On Ritual Trance - Part 3: Selected Resources
This is the last post on ritual trance in a series of three.
Let's take a look at some resources that are available to learn more on ritual trance. If you are working in a group or with other magicians one of you can work as a dedicated seer or medium of the spirit in question. While this doesn't come without risks it is a completely different approach than one has to take as a solitary practicing magician. Working solo you need to be the seer and the actor at the same time, or at least within the same rite.
If you have worked through a full-scale magical education such as in the G.'.D.'., Aurum Solis, Servants of Light or similar orders it might well be that you have never heard the term 'ritual trance' but your techniques might be very advanced. It's just a matter of language: What I call 'ritual trance' is often referred to as the 'altered state of consciousness' that most acts of magick require.
What all types of ritual trance inducing techniques share is that they don't induce such a deep state of trance that your consciousness is lost in trance. All of them are content with altering your consciousness sufficiently to leave your everyday consciousness behind and become fully present in the moment. While this definition might work for any type of meditation, the difference with ritual trance is that it allows your awareness to become fully present in a slightly altered state of consciousness.
The author of the wonderful John Dee novel 'The Angel of The West Window' and early G.'.D.'. member, Gustav Meyrink, referred to this state throghout his life as his foremost magical goal. His own words were to achieve a state of consciousness that allowed him to be 'Hüben und Drüben' (On Both Sides) at the same time... Lifting the veil between Malkuth and Jesod, being aware of the material and astral realm at once, at any moment in time.
As we can see from Gustav Meyrink's example the journey to a perfect ritual trance can take a lifetime. But the journey itself can be wonderful, inspiring and life enriching if we allow it to... Personally I only learned to enjoy the magickal ride about a year ago, give or take. Before that I always had my eyes fixed on the step to come before completing the one ahead of me. I was much faster than I am today in adopting new techniques, paradigms and believe systems. But my heart couldn't follow. Only once I let go of my obsession of 'efficacy & efficiency' of magick and started to wonder about my actual relationship to the spirits did they start talking to me in ritual trance...
To finish off this here are a few resources on inducing ritual trance that I found very helpful. All of them are complementary for larger magickal rites but can equally be used in isolation...
- Leveraging Your Fears - as explained by Tsultrim Allione
- Enduring Concentration - as explained by Abraham Abulafia
- Active Imagination - as explained by Ralph Tegtmeier (German)
- Choreography of Movement - as explained by Steven H. Lonsdale
- Divine incenses - as explained by Christian Rätsch
- Self-hypnosis - as explained by Poke Runyon
I am sure there are many more great recommendations out there that allowed you to work your way into 'a different state of consciousness'. In that case please leave a comment and let me and others know and learn from it...
Here is to all we do not see, hear, smell, taste and feel as long as our minds are 'clear'.