Well, here’s my report. It’s rather long, which I can’t really help.
I started on the 18th, with a brief offering of mead to Woden (I work with the Anglo-Saxon runes, so I also work with the AS side of Odin) and discussion about my interest to join the Hunt this year. Permission was given, and my concerns about my skill level (or lack thereof) in soul travel were dismissed.
The Solstice was on the 21st in my area, so that evening (sadly, I had to work that day) I began with another mead offering to Woden, then created an astral gateway as a circle with the rune Os, which I follow tradition in associating with Woden, in the center. After I walked through, I found myself in a large, dark forest. After calling Woden’s name, he appeared behind me. I created a horn of mead and offered the same to him. After acceptance, I felt myself being pulled up, until I was standing in the midst of a throng of bloody warriors. I felt rather like standing in formation back in the Marines, waiting for the march to start. The warriors around me seemed good-natured and friendly, and we chatted for a few moments – about what, I cannot recall. I started to feel movement, as if the mass around us was moving forward and carrying us along without any real effort on our part.
The warriors around me started to focus on what was before us, making a din with weapons and shields and crying out in howls and screams. I found myself shapeshifting, growing claws and a bit of a snout, and charged forward myself. I followed the exercise in WoD to connect myself with Darkness, and clearly saw the streams of inky blackness radiating out from my body, which seemed to delight the warriors around me.
We interacted with a couple of lone individuals, most of whom did not seem to see us, but reacted in various ways, pulling coats tighter around them, walking faster towards a car, that sort of thing. After a couple interactions, I found myself being pulled to a small village. I dropped to the outskirts, even as some of the warriors went to its middle. I found myself rather naturally summoning the Darkness to envelop the village like mist, seeing several shades being caught in the mists and unable to move. These were pulled up into the main body of the host.
I then felt myself being pulled to another place, a dimly lit Viking hall where several of the warriors from earlier were drinking at a table, and invited me to join them. It was a very warm interaction, rather like being in a bar with some friends. They explained that members of the Host shuffle in and out continuously, and this is where they were “taking a break”.
Soon after, I felt a strange sort of call to return to the Host, and so willed myself back. I was among a group of serious-looking women clothed in black shrouds. They greeted me in a friendly manner, and they all began to speak all at once, so that it was impossible to make out what any one of them was saying. However, I felt a sense of watching over family lines for centuries, tending the essence of a family like one tends a fire in the winter, ensuring that it continues to burn. After a time of this “conversation”, I found myself dropping down into a suburban neighborhood, where a young boy, maybe ten or so, was sitting on the front porch, looking up at the sky rather pensively. I felt like I was there to offer some kind of blessing, and, indeed, saw myself glowing a bright golden rather than the dark tones my soul body normally takes. I came close to him and placed my hands briefly on his shoulders, and felt a charge pass through me and into him.
I went back to the Host, and began to perceive a mass of the departed shades below me. Dropping down, I found them very insubstantial and seeming mindless, acting rather like severe schizophrenics, casting their eyes about wildly, jabbering in nonsensical syllables and continually running into each other like a bunch of blindfolded men in a mosh pit. I also perceived that they were immersed in a strange, purplish-black energy that was roiling like waves on a windy beach. As I focussed on it, I found myself outside of the host, seeing the waves of this energy circling like a tornado, pulling shades up and into some kind of vortex. I began to feel that I was part of the Host as I watched, and more, as though I was the host, seeing with their eyes and hearing with their ears. For a moment I tasted something indescribable, as I became part of the the presence and work of this spiritual entity. Woden then appeared near me, and we had a conversation about the Hunt’s role in the transition from incarnate life to death, most of which I do not yet understand.
Woden then mentioned that my purpose here had been fulfilled, but that Freya wished to speak with me before I left. I willed myself to her presence, and found myself back in the hall, standing in a doorway leading to a private room. My interaction was largely personal, so I’ll omit most of that, except to note that she was cold and unresponsive, even starting to walk away from me, until I created and offered to her a horn of mead.
Anyway, after our interaction, I found myself in a hospital room. I was vaguely aware of the presence of the women from earlier, but felt as if I was almost acting as their representative – and Freya’s. There was a woman in a hospital bed in the room, and it was obvious that she saw me, and recongnized what that meant. In a few moments, I watched her expression transform from horror to resignation, and then her eyes closed for the last time. It was the most moving experience in a night of moving experiences.
After this, I had a strong feeling that I was done, and that I should depart, so I returned to my body. Looking back, this was certainly a fascinating experience, but the main benefit I feel is that I now have some sort of connection to the Hunt as an entity. This feels just like establishing a connection with a demon or other spirit. I have also noticed that the Hunt can be used as a sort of gateway to the hall I mentioned earlier, which is pretty clearly Valhalla. I have a strong sense that this is sort of a backdoor to Valhalla, a way to get there without having to go through Asgard.