I hope you can all attend!
As a child of 6 or 7 I did not belief in Aufhochers.
My dad and his 10 year older sister E’lena used to reminisce about their mom, my granny Aniani having to deal with Aufhockers a lot.
I however thought these tales were just tooooo weird and maybe they wanted to “pull my leg” with them. I did not belief them. I did not belief the bollox about that baby jesus either….
Rumpelstiltskin – and Rübezahl, yes, I could see them existing, as Spirits in the wild mountains where we lived – but Aufhockers????
The weird thing about them was, according to aunt Jelena, that they jump onto people’s backs, especially, when they, after a looooong and tiring shift were walking home, from the mines or the woodlots.
Then, in the dark forest, the Aufhocker would jump them and poke their nedle-sharp left knee into their shoulder or back and ride them. The weight of this Nasty would get heavier and heavier until the poor person collapse. Many died of Aufhockers, who then crawled away to find another victim, Jelena professed. She was annoyed with her mom, my gran, that for the people that survived an Aufhocker, she had to go to the meadows and collect Stinging Nettles for her mom to brew a tea.
She hated stinging nettles. She often had to take my dad, her little brother along and Fjodor would get Stinging Nettles all over his arms and knees and cry and howl like a sick Wolf…..
My father well remembered these outings…..
To get rid of an Aufhocker, I was told, Aniani would mix Stinging Nettle tea and ad Horsetail and Parsley, made a paste out of either half a blueish purple Flower – for a woman or one whole Flower for a man and dissolve that paste into warm water. The patient would then have to drink the brew.
But often that only scarred the Aufhocker into the wood shed and eventually he would come back and jump on his victim again and – kill him with his weight……
Today, I in my shamanic practice usually do not deal with “Aufhockers”
See, if you get one, you would not come to me, you would go to your doctor.
He- or she would do some blood work, do an EKG and prescribe some diuretics like Lasix and most likely some Digitalis and talk to you about diet and exercise and taking it easy for a while.
If a very bad Aufhocker is detected, you would soon get a double or triple bypass…..
By the way; that purple flower, that Aniani used was “Fingerhut”= Digitalis!
Well, today, after you recovered from surgery, you might come out to see me, to talk about the very strange dreams you had during the procedure and while in the ICU: Dreams of a strange little figure that sat on your chest and back at the same time and that had a needle-sharp knee to poke you with – in the heart or on your left arm…….
Ifffff You EVER have a dream like this – Go see your doctor right away!
An iskemic attack or a full blown heart attack sucks the life out of you – Aufhocker style!
The other day, Peter and me were invited to a Christmas party.
It was nice: friends and acquaintances, good food, laughter and fun. Fun especially, because there were “Christmas party games”
As you know, we are anything but Christians and not very familiar with all the customs of the seasons, so we both drew blanks when it got to a game where one has to recite or even sing one many of the popular Christmas songs.
The only one I knew was Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer – (I HAVE to know that one, 🙂 my paternal Siberian Ancestors were / are Reindeer herders from the north side of the mighty Yenisei river in north-east Tuva.) And of Silent Night I only know and could sing the Cree text…..
Some of our friends were surprised and one of them suggested I should come and sing it like that in his church.
I do not think it is my place, to sing a christian song in a Native American language in a church – after all what the churches did and still do to Native Culture……
The next morning at home I had a bit of a migraine (repercussions for eating the delicious cheese appetizers) and so instead of rushing around, I had to sit still in the semidarkness of dawn– and had time to think.:
How much acculturated am I?
What other X-mas songs do I know?
What are the songs of the Winter Solstice of my own Siberian culture?
My Ada was anything other than a singer, he rather hollered and growled to the stomping rhythm of his large shaman staff witch had rattles and bells attached. A rather frightening ruckus he made with it!
I also do remember the Solstice Chant, that calls the Owl Guardians, asking them for protection through the long icy winter nights. I also remember the trance rhythms we are to drum, when the shaman walks around the village, asking for Blessings and protection and then sits out the long and frigid night up on a snowy windy rock promontory or even atop a tall Tree chanting and praying for everyone in the hamlet. This after all was my great grandmother Ulali’s job.
I also know, that when the Wolves do answer or join into that lonely chant, it is seen as VERY fortuitous for the new solar year.
It is a velvety soft pulling thing/ feeling, when the trance comes in – and takes hold.
Somehow the melody and words of the Huron Carol floated into my mind…..
Then the scenery before my eyes changed.
A wintry night
deep snow, the moon up, full, just before midnight
Ice crystals glistening on all the Spruce Tree branches, bark cracking in -50 below
This is HOME = Siberia…….
entering the clearing filled with more than Moon and Star light…..
and then the words came in
on the melody….
A female Elder’s voice…..
T’was in the Moon of Wintertime
an old Wolf this way came
He had a ragged mangy coat
and on one foot he was lame.
He had a rotten toothless throat
and a stomach full of hunger pain
He knew that Death would be a grace
to an old wreck of his mighty race….
So he walked towards the Morning Star – – –
-and was surprised what he there saw- –
A beautiful glittering Reindeer dame
A Spirit with her antlers aflame
Life Magic from her heart did glow,
Love and mercy in her eyes did show,
She touche him with her sacred hand
to send him off to Never- Land…
But oh– he felt the Magic swell…….
the old Wolf changed to young and well!
His coat aglow in the sparkling snow,
his teeth all trim, feet fast and slim
Deep in his heart the Wolf did know
that never again old and frail he’ll grow
For all time he’ll wander through the night
all lost Souls home her was to guide
Sooo thankful for this Sacred Gift
into the air his snout he lift
and sang the first chant ever done
That on Solstice night
Star Maiden would come
To take away all pain and fear
So you all too live another year
So sing with me the Börü chant
that it will ring across this land….
Much much later, tears streaming down my face, hands still shaking, but migraine gone completely,
I managed to write it down, in 1 uninterrupted “flow-stream”…..
Still tears of thankfulness dripping onto the paper……
They are coming back, as I am sitting here now, typing it.
I know, the song, is based on one of the many E’eren Börü, legends of my Ancestors.
I also know, it is not for me alone, it is given, so I can share it with the community.
It says, “So you all too live another year!”
It is a little like something my Great gran Ulali would bring back from her midwinter night ordeal, to share with the people……
So you all too will live another year!
Every Medicine Tool has its own story:
Maybe you remember the post from about a year ago, when I found the frozen little Green Winged Teal / small female Duck and promised her, to use her beautiful wings well, to make a smudging fan to honour her life.
Well, here is the oooold blog post:
And here is, what I created from the little wings:
Prayer and Smudge Fan Female Green Winged Teal
In Honour of Ee’ren Ödürek, the Siberian Spirit
that created the Land
Yes, there was the “Big Flood” Water was EVERYWHERE – and the animals had nowhere to go and were in danger of drowning. Here in North America it is the Muskrat, that dives down to the primordial bottom to bring back up a small piece of mud that then was spread over the back of Mother Earth the Mighty Turtle. Among my Siberian ancestors and for my Family Clan this important job was accomplished by a small Duck, that then subsequently was allowed to reside in the Sky World and was forthwith known as Ee;ren Ödürek. Since then Duck feathers are highly regarded as preventing misfortune and calamities.
So it stands to reason, that, after I discovered this sad little Green Winged Teal, my Heart cried and I had to honour its life in a meaningful way……
Deer Leather: Ghülbüz lives in the dawn of the East, greeting the Sun every morning.
Fur of Sha-qua sho, the Mink, messenger and go=between the Land and the Water Spirits
Bone carving of Butterfly for transcendence and transformation
Moss Agate carving of Thunderbird, who’s rock art/ markings in Siberia are identical to those here in North America, proving, that the Native People came from my Ancestral home Lands
Sterling Silver button with Ee’ren Adik, the Bear, Keeper of the Eastern Gate and protector from Albis and other evil and illness inducing boogs and other “nastys”
Peacock – the all seeing eye of the Spirit
Pheasant: Pride in one’s own heritage
Mallard – family values
Heron – leadership and chieftainship, wise council
I am very pleased, that the general shape of the wings suggested a Butterfly, as they are seen as Spirits of transformation and beauty. A little searching on the net led me to a blog post from Robert Moss:
quoteing Robert Moss:
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016
If it looks like a duck,
it could be a Celtic goddess
At the shrine of Sequana, at the source of the River Seine in the Dijon area of France, ancient Celts came to seek healing dreams in the sacred night. Cloaked pilgrims journeyed with their offerings, which included models of the organs that needed healing, carved from oak or stone. They bathed in the sacred spring, prayed to the goddess, and placed their offerings beside a sacred pool. They entered a long portico or dormitory, hoping that in the night – during sleep or in the twilight state between sleeping and waking that the ancients knew is especially propitious for contact with the more-than-human – the goddess Sequana or her emissary would appear to them.
No magical power, other than simple cleansing, was attributed to the spring itself, but the waters were regarded as a source of creative flow, and as a portal to the Otherworld and its powers.
We know the name Sequana from nine inscriptions found in the area. It has been suggested that it means “The Fast-Flowing One”. Sequana is the goddess of the River Seine, which flows through Paris, and (according to Strabo) was the patron of the Sequanae, a Gaulish tribe in this region. Her special companion animal is the duck, and in a statue now in the Musée archéologique de Dijon, a crowned Sequana is depicted riding in a duck-headed boat.
Only the foundations of the healing shrine of Sequana at her spring, the Fontes Sequanae, survive, but we can glean a great deal about the ancient practice of dream incubation for healing from the contents of two pottery vessels discovered at the site. One contains more than a hundred carved effigies of eyes, breasts, limbs, heads and internal organs. A second vessel contained more than 800 similar carvings.
Pilgrims who needed healing for the parts represented ascended a series of terraces, pausing perhaps to drink from streams and cisterns containing the sacred waters, before reaching the main sanctuary and being admitted to the place of sacred sleep. Grateful travelers paid for inscriptions at the site thanking Sequana for gifts of healing, evidence that we have here a Celtic parallel to the practice of Asklepian dream healing in the ancient Mediterranean.
What happened to this great precinct of dream healing in the realm of the Goddess when the Church arrived? One guess. The site was appropriated by the Church and re-dedicated to an invented male, saint, St Sequanus.
In reviving the memory of the “Fast-Flowing” Goddess, we take another step towards cultural soul recovery – and remember a healing practice that can transform our lives.
Fly well, Little Duck and Blessings to your species!
Within the last 48 hours the temperature had risen from -28 centigrade with howling winds and deep snowdrifts to + 9, with freezing rain, that transformed the landscape into an endless, dull, foggy skating ring.
On this rain-soaked morning I was listlessly putting on my way too tight woollen socks and while I pulled hard I was glancing out the rain-spattered living room window and saw her:
On the other side of the creek, trotting quickly from puddle to puddle over the still frozen ice.
Large, a bit skinny, probably due more to the wet fur than malnutrition. She rolled in one of the last patches of snow – She-Wolves do that, when they are in heat – leaving scent marks, invitations – tantalizing…..
Then she jumped up and ran over to a Muskrat pile that is now protruding through the ice. She squatted, peed on it, to make sure, everyone got the message…..
Off to the old abandoned Beaver lodge – repeat task, then loop on – down the creek and into the rolling fog…….
May she be well.
May she connect…..
May there be pups in the rendezvous site come autumn!
This time of year, late February, we should be having beautiful cooooold winter weather, but instead of that it is raining into our formerly 4 feet of snow that now is quickly melting away, especially because it also is +11 degree centigrade. 😦
All our outside chores like going out into the bush and getting our wood are on hold.
So I am sitting in front of a pile of feathers, furs and recycled leather and give new life and meaning to a few of the wild Bird wings I accumulated over the last few years.
Remember this post – about how to pin and dry Bird wings?
Here now is a nice Merlin Wing Smudging fan, just finished 🙂
Another wing pinned in the box in the above mentioned post is this following Sharp Shinned Hawk wing.Now it too is dressed up and ready to find an owner 🙂
And as always, to maybe go with these 2 treasures there are 2 Sweetgrass baskets dressed up and filled with Sage, Cedar, Juniper, some incense, some crystals and 2 different large shells suitable for smudging.
One of them is a LARGE clam shell found at the beach of Kouchibouguac NP in New Brunswick. The local Micmac people consider shells from there as powerful “Gebmeg” = good Medicine.
Facing the current situation takes gumption and resilience!
Several of my clients are in big trouble 😦
Well, to be honest, we all are in trouble.
But to keep informed about THAT kind of trouble you can check out the daily news……. It is a “daškaar men’ – trouble” something external to us, something not born within. (ištiki men’)
It does clash with what we all – or most of us – belief and what we stand for, what is good, balanced and “right”according to our personal world view and we are outraged, we protest, we talk about it, we write posts about it and so try our very best to deal with our anger, our frustration, our helplessness, our feeling of being run over by a horde of nasty dementors on their way to Mordor……
Some people however feel unable to even allow themselves to feel and acknowledge their feeling of frustration, outrage and anger, because THAT would be “negative energy” and their world view includes the strict avoidance of “any negative energy” for fear of being tainted and corrupted by it.
We all know a few of these “gentle souls”.
They do not watch the news, they do not read the papers, they do not allow any negativity or negative talk in their homes or in their presence and should “something “ come up in a conversation, they withdraw or simply leave…..
Generally this is a good and positive thing and keeps them healthy and it is a good strategy to mitigate anxiety if it were not for the denying of their own feelings.
It then can lead to a slippery slope, where healthy anger and frustration get further suppressed and denied, creating stress and pressure, that turns inward and eventually implodes, leading to anxiety attacks, nightmares, fear and ultimately also to depression.
Needless to say, that the afore mentioned symptoms are also seen as “negative energy” and so a nasty vortex is set into motion…….
Several of my clients now are stuck is such a nasty vortex 😦
What to do?
– I created a “safe space”
Candles, crystals, flowers…. things that THEY need to be there to feel safe (= this is not about what I may use or like or need or my tradition, this is about THEM!!)
– invocations of their Spirits – and mine, (who are never further away then the end of my nose anyway)
– induce a light trance
– then induce a psychological up-reaction
Yes, they will SCREAM
SCREAM THEIR HEART OUT!
Scream out all their pent up anger, fear and frustration
They will cry and yell and mourn and grovel and curse and scream some more…..
RIP apart a bunch of black cloth and TOSS it right across the room….
GRAB a bunch of rocks and TOSS it at and after all the shitttt they feel helpless about
then dissolve into another flood of tears…….
for the next 30 minutes…….
– then it is time for a cleansing.
– the Yak tail comes out, and also my Great Horned Owl wing
– a chant
– a closing prayer
– a smudge; Juniper berries, Mullen, Lavender and Cedar….
– another chant
– a hug…..
A fresh box of cleanex and a cup of hot tea later
I may read the cards for them……
Then they go home, feeling better.
But then comes the hard task of bravely facing this new nasty world……
They know, I am just a phone call or an e- mail away…….
And I KNOW, that phone will ring……
I was born on the Winter Solstice 1955.
I cam out bum first. = breach
I almost did not make it and was blue and black from a bungled attempt with forceps.
But I had a tenacious and nasty scream so share with the world.
All this proved to my Ada = my father, that I would follow in the footsteps of our shaman Ancestors from his side of the tribe and so the very first thing he did is go and get a little Ee’ren Adik for me, for protection.
In 1955 that was not easy, but when he finallllly showed up at the hospital, he had all he needed: A bottle of vodka –as a gift for the Sky Spirits, a thermos of black tea for the Land Spirits and a jug of milk for the Milk Lake Mother, Keeper of our Ancestors , who had hand selected MY!! Spirit to be reborn into the family again!! 🙂
The little Ee’ren Adik, that he then subsequently deftly “graced” = infused with the prescribed assortment of fluids was not quite, what he had had in mind, but it would do for now.
It was a little Steiff Bear with soft brown fur loving eyes and fully jointed.
See, Ee’ren Adik is the “One who “Sucks his Toes”, while sleeping and dreaming of Healing Powers.
The One who protects the Eastern Door against Albis = nasty disease spirits that lurk in the yet unknown future.
The One and only Sky Spirit, who agree to come down to the Middle World to protect the People from Albis and Bogs and Bellegee’rs and the Schulbus and….
Do not ask; they are all NASTYS!!
My mother did not think much of the once cute and clean, now soaked and smelly bear, Ada put under my blanket. But she drank the rest of the milk and ate some of the honey Ada had brought for her, while Ada shared the rest of the vodka – and then some…. with his friends.
I have been told by Maeuzi, that the nurse kind of washed the little Bear and put it onto the radiator to dry. Then I was allowed to have it back.
It was NOT called Ee’ren Adik but Maeuzi called it “Petzy” after Meister Petz, the Gypsy Guardian of the Forest.
I was also told – by ADA, that ifffff they had NOT washed and rinsed off the offerings form that poor bedraggled Bear, I would have had more Shaman Power.
For the next years Petzy went EVERYWHERE I went.
Petzy was much loooooooved!!
Petzy lost his fur, but never mind!!
Petzy also got company…. But that is for another post……