August 14, 2019

 Healing Scars, Reminders from Spirit

When we rush, when we forget the time needed to sink deep and stay rooted in Connection, the Spirits demand blood for our carelessness and (often unintended) disrespect. A lesson wrought through pain and blood offerings that leaves scars is very effective, I must admit.

I have found this to be true many a time, too many times in fact to call it coincidence-- not that I believe in coincidence anyway. When your mind strays, when your adrenaline spikes as you rush to finish what you can and to take just a bit more before you need to go to whatever societal demand is calling you to hurry, when you stop singing your harvest songs and whispering your prayers-- or, if your initial offerings were not enough for what you wished to take, then the knife cuts swiftly and cuts deeply, and blood runs quick and red dropping onto leaf and dirt of the Earth which devours it hungrily. 

It always happens in a way that I can only attribute to being Spirit-influenced...

February 1, 2018

Welcome to Part III of my little article series on Magical Protection, "Practical magic: Tools for Magical Protection," ie. How to keep yourself safe from magical attack, and/or how to get out alive when magical shit hits the fan. If you're just stumbling across this, you can read Part I // "Pieces of Your Self: What NOT to Give Spirits" << here, and Part II // "Witches: Baddest Thing in the Woods, Or Not" << here. Read on for Part III where I talk about more hands-on applications such as auric shields, spelled blades, setting wards, crafting witch bottles, and ritual cleansing. Settle in with some tea, this one's a long one~

In the last post, Part II of the series, I said that basically, if you come up on a Spirit that would rather shoulder check you in the hallway than politely step aside as they see you walking, you should assume that you on your own are not enough to deal with it, and/or you need some sort of weapon or backup (and by deal with it, I don't mean you have to figh...

January 29, 2018

Welcome to Part II of our article series on Magical Protection. You can read Part I // Pieces of Your Self: Or, What NOT to Give Spirits << here. 

You've probably seen the meme floating around the internet with a quote saying something along the lines of "A witch shouldn't be afraid in a dark forest, as she should be the scariest thing in the woods." But this is a bit of a misnomer, because as a human witch, maybe even an Otherkin witch or witch with Fae lineages, we actually aren't all that strong, or scary-- on our own. There are a lot of things in the Spiritworld that are a lot bigger and badder than us. To think and act otherwise is a recipe for getting our shit f*cked. 

Witches can be a pretty terrifying thing in the woods that things found therein would be wise to give a wide berth because we basically have Spirit Gangs. Traditionally, witches had Familiars-- beings tied to them who could come and go between this world and the Otherworld, assist with spellcraft, or otherwise do...

January 28, 2018

I wanted to break my unintentional hiatus from writing blog posts with a post cliff-noting a conversation I had the other day with my -- also magically-inclined, and rather adept at Spiritworking -- husband. We had a conversation about spirits, offerings, and magical safety (notes I probably should have taken for our ever in-progress, will be completed eventually class, on Magical Protection). And though you may not think this applies to you-- you may not 'actively' work with spirits, you may not do spellwork or witchcraft to your way of thinking-- but, if you ever leave an offering to a plant when you harvest from it, or you light candles and pray to a higher power, anything of that nature-- you are in one form or another working with the Spirit Realm and the denizens found therein. 

This conversation was spurred by my thoughts on a practice I see many, many people-- who might consider themselves spiritual or not-- such as and particularly herbalists and foragers but also others (...

August 7, 2017

In the beginning, there was Darkness. And the Darkness, was lonely. Thus the Darkness spoke, and there was Light. And Darkness loved the Light, and the Light loved the Darkness, and their love was so strong that their bodies came together and Created All That Is. 

Then, from All That Is that was Created through their Love, there were new gods and spirits that formed as the planets and the stars were shaped, as the mountains spat fire and creatures rose from the vast seas to walk the land that was the body of even older sleeping gods. 

One day, one of these Beings, one of these spirits looked at their body, and the body of their comrades, and looked to the earth. They took up blood that came from the sacred place between their legs, and mixed it with the clay of the earth, and formed the People of the Earth in Their image. 

They set the People of the Earth a task: you are of the earth, not apart from it. It is your place to protect all things, it is your role to honor and worship, to give...

July 19, 2017

Yesterday I began recounting dreams that I have had of late, speaking them out loud and recording them to be written down later on: 

I dream of a sea at night. Gray water crashing against dark rocks, of swimming. Of an old midwife walking with me through a sun-lit forest down to the water's edge and an orca rising up to meet us. I dream of a storm coming, and running, of the storm passing and surviving. I dream of a friend together with me and our children but I can't remember the words she shares with me, I wake from the dream and find she's gone into labor. I dream of another friend walking across a meadow to meet me where valerian and yarrow are growing together, our hands moving aside flowerheads and being brushed by feathery leaves while we speak of the heart. I dream of riding horseback, of a budding romance and a lover's gentle touch. I dream of a lodge built of thick tree trunks in a pine forest and a man calling me to ceremony... 

I dropped. Deeper, deeper, deeper...

July 18, 2017

Every time I hear kulning songs, I have a somatic response in my body. A chill runs through me, tears well in my eyes. I want to sing too.

Today I came across a docu-series called Woodlanders, a totally crowd-sourced project documenting the forest-ways of forest-people. The episode that I happened to stumble across was on the Fäbod culture of Sweden, and explored the tradition of the Swedish people to move their cattle north to the boreal forests in the summertime, which was where the tradition of kulning arose from as a way for the, more often then not, young women to both call to each other across the forest and call in their livestock from grazing all day. It is a haunting melody, that makes me think it is not human women singing in the forest but some fae creature, perhaps a skogsra. 

My father's grandfather came from Sweden, I bear his name, a legacy of those lands and those peoples. 

My inner forest woman sees these women tending their cows and their goats, swimming i...

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© 2017 by Femme de la Foret // Aileen Peterson

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