What I’ve Been Up To

I’ve been rather quiet lately, haven’t I? Here’s a bit of what’s been going on:

–I’ve been continuing with creating songs for the skin spirits and totems I work with. Small Badger and Badger now each have their own songs; Badger’s was particularly difficult, and s/he wouldn’t let me move on to the next until I had it just right. Took me longer than the others, but I got it. I’m now working on Small Deer’s drum beat; I haven’t yet created a song for it.

–Taylor and I went hiking on Mt. Hood last weekend. It still wants some proof of commitment beyond the average hiker, but is quite patient and willing to wait. Mt. Hood doesn’t seem to be as prone to quick attachment as Multnomah-Wahkeena was. But we now have a parking pass from the forest service and can park anywhere on the lots around the mountain at the trailheads.

–I’ve been chewing on the whole issue of Death as of late. Along with still having my own hang-ups and issues regarding Death, I also have the interplay between me and the skin spirits, which often experienced their own bad deaths. So a lot of their energy and their communication with me has been triggering my issues, and forcing me to start dealing with them more. This isn’t a terrible thing, of course. Better to deal with them now than if I were called upon for whatever reason to act the role of psychopomp in an intense journey setting. I have received the useful advice that I should probably try focusing more on life-affirming things as balance, such as my gardening and hiking and volunteering and whatnot. The skins spirits for my artwork have been particularly insistent about my attention lately, and I need to make sure to not let their needs overwhelm me.

–Tonight I took a little time out to create a community on Livejournal that I’ve been meaning to for a while, Totemists. A totemist is a person for whom totemism (usually, though not always, from a neopagan/neoshamanic perspective) is more than just “I know my totem, and occasionally ask for protection”. Rather, totemism is a significant part of the person’s spiritual/magical practice. The community is specifically NOT for questions like “What’s my totem? What does this totem mean?” and other 101 level material. I’m hoping for some good conversations.

I am absolutely amazed at myself for sticking with this for more than a couple of months. Coming up in September it’ll have been a year since I started a specifically shamanic path. Less than three months–pretty amazing to me. Of course, I’m settling down in other ways, so that’s not all that surprising. I’ve learned a hell of a lot, and I feel a lot more connected to the Land, the various spirits I’ve been building relationships with, other people, etc. I feel like a small seed slowly putting out roots and shoots to fill a particular niche I’ve landed in.

So that’s pretty much it–mostly, at this point, my practice is revolving around the drumming and singing, the upcoming totemic drum and dance ritual I’m hosting here in Portland, and continuing to interact with the Land and its denizens on a daily basis. Is there anything else anyone might be curious about hearing more about?

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