Samhain is a good time to journey; the barrier between this world and the Otherworld is thin and easily traversed.
It has been so long since I made a successful trip that I was worried I’d forgotten how, but as I sat at my altar at just past midnight, the single candle casting weird shadows across the room, and breathed the incense-laden air, I slipped down through the roots of the world-tree and into the Otherworld without any resistance at all.
I don’t know if it was the time of day, time of year, how tired I was, the new arrangements I tried or a combination of all or some, it worked and we had a wonderful reunion; I am very happy I was able to make the journey.
- The candle and incense are an established constant. They will stay.
- Is it worth using a particular scent for a particular type of journey? Is it practical?
- The blanket across my shoulders served as both a ritual robe and a way to keep warm. This will be staying (although whether I use the same blanket is open to debate).
- Vocalising my intention and speaking out loud helped, I think, even thought it was difficult both psychologically and physically. I can overcome the psychological element, but I’ll wait until I get my throat back before I try chanting again.
- I’m not sure about marking out a ritual space with the incense. If I do it again, I’ll do it standing up.
- I don’t think I took long enough to work myself into a trance state. I need to take longer to build an atmosphere (the blanket, lighting and incense help, but I can still do more). The length of the ritual should balance need and intention with tiredness (and what I’m doing the next day!) if I intend to continue doing this in the middle of the night.
- Meditation, breathing and serpent swaying
- Chanting, drumming, bells and music
- Dancing, yoga or other physical exertion
- Wine, entheogens and flying ointments?
- Check deVries for alternative trancing methods
- Trancing at PsiPog.net (print-friendly)
- Offerings are only polite and are the bare minimum I can do. Next time, I should offer some sort of foodstuff as well as alcohol.
- I’ve not yet worked out if the spirits prefer one thing over another for offerings. Vodka or whiskey? Bread and cheese or fruit? I should ask.
- I’m still not sure how to close the ritual. Last night’s attempt was appalling and possibly insulting (I know I felt insulted by how bad it was).
In the end, the ritual achieved what I needed it to; a reunion with my friends on the other side after nearly a year-long absence and a chance to try some new techniques.
I have regained my shattered confidence and I can’t wait to go again.