T is for Trepedation (and Trust – or lack there-of) – Pagan Blog Project 2013

So I’ve been dragging my heels a little on this one, partly out of embarrasment. I had originally figured that I’d be writing a 2013 version of T is for Trance, having (in theory) actually done trance work – or at least trance practice – a whole bunch by the time October rolled around.
Instead, I haven’t done much trance work (practice) at all in… er… about six months. Basically since I just about made myself sick while trying to Go Deep (or at least deeper than surface-level) at Queering Power. (Hint: Don’t do this if you suck at shielding!)
And the reason for that basically boils down to fear.

Thense the title of this post.
See… I’m scared to go into The Forest, even though I know (maybe because I know?) some of what’s in there. Like: I know – or at least surmise – that there’s a dragon-like creature in there because some big lizardy prehensile tail snaked out from between the trees and tried to yank me towards it.
But I have no idea what the dragon “is”.
I get that Internal Landscape is going to be talking in pictures ( metaphor) a much as anything else.
And I get that visiting my Internal Landscape is visiting the inside of my own head. Not the kind of dangerous that I might expect if I were to go walking outside of my own bounds, so to speak. But I’m scared to death of what I’m going to find if I go digging around in there. Like: Is there some part of my psyche that’s dark and dangerous[1], silver as fishscales and razor blades, and hungry enough to devour me if I let it so much as breathe?
‘Cause apparently I think that there is, and I have no idea how to deal with that[2] if I turn out to be right.
So… basically, I don’t trust my own brain to be a safe place for me to go exploring, and I kind of suspect that part of me a gigantic psychopath who, if acknowledge (or allowed to escape? Something?) will go on some kind of a rampage and commit mass murder hurt everybody I love. Meaning that I will hurt everbody I love.
Which is scary as shit! O.O
So what the fuck do I do about this? ‘Cause I don’t think that avoidance is really the key here, but I’d rather not land myself in some internal trouble that I can’t get myself out of again.
Suggestions? Help? Any ideas for someone doing this completely solo for how to not screw up?
[1] Not the sadistic part, although there is that. At least I know about that.
[2] I’m reminded of that button: “Sometimes I wrestle with my deamons… Sometimes we cuddle”. (Which, really, is probably a good way to handle them, yes?)

3 responses to “T is for Trepedation (and Trust – or lack there-of) – Pagan Blog Project 2013

  1. Pingback: Z is for Zero to Zenith – Pagan Blog Project 2013 | Urban Meliad

  2. …And I forgot to mention two other things in that ramble. Firstly: if you plan to deal with it, try to do so on a day that you are feeling well both physically and mentally, and are not overly stressed or worried about other things. Make sure that you have enough time that you don’t feel rushed, either.

    Secondly, depending on your relationships with your deities, you could consider speaking with them about it, asking for support or making offerings.

    …I hope at least some of this has been useful. May the outcome be positive for you 🙂

  3. Disclaimer: I am a person on the internet. I have some experience leading trances and dealing with shit both in my own head and other people’s, but no formal training in psychology or hypnosis. (I’ve also been reading two of your blogs for a few years..hi!)

    I have heard two schools of thought when it comes to ferocious, fearsome and ravenous things that want to devour you: either let them or don’t. For what it’s worth, the people I know who say not to tend to be more Wiccan/witchy flavoured pagans, while those who are happy to be eaten have tended to be heathens, occultists and ‘sinister magician’ types. If you subscribe to a right hand / left hand path model, then that’s a clear divide as well. So how you personally choose to respond to it in this situation will probably result from your approach to magic/your own self. I think there are three broad options here…

    To avoid: I have encountered fearsome things in trance, and been terrified enough to avoid them (for a time). If they are in the center of your landscape, this could be an issue, since this will interfere frequently and would seem to me to indicate a more central issue/demon that needs to be dealt with. If it is towards the borderlands (where, perhaps, boundaries to other spaces might be fuzzy) then it could be that this is an issue that can be left for a while, off to rampage in its own space until you feel more comfortable going there. If you are happy doing your own thing with that off somewhere in the background, and don’t feel an inclination to tangle with it, that might well be okay. (You sound pretty certain that this is entirely the inside of your own head, but there is also the chance that Something Else is making itself known.)

    The options of not avoiding this require confidence and trust in your own self and ability to handle it. (And a couple of tricks that I’ll get to in a moment)

    To not be eaten: The logic behind this is one of mastering or gentling your demons, so far as I understand. Depending on your style, you could try to banish said monstrous being, or (given that it is likely a part of yourself) reduce it to a proper size. This is a more forceful, overpowering option, as you are declaring that this is your space, and this being must obey you. The other option is befriending – stay at a safe distance and try talking to it. Find out what it wants, maybe reassure it it if it is scared. Perhaps its hunger could be satisfied by something else, or it could be calmed down or sent to sleep?

    To be eaten: Favoured by the left hand path magicians, and those who have tended towards chaos magic. This one relies on you being entirely confident that the core of yourself, your point of subjectivity in trance, cannot be harmed. Again, depending on style, there are various ways that this plays out. I have heard of three different ways personally. In one, the person consumed went through the digestive system of the beast and …out the other end. In another, they cut their way out from within (very messy). In the third, they let themselves be digested by the beast, and became a part of it, gradually become that thing themselves. (In more classical mythology, consider the tale of Ceridwen eating Taleisen and then giving birth to him).

    So far as I can tell, the general theme is that allowing yourself to be eaten is a more transformative experience – you are (however briefly) becoming one with that thing – while not being eaten involves changing your relationship with it in some way – stopping it being so fierce and scary either through mastery or befriending.

    If you have local trance people, you may want to approach them about doing this kind of thing as a pathworking with them, since then you can discuss a plan in advance, and if things do go wobbly for you they can bring you back, give you tea and make sure you recover okay.

    If you go about dealing with the fearsome being yourself, then you could first try establishing a ‘safe place’ in trance. This is a place where you are comfortable, secure, and nothing can harm you. When things go wobbly in trance (whether inside your head or beyond) it is often really difficult to bring yourself out, so having a kind of haven that you can go to to calm down and relax before waking yourself up can be really useful. It might be a comfy chair with a warm fuzzy blanket and the smell of baking, or perhaps (since your internal landscape seems to be mostly outside) under a big tree, in the shade of its branches, with birds singing. The important thing about this place is that you can always get back to it, no matter where you are in trance. How you choose to get to it is again, a matter of personal style. It could be saying a word, turning in a particular way, touching an amulet or even clicking your heels together three times 🙂

    As well as preparing that, you may want to prepare other things. If you plan to attack it, a sword that has never failed you, perhaps. Or work with things which are part of your Craft, a strong part of you and an area where you have a lot of power. Maybe food from your garden which you have prepared to win its trust/send it to sleep. A calming pendant (or collar) to put around its neck. (Boots prepared for you by your wife to keep you strong and sure of yourself?) This is the inside of your head – work with what makes sense for you.

    Going out on a bit of a limb here: I have encountered a lot of scary things in my head, and figured out how to deal with a lot of them in one way or another. I understand being scared of what may be down there, and not trusting the inside of your own head. However, whatever it is, remember that it is nothing new. It has been there in the background for a long time, and it hasn’t taken over your life. It isn’t strong enoung to take over your life or hurt people you love, because you don’t let it. You may need to make sure you reconnect with other parts of your life after dealing with it, but that’s okay. You can trust yourself – your everyday self – to ground you and keep you safe from that.

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