Category: Creepy

The Dead Time

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year I honor The Dead Time by posting some of my creepier accounts mucking about in the Middle World. Last year I compiled them, along with a few new stories, in  Real Wyrd: A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World
To our Western European Pagan forebearers, Samhain marked the beginning of the Dead Time. At harvest’s end when the sunlight was in short supply, it was a natural time of thanksgiving. On a practical level, it was appropriate to cull what must be stored for sustenance during winter, what must be seed for the next planting season. Spiritually, it was the time of honoring the spirit world—deities, Nature spirits, and the recently deceased. Closing the year, along with celebrations of successful harvest, so were the dead honored. A place-setting was laid at the celebratory table for those who had died that year, and food was left for them. I would imagine that ages ago, when resources were scarce, the gratitude expressed for the dead at year’s end was heartfelt and sincere, as was the enjoyment of the celebratory feast. These were the last decadent celebrations of the year, heralding the bleak winter ahead.
Samhain is commonly called The Witches’ New Year, though it was taught to me as marking only the year’s end. The new year didn’t begin until several weeks later, at Winter Solstice. Just as harvest closed the year in autumn, the return of sunlight at Solstice brought hope for the new year, as well as affirmed survival of the harsh cold. The time between these holy observations was the Dead Time, a space outside mundane time and perception, the mystical birth of the notion that the veil between worlds thins. I don’t experience a veil anytime, though this final harvest our psyche seems a bit more raw, more receptive to things we would otherwise filter out.
The darkest time of the year, the Dead Time brought the depths of winter, from which there was no assurance of spring. Not only was physical survival of the dark winter a challenge, it also tested sanity and stamina. Worry that there wouldn’t be enough to get to spring pervaded life, thus, spiritual observation.
We don’t approach Samhain or The Dead Time the same our ancestors. We don’t generally live in fear that the light won’t return (although it’s something to think about), that we won’t be fed, or that we won’t have the opportunity to manifest our desires. We do however, acknowledge Seasonal Affective Disorder, a cyclic form of depression that many experience in winter, while other socially and economically beleaguered spirits cope with the holiday blues. In light of these modern trends, The Dead Time is still a naturally provocative passage.
As time, itself, seems to suspend between Samhain and Winter Solstice, giving us natural pause to hibernate and reflect on what we’re finished with and can leave behind, what we most want to carry forward and grow, we can still experience death and rebirth as our elders did. Hold these observations in mind as you approach the next waning of the sun and the procession to the Dead Time. Enjoy the solitude of shadow, and know the light will soon warm!

Celebrate the Small Things – Gratitude

Small Things Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

My weekly gratitude post, in the Celebrate the Small Things [ongoing] Blog Hop.

I’m grateful for a relatively quiet week.

I’m buzzing from the Samhain ritual shared with the Tribe of the Modern Mystic, at our Fire Gathering.

I appreciate my freedom.

I’m glad to finally feel better.

What are you grateful for this week? How will you show thanks?

This post is part of VikLit‘s blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Participate by following the link and adding your name to the Linky list, then post your gratitude every Friday.  Easiest blog hop ever!

Click here to hop on… the hop, and thanks for coming with me on this journey of self-empowerment.

Photo credit: Shermeee / Foter.com / CC BY

Samhain Sentiments – Compassionate Work with the Dead

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellFor several years I’ve made effort to talk openly paranormal experiences from the perspective of someone who views them not as Nature’s side shows or intrusive investigation into the spirit world, rather as an honest look into times that the unseen pokes back in startling ways. Ultimately, creepy experiences are still about spiritual imbalance and restoring balance where possible, and where wanted.

It’s that last bit that gets many psychics and intuitives who work with the dead, discarnate souls, and general bump-in-the-nightness into personal trouble. Many contemporary empaths bring to their work a good/evil dichotomy that implies where imbalance is observed, balance/healing must be done. My experience has been more along the lines of open dialogue, which implies listening to the distressed being’s story, as well as compassionate companionship in facilitating them to what they need. That may be total release, to move on to their next destiny. It may be a kind gesture that affirms them in some way. It may be realization that the dynamic is note mine to affect at the time.

Ultimately, my experience has been that healing can’t be forced on beings in the unseen, any more than it can be forced on those of us in the formed realm. That bit of insight, along with a few others came a a few years ago, in a blog post called, Six Things the Dead Want Us to Know About Life.

Weekly Rune – Dagaz

Dagaz - Weekly Rune on Intentional InsightsDagaz – Day – What a great Rune to cast just after the Autumnal Equinox, the second harvest sabbat!  Representing the close of a full day’s work, this metaphor for celebrating the culmination of a cycle and regrouping to begin another is very appropriate.

What, specifically about the second harvest observation is significant to closing a cycle? After all, it isn’t the initial harvest, Lammas, bearer of the first fruits of our labor.  It’s not Samhain, the final harvest sabbat, where we take stock of the year. It’s not the beginning of the cycle, or the end. It isn’t the reward or loss. In fact, what makes this sabbat special is somewhere between. At this equinox, the sun and Earth directly align with the equator, the closest we ever get to perfect balance between night and day, light and darkness. Therein speaks the metaphor.

Mabon (a relatively new name for the sabbat) was, and for many still is, the true Thanksgiving. It is the point at which we realize whether our hard work is going to pay off–if we sowed enough, if we put enough hours in, and consequently, if we will reap enough to get us through winter.  At this time, we honor where we truly stand with regard to our progress, our expenditures, and what’s left to be completed.

On this sabbat, Dagaz is about reflection, not on the beginning or end, but the process between. The span of a day is the harvest cycle compressed. While we can finally rest at sun down and reflect on the day, the sun will rise again.  Another day is coming. Comfort and reflection are short-lived. They are the building blocks of the work still to come, in which the somber truth of the Equinox lies: the hard part about Mabon is we have just as much work to accomplish in a day, with less sunlight to do it, and possibly less enthusiasm and hope.

Futhark_RSSx150 I sometimes call Dagaz the ‘so what?’ Rune, because that’s its simplest, yet most profound teaching. Certainly a huge task has been completed, and celebrations are in order. So what? Don’t get too emotionally involved in things. Keep the ego in check, and do our best, because in the end, there is no end. Only a chance to do it all, better.

Contact Kelley for a personalized Rune Reading.

Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellReal Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World

Available at Amazon.

For years, as we neared Samhain and The Dead Time I’ve shared my true encounters of the supernatural. Experiences from waking to deathwalks in the night to seeing apparitions in the middle of the day, you name it and I’ve brushed up against it, whether I meant to–or not so much.

In Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World I’ve compiled revised editions of all of the stories that appeared on my blog, along with never-before-published updates to those stories, and several recent encounters.

Not your usual bump-in-the-night true paranormal accounts, these trips into the Middle World aren’t always scary. Some are sweet, some are affirming. Regardless, some I’d like to never have again, yet all of them changed me in a way that I never looked at myself or Life the same, after.

As a lifelong intuitive and shaman by choice for two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had clear-cut direction, instruction, or even results. Every one of them, though, has had meaning. It’s not my way to just dabble in the supernatural for only the sake of stirring the mystical pot. Instead, I approach such as an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life. There are many spiritual books on working with the dead and discarnate, though most of them only extol the wonder and awe of that work. They don’t talk about the toll it takes on their personal lives, or of perils they faced learning to be healthy conduits for spirits. Indeed this work is wonderful and awesome, but it can also be scary, disorienting, and uprooting. I share these accounts of paranormal exploration as part investigation, part curiosity, and part luck of the draw of being a human equally aware of her soul.

Samhain Stories – Saturn’s Gift

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

This story marks one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had as an intuitive, and certainly one of the saddest times in my life.  It gives a classic yet modern glimpse into what I call the tribeless modern mystic, as only a gift from an ancient God can–Saturn’s Gift.

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at:

Samhain Stories – Number One Rule of House Selling

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

The rule? why, it’s declutter, of course! But who ever thinks to declutter their lingering spirits, emotions, or traumas? Number One Rule of House Selling

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at:

Samhain Stories – Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.
In this particular story, I was on a business trip to Kansas City, MO, where I stayed at the lovely, vintage Hotel Phillips.  Despite that I traveled alone, at no point was I left to myself in the room…  Hotel Phillips and Murderous Insomnia

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at:

Samhain Stories – An Unearthly Warning

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

Although the incidents in this story only marginally include me, this experience reminded me of the many reasons that spirits visit us, and introduced me to a phenomenon I hadn’t experienced before: An Unearthly Warning

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life?  Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print (this weekend) and ebook editions at: