Recently I found myself in my home in the astral, near the edge of Midgard. I felt pulled to the East, to Ironwood. I acknowledged the feeling and made my way there. I breached the treeline slowly. The air was crisp and clear, and I could hear the full range of life buzzing in that primal forest. I allowed my senses to fill with the energy of the Ironwood. That was the first time that I had truly taken time to fully acclimate to that strange and beautiful place. I let myself feel the rich earth beneath my feet and smell the lush foliage.
I had been sent to the Ironwood to practice shapeshifting, a common art there. I most often hear about practitioners shapeshifting into animal forms, but I was encouraged by the Hagia to experiment with other forms. While there I had a chance to attempt shapeshifting into a tree and into a stone. It was strangely exhilarating and also incredibly different from anything I had done before. When I changed into tree form, I felt profoundly connected to that realm. And when I was in stone form I knew a deep peace. In that short shapeshifting session I learned a lot but it was quite a shock to my energy system. I felt a little giddy and disoriented, so my fylgja ultimately ended up bringing me back to my astral home and helping to stabilize my subtle energy bodies using, among other things, the astronomical symbol for earth. It seemed somewhat simplistic at first blush but then I watched the energies coalesce and harmonize as he did his thing. In the end the rebalancing and alignment that he did on me worked very well!
And now I know to take it more slowly next time, better ground and focus before beginning, and maintain my concentration throughout the exercise. Lesson learned.