Does anyone here engage in journey/trancework? I am very very *very* new to the practice -- I've only been doing it for a couple of months -- and I would appreciate any advice anyone could offer. For instance, how can I know when it's "real" versus my brain randomly firing? What should I be wary of while journeying? Anything I should watch out for? Etiquette suggestions?
Also, I am a few chapters in to Diana Paxson's "Trance-portation." Are there other books that you would recommend?
Post by fearlesslyonwards on Sept 25, 2013 20:36:13 GMT -8
"how can I know when it's "real" versus my brain randomly firing" Del has a wonderful article on this very topic (http://sexgodsrockstars.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/on-madness-hallucinations-being-wrong-magic-and-belief/) which was really helpful, to me at least
Post by theinfinitebattle on Sept 26, 2013 5:57:00 GMT -8
I Journey. I don't know "where" you're journeying. For me, I travel through the Nine Realms and Yggdrasil, so when I head to a certain place, I try and study the etiquette of those lands and people before I head there (I found Kaldera's book generally useful). I suggest having items or a sort of "travel kit" for journeying too. It doesn't need to be much. For me, I used to wear a knife at my belt (which now needs to be repaired) and I have tails that I've connected with, etc. I keep some jewelry that Loki gave to me on my altar and I wear that during the journeying process. I also usually prefer cleansing myself to some degree before doing so. (Charcoal is a powerful tool for that. If I don't do anything at all, I always at least rub charcoal on my eyes. It's a cleanser--having been purified by fire.) I also use certain music. For me, Wardruna works very well, however it also depends on who you are, your path, other factors. Because I also ask for protection and guidance from Odin, I always give libation to Him (and Loki, both because He's one of my fulltrui, but also because one cannot give libation to Odin without giving to Loki). These days, I have a ring with Raidho inscribed on it (something I made myself), which I use as a sort of "easy" way to guide and protect myself while journeying (it's a Rune of Odin and Loki, to me, as well as its own entity). Before, I used to have to draw blood every time I went to Journey and honestly, that becomes problematic after a while (or at least a major hassle). Because I'm so Norse-based, I can only really give guidance regarding that pantheon, but hopefully this can help anyways.
Post by roguebiologist on Sept 26, 2013 8:25:16 GMT -8
I'd second Raven Kaldera's books as useful resources. Some of them are very specific to the Nine Realms, but some of it is just good advice in general. In terms of advice, as I'm not sure what kind of practice or locations you're working with, I'll suggest two things - when going somewhere new having a travel buddy who knows the way is helpful, and take care of your body.
In terms of travel buddies, I mean other people trained in trancework, spirits, etc. Having someone show you the ropes while out and about is very helpful when you're very new to it all, simply because they can help teach the etiquette and means of navigation of the places they know. Venturing out alone is fairly risky without research - you have no idea where you could end up and what the rules and etiquette are in the place you're going. Travel buddies can also be good back-up if things go pear-shaped. Just make sure you're damn sure of them before you set out. If you don't trust them then as someone new to this I wouldn't advise it.
As for taking care of your body, make sure you're well hydrated and that your body will be safe and comfortable wherever you leave it. I'd highly suggest having someone close by to keep an eye on you when you're out, but as this is not always possible make sure you anticipate the worst case scenario and plan accordingly. I'd highly recommend keeping ready high energy food, water, blankets and a phone (even if it's turned off during your journeying) within close distance for that reason. You may wake up with hypoglycaemia, or in bad cases go into shock, and if this happens you may not be in a good state for self-care, so having things close by is a very good idea. This isn't necessarily a common happening but even so, better safe than sorry.
Post by redeseeker on Sept 26, 2013 9:28:17 GMT -8
There's three of us here who have Kaldera's book on Pathworking. I am only a few chapters into it. My advice echos what has already been given: Etiquette - you are in Their Territory, not your own; and have a safety person/buddy who is aware of what you are doing and who can come and get you if you don't return as or when expected.
I'm not familiar with Paxson's book. What does she say about etiquette while journeying?
I use trance to connect more deeply with the landscape, nature spirits and deities and I journey the Otherworld dimensions of my local area as well as parts of Faery and Annwn. I'm currently studying a course in Natural Magic through which I have guidance from a Druid Shaman.
I've found that the 'reality' of the experience is usually correlative to the depth of immersion. If a part of you is wanting to scratch an itch or wondering what's for tea the sense of communion with the spirits will probably be weak. If you're fully immersed with all the senses active and experiencing strong emotions I'd say this was 'real.' However it's only a matter of degree. I've received some interesting insights and information from trances and journeys that I've considered to be quite light.
In terms of etiquette, echoing above, if you know where you're going find out as much as you can before you go. If you don't know... first find a trusted guide and if in doubt ask for and follow their advice. Behave with similar manners as you would in this world.
But be aware, many things in the Otherworlds do not follow the same logic as here- as alleged by the myths of all traditions- gods and spirits wear masks, landscapes can change their appearance. Learning the 'logic' of the myths of an Otherworld seems like a sensible requisite for entry.
'Who knows the nights when the gates are open? Who carries the primrose, the wish-flower, the strange blossom that opens the doors to the hollow hills?' - Jan Fries
Post by gkrasskova on Sept 27, 2013 12:59:23 GMT -8
Lyradora, i've done it as part of my work . I don't recommend starting with trance. I"d first recommend getting certain basics under your belt: grounding, centering, shielding, warding, cleansing, etc. I recommend "Spiritual Protection" by Sophie Reicher. Then for trance, in addition to what's already been mentioned, I recommend 'A Pathwalker's Guide to the Nine Worlds" by Raven Kaldera. It's Norse specific, but the techniques can be adapted. Before that though (and I see others have also mentioned this book) I really stress getting the fundamentals down, boring though they may be.
gkrasskova: I've read Reicher's books and found it immensely helpful. I should probably clarify, too, that I do a meditation/grounding before the trancework itself. Turn out the light, light a candle on my altar, wrap myself in a blanket, and fifty deep breaths to settle my brain and body. Then a visualization/meditation to calm and ground myself further. Only then do I "come to" in the trance.
And I always "come to" in the same place. I'm Hellenic, so I just sort of gravitated towards the image of a crossroads. My home base is a small house with a hearth right next to a crossroads; there was already a four-faced herm there, and I added a plaque for the Charites myself. A crow appeared that first day and has been with me ever since as I slowly explore the landscape around the crossroads. He seems pretty reliable.
When I first started out, I did journeywork nearly ever night for a month straight. In hindsight, not a good idea, as I exhausted myself pretty quickly. Now, I do it every week for so.
Post by roguebiologist on Oct 3, 2013 2:43:49 GMT -8
Not really, in my case Most of the time when I do journeywork because there's a specific need that's come knocking on my door. Sometimes that need falls on holy days, sometimes they it doesn't. I've noticed that sometimes holy days do influence the atmosphere, but considering most of my journey is into the spiritscape of my city this only happens if my holy days coincide with something of relevance to the city's calendar. Otherwise the local spirits don't really care. I've never actually paid enough attention to moon phase to see if the experience differs as a result though. Huh, might be worth paying attention to next time!