I was on the massage table at my chiropractors office. The lights were dim and I was truly enjoying the fact that my co-pay covered both the chiro and the massage visit. The lights were dim and I was enjoying the comfortable silence of practitioner and client. I often run through an energy system check while I get a massage. It’s an enforced meditation time, and because I’ve literally got someone touching my body; showing my physically where my edges are it’s the perfect time to align energy systems. On a side note, occasionally I’ve been known to get lectures from massage therapists on my chakras being blown open. Sometimes it’s good to be the one healed, bless their kind souls.
At any rate, I was on the table, relaxed and happy, my energetic senses comfortably open in this safe womblike environment. Then I noticed something strange.
There was a shadow that shouldn’t have been there. It was a strange feeling, not exactly visual, more like the feeling that you get when someone is sneaking up behind you. I’m pretty used to this feeling, this “there but not there” feeling. So I wasn’t too worried, I just laid there and let myself see how I reacted to this not-presence. It seemed low down and fairly large against the wall in the corner. I didn’t feel worry or concern when I thought about it, merely curiosity.
I have noticed that when interacting with a new spirit there’s an effect that I like to think of as “tuning the radio” At first in my trancework and sensory experience it’s hard to “tune in” I find that the images and ideas that I get are fuzzy, dark, or unclear. I only see a part of a body, a color, maybe a paw. Sometimes I see a statue or a bas-relief of something in the trance landscape as I slowly circle closer to true interaction with whatever it is. I get feelings about it, concern or joy, curiosity, or comfort, and part of the process is sorting what part of that emotional data comes from me and what comes from the spirit. It’s a process of sinking downward, sifting through that which is me.
This is one of those moments where I have, in the past felt uncomfortable. How could there possibly be a “me” and a “you” within my own emotional experience? Certainly from a lore perspective, that kind of thing is not unreasonable, but from a modern psychological perspective it seemed disturbing. However, as I studied the concept of the Highly Sensitive Person, I came across empathy and mirror neurons. It’s pretty clear that in the realm of human to human interaction there is a real way for people to feel connection and get a read on other peoples emotions, even feeling them in a real sensory way.
I supposed that if feeling other people emotions was possible, it was not out of the realm of imagination that I could feel other spirits emotions as well. Assuming spirits exist. Which I do, at this point.
As I laid there, beginning my interaction with this new spirit it seemed to resolve into a young woman sitting up against the wall with her knees drawn up. She seemed to have a pole or a spear that she was holding and the emotion that seemed to be coming from her was strangely enough… resentment?
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that and frankly I wanted to enjoy my massage so I didn’t think too much more about it.
As time went on it became apparent that this strange spirit was a swan maiden. She was “young” or felt that way and when I worked with the swan maidens in trance it became apparent that she had been “assigned” to me. Just the other day I came across a post by Morgan Daimler about evidence of fairy familiars in English history, differentiating between the demonic and the fairy given. One of the interesting differences that came up was how the demonic spirit was called or invoked and the fairy familiar was found or gifted by the Queen of Elphame. I was apparently gifted a spirit.
I can tell you how I perceive the leader of the swan maidens. She has dark hair, brown eyes and fair skin. She is very proper and has her hair done in a distinctly Victorian manner. (This may be influenced by my minor obsession with Victorian things.) It’s hard to say if she is a Queen of Elphame, but she certainly seemed able to assign a cranky teenager to my retinue. I have a retinue. This is sort of embarrassing for me. How many invisible friends does one person really need?
That first encounter was some years ago. Now I am fast friends with my wingéd companion. She comes and goes as she pleases and guards my back in the otherworld. She also wears a wolf tail and wolf ears, along with her swan wings. As far as I can tell, the ears and tail are a fashion choice, similar to the teenagers I see wandering around pagan festivals. She told me to call her by the name of a popular video game character. All I could do was sigh.
I have an angsty teenage furry guardian spirit gifted to me by a queen of the swan maidens and I’m totally cool with that.