I may have mentioned this topic to a few people on the site, and many were keen to know how I got on with this subject. However, firstly, I think a little explanation on what 'bloodwalking' is will be necessary:
Supposedly, bloodwalking is a type of trance/journeying that leads you down your or another's ancestral chain, blood line, etc. To quote from Raven Kaldera, who I think put it rather nicely-
''During this procedure, you follow the strands of your bloodline back through your ancestors, seeing pieces of their lives and souls and essence which have been passed on to you. This can be used to look for diseases, or for karmic debts, or general confusion of orlog or wyrd. Bloodwalking works even if the individual in question is adopted and has no idea what their genetic bloodline is like at all. It can't necessarily tell them much about that - the information gained through bloodwalking is often more intuitive and subjective than the average names-and-dates genealogy - but it can perhaps tell them something about the lives of their ancestors.
Positive genetic qualities sometimes come with a price tag attached; the ancestors who bequeathed them to us may want us to carry on some kind of work or take on some kind of taboo in exchange for use of the gift. (Some people, on the other hand, are entirely free of karmic debts to their ancestors, and it may even be part of their wyrd to break off entirely with the orlog of their genetic line.) The may also come with vague ancestral memories, especially with bloodlines where people incarnate down the family line.''
There are two methods which are said to induce bloodwalking. The 'direct trance' method, or the alternative, the 'string' method. The direct trance method does not require any items or props, though music may be beneficial for you depending on your personal preferences; however the string method requires a piece of string- hence the name.
To begin, arrangine yourself into a comfortable position, perhaps one you use for meditation or if you journey, using your journeying position would be a good idea. Instead of focusing on going out, and projecting, concentrate on the internal, going in. Listen to the thud of your heart, feel the warm blood sloshing and pumping through it, and attempt to establish a connection of sorts to the blood. Imagine yourself surrounded by it, encased almost, swimming in a sea in which your blood is the water.
Visualize it smaller and smaller, reducing in size each time continuing to go more in depth; until you feel can see in your mind the chains of DNA that are spun and weaved in every cell of your form. Imagine these strands spiraling and twisting away, toward the strands of your biological parents (although as I said earlier, if you were adopted, this can also work with you, perhaps try to imagine the figures a little more vaguely), and from there out further. Follow down the line of the strands, observing each ''node'' and embracing what images come up for that person.
As you see each node, each image that comes into your mind, try very hard to simply absorb it in a passive manner. Do not allow your mind to reform them into something they are not. I shall again quote from Raven Kaldera, as he puts his experiences with this nicely:
''I find that it's useful to stay very detached, so if they are unpleasant in some way, it doesn't upset me in the moment. The first time that you bloodwalk yourself, don't look for anything specific. Just see what there is to see and come back, and write it down. Eventually you may go looking for something, but start out just by visiting. You can visit any time you want; it's your own ancestry, and you carry it with you all the time.
Whichever method you use, the sensations and feelings you may have while bloodwalking can be very different from those you get with other kinds of journeying. You may actually be able to move along the bloodlines from an outside perspective, drawing closer to investigate individuals. Or you might move directly through the blood, passing in and out of each person's lifetime, one after another. Sometimes there's a sense of claustrophobia. Sometimes, even if you've become experienced at bloodwalking, you might move very slowly and be forced to ''push'' your way through. At other times you could be drawn very rapidly along, passing individuals at great speed in order to reach a particular person or branch of the family tree.
You might also have vivid and sometimes difficult reactions to who and what you see, depending on what your relationship to your family is like or what kind of people your family members were. Even for those already experienced with trancework, bloodwalking for the first time may be intensely affecting in a way that other kinds of journeys usually aren't. If you managed to remain reasonably detached during the actual journey, you might still feel upset, angry, and/or emotionally drained afterward. This isn't a sign of a lack of skill or ability, but there may be some personal issues you need to address or some additional work you need to do to come to terms with the upsetting things you experienced.''
Although it's best to start with your own blood and bloodline, it's sometimes can be rather difficult to switch from doing this for yourself and doing it for a complete stranger.
I shall also link the directions to the string method below, as it is a little more complex.
My Experiences within Bloodwalking
As I mentioned in the chatter, I was rather skeptic on this subject. 85% of me was doubting the credibility of bloodwalking, however the other 15% kept me curious, so I tried each method a few times.
To cut it short, unfortunately, I have had little, perhaps next to no success, hence why frequently in this post I have used words such as 'supposedly', 'apparently', and so on. So, why post this if I doubt it works?
Well, I wanted to see if others have heard of this practice, have had success with it or know those who have/may have, or maybe additional details to share, regarding their experiences or not, thoughts on credibility, etc. It is all appreciated.
Due to my experiences and what I have heard from others outside of this site, I am very cynical, maybe 99%, that it is indeed true or effective. Then again, I seem to only be able to find information about bloodwalking that is linked to Raven K in some form, which makes me question his credibility on this particular subject, as others seem to have little knowledge on it.
Bloodwalking, if it does work, could potentially bring you closer to your ancestors, even very distant ones, and perhaps gain a little of their knowledge. It may allow you to contact specific ancestors, or at least learn more about them. It may very well surprise you what you might discover.
String method link
(Near bottom of article)
Elizabeth Vongvisith and Raven Kaldera:
My experiences in trying bloodwalking have not had many, if any, positive results. If anything, I didn't find any conclusions or come to any understandings about the practice when I attempted it myself (though not to say that others may or may not have different results).
I think the basic concept of it makes sense, especially if you're looking at it from a perspective involving older Norse ideas and concepts. Orlog and Wyrd: The two main concepts backing this. Wyrd, being described shortly as a persons fate that encompasses their past-present-future, is often visualized as a web of sorts with nodes connecting each event-person-place and so forth. Orlog, being described shortly as a persons inherited "soul" that consisted of family honor-actions affected by personal choices and behavior-and a sort of "karma", is often visualized as a primal layer that overlaps Wyrd. When you combine the two, you have a very powerful, complex understanding of a person.
Now, I think when you and I have talked of it before I mentioned that while I am cynical of bloodwalking, I think there are easier ways to accomplish the same thing. For instance, there is a type of divination that is done through manipulation of the wyrd. That concept is not new, unlike bloodwalking. (Two sources you might look into for some info on it would be Galina Krasskova's articles called "Reading Wyrd: Doing Divination Well" and Edred Thorsson's "At the Well of Wyrd: A Handbook of Runic Divination"- where I believe you find brief mention of it in the back. Raven K briefly discusses it in his book, the Jotunbok).
However, this type of divination is not talked about openly by most people who do it. Why? In our tradition, it is thought that only skilled individuals could ever actually achieve this- and that for the most part we, as a whole, should avoid messing with the Wyrd of anyone, even ourselves. However, I'll tell you what I know of it. It's done through Seidhr, through trancework and connecting to specific deities. In this case, the deities you'd be invoking would be the Norns and you would hope they allow you to do this work as they are the ones who "compose' Wyrd. Through this divination, the person hopes to be able to see the "knots" in a persons Wyrd (whether their own or someone elses) and to accurately read them. Go a step further, and the idea is that the person can help "work" these knots out. (Knots tend to be things caused by poor choices and actions in the past, including actions of your family and kin, trouble, problematic events in a persons life, and so on).
And as for working with the ancestors in such a way, it really seems to me to be a combination of Val-Galdr and Seidhr, which is not unheard of. I just don't see why he doesn't suggest those two practices to get a better idea of what you are doing. Seidhr (as you know) is the trance, the journeying and projection side of the coin and Val-galdr would be similar to necromancy, channeling and an interesting sort of divination. The way you described the visualizations honestly sounds a lot like the combination I mentioned above, and it seems like it would be easier to achieve if approaching it from a different angle.
I'd still be interested to hear if anyone else has had experience with it, but I think personally I will stick to the practices I mentioned above. Bloodwalking just leaves me feeling "iffy".
I agree that the concept makes some sense, despite that the method itself seems to be unsuccessful for many. As you said, it may be relevant to 'orlog' and 'wyrd', which you described.
Yes, I do believe you mentioned something like that- I shall most definitely check out those sources! It seems like it would be worth reading up on.
I can't be sure as to why Raven didn't mention reading up on Val-Galdr and Seidhr, though it would make sense to be experienced in those areas beforehand. Perhaps he just assumed the more evolved within Northern Shamanism would suss it out; and the less experienced would work through it as they go.
Generally, I think bloodwalking is a little clouded, so much so that it can be hard to focus on the concept and form itself and the interrelation between bloodwalking and similar practices and concepts, some of which you mentioned. It does seem quite a enigmatic topic, and perhaps one could try it a thousand times and each time would produce differing or contradicting results, as was suggested by another member on the site.