Saturday, July 26, 2014

Othala; the Heart of the Ancestors

The Following is a journey I took last year after the premature birth of my granddaughter.  I work with the Runes as part of my daily practice.  I  work with my Ancestors as part of my daily practice.  And  journeys like this are a foundation of my personal practice.   I wanted to share this with you because it is a part of me and my work of Finding Light among the Shadows.

I stepped through the door and into the Otherworld.   I looked at my feet.  I was barefoot and the grass beneath my feet was soft and brown.  I wore a simple woolen dress of my family tartan, and a bronze amulet of a boar, my family’s totem, hung over my heart on a ribbon of red silk. 

I looked around me and found myself in an autumn evening at twilight.  The woods nearby were almost bare and the path in front of me led over a grassy hill.  I followed the path over the hill and on the other side found a low round-house with a thatched roof.  The windows glowed with warm light and wood-smoke rose from the chimney into the evening air and smelled like home.

When I found the doorway, the wooden beam above was carved with a crescent and v-rod like the tattoo on my back, the side beams with a trisckle on the left and a spiral on the right. An equal-armed cross decorated with knotwork adorned the threshold and a red whole-cloth blanket quilted with a dragon covered the door.  I pulled the blanket aside and entered, letting it drop back into place behind me and looked around.

The roof was supported by a network of straight beams in a concentrically spiraling starburst pattern, the walls were stone and the floor was covered in rugs of braided wool rags like my great-grandmother used to make when I was a child.  Glowing oil lamps and books filled the small wooded shelves around the walls, and musical instruments hung from the beams supporting the roof.  

A fire danced brightly in the small hearth, warming the entire house. In front of the hearth sat a small wooden table with a white linen table-cloth, and on it, my grandmother’s teapot in robin’s egg blue and two miss-matched cups.   Beside the table I saw a basket made like the rugs, of braided woolen rags and inside the basket, a babe wrapped in a yellow blanket crocheted like my Nanna had made it.  The infant slept peacefully, breathing easily, safe and warm and blissful. 

As I turned to leave, something flashed on the edge of my sight.  I turned again to see on the mantle above the hearth, an egg of garnet.  It was deep and clear and smooth and it seemed to glow from the inside.  As I continued to gaze at the stone, I heard music and a voice speaking to me of the “heart-stone”, the heart of my ancestors.  The stone will receive the energy I send to it and it will serve as a source of power for the ancestors to protect the child, to heal and bless the babe in the basket.  

When the music and the voice stilled, all was quiet once more and as I pulled back the blanket covering the door, I noticed my grandmother’s garnet ring upon my hand.  

I went back out into the night and followed the path back the way I had come.

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