The following is an account of my continued work with trance as part of ADF’s Trance 1 course, advanced studies towards Initiate status. I’ve decided to share my personal experiences on my blog as a way of personal accountability. If some of my reflections happen to help others on similar journeys, I hope they share!
Last week, I posted about my work following The Way of the Shaman by Harner. My first Underworld exercise was successful. Listening to a basic, recorded drum beat really helped. It was interesting to read that most shamans have an assistant drum for them. This made me feel better about my previous failures drumming to trance. I’ve had mild success in the past, but it’s hard work and very rare. Working up the stamina to drum, keeping the same beat, and allowing myself to journey… it didn’t work well most of the time. In fact, my biggest success was at a group drumming session. My second attempt at trance last week did not go so well, and I suspected part of the reason was that I did it outside of a ritual setting. It lacked the lead up, the offerings made to helpful deities and spirit allies, and the necessary mental keys (aside from the drumming).
I’ve done two more trance exercises since. The first followed the same theme of journey to the Underworld via an entrance from my inner grove. I once more rode my spirit guide. Prior to this journey, I made offerings to Brighid and did my nightly devotional to her. I remembered seeing a being during my absolute first attempt who I instinctively felt might be her. We went through the illuminated passage and found our way to her.
The being revealed herself to be Brighid and said she heard me calling. I talked to the Goddess about my focus and where I should head. She emphasized service to others and truly embracing hospitality and generosity; she stated that those are very important to her. She specifically mentioned helping the less fortunate. This is something I will have to think more on as there are many ways to go about this, and I need to figure out what I can do that doesn’t require a lot of money and works with my schedule. Maybe volunteer at a soup kitchen a bit over the summer? It would be a good start and is certainly something I can do.
For my second trance journey, I focused on my inner grove and my spirit guide for a magical working. He gave me a special sign to inscribe on objects to promote increase or growth, and taught me a sort of dance to do. I utilized the symbol and dance to inscribe and charge some water that I then left out to soak up the new moon energy. I plan to utilize it in creating some incense.
So there you have it – I’ve kept up the Trance 1 momentum! I even worked in some magical working, which I can use towards Magic 2! I wonder what this week will bring?