A Glimpse of the Otherworld

I had a rare day completely off from work today.  My husband had gone to New York City with friends, and despite the fact that it had snowed overnight on this April 3rd, the sun was out and I was not going to miss the opportunity to spend some much needed time in the woods.  I asked the kids if they wanted to go for a hike with me, and they said no.  Instead of pushing the issue I decided I’d jump on the opportunity to go alone and have them exercise later.  Right before I left the house, I knew I could use this woods time to “go listening”, as they say.  I impulsively placed three drops of mugwort pure plant essence on my tongue and swallowed it.  Now, there is an important side note here.  Do not do this unless you already have a good history of successful usage with mugwort, or without consulting personally with an herbalist or qualified medicinal aromatherapist.  I have a long history with this plant, and have been using the essence on my skin and ingesting it carefully and respectfully for years.   Any plant essence used on the skin or for ingestion needs to be of the highest grade, and completely pure-  do not go online and purchase from just anyone.  Also, you should always test usage on the skin a bunch of times to look for reactions before you ever consider putting an oil on an orifice.  If you want advice on this, feel free to contact me, but just know that reading this doesn’t automatically make it okay for you to do.  Okay, disclaimer over.  So, in this way, the mugwort is incredibly strong and difficult in taste, and stays at the back of the tongue and throat for at least an hour or more.  I got to the trail I had chosen to hike and set out.  I began turning up my sense of alertness, taking in the energy of the place, and as I walked I began whispering an incantation to my leading Goddess, the Morrigan.  I repeated over and over again throughout the majority of the hike “Morrigan, Phantom, Queen of the Sidhe, show me the Otherworld, let me see”.  (Note that Sidhe is pronounced “Shee”, allowing the incantation to have some rhyme and rhythm.) My intention in asking this was not necessarily to communicate with the dead, or with fairies, or anything in particular per se, but to better understand what the Otherworld is in terms of the meaning implied in old Irish mythology.  At once the atmosphere changed from a sunny snow melt to a gray menacing sky with high velocity winds whipping around me in visual circular patterns.  I hiked on and was amazed at the rapidly changing conditions.  It seemed that there was a constant cycling-  I would experience blazing warm sun and blue skies, then fierce winds with tree branches bowing and pointing markedly, then blizzard snowfalls with poor visibility, branches breaking and falling all around me and the feeling of danger.  I knew intuitively that I was not in any actual danger but I was blown away by the repeated pattern of change that was happening in the forest around me, minute by minute.  A full blown raven flew overhead, and croaked deeply just to let me know that she was, in fact, a raven, and not the more commonly seen crow.  I began to understand that the Otherworld is an in-between realm where portals to every possible experience exist.  It is very much like the state of lucid dreaming, where one can do and see things consciously that don’t follow our material world physics…it is enchanted.  As I continued to walk I would also intermittently see flashes of what seemed to be animal or nature spirits darting past me.  I began to acknowledge this verbally in order to allow communication to happen.  A fox spirit named Cheever made contact and I asked why he chose to show himself to me.  Instantly I found myself in a small clearing where I felt the winds rising up violently in a ring around the place on which I stood.  I realized Cheever had led me to become aware of a greater spiritual presence, here-  a deity of place, if you will.  The winds continued to talk and gesture through the trees, begging me to get it.  I stuttered aloud “El…nar? El..var?  Elnavar!”  The winds howled upon getting the name of the guardian of this forest to roll finally off of my tongue.  I saw myself from above as if watching this like a move scene, knowing that no means of describing it to others would get them to understand the magick that was happening, and the clear drama of the situation that spoke so clearly through the forest.  Swallowing deeply to renew my sense of connection through mugwort, I introduced myself formally.  Elnavar wanted me to return again to this forest at intervals to commune with her and it, and she also wanted me to bring some of my coven members to commune with her as well.  I was aware that a few of my coven members who live locally already have a familiarity with these woods, but that there were also plenty of others who had never been here.  I told her I would bring some of my witchcraft students back to connect with this place.  As I blew her a kiss, finished my hike and emerged out of the woods and into a meadow that led back to where I had parked, the sun was back out, shiny and warm and melting the snow.  It has stayed this way for hours since…no further evidence of the crazy shifting of many worlds at once.  I believe that in opening myself to be guided by my Goddess in deepening my understanding of the term “Otherworld” I was granted a special magickal experience.  I connected with magickal beings and witnessed so many changing atmospheric states that I feel confident in my knowing that the Otherworld is not dark or light, but all shades at once.  Anything is possible from that in between realm, and we can experience meetings with beings that cannot normally manifest in this plane.  I am sure  this glimpse is only a millimeter on the tip of an iceberg of learning that I will barely see in this lifetime of study, but I feel honored, awed and grateful for having had it. Yours in magic, Lady Nikki.

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One Response to “A Glimpse of the Otherworld”

  1. Beautifully written Lady Nikki! I’m there with you all the way.

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