|Journey to the Roadhouse of the Dead
||[Nov. 18th, 2009|03:04 pm]
It was a clear, warm night when I made my first journey to the Roadhouse of the Dead. I stated my intention, and then I prayed. I said my usual prayers to my allies, prayed for a safe and meaningful experience, and prayed to be open to Mystery. Then I cast a circle and entered a trance by singing softly.
Freyr joined me immediately, and he looked impatient. He was wearing a dark black suit, which is unusual as he typically clothing that expresses the delight he has in his body. His long golden hair was in a braid--also unusual. Squat was there as well, wearing a large black dress with a red collar. I don't think I've ever seen her in anything other than jeans. Freyr took my hand and said, "We've been waiting. Let's go--there isn't much time."
Freyr led me outside to his car--the usual golden-yellow Mustang that I am familiar with. Sitting in it, feeling it purr underneath me as Freyr navigated the winding country roads to the Roadhouse, I was aware how much this car is alive, and of how much of the way the Mysterious Ones present themselves to me has to do with how I am able to see them. Suddenly, something occurred to me and I asked, "Is this car Gullinbursti?" Freyr didn't respond. Squat laughed from the front seat. I again wondered how much of the lore around the Mysterious Ones is also colored by the lenses of the people who originally received it.
We approached the Roadhouse, and I was amazed at the sheer number of beings that were gathering. There were schools of fish approaching from the sky, swimming through the air like water. There were flocks of birds, herds of animals, and other people and Mysterious Ones arriving by sea, by water, and by land. Freyr drove up to the front, and a valet took the car as we stepped out. Ancestors of mine emerged from the Roadhouse to welcome me, and led me into a great hall with a bar in the center of it. We entered the hall, and it was packed to over-flowing.
Freyr was a gracious host, and he introduced me to some of the other Mysterious Ones and ancestors. We stopped at the bar, and he introduced me to the bartender, whose name I immediately forgot. He handed me a martini glass and I thanked him. I am always nervous about eating or drinking anything in the other worlds, so I just carried it around with me. Freyr must have noticed, but he didn't say anything.
I looked around--the bar was in the center of a huge hall, and I could see crowds of beings around me. I saw people that I know from Reclaiming (Donald and Mark other Minnesota witches), people that I know from the Heathen and Northern Tradition worlds, and people that I feel like I should know on some level. I saw birds flying in circles above me, and fish floating in circles above them. Ghosts and spirits and other beings were weaving in and among the dancers--all making a giant counter-clockwise circular pattern.
The music of the Roadhouse is not something I can describe easily. At first it seemed like heavy industrial rock, but made of long-held notes, with the occasional percussive booms. I couldn't quite put my finger on what kind of instrument it was. Later, watching an episode of QI, I discovered what it was: The music was natural sounds, like the sound of sand dunes and the sound of earth from space, arranged to sound like "music." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XF6kGDLcVE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Og_HjkCvro, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cpY5qZLbMM&feature=related.)
I watched the enormous, strange, circular dance for a while, and then I left the main room and walked through some of the smaller salons. I made my way from one salon to another. I saw my maternal grandmother in one of them, playing Chopin on the piano. It brought a tear to my eye. She said, "We all have to play now. We all are creating the music for the dance." We talked about music for a period. Each salon had beings in it, and each salon was different. Some were very strange. There were people who looked like they were from 1800 Russia debating in a language I did not understand in one salon; in another salon there were people from different historical periods scrying with Mysterious Ones.
I spent some time with Idunna, with whom I've become somewhat close over the past few months. She had dirt under her nails, as always. She was sitting in a small salon populated with other Vanir--Heimdall, Freya, Njord. I sat down with them, and with many other people. The room was decorated in dark colors, and I noticed after a few minutes that none of the MOs were wearing gold, which is odd for a group of Vanir. I mentioned it, and they just nodded.
I didn't talk much, but some of the other humans did. (I'm so curious as to who these other friends of the Vanir are.) Topics ranged from light-hearted joking to more serious discussions. And finally, the conversation turned to the current ecological and social crises. "The world is always ending," said Njord. Freya looked at her father and shook her head. We (us humans) had the sense that something is going on, but the MOs were not forthcoming.
I expected that I would dance at some point, but I never did. The opportunity never arose. Eventually, Freyr appeared out of the crowd, and took my hand. "It's time we got you home." I said that I had planned on staying for longer, but he told me that "those with mortal bodies cannot be here when the next part of the dance begins." As I walked out the door, I noticed others leaving, too. He led me to the car and I got in the passenger side. Squat and Freyr said good-bye, but did not get in the car. It was clear that they planned on staying longer. Freyr closed the door, and patted the car on the side, as one would pat a horse. The Mustang took off, and drove me home on the winding roads.
On the trip back, I thought about the experience. It felt a little anti-climatic after hearing about fabulous parties at the Roadhouse over the years. I don't remember getting home, just waking up the next morning.