My Ravens Will Remind You of This

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My life the last few months has been so different than the last many, many years.  My stress level is so much lower, things are going great, and I haven’t wanted for anything.  I even have a new boyfriend, and that relationship is going very well.

After all of that hemming and hawing and riding the fence and ‘camping out’ at the ledge, now that I’m living the life on my new road of learning to become a sign language interpreter, life is great!  I *can* imagine what I was afraid of, but the reality is so much better.

The major message I have received from deity is “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”  I have discovered what a worry-wart I can be, and it keeps me from living life.  And it keeps me from being happy about my lovely life.  It’s pretty cool how deity has spoken to me, and how messages coincide with each other to reinforce that ‘this is real, believe it.’

Besides all the supportive readings and messages I had *before* I made my decision, I continue to have this message (‘I got this’) after my decision as well.  The first message came through an experience I will never forget.

I went to another pagan festival, which is a pagan (they call it ‘spiritual retreat’ to open it up to other religions, but really, in my mind, it’s pagan) retreat in the mountains of Colorado in August.  One tradition that they always have at this festival is “Drawing Down.”  This means that priests and priestesses allow themselves to be vessels for a god or goddess, so that those seeking a message from deity can communicate with deity through that person.  I have been secretly wigged out (and at the same time, morbidly fascinated) by this concept.  It sounds like possession and it *is,* but by deity; it’s not demonic.  People who care about me, who don’t understand this, would say “how do you know?”  You know.  You really just know.  I would retort, “How do you know that when you pray to God, that He is the one to whom you are speaking?”

One person described opening ones’ brain to channeling messages (not to the extent of embodying deity but even just channeling) as turning a radio dial in the brain to the psychic channel.  I actually hadn’t made the connection to the word ‘channel’ until now, I may have just made a pagan pun actually!  That idea has helped me when I ‘channel,’ myself, because it is a kind of mental feeling that you know a certain thing, that something is right and not scary-bad.

Anyway, my experience with Drawing Down was the real deal and not demonic.  I don’t really believe in demons, but I do believe in bad spirits, or spirits that were messed up when they were alive and continue to be in the afterlife.   There are also fae spirits that don’t always have our best in mind.  It’s probably just semantics, just as different aspects of deity are just ways we as humans try to describe deity, when deity really is just indescribable to begin with.  This did not involve any malevolent spirits.  There are ways to safeguard against them, and I believe the people involved in this event at the festival had taken those precautions.

That said, I felt like I was being called to go to this event.  So, despite my little worries, I did.  Before I did this, I had participated in a rebirthing ceremony, which probably deserves its own blog post.  That experience was very special.  So this time around at festival, I was already opening myself up to deeper internal work than I usually do at this fest.  Two different people had asked if I was going to this event, and this time around, I felt a little response within me, saying, ‘Yes. You should go to this.’

Drawing Down began with those of us seeking a message from deity sitting quietly in a grassy waiting area.  We were surrounded by aspens and wildflowers.  It was pre-twilight.  Each person ‘drawing down’ a deity had their own tent or canopy about a two minute walk away from the waiting area, and attendants to that deity came to us in the waiting area and picked out those they felt called to pick.  When ‘my’ attendant came, I knew she was going to pick me before she even got to me.  Our eyes locked and she knew it too.  She led me to The Morrighan.  I don’t know much about this deity, but this is what I already knew before my meeting with her:  she is a triple goddess.  Some people think of her as maiden/mother/crone.  One aspect of her is that she, like the valkyries, helps bring the spirits of the dead to the afterlife.  Her ravens help her to do this.  I also think of ravens in connection with bringing messages to those who have passed, because of Huginn and Muninn who serve Odin (of the ancient Norse belief).  The Morrighan is a Celtic goddess, or more accurately, a triple goddess or group of goddesses that work together and are somewhat a part of each other.

Before leading me to The Morrighan, her attendant, who was a pretty young woman probably around 18 years old, told me that I was going to see The Morrighan and that she can be ‘pretty intense,’ but not to worry.  She brought me to the tent.  Inside the tent, there were three people seated in chairs; a woman who sat in the middle with a fierce gaze and queen-like demeanor, and a person sitting on either side.  A man sat on one side and woman on the other; the man had green and yellow makeup in a diamond pattern on his face.  The man and woman on either side sat, watching, and not saying anything.

The Morrighan motioned me in and indicated that her attendant should leave.  I knelt in front of her.  She got right in my face, though not too close, and looked straight in my eyes from every angle, her head moving like a snakes’.  She asked me what my question was and I said, rather timidly, “Will I be O.K. for the next 3 years? Will I have enough to live on?”  She sat back and said that she saw that I’m going through a transformation, and I will get what I need, but only if I let go of something that I’m allowing to block me.  “You know what this is.”  (I’m still not quite sure what it is, perhaps my fear?)  She said I will learn a lot.  She asked what I’m afraid of, in a tone that indicated that the fear is unwarranted.  I can’t remember exactly what my reply was.  I think I said I have a fear that I can’t accomplish it.  She said, “Do you want my blessing?” I said yes.  She said:

“Know this.  I am to the right of you.  I am to the left of you.  I am before you and behind you.  I am always all around you.  My ravens will remind you of this.”  

Those words still give me chills.  It was done.  I thanked her and left.

The next day at the festival, I had an experience that reinforced the idea that The Morrighan (or that aspect of the goddess deity) is with me.  I went to a ritual about the Norns.  Through this experience, I found out that I had already received the message I needed, and although I probably didn’t need the message again, it was a beautiful experience.  I went because I love the idea of Norns from the ancient Norse belief.  The Norns are the three goddesses at Yggdrasil, which is the tree of life.  One of the Norns measures our life thread, one spins it, and one cuts it.  I’ve always thought of these Norns like The Morrighan, because they are maiden/mother/crone, though they feel a little more like home and less scary to me.  Since my own culture is Swedish-American, I feel a strong link to Norse things.  And, I love working with fibers, so both of those aspects of myself finds a kinship of sorts with the Norns.

There was a whole bit of closing the circle and some personal thought about our life thread beforehand, but I’m itching to skip to the juicy part: the guided meditation.  Western style guided meditations tend to include a way to come ‘down’ to a lower meditative state using imagery.  In this meditation, our guide used the image of a tree, and we went down the inside of the tree (which represented ourselves) and out a door at the bottom.  I didn’t feel the right mental state through this imagery, so I added my own take on Starhawk’s Rainbow Induction as described in her book The Twelve Wild Swans.  I could do yet another blog just describing it.  I’ve found it very helpful in grounding and getting at lower consciousness levels for meditation.

The rainbow induction goes through the rainbow colors as you descend downwards in elevation, and you are those colors and are dressed in those colors.  I include non rainbow colors of brown, black and white at the end.  So, when I walked out of my life-tree, I was wearing white.  Our guide told us that hanging on the tree was our life thread, woven into the tree.  Since I like to make things with fibers, I pictured a beautiful weaving, almost like a spiderweb, entwined in the branches.  The weaving had tendrils of gauzy thread hanging from it.  One of the threads was long and led off into the distance.  She had us follow our life thread until we came to Yggdrasil, the tree of life.  She called it the World Tree.  It had all our threads leading to it.  To the left of the tree was a lake.  As soon as our guide said that, my spirit lept into the lake!  (My inner child is alive and well!) Now, with my white dress on, it seemed a bit like a baptism.

Our guide told us that at one end of the lake there were grottos; three little caves leading from the water.  In each cave stood one of the Norns.  As is done in many of this kind of meditation, we were to speak with one of the goddesses and receive a message, at which point our guide stopped talking to give us time to do this.  I used to get anxious during these meditations, that I was not keeping up, but I’ve learned that you can listen and let the meditation take its course.  Sometimes your own meditation follows along at the same pace, and sometimes your own meditation has its own take on things.  If the guide goes on, don’t panic; just listen, and know you’ll catch up or make your own way at the correct time.

Original Artwork

Original Artwork

At this point, I was in the middle of the lake.  The Norns were standing at the other end, each in her own cave.  In my meditation, the left-most Norn was the one with a spindle, spinning thread.  The one in the middle was measuring and holding the thread that the left-most one spun, and the one on the farthest right was cutting the threads that the middle one held.  As I swam, I felt The Morrighan (but just the aspect I spoke to the day before) behind me.  Incidentally, she didn’t look like the woman who had lent her body to the goddess, who is beautiful in her own way.  The Morrighan was regal and beautiful.  She walked at the edge of the lake with long strides, slowly and serenely, towards the Norn with the spindle.  The spinner said that The Morrighan was vying for my attention, with amusement in her voice.  I couldn’t turn my back and ignore her (since that would be disrespectful), so I accepted her presence.  She reached the spinner and held her hand, her hand held out like a queen, palm down, the spinner holding her hand up, so that their clasped hands were like yin and yang.  I felt that they were indicating that they are the same, while having their own different personalities, and that they were giving the message in tandem.

The spinning Norn seemed to get a silent message from The Morrighan and spoke to me, saying “You doubt that I’m good at what I do?” implying that my tendency to worry about the future was an insult to her.  That was my message:  to trust that the Spinner knows what she’s doing.  I mentally searched the other two Norns but they didn’t communicate with me.  The one with the shears put them behind her back, which was reassuring.

So that was it.  We were led back to the World Tree, and back from there to our own tree-selves, and back up it into our own bodies.  Again, I added the reverse of the Rainbow Induction to help myself back to the waking mental state.

We ended the ritual with vanilla wafer crackers and water that was passed around the circle, and I went back to my tent afterwards.  The rest of the festival was lovely, and I drove home, full of a secure feeling of being loved by deity and by good friends.  As I arrived home, there were three large ravens flying to a tree and lamp post in the parking lot.  We see crows a lot and ravens occasionally; ravens are much more rare.  They were cawing loudly as if to say, “She said we’d come, and we’re here; don’t forget!”

My most recent sighting of a raven was on a card from a divinatory playing card deck I have.  I had not even started my card reading when it fell out.  Again, reassuring me that all will be well.  In this season of thanks, I thank The Morrighan and Spinner-Norn (and I’ve seen her referred to as the weaver) Verdandi, for the continual reassurances that all will be well, and as Matthew wrote in his Gospel, to be like the birds who don’t worry about a thing, knowing that their needs will be met.

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