Please introduce yourself & give us a glimpse into your world. Where are you located? What are you currently creating?
My name is Ingrid Kincaid and I currently live in Portland, Oregon in the area referred to as the Pacific Northwest. Two rivers run through Portland, the Willamette and the mighty Columbia that has its source in the Rocky Mountains of eastern British Columbia. I have views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, volcanos in the Cascade Range of mountains, Mt. Hood considered active as it erupted most recently in 1980. I was born in northern California, also in the presence of 2 volcanos, Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen, also in the Cascade Range and Mt. Lassen last erupted in the early 1900s. There’s a significance in this for me. The earth is always changing, always in upheaval, always creating new land as it destroys at the same time. This is so much a part of rune wisdom, creation and destruction, life and death, existing side by side.
I’m always creating. Writing books, developing classes, knitting, creating stories and a legacy for my 8-year-old grandson. Currently I’m in the middle of writing my 3rd book which is about Women’s Dark Moon Wisdom and The Mystery of Creativity, Sexuality and Spirituality.
Can you tell us about a childhood experience that was profound or life changing? Or a memory that still resonates with you today?
As I child I remember feeling like I was magic and expressed this to my mother often. Her answer was always the same, ‘there is no such thing.’ So this such thing got hidden away, even though my parents referred to me as an imp who was full of too much mischief.
I knew things but I didn’t know how I knew them.
It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that a single experience helped me put all the pieces together. I was house sitting for a friend. She had a cloth pouch on her coffee table, and being curious about what it held I untied the string and poured out the contents. In front of me was a pile of small, clay discs that had symbols carved into them. I remember feeling, ‘I know what these are. I know what they mean.’ At the same time my thinking, logic brain was telling me, ‘No you don’t know what they are. How could you.’ ‘Yes I do know.’ ‘No you don’t.’ That was the internal dialogue that was going on, all the while I was putting the things back in the pouch. If I just put them back where I found them I wouldn’t have to deal with knowing what I knew.
It was a bag of runes and it didn’t matter that I had put them back. They were out of the bag so to speak and they wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew somehow that acknowledging this memory of something from the ancestors was going to upset the orderly, ordinary life I was living. And it did. And there was no turning back. They were relentless and ruthless.
What daily rituals or practices if any, connect you with the spiritual realms?
I don’t ever feel disconnected. The seen and unseen are always part of my life, the line between is fluid, permeable and ever moving. I have a very large mounted caribou on the wall in my living room and I greet him each morning. I light a candle to acknowledge and thank Surt, the ancestor of fire who makes survival possible. The practice I find most valuable and supportive is silence. Unlike so many, I do not have music or TV constantly playing in the background. I don’t have music or sound in the car when I drive. Silence. It’s almost impossible to have it in public so I treasure being able to enjoy it at home.
What parts of the world do your ancestors come from? What inspires you most about your ancestral cultural background?
I am a European American, northern Europe specifically. My maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Sweden. The family name of Olson. My maternal grandmother was from English stock, the Bosworths. My father’s family hailed from Scotland, with a mix of English as well. When I did my DNA testing I came out to be 96.8% northern Europe. It’s fun to think of myself as a combination of the wail of the bagpipes and the Viking blood of adventure. I’m inspired by the knowing that my ancestors survived by the connection with and respect for the land and animals of the north and the gods and giants and all the unseen ones. I love the runes and my relationship with them as ancient, sentient beings from the beginning of time. They inform all that I do. I love cold weather and gray skies and rocky coastlines and dark forests. I love the foods of the north, root vegetables, wild game, fish, thick, hearty stews and stuff like that. And I have a special relationship with reindeer and their history with my ancestors.
How do you stay connected to your Ancestors?
First and foremost, I believe in them. I value and respect them and listen. They show up in dreams often and altered states. I know they care about me and teach me. I have small altar spaces in various places in my home where I put special things to honor them. And I teach my grandson about them.
Where in nature do you seek inspiration / healing / refuge? In other words do you have a "spot" or an activity? Please describe.
I love to go camping in the forest and from early childhood my family was in the woods in northern California hunting, often for weeks at a time. My father was a deer hunter so I grew up with that experience. The forest is a place to go for silence, not the absence of sound but the absence of noise. It’s really troubling for me to be out in nature and have people around who are in their campers and motorhomes running generators and playing music. I’ve had some pretty magical moments in the Scottish highlands and on the rocky, windswept shores of Ireland and at a reindeer camp in Sweden above the Arctic Circle.
What is also important for me is to be able to find connection and inspiration in the middle of the city. It’s a mistake to believe that one must always go someplace else to connect. The trees, the flowers, the gardens present in my own neighborhood right here in the middle of the city of Portland inspire me. I also spend a great deal of time in a enchanting, historical cemetery only blocks from my home. It is planted with hundreds of specimen trees, many that grow up out of the bodies of the dead. They all have stories to tell.
What is the last good book you read?
I am always reading, often several books at the same time. Novels as well as non-fiction. As of right now, I’m in the middle of a deeply, thought-provoking read, These Wilds Beyond Our Fences by Bayo Akomolafe, ‘a passionate attempt to make sense of our disconnection in a world where it is easy to feel untethered and lost.’ Also Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer, Woolgathering by Patti Smith and Becoming Animal by David Abrams.
Where can people find you & your work?
The best way to find me is through my website: https://www.ingridkincaid.com
I ongoingly teach classes, live-stream online for right now as well as I have for sale live recordings of many different presentations and events, plus my books,
The Runes Revealed – an (un) familiar journey and Lost Teachings of the Runes-Northern Mysteries and the Wheel of Life.
And I do private rune work with individuals in person in Portland as well as via phone or internet globally.