So I’ve been watched by Odin pretty closely these last few days. Everywhere, crows, crows, crows. They follow me like they haven’t for years. Its just ridiculous. And they’re shameless too, sometimes they just sit there, cawing maniacally – then when I move on they just fly right on after me. Shameless, like I say. You’d think they thought I was dead and ready for the munching or something.
Finally on Wednesday I realised I needed to do a séance with that ouija board I received. I’d been sick pretty consistently since Volksfreund and my adventures with the ghosts – it really took it out of me. Plus I’ve been super busy and keeping on top of everything has been a real challenge.
But on Thursday I was booked in to get my first tattoos done and since they’re all about manifesting in Midgard I decided I had to clear the otherworldly or necromantic stuff first, no matter that I still felt pretty lousy on Wednesday.
I get home at about 8.30pm, having been thinking about the séance, the ouija board, all day, focussing my intention on using it. I’m home alone, which is a blessing. I did some research and a lot of people report experiences of mischievous or malignant spirits using ouija boards to harass or scare inexperienced or frivolous seekers. At first I dismissed this as childish fears, but on the other hand some folk I respect hold similar views too.
Well I’m sitting at my computer and it just wont go online. Then I hear strange noises, movement. And I know I’m not alone. There are spirits here, they’ve heard my thoughts about the ouija board.
Before I do anything about them I quickly call Volksfreund to discuss the situation. He agrees there some weird business going on, but he doesn’t think these spirits have anything to do with the Old One or the sacred site spirits. And my instincts concur. He wishes me luck and I get ready to do this thing.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Earlier I showed the board to Volksfreund. We were a bit drunk. He opened the board and bang – this dark vortex opened. I told him to close it right away and he did. So this was coming, this crazy thing. For a week or so.
So when I realise I’m not alone, and that these beings don’t seem all too friendly, something strange happens. Bolts of trembling and electrical fire course through me and I leap up, possessed to the gills by WODANAZ and let out an almighty roar.
I was listening to “River of Fire” from our (Ironwood) album :Fire:Water:Ash:, an Odinnic possession song, and hearing myself on the recording recite the lyrics from Odin’s point of view really quickened the possession. Later I think Volksfreund said the spirits might have also been attracted by the music, I’m not sure if that’s true though.
Then Wodan and I pick up this old toy sword I own and suddenly a whole bunch of threads of wyrd are revealed. This old wooden sword was made for me by my grandfather (the one who left me his pocket watch, see my article on my altar) because as a kid I was obsessed with medieval weapons (hmm, can anyone detect some patterns in my interests?)
Later my father and I painted the sword silver and gold and sharpened the blade. It’s the only toy sword I ever kept; all the others are long gone, but something made me unable to part with it and I’ve carted around from household to household for years, it looking neglected and reproachful.
Well there I am on Wednesday (Woden’s Day) night, this sword in hand, possessed by Woden, and this almost ancestral sword is just about scintillating. Then I grab my rune carver/antique screw driver (again, see my altar journal entry) and carve a Teiwaz rune on the blade.
My mind shoots to of an article I recently read about Daoist ghost hunters, who use enchanted wooden swords, and a comment Volksfreund made about Odinnic-Daoist similarities. It all fits – and as a teenager I loved Hong Kong supernatural martial arts flicks like Mr Vampire!
I know, this is sort of syncretist, but it makes so much sense for my own personal history and nature. And really, I’m not pretending to be a Daoist, it’s just a (fruitful) analogy people! That sword also has a powerful ancestral resonance – how much more Heathen can you get than that?
Well Woden is coming through me and I invoke Elhaz to open a magical space. We set up the ouija board and I use a coin as the indicating device. I’m sitting by my computer to record what comes out. So I tell the spirits (or Woden does) that I’m not to be messed with. Then I ask them their business.
I find I don’t need to spell out whole words. My hand flies to the first letter and then the whole thought of the spirits appears complete in my mind for me. So our exchange is short and sharp. Here is the transcript”:
Me/Woden: Who are you and what is your business.
Them: Don’t you dare threaten us.
Me/Woden: Why not?
Them: We don’t fear you.
Me/Woden: That makes no sense.
Them: Fuck off.
Me/Woden: Why are you here?
Them: Everyone always wants to know that. Yes we know you don’t fear us.
Me/Woden: How many are you?
Me/Woden: If you have no purpose here then leave.
Them: We have a purpose.
I asked them to state it, because that last thing they said was pretty nasty in tone. They refused to state it and I got sick of being jerked around. So I hit ‘bye’ on the ouija board and invoked Odin again.
That didn’t get rid of them – these buggers were much tougher than the spirits I’m used to dealing with. Then one of them said in a very eerie, threatening tone, “I am the Prince of Lies”.
I burst into laughter at that – did they really think I would take such silliness seriously? I demanded to know what they wanted and forced them to tell me – they had come because they sensed my desire to use the board, in fact they claimed to follow the copies of the album that the board came with and harass anyone who used it. Their only interest was feeding off fear or other emotions. Parasite ghosts you might say.
I drove them back, closed the board, and grabbed the coin. I visualised a sun wheel like a shield radiating from the coin in my closed fist and was shocked to find this produced an intense kinaesthetic and energetic response in my shoulder, arm and hand. In fact I could feel the shield as though it were a part of my body.
I later offered the coin to a Balinese cat we have that I regard as an effigy of Freya.
Having disoriented these unwanted spirits so, I wandered the house. I felt a really strong ancestral presence, both from my sister and some other female ancestor, this one from my mother’s side I think. That was lovely. They’d come to support me in driving out these very persistent and unwanted spectral interlopers.
Then Odin took me a third time. Staring into a mirror, we had a conversation.
I told him that the next day I would be getting two tattoos, two powerful visual oaths. I asked him to help me with fulfilling my oaths and he promised to do so.
I asked him what this whole psychopomp business was about, in particular about this talk that “arrangements” would be made for me so I could do it all the time, almost like a professional. He replied that there are no arrangements, but that all will be as it must be. He asked me if I understood. I can’t explain what he meant, but I did understand and responded as such.
The ghosts were gathering their strength now and I asked if he could drive them off. He said he could, but he also said that I could defeat them too, even though so far all I’d succeeded in was holding them at bay. He told me to chant Ansuz three times. I did. Then he told me to use that to find the right song to destroy them.
I didn’t know what he meant. Then it came to me, a poem of mine called “The Noose Song”. It’s about (funnily enough) being possessed by Odin. So I recite this song, which induces a powerful ecstatic fury if you do it with aggression and vehemence.
The ghosts were somehow forced into presence – no more hiding – so they attacked! And I slashed them to pieces with my sword. The last one I threw the sword at – and it stopped in flight when it hit the ghost, hung there for a moment in the air, then dropped as though it had collided with something solid as the ghost dissolved. Very weird thing to see I must say!
I called Volksfreund back to check in and let him know how it went. Its good to have a human point of support with this sort of crazy business I am finding. Oh yes, and my computer stopped malfunctioning as soon as the ghosts were gone.
Odin has been around a lot since, in fact I had a really dramatic possession just last night, but it’s all too personal to be writing about here. Sorry folks!
One lesson from this – even if you are focussed solely on working with the Northern Traditions, there are plenty of beings in the world you might encounter who aren’t from that particular idiom. In this case I don’t know what these spirits were, but the fact they thought they could scare me with a Satanic reference tells me that they’d not dealt with Woden before.
No matter how hard a reconstructionist you are, this sort of thing is going to happen – at least potentially – and I think the lesson is not to let one’s ideology or philosophy blind one to what is right in front of one. I might generally choose to work with the northern mythological forces, but I’m not going to ignore other entities just because that isn’t their preferred framework. That’d just be stupid.
What next in this front? I don’t know. The séance was pretty boring really, though hopefully those spirits won’t bother anyone else. And I learned some handy things, too. Plus, it’s always very pleasant to be ridden by my patron. Who knows what wyrd yet holds in store…