By now, most of you have read RO’s description of the technology behind the rites we do, broken down into planning, preparatory, conjuration, communication and dismissal pieces. If you need a reminder, here's the address of his post: http://headforred.blogspot.com/2013/04/working-with-seer-tech-basics.html. The planning stage obviously involves us both, normally at similar levels of effort. However, while the conjuror’s preparatory actions are pretty simple, involving holy water and self-annointing with Abramelin oil, my activities here are usually pretty substantial.
My ordinary reality is very linear. My mind is also pretty linear. Therefore, before I try to do any trance work, I have to spend a little time getting non-linear. What I mean specifically by this is that before I fall into the “seeing” state, the edges of reality have to soften a little, helping to minimize the constant judgment of things that float through my mind and senses.
Those of you who have done astral and trance work will immediately recognize that when the phrase “this isn’t real” goes through your mind, it’s hard to get back on track. Sometimes, after this sensation, it’s all over. Therefore the preparations are meant to quiet that part of your mind just a little bit. It’s a totally new way to control your mind and sense of reality, but at its basis, it is self control. It's self control without any rigid tie to your mundane expectations about how things work.
Recognizing that my mind is intimately associated with my physical being, much of what I’m about to say involves full relaxation of various body parts. The muscles in my sacral spine, hips and butt are tightly linked to my emotional state, use of imagination and ability to go into trance. Tension in this region can actually be interpreted as light anxiety, if I am not paying attention. I have spoken to a handful of people about this, and full relaxation of this part of their bodies leads to an open feeling, one tinged with gratitude.
I generally do this exercise in a warm bath that has been consecrated to the purpose with hyssop (either tea or oil) and salts. When I have them, I put in about a cup each of table salt, baking soda and Epsom salts. Often, I darken the bathroom, using only candles of appropriate ritual colors as illumination. When every muscle between the bottom of my rib cage and my knees is completely empty of tension, I move to the next step.
Once I am feeling “open,” I want to fill myself with a feeling of the sacred. I have some chants I use to do this, but strangely, one of my favorites is the Te Deum Laudamus from the old red Lutheran hymnal. I like it because of the way it weaves major and minor keys. It’s also something I have known for a long time, and it ties the very young religious me to who I am now. I sing this in the darkness of the bathroom, always nerdily happy with the wonderful acoustics, until I start to talk to the Universe (meaning not to any being in particular) about being clean and open and ready to reach past my ordinary experience. This part of the preparations varies extensively, is ecstatic and normally ends up with me chanting and singing and talking to myself/ me as creator god until the bath water is cold, which is the only thing that normally ejects me from the bathtub.
At this point, I wrap my wet hair in a white towel, put my robe on and go into the temple, where typically RO is waiting for me.
In one of the following posts, RO and/or I will discuss the next step, the anointing with oils. This gets into the relationship between conjuror and seer, as we consecrate each other to the Work in the temple.
Be thou blessed.