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Archive for the ‘trance’ Category

Divine Poetry

Last night I prayed to Brighid, asking her to visit me in meditation.  I was already pretty sleepy so I quickly entered this very lucid trance.  I suddenly found myself in a forest.  The sun was shining bright through the trees.  I remember distinctly seeing a birch and quaking aspen.  There was a bright white stone on the ground which, for some reason, I fixated on.  I did not see Brighid but I heard her voice reciting beautitful poetry that I can’t really remember…  It was about finding her, that I do remember…  Did I hear the fairy song for one fleeting moment?  I remember the power of the words, though.  I was hanging on them as they flowed so effortlessly.  I suddenly really recognized what was going on and I woke up.  Bah.

Still.  I heard my lady’s voice.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Play the drum and meditate on the deer – the doe – the hind.  See her in the woods.  She runs.  Follow through whipping branches and thorns.  Follow through ferns.  Follow until you trip over a large root and lay facedown in the moss and moist soil.  Call out to her and she comes, looking down on you with big brown eyes.  She looks into you…  She has been waiting.  She gives her name and you see her image fade a little.  You can almost see the image of a wild woman with long, untamed hair standing in her place.  You have seen her before.  She gives you a job to do and takes the apple you have brought her.  She fades into the woods like a woman backing away and a deer leaping through ferns.  You watch her vanish and suddenly wake up knowing what to do.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Blurb

My spirit really wants to take a walk in the woods but my body is very much against it.  For starters, I had a long and wearisome work day.  Second, and most influential – it’s dreadfully hot today.

I think it will be a good night for trance.  Maybe.  *crosses fingers*

It is also a good night to work on study programs and catch up with my mentoring and reviewing…

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Hello dear readers! I went away for a few days to visit some of the tribe and travel to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. Hubby and I go every year and always enjoy it immensely. As usual, Weretoad and I dressed up.  It was pirate weekend, but we dressed as …  wealthy merchants?  Lesser nobles?  I dunno.  We wore nice outfits, how about that?  I wore the outfit my mum gave me.  It looked like this but in hunter green.  My husband wore his wedding outfit which looked somewhat like this but with hunter green accents rather than silver and Celtic knot embroidery.  I made us each pouches which I will display at a later date.


I purchased many lovely things.  I always save some money to indulge myself at the Renaissance Festival. I look forward to being more financially secure (if such a thing will be possible in the future) and buying a whole wardrobe or large pieces of home decor one day*.  Even when I cannot afford the luxuries, the numerous talented artisans annually inspire my imagination and encourage me to keep practicing.   

Anyway, I bought a miniature clay bowl for my traveling altar, two bottles of ink (one of green pigment and the other called “wine”), some echinacea root, witch hazel bark, coltsfoot, and rosemary incense.  My husband bought me a rose and an amazing sculpture to hang on our walls (Photo at left.  The sculpture was made by the talented Jason Bakutis).  It’s supposed to be Bast but I don’t get the Egyptian vibe from it.  When I saw it, I fell in love with it as a catsidhe or my personality incarnate**.  Art is all about interpretation, no?  Now I just need to figure out where to hang this beauty…  


We didn’t see as many shows this time, which leads me to believe that we need to go twice next year.  There is just too much to see and do in one day.  I did, however, have an amazing discussion with the Earthcraftyr herbalist and self-proclaimed “ditch witch.”  We talked about trance, flying ointments, different plants,  and connecting with nature.  I was so grateful that she took some time to share her wisdom with me.  I would love to take a class from her in the future.  




* “I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad…”


**  All the same, I used to be devoted to Bast in my eclectic Wiccan days.  She helped me through some rough times and started me on the road to being a strong woman.  I’ll always be grateful to her for that.  We grew apart eventually; I guess she had taught me all I needed and I was sent promptly to the Gods of Ireland.  


( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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I saw Christopher Nolan’s latest film “Inception” with some of my tribe on Friday.  It was an amazing film complete with an intricate and fascinating plot, gasp-worthy special effects, and a riveting soundtrack*.  One thing that kept striking me were the similarities between the concepts of traveling into dreams in the film and the beliefs/teachings/experiences Pagans and such ilk have in meditation, trance, astral travel, and/or lucid dreaming.  I’ll just bullet a few.

  • The characters in the movie had personal totems that only they held and touched.  The intimate knowledge of the totem would help its owner determine whether or not they were in the dream world.  Many people who try to “cross the veil” have totems, charms, or talismans for protection, the facilitation of psychic abilities, a connection to “reality,” etc…
  • “Inception” used architects, or highly imaginative, visual, and spacial thinkers who constructed dream worlds.  This is similar to the belief of many that safe houses/circles/groves/etc can be constructed in the Otherworld, or that your will can manipulate it with enough focus.
  • Dreams are dangerous places.  In “Inception,” a person’s subconscious projections or memories can become hostile.  There are dangers in the Otherworld too.  Some Pagan authors, like Paxson, even suggest a practitioner go through therapy before beginning to trance** due to possible projections.
  • Cobb, Arthur, Ariadne, and company travel into dreams together as they all have a job and there is strength in numbers.  I’ve heard of people astrally projecting together, into other people’s dreams and the like.  I’ve never experienced it or tried it myself but the concept is there.  The casts’ teamwork also reminds me of spiritual teachers or guides.  Working with and developing a relationship with one is supposed to make your Otherworldly travels safer, perhaps even easier.
  • There’s one dream scene, when Cobb is first training Ariadne*** at a cafe.  He reveals to her that she’s in a dream and things start to fall apart.  Cobb tells her to relax, but the dream shatters. I’ve never been able to dream lucidly, but everything I’ve read about it speaks of the practitioner realizing that he or she is dreaming and using that knowledge to manipulate the dream, to seek inner information, or to connect with Otherworldly beings in the dream world.
  • As many of us already believe, and as is evident in the fictional world of “Inception,” the dream world and what happens there is incredibly influential on this world.
The film has me thinking more about the concept of the Otherworld.  What exactly is its nature?  Is the dream world the same as the Otherworld?  Are they connected so that one can lead to the other?  Could people who achieve states of insanity or coma be stuck in such a place?  If the Otherworld is really the dream world and we can manipulate it and create places there, are the fairy realms people stumble into something people made, Gods made, or the fairies made?  What came first?  Are we really just another island in the Otherworldly land of dreams?  Interesting and complicated questions.  They are the essence of many Pagan festival discussions, that’s for sure!



* The song “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” by Edith Piaf is featured which was amusing because the actress who played the French chanteuse in the biopic “La Vie en Rose,” Marion Cotillard, played Mal in “Inception.” 


** I think anyone who has had the usual ups and downs of life should be fine, especially if ones talents are average and one has minimal danger of getting in over one’s head.  If something really nasty showed up in trance, then perhaps…  but unless you have an unsettling background, I wouldn’t worry.  That’s just my belief.  As long as people can differentiate one world from the other and lead a productive life, things are peachy!


*** I loved Ariadne’s character and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that the director drew on the original myth.  


(The photos are scenes from “Inception.”)

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Inspiring Words…

I need to remember these as I continue to meditate.

Within the circle, ways of journeying into the three realms of land, sea and sky are taught. These are powerful tools for seeking wisdom and developing and deepening our connection with the earth. The techniques take time, as do aLL worthwhile things. No promises of instant success or enlightenment are made. The most significant accomplishment within the circle Lies in contemplative repetition, using its gentle rhythm to reach a peaceful state of consciousness for sorting through the cares of the day and affirming that tomorrow our work can be done in greater harmony with the world around us.

 Erynn Rowan Laurie
A Circle of Stones

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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I think that meditating in the evening allows me to enjoy numerous advantages over doing the same in the daytime.  To start, it is cooler.  This is less distracting.  While I acknowledge that a practitioner of such arts should be able to meditate whenever, and that discomfort can lead to visceral trance experiences, I am still very much a novice (still…after seven years of on and off again practice…).  Another advantage is that most people have returned to their apartments.  The children are no longer playing in front of my ritual space.  The skateboarders have ollied their hearts out.  The neighbors upstairs have decided to quit attempting to be successful at Call of Duty and therefore quit screaming (very loudly) at animated adversaries.  In the evening, I’m better able to focus due to the quiet that settles over my neighborhood.

Today I did some drumming which helped to relax me.  It is occasionally distracting because I perceive my beat changing slightly, or the handle of the drum stick shifting.  Drumming while meditating is very new to me.  I want to continue practicing it but, at the same time, I think using an mp3 now and again will be just as useful*.  I also felt an ant on me again.  I really need to clean that room this week.  I don’t know what the ants are so interested in there but it probably has something to do with the remnants of plants housed there during the spring.  The ant wasn’t as distracting this time…but still…

Meditation went well for the most part.  I was better able to relax and experience a slight trance.  I say slight because some people have different definitions of trance and I occasionally falter as to what I believe…  Some say that a trance is all in the head.  Some say it’s both.  Others that it has to be completely “separate from the body” to be valid.  I’m mostly in the “both” category as I’ve experienced each to one degree or another.  They were vivid for me…  I suppose whether someone else proclaims them as valid or not is meaningless in the long run.  What do you think?

* I’m starting to consider myself a slight technopagan…  Slight!

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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