Nemain. She has been with me all of my life. But it took me the greater part of my life to understand that she actually enters and share my body. It was not until I understood the spirit world better that I felt very different on occasions. I felt like a Goddess, naked, clean and always youthful and blithe. And I felt like this whenever I went to a sacred space for worship. It never mattered which or where the house of worship was located: a field, a Jewish Temple, Mormon Temple Grounds and their wards, an ancient Buddhist Temple in China, Old European Catholic Cathedrals, outdoor wedding space, Wiccan circle. Anywhere where people gather to worship she is there, in me and with me. And I have felt comfortable in any religious gathering. It does not mean I enjoyed every part of their leaders’ sermon. But I would tell you that I whole heartedly felt comfortable and that I belonged. I figure that Nemain must have come first as she is the Goddess of Sacred Space and the Sacred Grove. Nemain was there before they built the buildings. She was the presence of the land that called the people to gather.
This is how I first came to know her. Her gentle maiden aspect of Holy Reverence. I think many people would be/have been a bit taken aback that one of the aspects of Morrigan could come across so gentle, almost benign. I have been told to “watch out” she is a “Trickster Goddess”. One of Nemain’s aspects maybe the Trickster. Afterall, her main animal is the Crow/Raven. However, that is not the relationship I have with her. On occasion, we will be co-conspiriters – but that is the extent of it. She may well be the Trickster with other people like a Loki or Coyote. But that is just not the relationship that I have with her. I find that Gods have very, very complex relationships with us that are uniquely individual. After layers and layers of lifetimes with us how could our relationships be anything but complex?
She is also “The Frenzied Havoc of War”. To be honest I had a difficult time seeing her in this title until my meeting with the Crow. In that meeting I felt the frenzy and fury of her animal totem/symbol/familiar. I felt the power and the marriage of the spirit world and the mundane world brought together in anger and grief and anticipation. And in the center of this chaos, calm, levelheaded, grounded thought. And I understand this is just a tiny tip of the power that she can muster.
She is a “Lover” and “Protector”. In my relationship with Nemain, she is a consort to Bela-Tu-Cadros the God of War. In Springtime, where sacred water meets green clover she comes into me and transports me to a different time. I will be standing in a grove or meadow ringed with trees. Naked and lighted. Different people will see me and usually ask one of two things. They will either be people fleeing before a war asking for protection. In that case, I will give them a rule or two to follow and then tell them that they have the protection of the forest and to go to my Sacred Grove and directions on how to find it. The other request I get is from soldiers. They ask me to ask my husband that they may “win in battle or to die well.” When they ask this of me they will then lay something at my feet. Usually its flowers but sometimes it is something different. After being seen my a handful of people, I will return to myself in my time and my place. I have been doing this work with Nemain for about two years now. Ever since I started to worship with her in my sacred space regularly. This particular work only happens in the Springtime. She is the Maiden, the Springtime, the Waxing Moon.
She is a “Sacred Whore”. However, I am not. Not in my mundane /body of flesh at least. I know that my spiritual/Otherworldly form is one that can be convinced to do this type of worship. When my spiritual relationship with Gods and Spirits is sexual I have come to understand that it is through Nemain that I have come to know them.
Nemain is a Dark Goddess. Nemain works with transitions of life to death. Crows and battlefields, the Frenzied Havoc of War these are her domains. Witchcrafting with banishment, cursing, transitions brings her to me naked and cloaked in black. The vision of a Priestess of Death or of intense power comes to mind. When I feel in my witching power as dark, dangerous, sexual and a storm of intensity it is her with me. This aspect of Nemain is so very different in feel from the Goddess of the Sacred Grove – yet it is her all the same. In this form she is much more recognizable as an aspect of the Morrigan.
These are the aspects of Nemain that I interact with/that she works with me on. I have not found very much on the internet about her. And some of what I did find did not resonate with my relationship with her. The only one I can recommend is from “RainbowPagan” on Youtube:
Some young Russians welcome the arrival of summer by heading to the countryside to perform rituals that date back to pagan times, like building a straw man and touching its penis to bring fertility and love.
While in Russia working on another project, photographer Claudine Doury had seen people in the cities of northern Russia celebrate summer by drinking through the night outdoors during the “Belye Nochi,” or “White Nights,” when the sun sets around 11:30 p.m.
Awww...Would have loved the celebration Please view to see the wonderful PICTURES!
There were many things that led me into deeply exploring the spirit world. One of the most significant is the Man in my Dreams. But before he was “the Man in my Dreams” he was a free-form entity of comfort. Before he took any concentrated shape, he was a thick blanket of love and understanding. I have felt him on and off throughout my life. I do not know when I first felt him. But if I had to guess I would say it was always. And that our relationship changed as my physical and natural desires changed. Always around to comfort me. And from my earliest memories I remember “running to bed,” I never had to be asked to go to bed. I was always excited to go and dream and be with friends. To fly or be chased. To be comforted when I felt alone.
When I got older my comforter would come and go with my needs. He was with me all through out my (many) single years. And rarely did I feel the need for a “boyfriend.” I dated a lot. And had fun. But I found such a significant intimacy with my “comforter” that it was hard to form lasting relationships because it was hard to want to form them. Eventually though, I wanted a real world relationship. A real air breathing mate and children to watch over. My comforter stayed away and when he came he was loosely-free-form and just a light touch of warmth. But when my husband and I had a rough patch “he” was there. Quite physical. Waiting in bed for me. I would go off with him in my sleep and wake up and smell his scent, my face buried into his chest. It is difficult to have a ordinary world/mundane world marriage when the otherworldly one is so very intimate. Even when he has been away (at my demand) he will come back, taking different forms in my dreams until my defenses are down. And the he will wrap himself around me, I will feel a sense of complete euphoria and then he will ask “How much do you love me?” And I will answer. I will be shocked and mad at myself when I wake. And then I will state to him, when my senses are clear, that he may have me in the next world, but in this one I am wed and love the man who is my husband.
At one point I decided I needed to end this relationship. I did my best witchcrafting to completely severe this tie. But there are ties that bind that cant be severed. And that is the case here. So, instead of complete banishment, I am learning to set up better boundaries. And to remember why I am in this life and all that is important to me in this life.
Is this “man” a God/Godspouse? My soul’s mate from the other side? A part of myself that longs to protect and comfort me? Perhaps even a man of flesh and blood that dreams when I dream, journeys while I journey?
But really and truthfully it does not matter to me what he is or isn’t. He has never harmed myself or anyone that I love with the exception of taking my thoughts away from my loved ones here – a loss of focus. But perhaps if I did not have to focus (so hard sometimes) on what is important to me in this life I would not know or understand how important those things are to me. My beautiful daughters, my husband, my parents, being here, being part of this mundane world, rooted in the “now”. This life, afterall is just a very short and fleeting and precious thing. To know and to learn that these wonderful gifts do need concentration and my priority is not a bad lesson to learn. And just because I wish something was easier to do does not mean that would be better for me. Sometimes the more difficult the task the more reward.
When dealing with people who seem very unaware, remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening. You may be someone who understands the true nature of reality, perceiving deeply that we all emanate from the same source, that we are all essentially one, and that we are here on earth to love one another. To understand this is to be awakened to the true nature of the self, and it is a blessing.
When I started this journey of Shamanism and Witchcraft, I thought the difficult part was behind me. The finial understanding of what I was, a spirit worker that journeyed into the otherworld and a witch that craft intent into being. On second thought that definition might be a bit esoteric. So let me say it like this: I am a witch and I pursue advice from Spirits in the Spirit World. Like I said, I thought that was the difficult part, coming to terms with being one of those people. I thought the next part would be far easier, learning a witchcraft tradition.
I thought I would find and join a coven and learn through initiation or through adoption into their tradition. I found a few covens. Wonderful covens that offered Wicca 101 classes, that were long established, that did good things for their communities. But then I found out I was not Wiccan. I looked into other groups. And I found I was not a reconstructionalist (one who is in a religion that is trying to recreate it as best as possible (Celtic, Druid, Heathenry, Asatru). I really enjoy working with people. I really wanted to be part of a group.
But slowly, I learned that I was not suppose to walk any previous path. I was suppose to forge my own. One for me and my family. My guides have been very vague in regard to what this Family Tradition should be about. My only clear picture my guides have given me is a mental image of me leading my family into the forrest from a meadow. It is sunny and there is no trail before us. And that is it. And it plays in my head everytime I think of investigating a group. It plays in my head when I just think of Shamanism or Witchcraft or Wicca or Celtic or……..
It has been a difficult thing to throw away all preconceived notions of religion. I thought for my witchcraft religion it would be simply a matter of learning from others and assimilating into their existing religion. But I am not to do that. I am to lead my children on a very particular path. Reconsider every aspect of ceremony, what our holy days will be, who we will worship, who is a personal guide and who is apart of Our Tradition’s Pantheon. Will everything be fixed from one year to the next? Does everything change with the seasons? What are we to call ourselves? Will the Gods and Goddess that speak to me speak to my children? Are they just my personal Pantheon or our family’s? It seems for every answer there are ever more unanswered ones.
I have a long way to go. It has taken me a long time to understand this. If any of you have done this work for your family, I would love to hear from you.
“Do Crows eat eachother one?” one asked.
“They’ll eat anything!” was the reply.
I walked about five more minutes before I happened upon the Crow they spoke of.
Two of its brethren were along side it squawking. Although after seeing the beautiful young adult crow, it could have easily been its parents.
I decided it must have been hit by a car. Its neck was broken. It was lying in the street, somewhat close to the curb.
I was very moved. It was, to me, a tragedy. And I could not leave this beautiful grown baby in the street.
I enjoy Crows and although I do not know too much about them, but I figured these other two crows could be injured if they stayed in the street to eat this one.
So, I decided to put it somewhere safe and more fitting, honorable if you will.
When I picked it up. I realized just how warm it was. The neck was very broken and other than that nothing but gorgeous iridescent feathers.
The two crows which had been beside it immediately took to the air flying circles over my head and cawed loudly.
So very loud!
I decided to walk to a meadow close to my home. About 8 blocks away. About 10 minutes away.
And it was then that I saw what was going to happen. Everything unfolding but being entirely in my body at the same time.
The most weirdly, beautiful, other worldly, sorrowful experience.
As I walked, the light moved in and out of the trees, the crows cawed louder and louder.
More crows gathered.
I looked up and saw 3, then 5, then all at once too many to count.
People were stopping to see what was causing this very loud cawing of the crows.
The crow all swirling over head, following me as I walked.
Following me as I carried their departed.
This beautiful creature in my hands.
As I got to the meadow, more than thirty crows had gathered. Circling continuously over my head, cawing so very loudly it was deafening.
They were powerful. They were magickal. Potent. A swirling vortex of power and magick.
I placed the bird on a large rock and then walked 3 times around the standing stones.
As I walked, each time around they were more frenzied than the last.
I was fearful I would be attacked and torn to bits.
They were frenzied.
But I saw what would happen before it happened.
I knew what would happen.
When those moments of fear crept through, I envisioned myself cloaked with crow feathers and giving the intent of protection to the young dead or dying crow.
I stopped in front of the rock with the crow and offered words.
Words of sorrow, of loss, of hope, of future happiness.
And with my first word, the frenzied, screaming crows, silenced.
Silence greeted my words for this bird.
And when I left, hushed caws whispered. And they landed to see their friend or son, or daughter.
And I do not think that I will ever be the same.
It turns out Crows and Ravens don’t eat their own.
But they mourn their loss.
I don’t know what else to say or add here.
But this was a real event that occurred in San Jose, Ca May 28, 2013.