Friday, May 18, 2018

Beginning Trance: Building the Inner Grove

As Rev. Ian Corrigan points out, the skills of seership, of perceiving and moving in the Otherworlds, are seated in the human imagination. To the Ancients, the human mind was part of the spiritual world, and the spiritual world directly impacted the material world.  The Otherworld was the place where the stories lived, the home of the Deities and the Ancestors. As Professor Dumbledore said, “Of course this is happening in your mind, Harry. That doesn’t make it less real.”

In order for us to move freely from our world into the Other and back again with success and control, it is helpful to begin by creating a safe place, a place within our own minds, where we are in control of where we go, with whom, and for how long. This space is our inner temple, our inner grove, our inner nemeton. It is deliberately constructed and can be modified at any time to suit our needs.

The idea is that we can train ourselves through several “waypoints” to enter the mists and arrive in these spaces, travel to wherever we need to go (or host guests), and move back through the mists to where we began in our waking minds.

The inner grove, threshold locale, is near to where we begin; we just need to build a path to get from here to there. We begin by conjuring the Mists of the Between. Literally, these are mists that arise for you when you need to travel to another location. The path through them may always be the same, but the location will be defined by your purpose. 

In your minds eye, see before you a swirling fog, swirling mists reflecting light in tiny rainbows, thick and obscuring your vision entirely. Before you, one of these waypoints begins to materialize. What is it? Is it a sign? Is it a landmark? Keep track of what you see and where as you walk along the path.

As the Mists of the Between begin to part, you find yourself in your inner grove.  Here, you must build your own space. Much like creating your shrine at home, you create your personalized inner grove to reflect the nature of your work in this place. Look around and find a place the Fire. Build and light the Fire. Now, find a space and dig the Well. Find the Tree you want to build relationship with as your World Tree. If you need to, move it, or plant one and watch it grow to maturity right before your eyes. Later, this Tree may be a Gate through which you travel to other realms. 

With your hallows completed, you have some decisions to make, but we will save them for another time. Take a good look at what you have built today that you may arrive and find everything where you left it.

Call the Mists once more, and follow your path back.

You will need to complete this work at least three times on your own to finish building and designing your space. You have a space and all three Hallows. You will need an altar or working space for your nemeton. You may wish to give your nemeton a different name.

You may need to take a step back and practice conjuring the Mists. These you may do at the beginning of your work every time, and use the mists as the method for entering into trance. You may arrive at your nemeton and practice conjuring the mists there to be able to watch them grow and ebb as you call them.

After you have completed construction and successfully made it to and from your nemeton alone through the mists at least three times, you are ready to use this method to move between the worlds. You may wish to begin by inviting your allies to meet you in this space so that they can find you there. You may want to call a spirit kin to travel through the mists of magic with you to get to your nemeton that this ally may always be able to guide you through the mists. It all depends on how you frame your practice.

Remember, when you enter into a trance space, at any time, you can conjure the mists and follow the path to arrive in your nemeton, safe and secure. And from there, you will always be able to find your way home.

Now, you are ready for full-blown trance journeys. Don’t forget to keep a journal!

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