So, as I mentioned before I’ve started studying what most people call shamanism, or what my people called Seidr. It’s been slow to start, being busy gets in the way of learning as always. Still, some progress has been made.
One of the things I hear (and have seen some) is people going into trances or having deities and spirits “possessing” them and speaking and acting through their bodies. I can’t say that it’s something I’ve exactly wanted to happen to me, but I’ll admit some academic curiosity as to the process. Some people call it playing “Horse” which I think comes from the Voodoo/Vodou tradition, from when one of their holy people play host to the loa.
Without going into too many details about what was happening, I did something halfway like it. While I remained alone in my head, a being did end up speaking through my voice. I can’t say if the spirit controlled my body at all, but I was kind of doing a dancing thing (which I’ve heard is common among shamans and seidr workers). This is conjecture from what I’ve read, but I think the dancing thing helps align the spirit and the shaman. It was a unique experience that my throat is still a little rough from. I can’t say it wasn’t unpleasant, if a bit odd.
End result, I think I’m one step closer to being a seidrmann, or vard-lokkur, or shaman, or whatever you want to call me. Or I want to call me. Don’t know yet, but it’s a step that tells me I’m at least learning and hopefully in the right direction.
Now I just have to master not sliding into that headspace/channel path again. Or at least get a few more going so I can slip into one or the other as I choose, rather than just the one. Means a bit more research and talking with my spirit allies.
Please allow me to introduce myself….
Kelly Greene said:
Personally, I dislike the term “being horsed.” Such a phrase brings to mind an unwillingness to join mind/body with another being in order to share information with others. No deity I know would force themselves into a human who wasn’t willing to accommodate them.
That being said, there are other creatures out there who will easily take advantage, so please be safe while you are performing anything remotely shamanistic in nature. You mentioned dancing…honestly, that may have more to do with the type of creature/deity than spiritual alignment. The less compatible you are with someone, the more energy it takes to create a connection. Physical activity stimulates every energy center of your body and thus allows a stronger connection because of that, but it doesn’t necessarily align the energy. It just creates a stronger conduit, of sorts.
In my experience, connecting with a deity always results in a mental connection of some sort. That connection can be subtle because sometimes the mental voice of the deity sounds like your own thoughts. And they feel almost the same, but not quite the same. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that anyone sharing their mental space will automatically sound different.
But I grew up with my spirit guides embedded co-consciously in my mind. Because of that, I learned how to tell the difference between my thoughts and theirs and there is a simple trick you might want to try–especially if you plan to pursue this path more seriously.
When you are doing this half-channel, where someone is speaking through you, examine your thoughts. If every thought you have is either one you 100% agree with or can tolerate reasonably well, you are probably not engaged in a true channel. If you find a thought that pisses you off, it’s pretty likely it doesn’t belong to you, and you are therefore sharing space with someone else.
I am a natural born Empath, so I have quite a bit of experience with channeling. If you aren’t completely drained after an experience like the one you described, then you weren’t channeling anyone. A sore throat is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Usually, when I have finished channeling, I feel like I’ve run a marathon and ended up with the worst sinus infection in human history.
That’s one of the reasons most people don’t pursue shamanism, because they don’t really understand what they are getting into. A lot of people assume that it’s an easy path, but it isn’t. There’s a reason shamans are either born or forged through fire (and sometimes both) and that’s the sheer amount of pain a person has to be able to experience (and I don’t necessarily mean physical). Since you did have a sore throat, you probably have the potential to eventually be a strong channel (like I said, tip of the iceberg).
If you read into the shamanistic practices of virtually any culture, you’ll find that most of them come to their paths through near-death experiences. To be a shaman of any type, a person has to really understand what it means to suffer. Because it is only through learning the meaning of suffering that a person can learn what it means to be compassionate. And compassion is the most important quality for a shaman to possess. It is what allows them to become healers, guides, mentors, and teachers.
And as one last note–don’t rely solely on Seidr for shamanistic practices. There is virtually no true knowledge about it (most of the so-called knowledge about it now is conjecture) and that makes it rather unsafe. In some ways, you may be better off researching shamanistic practices that are in use today and then adapting them to your needs.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
Thanks for the info! I’m certainly going to consider it as I go along. 😀
I’ve heard the shaman path is a hard one born of death and suffering. Since that sounds a lot like my life…probably why I seem naturally drawn to it and the use of its techniques. As you said though, there is so little seidr info that i’m pretty much learning the most common techniques used in all shamanic paths, and then once I have those a pretty well, I will start experimenting further with my culture’s elements of it.
While I can’t say that I was all that “drained” by the channeling (I apparently have very high energy reserves, and was gifted more energy by the being in question) I have to admit the sore throat is sticking around for several days, lol. I can’t comment as to the “different thoughts” in my head part. As I said, only my voice box was used, it didn’t actually run through my mind before being said. Not sure what to call that, hence why I didn’t’ say “horsed.” Though I do agree with you about that term.
Do you have any recommended places where I might be able to learn more?
Kelly Greene said:
I have a few recommendations. For Northern Tradition Shamanism (aka Nordic), http://www.northernshamanism.org/general/welcome.html Raven Kaldera is a wonderful writer. There are books on her site that you can buy, if you’re so inclined, but there is a wealth of information on the website itself.
One of the books I own that has some very good techniques in it is “Awaken the Inner Shaman: A Guide to the Power Path of the Heart” by José Luis Stevens, PhD.
Jadoi Tai Alexander wrote “The Book of Storms” and a couple subsequent novels. They are all online. The first one can be found here: http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue.html While he focuses mostly on Empath techniques, the truth is that every psychic/shaman/mystic (whatever term you prefer to use) can use these techniques. He is the only author I’ve found who delves more into the scientific side of mysticism, which makes his works a unique resource.
Nicholas Haney said:
I enjoy reading your writings, especially on the topic of shamanism. As a student of shamanism myself, I really enjoy learning from the experiences of others. Thank you.
Being “horsed” isn’t specifically from the Voodoo (et al) tradition, in fact there are a great number of examples in Scandinavian folklore. There are a lot of different words/concepts for it. Most revolve around the riding-hugr, the riding spirit (of something). The most notable I can think of off the top of my head are the mare – tales.
Whereas, most of us today think of the nightmare as a bad dream, in some of the folklore it is a thing, a spirit. A being that “rode” the person at night, and could actually be “spawned” as an independent spirit from the persons own thoughts, feelings, and notably, fears. Generally nasty little buggers.
Anyways, thanks again.