already been a lot of blood spilled on the grounds I chose, and I piled a small sand burial mound lined with rocks to symbolize the passage of life through site on that site. A banner of Shiva and Kali hung on a T cross, so I honored the Hindu parallels to the Heathen gods. A cattle skull for :FEHU: and a moose skull for the native species were adorned on the two trees, with several doe and buck skulls and antlers were formatted around.

I decided to partake of some marijuana before doing the rite as well. Because it is not a vice for me, I was saving it specifically for a special purpose. I felt on a high almost immediately, thulean and inspired. I began the ritual with :ALGIZ: meditation and galdr. I had drawn the rune of Algir some time before when my spiritually had been put on the backburner. The :ALGIZ: rune instilled a new passage for self-growth and released its answers to me at the fitting time. As I invoked the holy fires of Asgard and signed the Mjolnir through the night ether with my seax, my attention transformed from internal awareness to universal consciousness. Each stada performed like a bio-antenna finding it’s signal in the cardinal points, above and below. My flesh became a living rune, and a vessel to weave a work with the land wights. I did feel some powerful contact from the unknown presences in the forest and the unpolluted night sky. The ginger honey mead was offered and 2 droughts I drank from a wolf carven horn, gaining Wodanaz’ sacred wisdom and weal. A set of yellow tinged candles were melting away over the soil in the stave of Algiz. I had chosen the perfect time of night, during the dusk, and there I offered myself to myself in isolation and under the watchful eye of Odin. None disturbed me, and the weather favored me. I felt completely at one with everything around me and my sense became like super senses.  The entire rite lasted only as it needed, while I chanted and listened to the music of Wolfsblood. My heiti “Wolfshaman” Ulfur Tofralkaer, had been given to me once again and I took the name for the gild. I have only had few other moments when I felt so fully alive in my life. Every cell in my body was charged, all emotions had transcended the mundane, and all the energy of my being felt restored, renewed and rewilded. My oaths became bound to my kindred there, and grounded my presence within this great family.

I am currently studying the first aett of the Elder Futhark, and making my way through the Sagas, Eddas, and other curriculum literature of the gild. I have also started crafting my taufr for magical purposes and will be attending the Jule moot in January. The immense amount of personal insight, practical knowledge and relevant information I have gained from personal praxis, meditations and reading has been invaluable. My roots grow stronger, as my spirit attends the High Hall. Her ek em groa. I am here to grow.

Second Salvia Divinorum Experience: Blood Current Illumination

I must relate the tellings of this truly ‘divine’ herb in my own words from my second smoking experience. I was tired and lazy before inhaling the smoke, but the aromatic smoke filled my body hollows and into all the cells almost instantly. My plans were a simple night walk to see the sky, but turned out to be way more than this.

I took my star map and laced up my combat boots and threw on my baja with an extra sweater underneath. -32 C outside, but I really craved to feel the cold on my body and hands for a short while. All my feelings were very pronounced, even leaving my flat felt like an ambitious journey somewhere… then it become more intense when I saw the nightsky.

It had not been adequate enough to see the stars here as of late because of the urban light pollution and density of the cumulonimbus clouds forming ethereal blankets in the blackness. But tonight, there were only wispy clouds, and hundreds of stars. The cold didn’t bother me, and I felt the sudden instinct to run, so I ran, to the river where no one was out, where I had silence to be with nature’s dark secrets and my inner more primal self…

All my limbs were loose and free, stomping the ground, and shaking the cold earth underfoot. I ran in circles, listening to the music of Nightbringer as it churned and churned on me, in and outside of me. I swore at the crescent moon, and heard the booming of the frozen ice. I heard wardrums, but they came as much from the music as from the distance. I kept being tricked that I was with a friend, and then thinking I was a viking nomad with a sparkling celestial garment, using the star map as my guide across the encrusted snowy landscape. There was an beautiful bluish hue around me, like a non-material robe, but only I knew it was there, and it was ethereal because it had a strange fabric to it.

Then I crossed a patch of ice, and took out my map again. I found the polaris like the axis of the night world deserving cyclic worship. I was just chanting the names of the stars, Pherkan! Altais! Sheliak! Kornephoros! Adhafera! Arcturus! Hyades! Then seized the Aldebaran with my eyes, the bright one, followed from the Big Dipper constellation across several lightyears of space in a single movement of my head. I felt so animalistic then, as if in a light trance, stomping the snow, pounding my chest, and raising my clenched fist and yelling to the sky in honor. I felt light footed, able to go over the deeper parts of the snow with ease. And again, started to feel as a viking again, holding the map out in front of me while walking, looking for something… land? my lost tribe? I am sure if anyone was around they would be quite intimidated.

I went to stand under a light but the sky became obscured by branches and ran back, and just stopped thinking anymore, I craned my neck up for several minutes letter the light of the stars filter down onto me like I was the vessel of their luminescence. I watched the reddish clouds formations hover over, concealing constellations but revealing clusters in the process. It appeared as some kind of reddish dark matter rather than clouds. Those glorious forms of the quantum world. The icy temperatures was seeping in now, and I began feeling a conscious reversion from the salvia effects. It has a nice aftertaste in the mouth when the energetic effects wear down. I walked back, the happiest I have been in a week, and now writing this.

I realized tonight a profound difference in the way we perceive creativity when under the influence of entheogens, contra whilst through higher physical or sensory stimulation like sex, art, or music. Firstly, these 3 things are greatly enhanced, though I have not had the opportunity to try and sexual things using shamanic herbs and mushrooms, I can admit at being moved entirely by the music I am listening to, and the pictures I see. In the purely sensory state of normal consciousness there always remains a form of attachment, or secureness, like we are not always surrendering to the stimulus given to us by Nature! With the Salvia for example, I let it wash over me without fear, and knew when not to take more than needed. Then all my dulled senses being overloaded with feeling and attraction. I always knew before exposing myself to entheogens, that it would be for spiritual or primal reasons, to go beyond just a ‘trip’ in the bedroom. I want to use it as a vehicle to open the nadi channels of my chakra system, to awaken intuitive creativity, to heal myself of social awkwardness, and possibly to transcend and go out of my body. My knowledge of these sacred plants continues to grow over on itself and refine my understanding of them, but my self and spirit remains open to the worlds it creates for me.