Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travels on a Finno-Ugric drum journey

The scent of burning sage signals the opening of ritual space.

Small bells circle, gently breaking up energy.  As the drum stick swishes across the reindeer skin stretched over the frame, sussuring sounds spiral outward.  

Soon, the drum begins its song, and she is sent on her journey into a tunnel of darkness.

As the beat of the drum vibrates through her, different animals' faces appear one by one before her closed eyes. Squirrel. Blue Jay. Crow. Rabbit. Deer. Dog. Moose. Raccoon. Mole. Bee. Wasp. Butterfly. Mouse...no, it was too big. Was it Rat? No, it was Mouse. Mouse! she wondered incredulously, was Mouse to be her Spirit Animal?

No. Suddenly Ilves appeared.

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His large yellow eyes loomed before her, staring into her soul.

Suddenly, she was on the back of Ilves, the  large huntress. The cat ran through the back woods. It was night, winter, snow covered the ground. Ilves ran powerfully through the dark woods, snaking through the trees, comfortable in its territory. Running, running. The dark night sky, a canopy of indigo overhead, was filled with glittering stars that glinted back from the snow fields. Running, running. Flying past snow covered trees. Flying over snow encrusted ground.

Suddenly, she was sucked into a small hole in the earth, pulled down a vortex, her arms and hands last, waving. The lovi had opened up, sending her deeper on her journey.

She found herself under the earth, swimming amongst the tangled roots of trees, of the birches, poplars, balsams and black spruce above. She pushed the roots aside, swimming through their tentacles. She was unimpeded. Her arms were strong, her hair long, weaving smoothly through the tendrils of roots. She swam and swam. 

She entered deep indigo blue water, dark blue like the sky above. She was swimming deep along the bottom of Lake Superior. The place where silence was born.
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A large sturgeon floated by.

A white door opened to the right, a ghostly portal beckoning her. Light emanates from it, pulsing soft rays of haunting enticement. She swam through the watery portal, passing through it.

She found herself on a cliff. But now she is Ilves. Her hands are large powerful paws and she is running in the forest, along the edge of a high cliff. She runs and runs. Her energy is boundless.

There is a large valley below. She stops to bask in the sunlight, curls up on the edge of the cliff. It is a sunny day, spring.  All seems calm and fresh. Then, she is told to fly off the cliff.

She jumps. She sails, soars through the sky. She lands on all fours on the earth in the forest. She is on a canyon floor. She starts to dig and dig. The earth is black, soft and rich with decay. The scent of decomposing earth fills the air.

She finds a bone, one bone. It is not big. She digs and digs. She finds some pages. They are loose; they flutter in the wind. Then, her digging done, she leaps and flies straight up into the sky.
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It is is night again, indigo blue, the sky covered in stars. She is a woman again. She is floating on her back, streaming through the night sky as if floating downstream in a river. She floats and floats, restful like a baby calmed by a warm bath until she lands by a big rock at the shore of a lake.

She climbs up on the rock and sits and looks across the water. It is Midsummer Day. The waves lap softly. The sun is warm. The air is calm.

She stands up. She is naked.


marja-leena said...

This is magical and beautiful, Taina! Interesting how it connects Finland (and the Finno Ugric regions) with the Lake Superior area where so many Finnish emigrants settled. Then the burning sage, the drums and the search for the Spirit Animal bring the North American native peoples also into this circle.

Katja Maki said...

Standing naked by the water, were you going to change into Salmon? I thought of Aino or thought of you changing into Salmon just like Aino did. What a wonderful dream/vision quest/other realm experience you had!
Yes you are a tietaja! We have always known this but now your time has come! It is time to share your gift! And thanks for doing so on Sunday and with this blog post!

Merche Pallarés said...

Beautiful tale!!! So magical and Finnish (Canadian...). Wonderful!
I read your previous post and I thoroughly agree with your analysis. Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

Yes, ML, I am a gal of multiple terrains and spiritual influences. Burning Sage is definitely something the new-age Finns have learned from other Traditions.

Yes, Katja, good question: what next: will she change to Salmon? This could be the next story. She dives into the water, her skin rippling into scales.....

I am glad you enjoyed the story, MP. I hope you are doing some journeying, too!