I have been utilizing ecstatic trances and journeywork for a little over 2 years now. When I first started, the Gods I encountered and trained under had me doing a lot of self-healing and putting myself back together, as well as general information gathering. I have finally reached a point where I am doing journeywork to start to tie my community together, both here and in the Otherworld. I thought I would share with you guys what a journey is like for me.
I am a devotee of a subset of the Norse Pantheon called the Rokkr. This is very very controversial within Heathenry, so everything that I post here falls under UPG or unverified personal gnosis. What this means is that it is true to me because I have seen it/felt it/lived it and therefore believe it to be true. You do not have to agree with anything I write here, you are more than welcome to take it as a fairy tale and move on.
In the following post, I have gone to visit Angrboda. Angrboda is a a giantess who gave birth to Hela, Fenris and Jormungand in Norse mythology. She is the Chief of Chiefs of the Jotnar, kinda the big kahuna of the giants. She is a seer and a shaman and a shapeshifter. I call her Mama Wolf.
Feel free to ask me any words you don’t understand.
The sound of the drum beat fills my ears. I use that sound to still the sound of my own body, reaching out for the rock, the meeting place. I start at my toes.
I can feel the suede of the shoes under my feet and the little rocks under that. I can feel the way the grass brushes against my ankles. I can feel the wind against my shins. Then it all comes rushing through and I am at the stone and Alva is there, my fylgja, my barn owl. I feed her white mice that roll like clouds from my palms, pieces of my own energy to forge ever stronger the bond between us. She laughs at the way the mice dance, not a human sound but one that I can hear in my heart and I find myself grinning back at her.I hoist the stang onto my back and look around in every direction to orient myself.
To my back is an ancient forest. We are in Midgard and the forests here look pretty much like the ones back home. The stone is in a clearing, dappled with sunlight. Ahead of us I can see where the trees meet the road and beyond that I can see towering glimpses of Yggdrasil. I know that the road will lead toward civilization but I am not in any hurry to go there. Instead I hike towards the Great Tree, sometimes climbing over rocky inclines, always following Alva. I know she can see much farther than I can.
When the forest clears and I can finally see the Tree, I start looking for the opening. Mama Wolf showed this to me in the cards, and so its the only way I know of right now to make my way to Jotenheim. There it is, a dark spot in the sunlight. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you might mistake it for a shadow and move on. But Alva and I crouch down and look in.
Blink and the night vision kicks in, perk of having a barn owl as a friend. Stones big enough to break an ankle, twisted roots that don’t look particularly friendly, no light at the end of this tunnel for us. We have to trust in our guide. So its a tentative step and then slipping and sliding, hanging onto wiggling roots. One breaks off in my hands, becomes a green snake, becomes a green snake tattoo glowing on my forearm. Weird. It must be some kind of entry fee or hand stamp that lets me in because I go tumbling out into a new forest.
This forest is huge. HUGE. The trees are huge, the stones are huge, the road is HUGE!!! Oh yeah, this must be Jotenheim, the land of the giants. We start following the HUGE road towards the east. Roads = civilization, remember? This one is gravel, pretty good shape too. Alva is having a blast flying ahead of me, right up under the canopy. Up a gentle slope we see a bridge. The forest gives way to a field surrounding a city. But my attention is captured by the bridge and the raging river that flows beneath it. I can see several fish leaping high in the water. Salmon, that was the second tarot card she gave me for directions.
Ok, so slide down the river bank and start following the river south. We have to cross the river a couple of times, the banks become cliffs and then change back to banks. We walk for quite awhile, the sun is beginning to set before I finally see a cave. I know it is Angrboda’s cave, it resonates with her energy. We climb up the hill, glad to be done with the hiking. Her stang is outside, a wolf’s skull attached to the top, fluttering cloth of burnt orange in the breeze. Its a surprisingly big cave, even for a giantess.
I won’t tell you what we talk about. I won’t tell you what happens when she takes me to the Iron Wood. I wont tell you about the wildness or the dancing or the fear or the blood. No, not yet.
Afterwards, she gently blows on my forehead and I go tumbling out of the tunnel into the cradle of Yggdrasil’s roots. Alva perches on my shoulder, peers into my face, very concerned. Am I okay? Did she hurt us? No we are fine and its time for me to leave. I pet Alva gently and she coos at me and flies away. Time to return to my body. The drum beat gets louder and I can feel my body again, the clothes against my skin, the heater kicking on and then my cats meowing at the door for attention.
I am home.