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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Experiencing the Other Crowd

  One complaint that I see often in the wider pagan/polytheist community is that people of a more reconstructionist bent, such as myself, don't share enough personal experiences. That's actually a fair criticism generally speaking. For my part I have been trying to share more, although I have so far found it easier to share numinous experiences, especially those involving the Gods, through poetry. Today I wanted to share a little bit of my experiences with the Good Neighbors. Although everything to do with themselves is tricky, and often carries specific prohibitions about what can and cannot be shared, there are certain experiences that happened which involved more than just myself or which I know its okay to talk about. these are an array of things and involve, naturally, a variety of different kinds of spirits, but nonetheless I'd like to share some here. Hopefully it'll give people an idea of what these things can be like.

  For those who have read my book Fairy Witchcraft or attended some of my classes about the Other Crowd some of these may be familiar. This is my top 5 list of public or share-able experiences:
  5) I had made a habit of offering milk every friday to the spirits of my home and immediate area. My finances took a downward turn and I couldn't afford to keep up with it so I switched to other things. One friday a couple weeks after I stopped offering the milk I was getting out of my car after going grocery shopping when a gallon of milk was pulled out of my hand. The container hit the grass and burst. From then on I made sure to offer at least a small bit of milk each week
4) Many years ago I had a loose assortment of friends who were all different types of pagans. One full moon we decided to get together and have a ritual and one woman mentioned a spot out in the woods that she had used many times. We all met up in early afternoon and then drove out to the suburban home where her parents lived, before hiking back into the woods about a mile or so. The ritual location was lovely and we had a casual ceremony followed by a long, pleasant conversation that lasted into the early evening. Finally it was full dark, and even with the full moon above us the forest was closing in so we packed up and started back. After walking for about 5 minutes we could clearly see the lights from the houses shining through the trees ahead of us. But after ten more minutes the lights were no closer. We climbed over rocks and around trees, through thorns and fallen branches, yet never seemed able to move forward. One other friend and I began to suspect fairy enchantment, as the rest of the group fought to push forward. Finally, after perhaps another 15 minutes of walking, my friend and I acknowledged that we were being pixy-led; we began to laugh and compliment the fairies on such a fine joke. The energy broke with an almost physical snap and within a few minutes we emerged in a backyard a few houses down from where we’d first gone into the woods.
3) My friend has had a large shrine/altar for the aos sidhe in her store for 15 years. This past equinox we needed to move the shrine, which was an epic undertaking, and took most of a morning. Several days later I noticed a flourite ring was missing from a jewelry display. We both assumed it had been stolen, which was upsetting. Then my friend found it, days later on the new fairy shrine - covered in years of dust as if it had been there for a long time. (note we left it there - if they want an offering enough to take it, they can keep it)
2) As I was helping out in my friend's store one day I looked down and realized my wedding ring was gone. I panicked and my friend and I searched everywhere but there was no trace of it. I made several offerings to the aos sidhe hoping the ring would turn up, because I knew of their tendency to take jewelry, but it didn't. Months went by and I felt pressed to write my Fairy Witchcraft book, which I did (separate story). Shortly after I finished the book and submitted it to my publisher my friend found the ring sitting in front of her altar.
1) about a decade ago I was at a local state park that has a strong Other Crowd presence. While I was there I left a small pendant, a moonstone with an iolite set above it, as an offering. At my house I have a small room dedicated for ritual use; its where all my altars are. About a year ago I walked into my ritual room and sitting on the floor in front of my main altar was the pendant I had left as an offering all those years before.

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