It’s funny how validation can still, after 20 years of Magick, rock me. It’s one thing being confident in my own Magick and getting things done, but it’s another thing entirely when you get such swift and stark confirmation shortly after you’ve done Magick.
Remember Beltane this year? I was all nervous and unsure because I did a spell to draw the right kind of love into my life. It came to full fruition early this month. So that’s a two month turnaround. Quick! Even for me!
On Thursday the 12th I found a perfectly peaceful dead Crow on my doorstep. He was only barely decomposed and perfectly whole. I found no trauma on the body. I am not ashamed to say I may have squealed with glee and immediately grabbed my work gloves (although the new Guy I’ve been seeing, I will refer to him as ‘J’, totally saw me do that and there was a moment of awkward before I realized that he was completely unperturbed).
On Friday the 13th (amusing!) I rose early to fetch the dead Crow out of the bottom of my freezer. J was so completely unperturbed that he decided to help me with the whole thing. We laid out newspaper in the backyard, beneath the arms of the enormous Oak Tree and I smudged the space. I burnt Kyphi as I gently and respectfully communicated with the spirit of the animal, asking it’s permission, before processing it’s lovely body for use in future Magick. J gently clipped the feet for me and stretched the wings out for me as I quickly cut the sinew and bone. We placed both wings and feet in a bucket of cornmeal to draw out the moisture. I gently wrapped the body in a clean towel, took it further into the shadows beneath the Oak tree and buried it. We built a small stone cairn on top of it and I marked the day, three months out from then, to dig it up and check on decomposition.
That evening I went to Circle and during my Journey I met with the Crow. I asked if there was anything else I could do for him. He told me he greatly enjoyed the incense and that he would like an offering of raisins. I placed a plate full of raisins out by his cairn, along with a burning stick of incense and smiled when the offering was completely accepted in two days time.
This last weekend was my Drum Workshop which I had been breathlessly waiting for for about a month. My 15inch, 16 sided, Elk-hide drum was painstakingly assembled, completely by me, over the course of 3 days. The first night, I met with the spirits of the Elk as well as the Cedar that made up the frame to give thanks for their sacrifice. I painted the inside of the frame with personal sigils as well as my magical motto (per aspera ad astra). And I encircled the entire outside rim of the frame in Runes. I did the entire Futhark, no repeats, in blood red, and I sang them as I painted so technically it was runegaldr. The second day was pure assembly. I lost myself in the task, pulling the sinew taut, stretching the damp, cold skin over the frame. I was struck by how very dead the skin felt, cold and clammy. I even dreamt about it that night. The third day (yesterday) the drums were dry and there was much rejoicing! We Journeyed to meet the spirit of the Drum…
I wasn’t sure what to expect on that Journey so I was going into it with a very open mind. I had my drum laying across my stomach/lower abdomen with my left hand entwined in the laces and the beater was aligned down the front of my sternum, my right hand clutching it as I Journeyed. I found myself in a huge cave, dimly lit by torches. My Guides and Totems were nowhere to be seen which kind of alarmed me as there’s always at least one of them by my side when I am Journeying. But I could feel them at a distance, like they were watching from a ways off. I kind of shrugged and turned my attention back to the cave. I was in water up to my ankles as I stared off into the deep dark of the cave. I walked forward, feeling the cold water rise to my knees. Then to my hips… At about chest level I had another bout of slight trepidation. The water was deep and pitch black. All before me was black and my Guides were not near. I pressed on and slipped under the water.
I swam down, leaving all light behind. The water was cold and black, nothing stirred other than me. Then a current picked up and began pushing me. The more I swam in the direction of the current, the more it picked up strength and speed. All was still blackness as I sped through the dark passage.
Suddenly the world exploded in light as I came shooting out of a hole in the side of a sheer cliff face. Everything seemed to stop. (It really was like bullet-time on the Matrix!) I was hovering in mid-air, soaking wet, water all around me, the canyon floor thousands of feet below me. Panic surged as I hung there in a horrific but pretty fucking exhilarating stasis. I thought about how bad it was going to suck to hit the ground from that height, even in Trance that kind of thing hurts. The frozen second seemed to hang forever, my fear and panic began to wind up like the wail of an ambulance, until time unhitched itself. I fell…
Onto the back of a Crow flying beneath me. I merged with it effortlessly and realized with a shock, two things at once. 1) This was the Spirit of my Drum and 2) This was the Crow I had found on my porch one week prior. Through it’s eyes I saw the world in blue-white, luminescent fractals. I could see everything, including the clusters of lines that made up doorways to other realms. Here was a way into the Underworld. There was a way into the Past. They almost looked like clusters of nerves, or nests of ley lines. But it was immediately clear to me why crows and ravens are considered to be excellent travellers between the Worlds.
His voice was both male and female, like two voices overlayed. I asked his name and he said we would find it together as his old name no longer applied to him. He let me know that he didn’t just happen to die on my porch, he chose to sacrifice himself so that he could live on in my drum and help me navigate the Worlds. He told me that he was particularly concerned with Psychopomp work and the Underworld. The Darker aspects of the Spirit Realm and Self. I saw myself drumming beneath my Oak tree, clad in black, Crow on my shoulder as a vicious wind kicked up. I was singing. He (the Drum) was singing. Together our voices cut through the Veil.
After the Journey we performed an Awakening ceremony for the drums, to welcome them into the community. This group was all female and filled with bawdy laughter, it was a good feeling of community. When I presented my drum to the Circle, after initiating it with the Elements, I couldn’t wait to hear his voice! When I finally got the go ahead to let his Voice be heard, I beat out a simple 7 beat, 3 times. I couldn’t believe how deep and rich his voice was. The resonance almost knocked me down! It was the perfect voice, the beats felt like the heartbeat of the drum.
When I touch the Drum I can feel him. I can feel the connection we have and I can feel that it gets stronger each time we sing together. It’s going to take some practice to not immediately trance out every time I start drumming, the resonance is SO strong. I need to learn to hold space. But I adore this drum. I adore this Spirit. And I am completely tickled that Crow not only lives and sings in our Drum but that I will also have fetishes. I will tie some of his tail feathers to the drum, and he showed me how he wants his skull painted when I unearth it in 3 months (just in time for Samhain!). I am so very happy and contented right now. And there is much Work to be done!