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 Beginning Trance Work for Spæ and Seidhr

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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Beginning Trance Work for Spæ and Seidhr   Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:17 pm

In order to be able to perform spæ, one must be able to go into trance. This is true regardless of whether one uses the method of spirit travel made popular by Hrafnr, or whether one is using the method of inviting wights to them. In order to perform trance work, one must first learn basic meditation techniques. Once these are mastered, one is ready to begin trance work in earnest. The best form of meditative technique is empty mind meditation. In order to hear the spirits one is communing with, one must be able to silence their own thoughts. In addition, they also need to develop the ability to sense that which is outside their mind. Both of these can be accomplished by learning and practicing empty mind meditation. A spæ worker going into trance to communicate with spirits must go through several steps. In this article we will only be dealing with the invitation method of performing spæ, and the steps therefore follow its ritual outline. Many of the principles however can also be applied to the Hrafnr style of spæ or "oracular seidh," as well as thylcraft, and mound sitting.

Step One
The Hálsende or Invitation of the Wights.

Once the area has been smudged, the spæ worker will want to start to go into trance. It is important that the spæ worker remember the techniques of meditation: a) relaxation of the body; b) drawing up might and mægen from the Earth; and c) breathing, for at this point they must use them. While the Warders chant the Hálsende Song, the spæ worker will want to focus on the words and rhytmn of the chant, and to begin meditation. The spæ worker is basically using the art of repetitive meditation to slip into a light trance with a slight difference. Instead of repeating the chant his or her self, the spæ worker is listening to the monotonous repetition of the chant done by the Warders. In most cases, this should be enough to start the spæ worker into a light trance if they are practicing breathing properly. However, if it they do not slip into a light trance after several repetitions of the chant, a light steady single drum beat should be used.

Step Two
Going into Deep Trance

By this time, the spæ worker should be in a light trance, and should be preparing to go into a deep trance. In order to move from a light trance to a deep trance, the spæ worker will want to use the techniques of empty mind meditation in order to clear the mind of all thoughts so as to be able to hear the voices of the wights. By clearing the mind of all intrusive thoughts, the spæ worker also heightens their senses in order to hear the spirits. It is vital that they shut out the outside world and clear their minds of any thoughts. Otherwise, they will not be able to sense the wights. Once they have managed to shut out the outside world and the inside one of their mind, and achieve total silence, the spæ worker can begin to try to sense the presence of the wights.

Step Three
Sensing

It is difficult to impossible to teach anyone how to sense spirits, or even to describe to them how it is done. Sensing can be defined as the ultimate form of empathy. But then defining what it is does not explain necessarily how to do it. Once the spæ worker has successfully cleared their mind and shut out all distractions, they should begin trying to sense if the invited spirits are near. If they are gifted with second sight, they should be able to see them. If not, they will have to train themselves over time to sense their presence. This is done by training constantly using empty mind meditation to achieve silence, and then trying to become aware of things around them they would not usually be aware of. Only until a spæ worker can sense or see the presence of wights are they ready to perform spæ for a public audience. In ritual, once a spæ worker sensing the presence of wights, they would signal their Warders in some way that they are ready to take questions.

Step Four
Communing

Once one can sense the presence of wights, they must be able to communicate with both the audience and the spirits they will be getting their information from. This may seem trickier than it sounds. For one, it is difficult to hear when in deep trance, so querants need to speak up. Yet if a querant speaks too loud, they may break the spæ worker out of trance. If this were not enough, wights rarely if ever speak in straight common English, and when they do, the messages will be cloaked in kennings and symbolism. Wights have several ways of communicating answers to spæ workers. They may use visions, allowing the spæ worker to see something. They may actually speak and tell the spæ worker the answer. Or they may communicate in emotions or thoughts. Regardless, it is rare they will give a straight forward answer. Any answers spirits do give, are nearly always steeped in some symbolism meaningful only to the querant. It is therefore vital that the spæ worker relay the messages as literally as they can, or nearly as close to the way the wight conveyed it as possible. Any interpretation on the spæ worker's part could spoil the entire meaning of the message.

Step Five
Coming out of Trance

Warders will usually tell the spæ worker when there are no more questions, unless the spæ worker grows tired and must stop taking questions. Regardless, when the spæ worker is through, it is time to come out of deep trance. This is usually done best by a drum beat done by one of the warders. They will want to begin the drum beat softly at first, and gradually make it louder and harder, ending on a solid up beat. The spæ worker will want to focus on the drumming and gradually wake themselves as if from a deep sleep (sleep and deep trance only differ in one's awareness really). Once awake, the spæ worker will want to relax, maybe drink some water, and have a small snack. These things will help bring their body back to its normal state of being. Once they feel they are awake, they may wish to discuss with querants their questions and answers.

Learning to do trance work for spæ or any other similar craft is not easy, and can take months, if not years of training to perfect. However, it can be done with a little time and effort.

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