A night in prayer

I have spent all night praying.

When I see other people suffer, I get really sad – and then I pray.

When I pray, I’m not exactly doing it the old school Christian way.. even though that is also a good way of communicating with the Great Spirit. I know the “Our Lord’s Prayer” that we, in the Christian countries learn from early age.

But a prayer to me is very personal, and should always come from the heart.

That’s why I usually start a prayer with a deep meditation. The way of meditation itself is a journey – as a shaman, I drum myself into a very deep meditation. This helps me clear my mind and opens the heart, so that my heart speaks – not my ego, that is always tempted to only pray for what I want and what I desire.

I cannot really explain the shamanic journey, that I through the past year – with great help from an old native american shaman – have learnt. That’s stuff enough for several blog posts – but the interesting thing is, that the prayer I want to say suddenly becomes pictures – or visions – rather than words.

Such a prayer is usually non-verbal, and is understood by everyone.

And that makes me happy, because if my heart only had room for myself, the prayers that comes through meditation would be all about myself. “I want a new job, I want to win the lottery, I want this, I want that” – but no.

Tonight, I wanted to pray for a friend who is very, very ill. And in the meditation, I saw a tree. For some reason, it was an orange tree – it was growing fast and was really beautiful. And this picture – this vision – was the prayer. No words, just a vision of a blooming tree. This means – to put words on it:

“may your spirit and body, and all that surrounds you, my friend, bloom and grow strong like this tree. It’s winter now, but spring will come. Yahete – from my heart

I also prayed for everyone who knows this lovely person I was praying for – it’s a person who is loved by many people, and so – we are many who are worried.

This prayer, again, was made of images. The image this time was water, flashes of light, sun, rivers, colours – and I tried to send it to everyone. Put in words…. simply: “smile, joy, happiness – and hope!”

I have no idea how strongly these prayers help, or if they only help comforting myself.

But I believe from what I see, that healing and strength is to unexpectedly come this year. At least, that is what I ask for, and if it comes true – I have no more wishes for a loong time to come.

Love,
Anina

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Heaven

If you ask me: “what do you think about heaven, how do you imagine it?” I’d have a whole lot to say. And I’ll write about it here.

Life and what comes after it, is as I see it, a circle more than a beginning and an end.

I use to compare things, when I want to explain something difficult, with nature and our Mother Earth.

Let’s compare life with a mountainous landscape – and water. Imagine a deep valley, surrounded by mountains. Imagine you stand on the top of one of these mountains, and you look down. You see a small spring – crystal clear water appearing. Or melting snow and ice, taking shape of those small streams.

This is the beginning of your life, and your journey.

There are several other streams taking shape, it’s all the lives that also begins, in that moment.

Flowing down the mountainside, the stream gets bigger and runs faster, towards the valley. And through the valley, runs a huge and powerful river.

What makes the river so powerful? It’s all the streams meeting and becoming one.

Life were never meant to be lived alone.
Life were meant to be in connection with other people – and with Mother Earth.

This great river of life, where does it go? how and when do the river (life) end?

The river ends when it meets the Oceans. There’s not a place for bad people and good people, we all have a common destiny.

The Ocean to me, is the spirit world. The spirit world is more real than most people think. It’s a place as huge as the universe.. or to keep things down to Earth – as huge as our oceans. We usually live seperated from it, yet we are all connected to it, simply because we wouldn’t be here without it.

But the journey of your life – the river – doesn’t end there either. Water vaporizes, become clouds – and then it rains. The rain fall different places. Mountain tops, deserts, forests ect. ect.

So an answer on what “Heaven” is. One could say heaven is the great ocean – the spirit world or “the other side” or something else.. or, heaven is the moment when we are reborn as new, fresh and clear streams.

Embrace life – all phases of it – you’re never a lonely being, but part of something greater.

Love,
Anina

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Happy New Year!

First of all, I’m wishing all my blog readers all best and much happiness in the New Year.

And it’s an honest wish, coming from my heart – I know many, who are sad, worried and even ill. May the New Year bring you all much strength!

For myself, I just wish to grow as a shaman – since last post, I’ve met a Cherokee shaman – again through my Danish friend living in Alabama. And again, we’re communicating on a spiritual level, as well as through my friend. He explained things, that made me understand a lot. And to feel more comfortable with the shamanic powers I was given. So I have  a feeling of that I’ll strengthen that part of myself in the new year as well.

Since the first time I was able to remember dreams, since the first years of my childhood, I’ve loved these people and even dreamt of them. Now this shaman says, that he can feel that, and he tells me, that I belong to the Cherokee. If anyone had told me that just a year ago, it would most likely have freaked me out to put it that way. But instead, now he says that, it makes me reflect on things, and it makes me understand where these things come from.

Many years ago, long before I was aware of shamanism, my favourite prayer was the simple words “Mitakuye Oyasin” – All are related. But it wasn’t until now that he said that, that I understood the words. How can a young, white woman, born in the North possibly “belong” to another people, living so far away?

Of course, the answer is: the heart is connecting people (people as well as all living things, but I’ll save that for another blog post another day)

This shaman also meant that I’ve lived with his people in an earlier life, but the idea of earlier lives is still quite new to me. But he, as well as the other shaman my Danish friend knew, says that my soul is very old, and I have always been a shaman.

Revealing all these things on my website is a challenge, as I know we’re living in a very “rational” world, where we only believe in what we see and can measure physically – I’m part of that world too, as I chose that way in the first place. But after several years at a University, I know, the world is more than books and science.

And I am forever grateful, that I can see beyond all that.

Happy New Year!
Anina

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Wishing upon a star

I took a long night hike in the hills and mountains, while wondering so much about these shamanic powers I was given. I see and experience things, but I have a hard time believing in myself.

The night sky was so beautiful – and I looked up and said loudly for myself; “if it’s true that all good healing powers comes from the universe, please send me a sign to show me that I am a shaman, and not just wishing!”

… and I started walking home again. But something stopped me. And again I looked up – and couldn’t believe. A green beam appeared, followed by red colours – yes, it was the Northern Lights! I felt strangely happy, and I felt joy like I’ve never felt joy before! I couldn’t help it – I started dancing and singing, and the skies danced with me!

And then I heard a voice, a good spirit calling me; “Daughter of the Snow – make a wish!”

And I wished with all my heart, that I can grow as shaman, and one day become a great and good healer.

And just then – I woke up. It was a dream. It was just a dream. But the night sky was beautiful, so I went outside.

I saw the beautiful moonlight, the clouds covering the mountain tops in the dim light.

And then I saw a shooting star. Not just a normal glimpse of a shooting star, but the biggest, longest and amazing I’ve ever seen. And this time I was awake.

Cold outside – warm inside; I’m feeling happy, knowing I already made my wish.

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So – what is a shaman anyway..

I promised to tell a bit more about shamanism.

It takes time to open up and tell “the world” about it through a blog. I’ve kept this for myself for a very long time. Maybe that’s a good thing, because from the first experiences and thoughts like “am I nuts?” to accepting and realizing… there’s a long way.

And discovering how many frauds there are out there just makes it harder to explain. You don’t educate yourself as a shaman – that comes to you. In my case, I dreamt and saw things that made me wonder – and then these two shamans, one from the Apache tribe, and one from Denmark – independent from each other told me: you’re a shaman, and I’ll teach you more.

First I wondered how some old guy in the US. could tell everything about me, without having met me. Like for instance, he asked: “why don’t you have any kids yet?” – and later commented “oh well, you’ll become a Mother a summer day!”

That’s interesting, especially the last part – because he couldn’t know that I don’t have kids. And then – as I wrote about on the page “the spiritual path” – I dreamt about a white buffalo. He sent me that, and the fact I dreamt about it, was to him a sort of proof.. that I am a shaman.

I dream things and see things in deep meditations.

Interpreting it is very hard, and I haven’t quite learned it yet. Like – I dreamt one night I was a falcon. I flew over a volcano – but the volcano was filled with ice. Not just covered by a glacier – but really “ice instead of lava”. I asked a shaman friend of mine – she said, she had similar dreams. This world is facing a time of change.. please, don’t start talking about “the end of the world” and all that. Rather talk about a new beginning. Humans are running out of oil, we’ve trashed the world and the oceans, we need to change somehow.

As a shaman, I also sense energies from places and beings very well. I can’t stand when my friends or family members are ill – I feel terrible. I woke up one night crying without knowing why. But my Grandmother went to the hospital that same night – she’s fine now, by the way.

There are so many things to tell, and I’ll try to share a bit.

Some people think that shamanism is a religion. It is NOT! You can be a Christian and a shaman at the same time. Some of the more conservative priests would surely deny that, but let me explain:

We live in a world packed and filled with life. But some of this life is not “visible” like a plant, a tree, an animal or a rock – there are spirits. Some use to call them “dead” or some “afterlife beings”. I don’t know what to call them, but if they communicate with us, they can’t be that dead.

Even the Bible mention this. Just, only that Jesus can judge between living or dead (I don’t remember the exact words). But some people see them too.

What the Bible describes and what I see is maybe not the same, or maybe it is. Remember, the Bible was written several years after Jesus left the world.

Talking to a spirit is not heathen – to me, it’s not much different from talking to a person. I can ask my spirit guides or I can ask a living person to help me with something. Only difference is that one is more “weird” than the other” Spirits or persons, both can be helpers, and both can be bad.

But it’s God and not those spirits around us that I’ll pray to.

That’s just my point of view, others may disagree – but what annoys me is that people read the Bible, and says “this is the truth”. But if I took the book away from them – which parts of the book will they remember? Which parts of it have they kept in their hearts?

And not having a book to search for answers – where will they look then?

I know many wonderful, Christian people, and I believe they are so wonderful and kind, because they read, and remember with their heart.

Those are to me, true Christians.

I was raised in a Christian world, but I also have to stay true to what I see and sense. The dreams and meditations, signs and whatever comes my way.

One could say, that a shaman is just a person who is connected to nature. I can’t live anywhere else.. I’ve tried, and I felt like a withering flower.

I think that the years I’ve spent in the middle of the ocean, has helped me finding my way back home to who I am. I was aware of it as a child – then I grew up and moved to the city and forgot – now I live in nature again, and I can connect with “my” path in life again.

Yet – there’s a long way to go, and so much to learn. But it’s a beautiful journey.

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I miss you, Grandfather

These days, I’m studying hard. Simply because I have a huge interest in Greenland, and I’ve always had this interest. So now I’m studying how the contact to the so called “civilized world” made an impact on story telling and fairy tales in Greenland back in 1800-1900. It’s painful to read about. How the Danes treated the native people of Greenland? It breaks my heart.

I’ve met Americans, who regret what people did to the natives of America back in time. And while studying, I have exactly the same feeling, just to another country and to other people.

But what does crying help? What they did doesn’t mean that we – today – have to act the same way!

I believe in studying and learning about each others cultures can help on healing these old wounds. If the people of Greenland hated Danes, I would fully understand. But they don’t – maybe some does, but when I tell them about my thoughts and research, they are very positive.

So why the title of this blog? My Grandfather?
Well – He was a famous folklorist (Bengt Holbek (link to a brief article about him here), and for some reason, I have this passion as well. I was a child, 10 years old, when he left us in 1992 – a huge loss for family, friends, and for many other people – university, colleagues and so on.

Back in the 50s, he spent some time in Greenland. There he bought souvenirs as anyone would do: in his case, of course, lots of literature as well. One of these souvenirs was a kayak – a small model of one – made of seal skin, wood and bone. As a real one, just smaller! And another souvenir was a purse made of sealskin as well.

I remember he gave me the purse of sealskin, and he wanted me to have this kayak as well – it is now standing on a shelf above my desk. That was for my Birthday, July 1992, shortly before his death in August 1992. If he knew he wouldn’t live much longer I never know. Maybe he just wanted to give me a very unique birthday present. But he said, that I was the family member, who seemed to value it the most. And that was right – I loved this kayak and asked 1000 of questions about it.

And now I’m sitting here today, thinking about him – missing his knowledge, of course. I wish he could know, that his granddaughter is working with fairy tales and folklore nowadays.

I hope I’ll finish this thesis by the end of January 2011, and to do speeches about the results during spring and summer.

It’s a project that would finally give me the final University grade (I know some American readers would call it College, but education system in Denmark is very different from a college) – anyway. It’s a part of education, but I have to admit – it’s a healing process as well.

And I already know what would be on the very first page: “Dedicated to my Grandfather” That would make me feel good – cause anyone knows, that I still miss him, even 18 years after he left us.

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Even in the Quietest Moments

Yes I know – another blog post already…! But I came to think of this song – Even in the Quietest Moments – just now, because it was posted on Facebook.

It’s probably my favourite song, because this has been with me since I was born. My parents were both listening to Supertramp, so I grew up with this music – and this song.

If I try to go back in time, and recall the first song I remember listening to at all, it is this song. I was a baby then, and of course lots of other music have been on the stereo as well, – but I remember this song, because it was some sort of lullaby for me. Obviously, I had no idea what the song was about (it wasn’t until the age of 7 I started getting an idea of what “this guy with the warm, high voice” was singing about), but it was a song I loved falling asleep to.

Many years later, I went to a concert in Denmark – and I remember Roger Hodgson (the composer of the song, if you didn’t already know) asked the audience if we know this feeling of being in the wilderness, the nature alone – but feeling anything but alone.

If you take a look at the page I’ve called “the spiritual path”, you’ll see that doing exactly this thing is something I’m more or less addicted to. I have to spend time on my own “out there”. So I know exactly what he meant.

Said with other words; it’s incredible how many levels of emotions, memories and thoughts a song can bring out. Even in the Quietest Moments brings out so much that it’s actually hard to describe – one moment I see the first memories of being hold in my parents arms, the next the many wonderful hours I’ve spent in the woods in Denmark, or the time alone in the hills and mountains of the Faroe Islands.

And yet – it’s “just” a song, isn’t it? A song like any other – but to me, it is very special.

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Yep. Autumn is near.

*sigh*
The beautiful, wild flowers around my house are now turning yellow-ish, and soon they’ll wither.
It’s fall sending its first signs of its arrival.

But oh well, no surprise after all. My calender tells me it’s the first of September tomorrow.

Actually, I like fall (but I like summer even better). What bothers me, is that it also means that the dark time of the year will arrive too. Last winter, the darkness nearly drove me crazy – not that I got a winter depression – but it was close. Too many good things in life keeps the depression monster away from me. Fortunately!

But I know that soon, the sun is setting for the last time this year, and it will disappear behind the mountains, and not rise again until someday in March. There will still be light though – but the sun rays won’t reach my valley during winter. In December, we have about 5 hours of light outside, but we don’t actually see the sun.

I’ve got a new hobby though, that will keep me busy thinking of something else. Music! I’ve started playing again, and I’m having lots of fun with that.

Right now, my boyfriend is teaching me to read note sheets. I’ve always only known the “basics” – recognizing key signatures (after having studied the good ol’ circle of fifths ect), rythms and this like – but actually reading the notes and play, is a thing I’ve always found difficult.

I can usually figure out a song from listening to it, but note sheets can surely be a short cut, if you want to learn a song quickly.

So that’s what have kept me busy the last few weeks, and I’m sure that it will be my favourite activity during fall and winter.

Here’s a song I’ve been trying to learn to play today.. have fun finding out what song it is *giggle*

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Music!

Most of my friends reading this already knows:

I LOVE music!

Love is a strong word – everyone knows what “I love my spouse” “I love my children” “I love my parents” means. But what’s the meaning if you say “I love mashed potatoes”.. love is a word being used and abused.

But in it’s true meaning – I love music!

It has the power to
- cheer up
- comfort
- make us think
- make us relax
- make us dance around like crazy

Of music I prefer what brings out the songs inside ourselves. Musical taste can be very different, but those musicians who can create that healing atmosphere that I’d like to call it, with only their voice and an instrument – those are my favourite artists. You attend a concert, and go home with a feeling that someone has hugged you for 1½ hours.

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Roger Hodgson, and the reason why I love that music is already written above. Another thing is that it’s some of the first music I remember listening to at all. I remember well “Even in the Quietest Moments”, that was almost a lullaby for me – and that was years before any English lesson in 3rd grade (I’m young, I know!)

But other musicians has this gift of sharing through music. And now that I talked about languages and music, I should bring an example of one of my absolute favourite artists from the Faroe Islands. One of the reasons why I learned understanding and speaking Faroese pretty fast was: music!

This guy, Hanus G. Johansen is a musician you could call a minstrel. He’s not world famous, he sings in his native language, and makes the most incredible interpretations of Faroese poems.

And now that a babaric Faroese viking kidnapped me to the Faroe Islands (no he’s not ;) ) I thought I’d better learn that language in a hurry.

I remember the first time I listened, and I didn’t understand – my boyfriend translated, I learned some words…. listened to another song, had it translated and learned even more words.. and slowly Faroese became a language I understood well.

Another (musical) way of learning Faroese through music was a Faroese choir I joined, but I had to leave that choir when I said goodbye to Denmark and settled in the Islands.

So what do I want to say with all this? Just that I don’t know where we would be without music!
Could you ever imagine that?

Talking about this Faroese artist, Hanus, I’d like to play a song of his – that was a performance he did some time ago, when he turned 60. I know you don’t understand Faroese – but I can say, that it’s a very beautiful lyric about

..love.

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…to be continued

I had a funny encounter some months ago. A young kid – a boy – knocked on my door. He was selling lottery tickets. This is quite common in the Faroe Islands (probably many other places, but I only rarely experienced that in my time in Denmark). People gather money for all sorts of purposes, recently it was for a new racing boat for the local team. This is a topic I should write more about someday, because this is no ordinary boat race – they’re rowing the good old Faroese boats, a descendant of the viking ships. Pretty cool boats they are.

But never mind – this boy stood there, and had some green pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. “If you buy some, I’ll write your phone number and call you if you won!”

So I gave him my phone number – and I said to him with a big smile “I know this is not true, you’re never going to call anyone – but please take these money, and use them for something you’d really like!” His face turned almost red, and he looked sad – he didn’t know what to say and ran. Actually, I wanted to ask what he was collecting money for, if it was something really nice, I wouldn’t mind giving him some more “just because”.

I had almost forgotten about this – and no one ever called me – until I saw the same boy at the music store. He was one big smile, because he was buying his first electric guitar! I understood that he was overly happy, because he couldn’t afford it, but the seller “has been a young boy too once” and took 100 dollars (around 550 Danish krone) off the price.

Then I just knew that of course this “lottery ticket” indeed was a scam, but who would ever have the heart to be angry at such a young person? Should I call his parents?

Na. I’m just happy because I happened to be there at the shop that day. I could have gotten there the day after, or maybe just 1o minutes after he was there. What a coincidence!

What was I doing at this shop anyway? Well… I’m often there, dreaming of that very nice Yamaha piano or the Korg they also have there. One day I’ll return home with that instrument… one day!

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