Is anyone be interested in a meetup (or 3) focusing on trance and altered states in paganism, shamanism, magic and witchcraft? The focus for me is non-drug altered states of consciousness using Tantra, fetish, ritual, music, dance, hypnosis and meditation techniques. Join this group and come along for the ride – http://www.meetup.com/Looking-Glass/
Our consciousness is in continual flux, so in the broadest sense it is continuously altering. But there are specific states that we experience as stable enough to name. The most obvious being awake and asleep. Within these two big categories there are subsets like REM or dream states, lucid dreaming, deep dreamless sleep. In daylight consciousness or being awake there are different states of stress, emotion and focus which we experience in different ways.
Then there are the in-between states, where sleep and wakefulness cross over. We in the West don’t have a great variety of words to measure and talk about the rainbow of consciousness that is put under the term “Trance” or “Altered States”. These are the states where the world of dreams meets the daily world and where in many traditions magic happens.
Brain waves studies have shown some of the variety of states but the numbers don’t come close to the real life experience we have on our consciousness in flux. Mindfulness and contemplation are practices that simply non-judgmentally follow the flow of consciousness without getting attached or excited or worried about any particular experience of consciousness, an attempt to be objective about the subjective. If that paradox is not going to send you to your High Priest, High Priestess, Magus, Guru or Master in confusion.
Television, advertising and other media use principles of hypnosis, ritual and Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP) to induce some types of trance to try to get passed our critical, intellectual mind so we can enjoy their storytelling with full imaginative involvement and coincidentally buy their shit and placidly go along with their interpretation of reality.
Meditation with it’s development of concentration and full sensory imagination, dance, music tantra, fetish play, ritual and surrender of bhakti yoga (which has some kinship with the submission in Dominance ans submission games in BDSM, a subject for another post) can help us develop deeper understandings of how consciousness works so that we choose how it flows, alters so as to allow us to reshape our reality, so we can wake up from the trances that sneak up on us in the hands of others and help others in the process.
One of my teachers suggested we should consciously participate in the trances created by the media because they give us the opportunity to, not only use the energy of all those minds focusing in the same direction, experiencing the same emotions at the same moment, but if we do it awake then they will learn to wake up from us. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the power/energy of all those minds. That’s why we work together in groups, covens, ashrams, magic circles so we can support each other, be a boat with crew on the ocean of the mind/spirit, rather than a solo swimmer.
If you are interested in exploring non-drug Trance and Altered States let me know.
If there is interest I have a new contraption, a head band and app for my smart phone, that lets me do readings of brain wave patterns. I also have experience with ritual and hypnosis, and of course Tantra, meditation and Bhakti so you can experience trance and altered states in safe ways. This is about a respectful experience of the spirit, not hypno showmanship at the expense of anyone’s dignity.
BRING A FRIEND.