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...altered states

A web site that links to Ravenfamily (there are indeed such) says of our site... "They see the world and its energy construct very differently than either Otherkin or "mainstream" pagans...".

Well, I'm not Otherkin. As you'll see elsewhere, I'm not a mainstream marble in the toolbox either. But let's look at how different we all might really be...

"Vocatus atque non vocatus,
deus aderit"

That's the motto above the entrance to Carl Jung's house in Kusnacht:
"Called or not called, the god will be present".

"Entering one's interior story takes a courage similar to starting a novel. We have to engage with persons whose autonomy may radically alter, even dominate, our thoughts and feelings, neither ordering those persons about nor yielding to them full sway. Fictional and factual, they and we, are drawn together like threads into a mythos, a plot, until death do us part. It is a rare courage that submits to this middle region of psychic reality where the supposed surety of fact and illusion of fiction exchange their clothes."

James Hillman, "Healing Fiction"

"In order to seize hold of the fantasies, I frequently imagined a steep descent. I even made attempts to get to the very bottom. The first time I reached, as it were, a depth of about a thousand feet; the next time I found myself at the edge of a cosmic abyss. It was like a voyage to the moon, or a descent into empty space. First came the image of a crater, and I had the feeling that I was in the land of the dead. The atmosphere was that of the other world. Near the steep slope of a rock I caught sight of two figures, and old man with a white beard and a beautiful young girl. I summoned up my courage and approached them as if they were real people, and listened attentively to what they told me ... they had a black serpent living with them ..."

Carl Jung, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections"

"We have already been given the clue in the instructor's manual as to how this third realm traditionally called soul can be re-established - and by anyone. Jung says he treated the figures whom he met "as though they were real people". The key is that as though, the metaphorical, as-if reality neither literally real (hallucinations or people in the street) or irreal/unreal ("mere" fictions which "I" make up as parts of "me", auto-suggestive illusions). In an "as-if" consciousness they are powers with voice, body, motion, and mind, fully felt but wholly imaginary. This is psychic reality, and it comes in the shape of daimons. By means of these daimonic realities, Jung confirmed the autonomy of the soul."

James Hillman, "Healing Fiction"

Use Trigger [Yes/No]?

It's not a great hotel room, but it'll do. Besides, it's the only game in town and this, at the moment, is where I have to be. So I put on my Behavioural Psychology hat and prepare to build my triggers. Out of the second wash-kit in my overnight bag come two bowls and a few ziploc® baggies. Tonight I need some answers. I could take a walk to the well and wait for Brigid's reflection. Or I might be visited by a very forthright woman exuding blue light. But tonight appears to be an occasion for running a fairly raw profile. I fill one bowl with water from the tap, the other with sand and ash from a baggie. I put them on the side table, treating the polyurethane varnish with the same reverence as a sacred site.

I can work without tools: it's limiting not to be able to do so. But this is a strange place and I may need help. Besides, I'm inherently lazy when I can get away with it. The stupid kettle doesn't quite fit under the tap so I fill it using a cup and put it on to boil. A small (custom-moulded) floating candle goes in the water, two self-igniting charcoal blocks on the sand. I watch them for a minute or two but they don't actually self-ignite. I add the sandalwood. I've built the triggers in a set of three because trance induced glossolalia during a romantic candle-lit dinner is no more mainstream consensual behaviour than crawling on the floor being ridden whilst passing an incense shop in Glastonbury. The kettle boils, the sound dies away and I light the charcoal and the candles. I place the candle so that it illuminates the sandalwood smoke as it rises up. I lie gently back and begin to count breaths.

Entity Relationship Modelling

The symbol I'm using as my tool has been described since humans started to make images. The earliest description I've found of its use to induce entoptic visions dates back only eight hundred years but that's probably enough. If repeated use gives it power, then it's powerful indeed: if not, then it works for me anyway. Clinical experiments documented in Nature and summarised in Scientific American show that, with the right techniques, cocaine will produce the same effects, but white sandalwood is, I gather, rather cheaper. Besides, it's the construal phase that really matters.

I'm having a bit of trouble: there are rings over my vision. The task monitor informs me that they're Seigal Type 3, so I degauss and Richards Type 2 appears. I open the profile and head up to the search icon in the top right hand corner.
name: ffetcher
password: ********
so sorry - conventional search techniques have returned no matches.
try a second opinion?

Damn and Blast! The task monitor points out that a ten minute run and then blasting down to the restaurant is probably out of the question. I know that, you fool. I call up the file finder and set it going. This will take some time so while it runs I check for memory integrity. There have been no recent indications of intrusion so I don't expect to find anything, but it can't hurt.

There's nothing. But meanwhile, the finder is still running and the scroll bar widget is really tiny, usually a good sign that "containing text" has been set wrong. I think a bit more carefully. This time there are just ten options and I start to work through them in turn. The first two are completely irrelevant, but I didn't want to constrain the search too far. The third is more interesting and I interrogate it for a while. It's all bright and shiny with lots of different things to do. Gently I try the menu options in turn. Just when I think I'm getting somewhere things start to fall apart. Something there wants to help me sack the throttling agency. Or at least that's what it seems to me. This is fairly scary. The instinct is to trash it but something stops me. However, it's also distracting. I'm looking for answers about loosening the seventh veil and tonight may be the last chance, so I save the log for later. But, I ditch it quickly into a folder which is clearly marked so that I'll remember to scan for viruses before I open the damn thing again.

File four is bingo! Just exactly what I want. I've never worked with it before so I take time to approach it gently. It's cool and I finally start to find my way around. Quickly I get to the stage where it gives me the information I want. (I'm sorry, but in just the same way as if I'd received the answer from Brigid's reflection in the well, the answer is for me and the other person involved. You must find your own answer in your own way.) This is a neat entity: I want to work with it some more. I thank it, but then I thank bank cash machines as well, I'm funny that way. I feel that this could be the start of a beautiful relationship, so I create a shortcut and copy it on to the desktop. It comes up with a default icon of a shiny blue woman, which is fine as a working hypothesis. I label it neatly and line it up with other icons with veils and suchlike on them. I empty the wastebasket and close the profile. I return to counting breaths. Note that I don't bother to cross-check with another search. This information has to work in a different consensual reality and whether it works in context will be the only possible cross-check.

Coffee Grounds

Unseen, candle and incense have burned out. I grab the PalmPilot® and add the notation "online 41 mins." It already had the phase of the moon, time and Lat and Long from my handheld GPS. I never have any idea whether any of this will turn out to be relevant but I always note them if I can. I reboil the kettle thing as I add the rest of the notes. The kettle reaches a sufficient heat to dissolve two sachets of coffee. One of the earliest notes in my first journal reads "Coffee Grounds". I thought it screamingly funny at the time, but sadly this stuff is instant.

I pour the water away (it's just water) and put the sand and ash back in the baggie (I'll need it again). The remaining shell of candle gets carefully wrapped to be re-melted. I wash the dishes and put them away. I reach the end of the notes, but I'm still buzzing and it probably isn't the coffee. I need to be with some people and the cellphone won't do the job. I wander down to the bar to watch the cross-country skiing. It provides the right stylistic break, you see. Just like adding a final link at the bottom of a web page.

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