Celtic Polytheism, fae, Paganism, Spellwork, Spiritwork

Riders on a Baleful Wind, and a Charm to Keep Them at Bay

This time of year, between the autumnal equinox and Samhain, is when I notice the most activity from a loose grouping of spirits I’ve begun to refer to as Riders on a Baleful Wind. I’m referring both to the Wild Hunt ⁠(or, really, Hunts, plural) and also to some of the Fair Folk⁠—trooping fairies who travel near these dates*, and groups like the slua sí, who are also associated with wind or storms, and overlap somewhat with the folkloric Wild Hunt.

As a folklore motif and a mythological archetype, the Wild Hunt is prevalent across much of Northwestern Europe, and the Hunt of each region has its own leader. Often these leaders are Pre-Christian deities associated with war or death, like Odin/Woden and Gwyn Ap Nudd. Other times they’re figures associated with the aos sí, like Manannán Mac Lir, or they’re said to be famous ghosts, like Herne the Hunter. These folk tales came with European Immigrants to the Americas as well, and here the Hunt is sometimes known as the Ghost Riders. (Some of you will be familiar with the song, I imagine.) Besides the leader, who or what exactly the rest of the company is varies from tale to tale. Sometimes they are human dead, sometimes they’re said to be fairies or demons, but most frequently these groups seem to be something of a motley crew. The overlapping circles of the Fair Folk, the Gods, and the Dead are difficult to pick apart, and it’s especially difficult to draw any clear lines when we’re looking at the Wild Hunt and related groups of weather-riding unfriendly otherworldly beings.

Unfriendly and intimidating though they may seem, not all of them are actually malevolent. That’s why I term them “baleful”, not “baneful”, and each individual group poses a different type and level of danger. Malevolent or not, however, they’re generally not spirits most witches want in or around their homes or places of business, and with that in mind I’ve been working on a charm object to add a little additional protection to whatever wards you already have in place.

Warding Charm

The charm itself is fairly small and would easily blend into an autumn wreath. The ingredients are pretty simple as well: a sweetgum ball, some red yarn, and iron water.

SWEETGUM BALL: One per charm, dried, preferably with the stem attached.

Part of the work I’ve been doing with the Ogham for the past two years (or more, really, but I think it was two years ago that I really started diving in deeply in a structured way) is finding local plants that have similar energy to the plants of the tree ogham list.** Sweetgum, a tree indigenous to my area, has an energy that I think is similar in some important ways to Blackthorn. While it doesn’t have thorns, it does have spiky seed balls, and its sweet-scented sap, like blackthorn sloes, is actually very bitter tasting. Additionally, it’s a favored food of luna moth caterpillars, an insect I have long associated with nocturnal fairy beings. Blackthorn is sometimes said to belong to or to ward off the Othercrowd, and I find Sweetgum fits that niche as well. I have since learned that sweetgum balls are also used in hoodoo for protection, which dovetails nicely with both my experience of the tree, and this charm.

RED YARN: Or thread, I suppose. Enough to wrap around the sweetgum ball twice at perpendicular intersections, and tie off to leave tails for hanging.

I decided to spin my own yarn. I’ve wanted to learn to spin for a long time, but until recently thought I was allergic to wool. It turns out, I’m probably reacting to a chemical used in the commercial processing, because I did a test with a friend’s fleece-to-homespun and had no redness, no itching, no bumps, no hives! Excited, I borrowed a drop spindle and purchased some red-dyed roving from an artisan supplier. They included a sample of some other colors and I used that to figure out a technique for spinning. That way, once I started on the red roving, I could focus more on spinning my intent and my power into the yarn, instead of still figuring out what the heck I was doing. If you don’t spin, I recommend braiding embroidery floss as a good alternative for adding your intent and power to the string. Something like: I’m a badass witch and I protect this space; I decide who enters and who the wards keep out.

Iron Water: Soak some nails in water with a little splash of apple cider vinegar for a few days. When it’s ready, dip the sweetgum ball, yarn and all, into the water and let it get saturated.

I doubt I need to tell most of my readers that iron is known to ward off the Fair Folk, but just in case you need the refresher: that’s why we’re using iron water. You could also stick those very nails into this charm if you wanted, but that’s a bit stronger than I wanted for my personal charms, and it would be a little too strong for some allies I don’t want to keep out. I wanted something vaguely iron scented. Enough iron to say that I know what I’m about, but not enough iron to deeply offend those who are welcome across my threshold.

This is also probably a good time to tell you that this charm, as I’ve made it, is basically a “No Tresspassing” sign. It’s not going to do much good if it’s your only line of defense. If you have decent house wards, though, and gods or allies you can turn to in times of need, that sign will be enough to make those Riders more inclined to go around, rather than through. There are fewer obstacles elsewhere, and easier prey to be found. As with most predators, that’s usually enough, as long as you don’t provoke them.

* Though the ones who travel near the autumnal equinox may be following the Pleiades, not the equinox. See Morgan Daimler’s recent writings on that for more information.

** Nota Bene: The Ogham is an alphabet, and it’s not just about trees. Trees are one of the ogham lists. There’s also word ogham, skill ogham, bird ogham, even dog and waterway ogham. Eventually I’ll make my own local herb and bird and waterways lists, too, and maybe a modern skills ogham. But a lot of my general witchy practice includes work with plants, so trees seemed like a good place to start.

Event, Ritual, Workshop

Sacred Space 2017 – Days 1 & 2

Opening Ritual

The Opening Ritual is scripted just about the same every year, as its primary purposes are to 1) awaken the egregore of the conference, 2) invoke Djehuty and Athena, the patrons of the conference, and 3) ward and sanctify the space.  The main thing that stuck out to me this year was part of Gwendolyn Reece’s invocation of Athena: Let us be useful.  It reminded me of my own budding work with Athena Columbia, a local cultus of Athena as Patroness of the District of Columbia and Protectress of American Democracy. (For more info, see my devotional tumblog.)

Workshop: 5 Herbs for the Hedgewitch, by Tintalle Foxwood

Tintalle Foxwood is a clinical herbalist who works out of her home in Baltimore, MD, and is part of Orion Foxwood’s temple and tradition of Faery Seership.  She presented this workshop on 5 herbs (plus one extra that jumped in) that can help build the spirit-mind-body connection, in order to keep occultists healthy and grounded in their mundane lives while still able to do their spiritual work.  Her six herbs were Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Milky Oats (Avena sativa), Linden (Tilia spp.), Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), and Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata).  She picked these six herbs because they can all be grown and harvested sustainably, they are generally safe for most people to use (barring allergies), they have a history of traditional uses, they have scientific evidence-based uses, and the plant spirits were willing to be part of her program.  She talked at length about nervines and adaptogens generally (most of the herbs are one or the other), and then spoke on each herb specifically, giving uses for each.  I was somewhat familiar with Stinging Nettle and Passionflower, but her workshop gave me more ideas for the use of even those two familiar plants!  At the end, we each had the chance to blend an herbal tea out of those six herbs, plus a number of extras that she’d brought as flavor enhancers and “backup dancers”.  I blended a tea for Glasreo, to hopefully help on days that work fries his brain a bit too much.

Ritual: Ogma and the Voices of the Tree Ogham, by Raven Edgewalker

Raven Edgewalker is part of the Reclaiming tradition and has worked very closely with the trees of the ogham for twenty or so years.  At the ritual, she began by casting a circle calling on the trees to stand guard around us, and honestly I think it was the most comfortable cast circle I’ve ever been in. (Frequently I feel more cut off and claustrophobic than protected inside of Wiccan circles, which is why I tend to prefer druidic rituals!)  After an invocation to Ogma himself, the ritual was reflective, based on questions drawn from four ogham trees: Birch, Oak, Hawthorn, and Blackthorn.  Birch asked, “What are you beginning?” Oak asked, “What in you is strong?”  Hawthorn asked, “What do you fear?”  Blackthorn asked, “What do you wish to protect?”  We answered in our hearts, and then gave our answers to those whose eyes we met as we moved within the circle.  At the end, having found our answers, we raised energy to bless ourselves.  It was a very enjoyable ritual, and I gained a number of important insights.  Additionally, it cemented for me that it is time for me to start my ogham journey.  I purchased a set of staves from Raven (check out her etsy shop!) later that weekend.

Ritual: Oracular Seidhr, by Scott Momhern and Becky Sheehan, assisted by Laurel Mendes

This was my second time attending this ritual.  Previously, Laurel Mendes and Diana Paxson had taken turns being seer and guide; this time Scott and Becky were the seers, guided by Laurel.  I did not ask a question this time, either, but Glasreo did, on the topic of his personal path and growth that I won’t share here.  Highlights included this business advice from Odin, paraphrased: “Tell them what you need to – which does not mean tell them everyhing.  You can best serve them by doing your work well, whatever it is.”  As other questions were asked, I found myself in journey space, talking to Hela about our coming work together.  I gained some insight into why I find her so comfortable to talk with, and learned that deathwork is also within the realm of my healing work.  Freya also talked to me about oracular seidhr, and volva-ship, though she cautioned that it’s not a good idea to begin that work while pregnant, as I am too close to the edge already. I imagine we’ll discuss that more come summer.

Workshop: Guardianship and Trance Possession, by Raven Fitzcarraldo Mohnkern

After the mishap and my successful possession last year at the Conjure Dance, Glasreo and I both thought it would be a good idea to attend this workshop.  Raven is a member of the Universal Temple of Spirits and has been a guardian at trance possessory rites for about twenty years.  Guardianship, as she explained, means protection of the human attendees, moving energy into/out of people as needed, holding sacred space, and keeping the mundane world from interfering with the rite.  UToS is a polytheist pan-pantheon tradition, but they borrow some terminology from ADTs, including the use of Horse/Rider to describe possession.  At their rites there is a team of Guardians and attendants, and because it is a fairly small community, they tend to know which human is likely to be possessed by which spirit and what the human’s needs and boundaries are, as well as the spirit’s expectations, but Raven emphasized the need to express your own boundaries and any allergies, etc, to the Guardians whenever you are at a trance possessory rite.  She used the car driving metaphor to explain different levels of possession: sometimes, you’re driving and there’s a spirit outside the car.  Sometimes they’re sitting in the back seat.  Sometimes they’re sitting in the front seat, navigating.  Sometimes, the spirit is driving and you’re in the passenger’s seat, navigating.  Sometimes you’re in the backseat, watching.  And sometimes you’re bound and gagged in the trunk and have no idea what’s going on. That last one tends to be the kind Guardians need to keep the closest eye on, and is often the most obvious during a ritual.

Raven gave a run down of basic Guardianship rules: 1) always be watching (you have to learn by experience what to watch for, but erratic behaviour is a good start), 2) when someone is possessed, your job is both their safety and the safety of the entire ritual, 3) use whatever senses you’re good at to discern what kind of spirit is present and whether it’s going to play nice with others,  4) research and get to know as many spirits as possible so that you know their personality and preferences, 5) get to know the human attendees as well as possible, including their boundaries and limitations, 6) learn to use your body to catch people without anyone getting hurt, 7) take breaks when you need them, and 8) carry a tool kit.  In that tool kit, she recommended things for helping bring spirits in (like spirit beads and devotional objects), things for helping kick spirits out and grounding the human (like florida water, salt, and iron), and utilities (like bandages, flashlights, and lighters).  If the rite doesn’t have attendants to take care of the spirit once it has possessed a human, then that’s a Guardian’s job, too – keep things like alcohol, food, and tobacco on hand. She ended with a couple of things everyone could do to help trance possessory rituals go more smoothly: things like keeping track of your friends, catching them if they stumble, waving over a Guardian if you need help, and making sure others know their boundaries/limitations.  Water is also helpful, she said: just about everyone who has a possessory experience, even if it’s not very “intense”, will need water afterwards.  I think Glasreo has a lot to think about (even though possessory rites aren’t really his “thing”), and I certainly need to think about how to keep myself safe as I work more closely with Bast and Sekhmet.

That’s it for Days 1 & 2.  Here are Days 3 & 4!

Divination, Event, Ritual

Sacred Space, Day 4

Unfortunately, due to a sudden migraine, I missed the first workshop I had been intending to attend, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s “Inside-Out Magic.”

 

Working with the Celtic Tree Ogham in the United States, by Raven Edgewalker

This was a sort of follow-up to her presentation on Friday, where Raven went over working with the tree ogham in an experiential way, although both presentations would have been excellent as stand-alone workshops as well.

She began with listing off several ways one could work with the ogham outside of the UK, where all of the trees are native and available.  First, she said you could simply work with it as an alphabet, linguistically, with poetry and the bardic arts.  The ogham was never just trees, that’s just the most complete of the surviving symbol sets – perhaps because many of the ogham have tree names (although not all of them do).  There seems to have also been a sow ogham and a bird ogham and perhaps many, many more.  Secondly, she said, you could just work with the celtic tree ogham as-is, though in that case she recommends getting staves in the proper woods, so that you can have at least a small amount of the tree to work with.  Her third point brought her to the topic at hand: creating your own version of the tree ogham, using trees local to your particular geographical location.  She fielded a question from the attendees about a perhaps North-American-wide ogham, about including things from all across the US, and she said, sure, you could do that – but you’d have the same issues with not having a nearby tree to work with.  So if you want to actually visit each tree in person, it’s a better idea to stick to trees that are no more than a day trip away, instead of including things like the Californian redwoods.

Starting from the presumption, then, that you want to create an ogham set based on local trees, Raven said there are still several different approaches.  Some people try to find whatever tree is most closely biologically related to any missing trees, but she says that the meanings may be different, then.  She gave an example of this: say you live in Florida, and the closest thing to a European Common Oak is the Live Oak.  Now, the common oak is a deciduous, but the Live Oak is a hardwood evergreen.  Those are very different trees with very different energies.  Their magical and healing uses are probably very different, and that will change the meaning as a divinatory symbol.  Instead, Raven recommends looking into the meaning of the missing tree in the divination system, learning what niche it occupies in the Celtic/British isles, and learning its magical and healing properties, and then finding a close substitute.  For example, she says that Birch is the first letter of the ogham because in Britain where she lives, the birch is the first tree that re-colonizes cleared land, and it’s the first tree to bud leaves in the spring.  So perhaps if you were trying to replace it, you should use whatever tree by you best occupies that ecological niche.

Next Raven gave us all a piece of silver birch bark, and had us really experience it for moment before describing it.  Words used were shimmery, silvery, and it reminded some of the fae or the bardic arts.  I found it to be rougher and stiffer than I expected, being more accustomed to paper birch, but others found it surprisingly soft. Then Raven led us on a brief journeyworking to meet the trees of the ogham – first the grove of the twenty Celtic trees, then our “own” ogham grove, where we might find trees different than those twenty.  She had us interact with our “first” tree, Birch or its replacement.  I had two –  a Sugar Maple, and a Paper Birch.  I suppose that makes Paper Birch my second tree, then!

Now that we had at least one tree and a place to start, she said it’s a good idea to go one tree at a time or one category of knowledge at a time as we learn about the trees and develop a personal relationship with them.  She emphasized the importance of a personal relationship, because she believes that is what a lot of divination draws on: our own memories of and feelings for the trees.  So perhaps your tree for new love won’t be the traditional Apple, but rather the Maple, because when you were a teen you and your boyfriend used to sit in the branches of a maple for hours together.  And that is perfectly fine!  The categories she mentioned are the following: learning to identify the tree by bark and leaves, learning what ecological niche it fills; learning what parts are edible or medicinal; learning what the wood is used for (like shipbuilding, furniture, etc); learning the role the tree plays in any folklore or mythology; and then doing journeyworkings to go and talk to the trees themselves and see what they have to say and what insights they offer.

I can’t wait to get started!

 

Closing Ritual

The Closing Ritual is always a bit low-key, and it’s hard sometimes to want to attend because everyone is so low energy and just wants to get home to sleep, but I find it provides important closure.

Gwendolyn Reece and Michael G. Smith thanked all spirits, especially Djehuty and Athena, for being with us and sharing in the hospitality.  Then we sang a short chant and helpers moved around with small bowls of stones, offering one to each attendee as a parting gift.  Then we ceded the space back to the mundane world, and the egregore of the conference was placed back into abeyance until the conference next year.

 

And that’s the whole conference!  Thanks for reading!

~Réaltán~

 

[Day 1]

[Day 2]

[Day 3]

Event, Ritual

Sacred Space, Day 2

Gwdihŵ has sort of declined to write up his incomplete notes, so you’ll really just be getting my experience of the conference except where we attended an event together, I’m afraid.  But here was my Day 2!

Experiential Tree Ogham, by Raven Edgewalker

I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop.  I think this one, along with her second workshop on the last day, made up my favorite part of the entire weekend.  And also I now have ogham on the brain, so expect a little bit of that to filter through here eventually.  (Yes, I still have new tarot decks to learn, and yes, I’m beginning to learn runes, but really, a witch can never have too many forms of divination, can she?)

Raven started out with a little background and history of the ogham: it’s an alphabet, trees aren’t the only things associated with the letters (and some of those trees are vines or shrubs), it probably post-dates Christian contact, etc.  She emphasized that she likes that it’s newer, and likes that it seems to have been not fully developed by the time it was no longer used heavily, because that means there’s a lot of work that still could have been done, and that plus the fact that we don’t have complete sources means that it’s easier to create our own version, and to customize it to ourselves and our own practice.  She talked a bit about how she couldn’t get into ogham at first, couldn’t learn the symbols, not until she started actually working with plants and trees, and then from that work she ended up back at ogham.

Then she had us do a short meditation, where we were instructed to go find a tree and talk to it for a moment.  Many people found a tree from their childhood, or a tree that they interact with often now.  I ended up meeting the Black Spruce spirit I had been working with all winter.  One of the things Raven emphasized when we shared about our experiences was a thing I learned from Black Spruce previously – trees are not in a hurry.  They have time; they do not rush.  And neither should we, learning ogham.  She said we should start with getting to know the trees.  If you can identify 20 trees, learn their other properties, and then learn 20 more.  If you can only identify 2 trees, learn their properties and learn two more.  Double your knowledge.  Move slowly.  Feel your way through the trees and then the ogham as a system of divination will grow naturally in you.  A lot of the meanings she gets when she reads ogham hinge on her personal associations and personal relationships with the trees themselves.

There are 20 trees in the original ogham, but she said her personal set has grown to include about 70 plants, and she’s continued on the pattern of symbols and made her own staves, each out of the wood of the plant, and she encourages all of us to do the same – make our own version of the ogham.

Raven closed with another meditative exercise: this time we were supposed to become a tree, to start as a seedling and grow, trying to really feel and imagine branches and roots and the wind, and the other trees around us, a whole forest in the room.  That was a deeply grounding and beautiful exercise.

 

Tarot and Talking with the Dead, by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

Ellen started the class by setting up a small altar piece: what appeared to be a Halloween decoration graveyard with little stones and a little doll representing Maman Brigitte.  As she set up, Ellen talked a bit about Maman Brigitte, her relationship to the goddess and saint Brigid, and her role in Vodou as the wife of Baron Samedi and the Queen of the Graveyard.  Then we did a small ground-center-focus meditation, and said an invocation of Maman Brigitte together.

The first tarot spread was a four-card spread in which we were supposed to talk to a specific ancestor or other dead person or spirit, with each card asking one of the following questions:

  1. What is the primary energy or power of this spirit?
  2. How can you participate in the manifestation of that power?
  3. What particular message does this spirit have for you?
  4. What do you have to offer this spirit in return?

I used my LOTR deck, and ended up talking to my great-grandfather, who died while I was in college.

The second spread was asking the dead in general for their advice and insight, and it was a three-card spread using the following questions:

  1. What is important for me to know about what is coming in my personal world?
  2. What is important for me to know about what is coming in my community?
  3. What is important for me to know about what is coming in the larger world?

Many of us got answers about a time of change and upheaval in the last two questions.

We ended with a short journey meditation, to go and talk to the dead directly.  I went to see my great-grandfather and also saw my great-grandmother, his wife, and their son, my great-uncle whom I never met.  I helped them some with healing, and it was a very powerful but very personal moment.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ellen’s workshop, and it is to my dismay that I did not make it to her other tarot workshop: Tarot with the Dark Goddess.  She also presented “Inside Out Magic” and “Writing Ancient Lives”, both of which Gwdihŵ attended and enjoyed.

 

 

The New Orleans Conjure Dance, presented by Caroline Kenner and Gryphon’s Grove School of Shamanism, with music by Firesong

As it says in the Sacred Space programme, the Conjure Dance is a “ritual dance of spirit possession and manifestation.  It is inspired by the dances performed by Marie Laveau on Sundays in Congo Square, New Orleans, before the Civil War.”  Many deities from many different pantheons are invoked through song, and many more are given representation on altars set up along the walls of the room.

As I did last year, I began by walking around the room to look at all the altars first.  My first sweep with Gwdihŵ was just to greet everyone, and to see who was represented.  On our second pass, we left offerings.  We had brought a few special offerings, a bag of multicolor jelly beans, and a bag of gold foil wrapped chocolate eggs.  We gave each table a chocolate egg, and the jelly beans we passed out to our particular friends in each pantheon, using color symbolism.  Gwdihŵ also brought a few origami cranes and shells to give to some of his gods, and I had brought a large dark chocolate bunny also wrapped in gold foil for Bast.  There was alcohol provided by Caroline Kenner & co, and we gave a little of that as well, before settling in to enjoy the music some and to listen for invocation songs of those we know.

After a little while I went back to the Egyptian altar and sat for a moment, to ask Bast if she might join me for the night.  I had thought that it would take a lot of preparation work to be able to tune out the noise and find my center in order to open and let her in, but the opposite was true – I needed no more than ask, and she was there.  Then the juggling act of having a headmate began.  Walking was difficult only for the first few steps – then we made our way over to the alcohol to have a shot of something.  She wanted something sweet, like chocolate liqueur or kahlua or frangelico, but we had to settle for a sweet dark rum, which we both enjoyed.  Speaking was a little difficult at times – Gwdihŵ asked me about the alcohol and to be careful (because alcohol frequently doesn’t agree with my chronic illness) but I (we?) assured him that we would not have much – just a taste.  Bast seemed to enjoy watching the spectacle, and she was proud of how many statues she had on the Egyptian altar (although she was tied with Anpu, whom she ribbed gently).  We also tried a violet liqueur, and she didn’t like it, or I didn’t like it – I’m still not exactly sure.  Either way, we decided not to drink the whole shot, and so a shot and a half was our total alcohol consumption for the night.  We did try the peeps, though – I like them, and she enjoyed biting off their heads, as they were intended as stand-ins for sacrificial chickens.  Mostly we just watched and moved and tried to keep our balance, with her enjoying embodiment, but staying politely in the passenger’s seat of the car, so to speak.

I did need a little bit of help from a friend to find the stickers we were supposed to use if we didn’t want to be touched or had allergies or something, because that was early on and I was having trouble looking for them and I wasn’t sure how well I was going to be able to have a real conversation, starting with “Hello, Are you one of the helpers?  I have a request…”etc.  So instead I (we) walked up to my friend and sort of blurted out, “Do you know where the stickers are?  I need one.”  She saw that I was possessed and if I’m not mistaken also had a pretty good idea who my headmate was, and she helped me find the stickers and checked in with me and I assured her that I was fine, but having a little bit of difficulty with words.  Once I had the stickers on, Bast and I danced around some, and had a few interactions with friends, though some of those are less clear than others.  Between the alcohol and the late night and the headmate, my memory is not as crisp as it could have been, but it’s not truly patchy, either, just a little out of focus.

There was one point where I noticed a friend in distress and Bast pulled back quite a bit more so that I could speak a bit more fluently and not have to be balancing her presence while I tried to find assistance.  Once I had found someone to help and had communicated the problem to both them and Gwdihŵ (who had no headmates), I felt comfortable relaxing again and she came back, unperturbed by the interruption.  I am not sure, but I think she even pulled back without me asking her to in the first place – I find she is very respectful of boundaries, provided she knows them already or can predict them.  She even reminded me to go get my water bottle at one point, because I’d had nothing to drink but the two shots of alcohol.

I didn’t expect her to give me any messages for anyone, as we were really just having a good time at a party for the most part, but there was a particular friend of mine there who also works with Bast, and every time he passed by, she sort of sighed in my head and said, “Isn’t he great?”  or “I really like him.” or something like that, so after probably a half hour of that or more, I did go and tell him that she appreciated him, etc, knowing that he likely already knew that, but it’s always nice to hear it again.

The other interaction of any note, is that while I was outside talking with Gwdihŵ and another attendee, someone else who was possessed came out with a helper in tow, and Bast (who had been mostly in the background so that I could talk), came forward and perked up her ears and said “Loki?”.  I just barely did not allow that to come out of my mouth, afraid that I/she was wrong, but it turns out that she was right, and I’m a bit sorry now that I didn’t say it and allow that interaction to play out.  Oh well.  He’s since told me that he knew I/we recognized him then, but that it’s possible his possessory host did not, intent as she was (they were) on having a cigarette.

The acquisition of Bast as a headmate seems to have been much easier than her departure.  She was still quite present, although no longer quite in the passenger’s seat, by the time I fell asleep.  She hadn’t really left.  But then again, she’s frequently very close by even when we’re not attempting something possessory, and I think the line between being able to hear her, and her being a headmate is a bit blurrier than I had originally thought.  In any case, she was gone in the morning.

I think it was a good exercise in boundaries and balancing.  I have known for some time that I was once her Oracle and she would like me to fill that role again, and I think we’ll need more practice before we get there, but the ease of our night together at the Conjure Dance bodes well.  Dua Bast!

 

~Réaltán~

[Day 1 Here]

[Day 3 Here]

[Day 4 Here]