So, as-you-know-bob, I’m working my way (very, very slowly) through Trance-portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World. I admit, I’m not following my rule to do the exercises in one chapter before starting to read the next chapter. But I’m still doing the exercises and reading things more slowly than I would if I were just wanting to learn this stuff in theory.
Anyway. One of my goals for this year, along with doing PBP13 and taking good (or at least noticeably better) care of my body, is to work my way through this book, SO, with that in mind, I present Part One of Trance-Portation‘s Self-Evalunation Questionnaire.
1) What is your living situation? Do your family/housemates support your spiritual practice? Will they allow you the privacy in-which to practice the [book’s] exercises? If in doubt, negotiate or find somewhere else to work.
I live with my fairly witchy and woo-friendly wife. She supports me in developing my practice. She also works outside the house, while I work from home, so I have ample time during her working hours to practice the exercises (that said, I will still need to mark out time from my own (other) work to do them – this is more likely to be a barrier than anything else).
2) Do you belong to coven, circle, or other spiritual group? If yes, does it practice meditation or trance work? If yes: What kind, how often, and for what purpose? Are any other group-members working with this book? Will your group support your efforts to learn these skills?
I don’t. So… N/A? That said, if any of you reading this are working with Trance-Portation, feel free to chime in with your own experiences as is applicable. 🙂
3) Do you (already) have a power animal, totem, or other “invisible friend”? How did you acquire/engage it? How often do you contact it? How does it contact you?
Uh… Not that I know of. I’ve written about bears and bats, and I like cats and have a huge fondness for crows. But none of that (other than the bit where one of my goddesses, see below, takes the form of a bear, and two of the others have connections to crows) means than any of these animals are my Spirit Helpers.
That said, there are (or were in my last place… not sure how to invite them to join me in the new place – suggestions?) little water spirits theoretically living in my bathroom. (Sometimes I wonder if they’d be up for helping me with my messed up toilet…).
They might qualify as (potential) non-deity, non-human Friends or Helpers. Maybe. Worth checking in about, perhaps?
Oh. And I think one of the sewing machines has told me her name. (I think she appreciated that I paid some attention to her – we’ve got all these fancy, iron-and-steel antique machines coming in and I think she was feeling like a bit of a Plain Jane in comparison).
Additionally, my ancestors have my back. Which is awesome. I’m mentioning them here because they aren’t deities, but they could theoretically fit in either category.
Re: contact: When I do boiling water offerings (which remains haphazard). ~Once a month at this point. (Maybe I should step it up?) My ancestors get more attention/contact than that, though. (See below).
4) Do you have a strong affinity with, or devotion to, (a) specific deity/ies? How did the relationship develop? How often do you contact them? How do they contact you?
Yes. I’ve written about my People HERE (both who they are and how I got to know them). The short version is that Maia grabbed me by the brain until I started paying attention, and the other four turned up in response to a call-for-positions that I sent out to the world in general.
Re: Contact: I do candle offerings once a week, at this point. (YAY!) So my gods and ancestors (see above) get regular devotional contact. Also any time I’m smoking the house (incense to clean things up), and any time I do boiling water offerings. When I’m prepping dinner, I put bits of the (good) food into the compost and actively say Thank You to my People for looking out for me. Sometimes I give them blood (though not that often – usually menstrual, but not always). I ask them for advice/guidance (and ask them to be really fucking obvious with the clue-by-fours, because I’m kind of dense that way). I say hello. I smile at them via their altars and periodically do little “I’m thinking of you” waves and stuff. It’s not huge, it’s VERY casual. It frequently feels one-sided, but periodically I get word back (sometimes very loudly). I know they’re there. Sometimes it’s hard for me to hear them, though. :-\
So that’s part one. More to come.
– Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 So far, so good. Having a week of modeling work in mid-January (and another coming in early-February, and another coming in mid-March) is not hurting this project any. It’s giving me physical activity for days at a time (YAY) and also giving me reasons to do yoga on the off days (partly to ease the modeling-induced stiffness). So huzzah! I’m finding that Cobra Pose is a big help for my lower-back/hip problem, fyi. 🙂
 To explain: Back when I started doing regular devotional stuff, I had a house with a yard. In the yard was a compost heap. The compost heap is a place where all my gods are present in some form or other – plants, earth, heat, moisture, and change. Thus, I used it as a place to make offerings – both small, daily type ones during food-prep and larger ones (grain + honey + milk + wine… you get the general drift) at various points through the year. Even though I don’t have a yard, I do continue to use my compost container as a place to make food-based offerings.