Seidr / Magic / Shamanism
What is magic? Why are there so many different names for it? What's the difference between Spakona, Seidkona, Witch and Shaman? Can anyone learn and practice magic? I hope to answer all of your questions with the following brief descriptions. First and foremost, I want to make it very clear, you cannot learn magic from a book or school. Now after making that statement I have to say, please don't let this interfere with a higher education.
The Shaman/Seidkona/Witch have practices that can be learned such as: body manipulation - for healing, psychology - for counseling/human behavior and herbalism to name just a few. Magic is a chosen path at birth and in some cultures even before birth. Of course there are always a few exceptions, in Native American cultures if you are bestowed with a gift the whole tribe would help teach and enhance it. Chances are you could possibly even be sent to another neighboring tribe to learn, it never stops you will spend a lifetime learning.
There are individuals that struggle within themselves for years searching out their path, set forth. Knowing they are different and yet have a hard time explaining it because, some just wouldn't understand. It's an awakening of sorts to many of them, seeing reality for the first time. Then there are those who have been taught their whole lives that magic is taboo. These taboos as well as others were introduced to control the general population.
What is Magic? To put it simply, there is a universal life force that resides in all living things. This force is known by several names a spirit, soul or essence. Accepting this fact, becoming familiar with this force and learning to use it, is Magic.
There are many tools available to the practitioners which include, spells, chants, charms, galders, candles, fire, water, crystal balls, mirrors, oils, incense, teins/wands, herbs to name a few; the most important will be the familiar/fylgja or animal totem.
For the inexperienced, magic could do more harm than good, please get help; Research and Investigate! While practicing any craft that involves the soul and astral projection, you're taking a chance. Remember, only an experienced shaman can retrieve your soul if you become lost!
Regarding all the taboos, anything that can be used for good can be turned around and used for evil.
Shaman - Known also as the first religion. There are certain individuals that live in two realms at one time. They may find it hard to distinguish one world from another. They experience this feeling of walking a fine line between both realms. Two sides no longer exist, it's not black and white, it's all gray. You may even find this in their personality; there are no right or wrong answers, just differences in opinions. These individuals have several things in common but the most important one is known as "A Near Death Experience" or a "Self Sacrificing Experience". They are directly connected to the Gods/Goddesses and Mankind. They never need to induce a trance like state of mind, they live it! Speaking to the Gods is as easy for them, as picking up a telephone to make a call is for others. These individuals are the true shamans and this can be a maddening state of mind without balance. To help balance the mind who better than an experienced shaman, he/she has already at one time passed through this state. Shaman practices range in a variety of areas: healing the mind, body and spirit through herbalism and counseling, seer craft to presiding over births, marriages and funerals are just a few examples. The shaman will use the power of drums, rattles, music, chants, dance and fire in rituals; these are just a few of the tools that help to keep him/her focused. The shaman find their Gods in every living thing trees, fire, water, wind, stones, moon, stars, earth, sun, animals, fylgjur also known as familiars...all life. Shamans are aware that the fylgja or familiar is located in the center of our spiritual life. The most magical time for shaman is the changing of the seasons, birth, death and regeneration. There is a vibration felt from within, of personal power and who we are. I term it "Music of the Soul" a reminder of the reasons we are here. A Shaman will use this vibration to connect him/herself to all of nature, a link to the powers of the infinite. The path of the shaman will involve many teachers, but it will be the familiar that initiates the shaman in the use of it's own power. When the shaman finds balance (through experience) between the mind, spirit and body, the result; a true lover of life; Compassion and tolerance for All!
*Due to the shamans sharing some of their knowledge of the universe magic/religions, including Seidr and Wicca were born.
Seidkona - Seidr, Seid magic originated as a Vanir Craft taught by Freyja to the Aesir. Seidr is the most evolving type of magic ever practiced by the Norse. Because it has picked up traits from other forms of magic, it's often confused and termed wrong. An example of this would be, both the shaman and seidkona will use the form of their familiar/fylgja but this is the only connection between the two types of magic. Seidr was never originally used in healing or soul retrieval and the practitioner does not have to go through a traumatic initiation of death or sacrifice. Seidr practices are essentially the interrupting and interfering with the soul and or conscious of another. Someone he/she enlists to chant for him or her will induce the seidkona to a trance state. The practitioner will never chant for himself or herself if it can be avoided. Beings are called upon while in trance and asked to reveal knowledge. Prophecy is only one skill of the seidkona. Teins or wands are also used frequently in seidr. Both the Norse and the Christians have always considered Seidr practices in its original state a darker form of magic; anyone practicing was thought of as ill willed. There are several reasons seidr work was frowned upon, the fact that the magic involved sexual stimulation and energy is thought to be the strongest reason. Many have speculated why more women than men practiced this art. The sexual activities could have a role in this; it could also be that loosing control while entering a deep trance was not a manly position. Then you have the cross dressing which quite frankly, disturbs men. The practice of seidr has changed rapidly with the modern times and it's evolution; more Shaman and Wicca traits are being used in its practices. Due to this evolution, men are no longer shamed into not practicing seidr magic. In Stav's variation of seidr there are many more Shaman practices being used which include herbalism, massage therapy and working to understand nature and the orlog. I personally believe that the evolving of seidr started happening when Odin was taught. I believe he incorporated all of his previous knowledge into one form of magic.
Spakona - Spa', Spae-Craft or Spa-Kraft is a form of magic originating in the tribes of the Norse. It means prophesy or to prophesize, see and read the future. Both men and women practiced this type of magic and they were held in the highest regards as leaders of their tribes. Possessing the powers of foresight and seeing the future is directly associated with the Norns (the Goddesses of Destiny). There were no set procedures for a spakona, they evaluated each situation and decided from there if they needed to be in a trance state, scry or just follow their instincts, feelings. These practitioners are what we would consider modern day fortunetellers, tarot readers, gifted individuals (ESP) etc..... The Spakona's work dealt more with sensing and premonitions. There is mention in the sagas that if the spakona felt it necessary she/he might even use seidr. This was only used as a last resort; seidr was considered such a dark magic to practice. To develop skills in spa'-craft, one would keep a journal and document their feelings and or premonitions. A spakona paid great attention to the most sacred nights: Midsummer, Yule, Ostara and winter nights to name a few.
Witch - Wicca means "Craft of The Wise", also known as Wicca Craeft, Witchcraft or "The Craft". The Craft draws its strength from the diversity of nature itself. Wicca recognizes Deity as dual. It worships both the God and the Goddess, which are the powerful tides of nature: the powers of wind, fire, water, earth and animals. These deities are present throughout the universe. Wicca utilizes magic and rituals; using natural energy to produce change, in one's life or externally. Wicca is based on a deep respect for nature and the certain knowledge that no one has the right to exploit it for their own gain. Wicca's also believe in the three-fold law of return, very simply what ever you put out comes back times three. They would never cast a negative spell. It is important to note that magic is natural; there is nothing supernatural about it. The use of certain tools such as spells, visualization, chants, candles, amulets and meditation help focus the power within. The aspects most celebrated in the craft, the triple Goddess of the Moon who is Maiden, Mother and Crone and the Horned God of the wilds. Witches have been persecuted for hundreds of years and it still continues. Millions of people have lost their lives accused of black magic/Satanism by the Christian Churches. *Do not confuse witches with Satanist. Satan is a negative aspect of Christianity. He was created by the Christians to control the population, to scare them into obedience. Witches do not believe in or worship in Satan! Witches believe that all evil is created by mankind hence their belief, "an it harm no one; do as you will". Wicca's had to go underground to preserve and practice their faith. They created secret groups called "Covens" and have stayed hidden until very recent times, in many places. There are just as many "Solitary Practitioners" out there also. The branches or traditions of Wicca, are the Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Welsh Traditional, Dianic, Faery, Seax-Wicca to name a few. Their techniques are used to heal people and animals, seek guidance, or improve lives in specific ways. Each practitioner keeps a personal book or journal in which he/she records magical recipes, known as " Book of Shadows".
The "New Age" Witch is emerging today under a new title "Holistic". People of all faiths are now looking to Holistic Healers and Holistic Medicine for cures.
I hope I have answered some of your question concerning magic. I could have gone on longer but the point of this was, to show you there are subtle differences. I hope that this has intrigued you enough to do your own research and look for your own answers. This all comes with "Experience".
No one person can teach you magic, it comes from within. There are many teachers that can help you in ways of using it, staying focused and most of all protecting yourself! Please be very careful of who you ask for help from. With the Internet and all the "New Age" healers, there are several out there, just waiting to take your hard earned money. I didn't find my Tsalagi or Teachers through an ad on the Internet. I have never been charged money! Donations are usually given to these teachers and not always monetary, this also comes with research (experience).
If you're having trouble locating someone in the area to help you, I can direct you to an experienced Shaman, Seidkona or Wicca/Witch. Just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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