"Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." - Rumi

Friday, May 15, 2009

Serving Odin – The Eighth Ordeal: Alfheim

By G. Krasskova

I’m not sure what I’m permitted to say in retrospect about this ordeal. Much of what I learned I am tabooed, by specific Deities, from committing to print. I expect this will be a very brief and skeletal account. Still, I shall try my best to convey what I experienced. Like Midgard, this was not a physically painful ordeal at all, though it was grueling in its own way. It seems that for me, the alfar light and dark, preferred psychological ordeal to physical suffering. I suppose physical suffering seemed too … lacking in subtlety for their tastes in this case. Also, one of their oft-used techniques is glamour and psychological mesmerism. It makes sense that their ordeals would incorporate not physical pain, but a stretching and widening of my psychological and mental boundaries. All in all, they were very gentle and fairly hands off with me…as these things go.

This ordeal took place in June, in the middle of my six week sojourn in Germany. I went to Belgium for the weekend, to visit a local ordeal master there H. She and I had previously arranged for her to facilitate this ordeal for me at that time. I had been told beforehand that this ordeal might involve taking legal, psychoactive substances that would drive me temporarily mad. My greatest fear is losing control and going crazy. I needed to learn that I could lose control and come back from that place. As it was, it turned out to be quite a different ordeal than I had expected, as much of that particular lesson had already been learned somewhere between Jotunheim and Vanaheim. Instead, I was pulled into their world, the outer lands of Alfheim, by means that I found terrifying.

The day after I arrived, H. and I rose early to prepare for the ordeal. We set up a lavoo tent in her backyard. We got a fire going inside the tent and she went to prepare the herbal preparation I would have to take. I felt the Alfar come, honor guard for the Goddess I was to meet. They ringed the space as we transitioned between worlds, watching over all that occurred. H. came back with a bottle of tincture and a pipe. We were going to use salvia divinorum to enter fully into their world. This herb is completely legal and yet it has the ability to take a person into the salvia world, or in this case, into the alfar realms. The spirit of salvia is a … handmaiden of the Green Goddess. (I don’t know Her by any other name. She is one of the primary Alfar Deities, Queen of the Green Fire). Sometimes Salvia will allow herself to be used as a vessel by this Goddess.

I rarely work with plant spirits and never with psychoactive substances. I find this particular path to be utterly terrifying. It is deadly dangerous, more so than any ordeal practice I have ever engaged in. I have immense respect for those shamans and spirit-workers who use psychoactive substances as a primary part of their work. I never want to join their ranks! Certainly part of why I was required to do this lay in the path of Odin that I walk. He is, in part, a plant shaman and healer. It followed that I too must experience a tiny bit of what that is like, even if only in the briefest, most controlled microcosm, to truly understand (in whatever capacity my human brain allows) the greater macrocosm of His experiences there.

Over the course of the next few hours, I took several preparations of salvia both via smoke and via tincture. The Midgard world dissolved around me and I heard the voice of the fire. All the fires. I became part of that pushing, inexorable, primal rhythm. Beyond that, I cannot speak. These are the things I have promised never to put into print. I met the Alfar Goddess. I experienced the state in which the Alfar exist. I came to understand much of their culture: why it is the way it is, why certain protocols exist, what it means to be almost fully of the green fire. I established a tie to that world and apparently conducted myself with appropriate decorum. This was an important part of all my ordeals: Odin was sending me to the various worlds for me to make myself known, and establish contacts and links. To do that, I had to understand and accept the specific protocols of each place.

One aftereffect of this ordeal was that it opened me much more fully to plant spirits. It’s also made me much more cognizant of the living fire that flows through every single thing: human, mineral, plant, animal. It’s changed my way and understanding of being in the world. I also gained much more respect for the Alfar in general. I wish that I could write more about my experiences during this ordeal. It felt very much like a transition point. This was it, this was the last stop on the journey before meeting my Lord in Asgard.


  1. Awesome. You should submit what you can to http://www.Salvia-Trip.net

    No doubt everyone there would be interested in your tale.

  2. I might...this one was a very hard ordeal to write about, not because it was difficult to undergo (it wasn't, as these things go) but because i'm not permitted to write about so much of what i experienced. I'm not sure how much sense it would make to someone outside of the Northern trad...