Sunday, August 30, 2009

Etsy Store Now Open

Got the Etsy store open yesterday:

It's got some jewelry,

some Dreds,

and some small gourd rattles on now;

expect more shiny, noisy things to follow. Yeah, I know; the pics blow - buy some stuff so I can get a better camera! ;0)

I'll also be vending at Charlotte's Pagan Pride Day on Sept 12th in Freedom Park, and doing a workshop at Raleigh's PPD on the 19th & 20th if someone buys goodies and wants to work out a delivery instead of shipping. Vending at Upstate South Carolina PPD is pending - watch this space!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Working With Land Wights 101

People ask about Wights - specific material I cover in the Wights class, good reference works, or just "What the hell are you babbling about?!"

So, here's the basic text of a class I do on non-totemic land spirits. It has three parts; taking UPG (unverifiable personal gnosis) impressions from a randomly chosen physical object that a spirit is using as sort of an interface point that I refer to as an anchor, noting observed physical characteristics, and thinking about why a person would interact with wights in the first place. It's not specific to any doctrine, Tradition, or other belief system; all that's required is some manners and willingness to do some objective thinking and homework about your UPGs (unverifiable personal gnosis). If you use it, just either link back here or post author credit, and send me feedback! It's an ongoing study; I keep an anonymous log of people's observations.


How many people wouldn’t know a wight if it bit them on the butt? 

How many people have done any homework or research about the Little People, landvaettir, kami, etc?

The thing is, though, that while research is always something good, experience with wights can be pretty subjective or relative, especially when the wights might be your relatives.

From Native American manitou to early European tribal landvaettir to Japanese kami to Irish sidhe, and all the cultures who have simply called them Nature Spirits, The Little People, and so on, the range of entities that could be considered wights is wide enough to drive Dick Cheney’s ego through without scraping the sides. The word “wights” itself isn’t universal, and some people would take issue with my using it as a broad, generalized term. However, I need one for the purposes of the class, so I’m using “wights”.

As a basic premise, you can say that wights are spirit beings with some degree of intelligence (not necessarily human), who exist in nature. They may sometimes exhibit qualities similar to totemic guides, but they are not quite the same thing.
They may be the spirit of a particular tree, lake, or rock, or a spirit who has taken up residence in a particular tree, lake, or rock. For my own purposes, I refer to the physical object or place a spirit seems to be involved with as an “anchor”.

A wight may be something that was once a mortal physical being, who is now in the spirit world, or something that has never worn flesh and bone.

Your homework is to find some particulars about wights (or a comparable equivalent) according to your own belief system or relevant folklore/mythos, and any others you feel might help you understand them better.

For the class, we’re going to focus more on common points of interacting with them, as opposed to trying to define them. Since I interact more with the less “human-like” types, such as animals, rocks, and plants, a lot of what I’m talking about will be geared toward those types. But regardless of variety, some things do seem to apply across the board.

1. Exercise with an anchor:
Choose an anchor from the table and write down any intuitive impressions

The first point: listen
Listen with your ears, your eyes, your nose, your skin, your tongue. What do they have to say? Do you hear a voice/vocalizations? Do you smell food or salt water? Do you taste anything? Feel wind or hot sunlight on your face? Sand, rocks, or grass under your feet? An inclination to watch Kevin Smith movies*?

If you use a pendulum or other divination medium, that may also be useful, but when you are trying to communicate, remember that you may be dealing with something that doesn’t think like a modern day human. Many technological concepts don’t mean anything to a person who may have been mortal several centuries ago. Complex cultural do’s & don’ts for romantic relationships aren’t going to matter to the average mule deer.

* Don’t let pre-formed expectations limit your communication

Note something factual about the “anchor” object you selected

The second point: learn
Learn the factual information about the anchor's physical properties (if any), ant related  geographical area, it’s historical or folklore background, whatever you can find. Finding out that a piece of bone came from an alligator might clarify why one participant tasted muddy water when she “listened” to it.  Observing that a "dragon" wight prefers a shiny, brightly colored toy to a less colorful one may give you clues to it’s priorities and personality.

Discuss why you would want to interact with wights

The third point: respect
Not all wights want to interact with humans, then there are some who seem to actively seek it out. Sometimes that can be a bit disturbing or create problems. Either way, you should always respect them, and never try to alter their natures or exert some kind of control over them for selfish purposes. If you have to throw a problem-causing entity out of your house, do what you gotta – but always try to find a way to deal with them on a productive basis first.

Again, do your homework:
~ Were they there first?
~ Did anyone change something or do something that upset them?
~ Can you reach an understanding both of you will be happy with?

Many wights will be happy if a person just shows them a little respectful attention, or a little respectful leaving them alone. Listening and learning will help you figure out which is called for. And if you do run into something nasty, malicious, and irrevocably antisocial, you will often find that the wights who you’ve treated well and been a friend to will help protect you from it, and even help you run it off.

By the same token, if you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, until you have more information, always act from a spirit of respect. Even if you offer something or do something that the wight may not like, the fact that you’re doing the best you can with what resources you have, and may just be ignorant of some detail will get you better results than acting out of apathy or arrogance.

Don’t bug too much if you don’t seem to sense them in the same way someone else may, or if you can’t find any information about a specific entity in various documentations or other people’s experiences. If you act with respect and honest intention, most of them will find a way to tell you what they want (or don’t want).

Note: A participant of a previous class brought up the valid question of how you know you’re not insane, and all the stuff you see/hear/whatever isn’t a product of a crazy imagination.

Aside from the somewhat stock reply that “if you actually ask yourself if you might be crazy, you likely aren’t”, I think that’s another purpose of learning and researching. If you live in a 20 story apartment building in the middle of a city of 500,000 people, yet you consistently hear the sounds of cows lowing and a rooster crowing at daybreak, go hit the city hall archives. Was there a farm on that property a century ago? If you find details that support or explain your impressions and observations of things around you, it makes more logical sense that you’re interacting with some form of wight communication than to assume you woke up one morning and just happened to have gone bananas overnight. Several people in previous classes have also made good observations about having “imaginary friends” as children, at an age where no one had told them such things were wrong, or childish, or stupid.

Another good point is synchronicity: if you encounter something, and someone else who is a reliable observer has corresponding experiences, it’s again more reasonable to consider that might be a wight interaction than to assume that you both woke up with a hive-mind loony bin qualification.

Good Links To Check Out:
(yeah, I know Wikicrap. They're here because the articles themselves have multiple references posted)