I’m not really so naive that I don’t see the connections I touched on in my entry Seidhr today, August 5, 2004. My (American Indian) connection to ravens and those dreams about flying horses that haunted me for so many years have parallels in Norse religion. I can never bring myself to be fully candid with my friends when I talk about the dream life I have in the so-called parallel universe. Frankly, seidhr scares me. Not surprising, considering Ridge’s problems, or what I think his problems were.
I’ve been exploring some Internet sites on the subject of seidhr. Many of them, even the heathen sites that trumpet their own authenticity, are talking about nothing more than a recreational guided visualization. But, I also see a few that have a ring of authenticity. There really are people out there who are reaching levels deep enough to be difficult or frightening, and it seems that they have a better support system than I thought possible. It occurs to me, not for the first time, that I might benefit from their experience and learn a thing or two if I could bring myself to talk about what happens for me, and — even harder — be willing to undertake these journeys knowingly. A first step, I think, would be to relax the stranglehold I have on seeing myself as a rational being.
At the simplest level, what happens for me is this. A universe exists for me to the side of this one. Many of my dreams take place there, and it is relatively easy to me to enter it by beginning to fall asleep but stopping short. In that universe, there is a geography with many familiar points. The highway that heads west. The lighted bridge. The neighborhood that’s so hard to find just to the west of downtown. The street with the house in Logan and the changing zoo just north of that. The town that is Mantua, but not Mantua, with the highway that I keep trying to follow. The dam, with the reservoir and the elevator down to the powerplant and the enormous water pressure above. The empty room that has so much in it behind the wall. Roads and pipes everywhere. Houses and rooms in houses. All of these places have a stable geography and relationship to one another, although I don’t yet have a full map of their relationship to one another. And then, there is the well. The horse that takes me there, even though I’m terrified of heights. The clearing. The lake. They exist on a different level. The house where I live my other life. The old woman I go to at the fire and call her Mother and learn from her but never remember to bring back what she tells me. And the man I used to call Pan, who is me but not me, and who laughs that I want a name for him. Are these one world, or three? I’m not sure, because when I’m in one place I’m just there.
I don’t object to visiting any of those places. In fact, my visits are rather pleasant even though I rarely go intentionally. I can talk about them as though they are parts of dreams, so it is not very threatening to think about them. In fact, they could be dreams if I didn’t know that they aren’t, if they didn’t have a sharp reality, a numinous quality, an underlying sense (with the landscape, at least) that I am choosing to give these particular forms to things that really have other forms because it is less frightening that way.
It’s some of the other things that are truly frightening. When I get on that horse, I don’t know where I’ll end up and I don’t know how to control my destination. Sometimes, I’m in places so overwhelming and confusing that I can no longer cope with the idea. I will be paralyzed, not able to escape, and not sure how to return to myself. When I do come back, I’m drained. I might be despondent for days and terrified that I’ll cross a line someday and become psychotic, as so many of Evelyn’s ancestors must have been.
It’s that fear that has me thinking I could learn something from other practitioners, if I could find ones who know what they’re doing. I read something on one seidhr site today about the way he sees ley lines, and I thought, “Yes! That’s the pipes, the highways.” (I didn’t think until tonight that I actually believe in ley lines, but yes, now I know what they’re talking about. Those things. I feel like a simpleton. Of course, I know what they are.) I was also reading tonight about fylgya and it occurred to me for the first time that maybe my ravens are like that, and perhaps I can send them out the way Odhinn does and have them come back to me. Again, the simpleton. I don’t even have to try it to know that it would be very simple.
But, thinking about the gods . . . why is it that there is nothing in this alternate universe I can recognize as being connected to any pantheon?
Enough for tonight. Writing has relieved some of the anxiety that’s been building the past few days. Maybe I can sleep now.