Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What's Not in the Books

Many years ago as a baby Feri in training I was introduced to a guide, who has since become a trusty friend and ally, who first showed himself to me as a man in a pot. He gave me a name to call upon him and showed me a thing I did not understand until much later: alraun. I did some digging to try to understand the puzzle pieces he showed me, but they did not connect for a long while. It was not until I had gotten to know this guide and friend better and was initiated that the pieces connected. By that time I was already creating my own poppets and finding my own style and story. Vasalissa very much took the torch on that one, in many ways, she reminded me of my own Matron goddess: Hekate. In spite of the fact that Vasalissa had taken up the torch, my earth guide friend, whom you have heard me refer to as the Poppet Prince, still guided my hand. So today we talk a bit about alrauns.

The lore about them is pretty clear. They can be mischievous if not properly cared for. According to lore they require weekly attention such as baths, a proper place to sleep, anointings in precious oils, and just a talking to. How do you go about that??? I have found my own way in the dark, secret places of this on my own and discovered a few things on my own. My Poppet Prince has been showing me how he would prefer to be cared for and it is not exactly what lore has shown. While, yes, he enjoys a nice anointing in oils I consider precious but, when it is time to get to work, it's blood he requires. By now he has acquired a dark staining that gives him an mysterious appearance. He is clothed in my finest lace and blackest of ribbon. I tried a coffin like style of home for him but, it was not to his liking. He took up hearth and home in a cobalt blue jar with a silver lid that actually can be rung like a bell when struck. I was originally utilizing this jar as a wish jar and ritual bell but, I relented and gave it to him. He sits in a place of honor on my altar quite happy and snug and cozy there with the lid firmly atop while he's sleeping.

The talking to part is not what I expected when I first started my alraun care adventure. I expected that I would talk to him very much the same way we speak to our cats, dogs, sometimes fish ( and on occasion I do just that.) Oh no. That's not what it is for me. I learned very quickly that from the get go he speaks to me in dreams and in meditations when I go in to faery, we have a back and forth dialogue that includes words, images and sometimes sounds and smells. I guess I could have gotten the hint when I was first embarking on his creation but, I completely missed the point on that one and misinterpreted the dream. I think at that point the Poppet Prince was trying to warn me about my now ex husband and his extremely jealous behavior patterns instead of an intruding spirit. Oh well live and learn. The other puzzle piece that I have recently put into place actually came out of the mouth of my Faery Aunt while I was grieving the loss of my witch garden. She said that the spirit of the plant will come back to you when you re-establish new plants; the spirits don't just die and go away, they wait for a new host. It brings me comfort to know that now. Should, Gaia forbid, anything happen to the vessel I have cared for my Poppet Prince in, I can lovingly create him a new host body and call him forth again.

Alrauns have been talked about in lore as being created from the most coveted of witchdoms plants, most often as a mandrake root. Truth be known, I think an alraun is made from a root. Period. A root that you lovingly pull from the earth, replant in your personal plot and care for as a plant for a bit before you begin the formative shape. Yes the leaves will at first wither and curl. Yes it will come back if you have carefully handled the roots. In my experience, I actually had vibrant sow weed flowers bloom during this process as I was making offerings and connection to the plant. Yes, I put a sow weed sweetly in its own pot, brought it home and called it friend. I am a city witch and there things in the city that only urban plants know, like how to grow in the cracks of the sidewalk and push through asphalt to defy the shape and form society wishes to create of you.

If you are going to chose to work with alrauns, my suggestion is get to know the earth spirit called into it first. It is this spirit you will be working with. I also suggest only one alraun at a time until you come to a good understanding of how to connect and work with one. Since we know that books may be great sources of information and knowledge but, they are no substitute for hands on dirt under the fingernails practice. Just focus intently on your alraun, listen to all your hidden senses and instincts while following the pattern put forth by our ancestors. Understand that it is not exact and varies slightly from witch to witch ( and that's okay.) Most of all, enjoy the process. If there is no love and joy in what you are doing, you are doing it wrong. Do not be afraid to deviate from lore a bit because it is not in the books. There are lots of things that are not in the books and you may miss out on beautiful secrets. What's not in the books is within your own heart.

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