How It All Began
When I leave my body, I call it traveling or hedge crossing. “Astral projection” is too New Agey; “out-of-body experience” is too vague and unwieldy. When it first started happening (completely at random), I’d just kind of float around the house for a little bit. Then, once, I went through a window and found myself in a leaf-strewn field in autumn with a giant tree on a hill with leaves in beautiful shades of orange and red, and a barn off in the distance. Later, I started traveling to other places and casually meeting and talking with spirits. One figure in particular kept showing up, but he always looked different. Even so, I could feel that it was the same masculine energy.
Then I had a very significant journey. I’d left my house through a window in the living room and took a walk down the street. At the end of the neighborhood, I met a blond boy around 7-10 years old. He told me that a group of people had stolen something from me and that we needed to go together to get it back. He offered me his hand, and I took it, but just as we were about to run off down the street, I hesitated. I sensed that familiar masculine energy, and I asked, “You’re L—, aren’t you?”
The boy smiled mischievously and said yes, he was.
“Show me to your true form.”
The boy began to change, but he kept changing and wouldn’t keep still. Sometimes he was a tall, broad young man with cropped brown hair and a square jaw; other times he was lean and red-haired; sometimes he was a middle-aged man with long gray hair pulled back into a ponytail and round-framed eyeglasses; still other times he was just a boy. And on and on. He changed so quickly that, most times, he was nothing more than a blur and it was hard to see him at all.
When I found myself trying to see him in one particular form, he seemed to read my thoughts and settle a little, but then I’d realize that it was just another guise, so I’d let it go and he’d change again. Finally, I gave up and decided to see him however he would naturally appear, even if it was strange or difficult. It was then that he took on a single form: a ceaselessly shifting, featureless shape of a man that looked most like clear, rippling water – at once reflective and transparent and sometimes invisible.
He transformed back into a boy, and he took my hand as we ran down the sidewalk until we came to a house in another neighborhood with two small Japanese maples at the edge of the yard, their leaves bright red . There was a group of people standing on the lawn, many of them elderly, and the boy stole back the thing that was missing. We ran away, back to my house, and they didn’t pursue us for long.
When we got back to my bedroom where my body lay, he transformed into a tall, long-haired young man. He showed me the object, a beautiful pendulum. He dangled the pendulum between his thumb and forefinger and said, “This is your kwento.” He repeated the word several times so that I’d remember when I went back into my body. Then he kissed me and pressed the pendulum against me, and I laid back into my body and woke up.
He was my guide in the Otherworld for quite some time. Then he left me, for one reason or another, and my husband and I moved into a new house. I haven’t seen him since.
I did some research shortly after to figure out what kwento (spelled phonetically, as I heard it) meant, and for a long time, nothing showed up. Weeks later, though, I came upon q(w)ento during research about Proto-Indo-European religion and found that it means “holy.” So he gave me my holiness, or my holy power.
And that’s how my journey as a hedge witch began.