Monday, May 25, 2009

Wights in the US

I've travelled in most of the US. I haven't been to the Deep South or Hawaii but I've been most everywhere else since I started practicing "whatever it is I practice".

Each region, each state in the US has a different feeling, a different combination of earth, air, fire and water that make it unique.

As American spiritworkers/mystic heathens/shamanistic practitioners with a European set of gods, worldview and priorities, do we work with the spirits/ancestors/wights that live here, or do we call something from somewhere else? Or neither? Or both?

"Wight” is a general term for sentient being, but it is widely used today with specific reference to the spiritual beings who are neither god nor human. Land Wights may be found in any feature of the landscape — a hill, a rock, a tree, a stream; sometimes they may be willing to communicate, but some wights are really not interested and are not at all welcoming."Yggdrasil Heathen Group(based in the UK)

I'm from Montana. From historical accounts, when settlers from Norway came to northwestern Montana in the 1800's (home of Glacier Park), they commented that they felt like they were home. I've never been to Norway, so I can't compare. Was it a case of wishful thinking/homesickness or is NW Montana really like Norway? Did they bring their wights with them or were the wights of Montana just similar in vibe?

My grandmother was German. She would leave little bits of food and drink out for "the land", not in an organized saucer at the back door sort of way, but in a she dropped it on the ground and then dedicated it to the land sort of way. And ALL of her neighbors did something similar, no matter where their ancestors came from originally.

I do some herbal work, not medicinal but more magically focused. I've found that where I live changes not only what I gather, but what I sacrifice to thank spirits of the place for the the plants, rocks and minerals that I take.

In 1999, I gathered salt from the Salt Flats in Utah under a full moon. Eerie, that bone white expanse glowing in the moonlight. And I sensed something there, something feminine, something HUGE. I had a bag full of a variety of possible offerings: pennies, bullets, milk and honey, tobacco, juniper, sage, cedar, sweetgrass, assorted flower petals, shells, obsidian, quartz crystals,etc. My method is to reach inside the bag and pull out the appropriate offering at random. I ended up leaving juniper. Only to find out juniper was used by the Paiutes as a ceremonial purifier.

In 2005, I gathered flowers from Aztalan State Park in Wisconsin, a Middle-Mississipian village and ceremonial site. Again, I sensed something feminine, something very large and yet very different from the Salt Flats, something softer. I left shells there. Only to find out from visiting the museum next to the site that thousands of shells were found at the Princess mound, believed to be offerings.

Those are just a few of many similar experiences. And most of the time, my feeling is that what I'm sensing is what lives there and has lived there for, well, forever. But is it a wight? As close as I've ever met.

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