So I spent four days up in the mountains, high on a slope. I brought a box of my ritual items, and proceeded to work, listen, and do my best to learn (I do have a stubborn streak).
No people for miles!
I loved the silence, only the creaking pines in the wind.
Ah, simple quiet.
I came to the site and I saw the white stare of my new antelope skull, of which I brought home and is now a part of my altar. The bones are not silent, and this one died naturally a long, long time ago. I’m looking forward to what I see and learn from my new addition. I drew preliminary symbols onto it, and I painted it fully once I got back home. There was another skull there, but it did not want to return with me, so I respectfully left it where I found it.
An old, sun-bleached skull.
Fully painted and set.
I asked for a gift from the forest, and patiently waited half the day when a piece of bark fell onto me from the tree I was under, and now I have a new incense burner.
I had a fireplace at the site in which I burned some firesticks/ rauchstocks as they were intended to be used in the fire, as sacred fuel for the fire as well as changing the spirit of the hearth (such as creating a banishing light, or a healing one). While I do not smudge, using rauchstocks is just as potent in and of itself when I burn them in my fire-bowl at home.
They unraveled early on, but still worked.
It was a wonderful moment, frost still on the stones around the fireplace, while the fire was smoking and burning hot. I sat there chanting, seeing my breath yet toasty warm at the same time. It was nice to have my heartbeat rise as I let myself fall into the duality of fire and ice. The pale white light that lit the mountainside really reminded me of the sojourn I make periodically to the Undying Tree, and the white-fruits that hang from it’s branches.
Found some reindeer lichen, so I took some of it home with me.
I went for a hike the next day with my stange (Pronounced Sch-tawn-guh; It’s German for ‘stick, rod, or pole,’) and found a series of trees that resembled chairs, so I sat in one and took in the quiet scenery. I marveled at all of the twisted pines, and I found some witch wood much to my delight. It’s wood that has the knot naturally removed, and is a powerful talisman. It aids in seeing spirits and the Good Neighbors, as well as extremely protective. Speaking through the hole during ritual aids in it’s strength and speediness, and depending on which (pun intended) wood it came from also adds to it’s uses. Being made from pine, it’s good for money concerns (which, is handy).
Despite it’s look – that was one DAMN comfy seat.
I took some time to throw the bones later on, and paid attention to their portents in this mountainous area. The signs were favorable, even if it was pointing to unexpected places.
The next day I spent (thoroughly sunburned) in the tent working with the new addition, getting to know Him as it were. I’ve never worked with antelope before, so with an open mind I await to begin serious Work with Him.
And I spent quite a bit of time thinking on things, and the changes to my tiny tradition, the additions, and the losses. Meeting the Daughter of the Bear was an intense experience, and I thought about what I’ve learned since then, with Her symbolism of the egg, and Her serpent association. Also, about my Bear Mother, the Antlered Weaver, the Red Horseman, the Avian One and His kin, and the spirits I work with.
It was peaceful, serene, and it was a nice ‘reset button,’ to the chaos that had recently erupted and passed. So as the season of the dead is underway, I hope yours is warm, warm-spirited, and filled with stories long into the night.
The deer skull keeps vigil over the slope.