Continuing with my catch-up posts for PBP2013, I bring you V is for Visual Cues. Let’s get into it.
In reading (however sporadically) Trance-Portation, one of the things I’ve picked up on is that the author encourages using various cues – visual, auditory and, in particular, physical – to help you shift from one State of Consciousness to another.
I have this (possibly silly) oppinion that someone who’s particularly good at shifting states “should” be able to walk in two worlds at once – to be divining accurately with one hand while steering the todler away from the hot stove with the other.
Maybe that’s a ridiculous thing to expect of anyone, though.
I, clearly, am not even on the same map as such an individual, so when I shift states (in-so-far as I even can), I rely on a lot of external help. I wear certain types of clothing and put on certain makeup, listen to certain music (frequently on repeat), scent my kitchen or my bath with certain plants (cinnamon and bay being two from Samhain, for example – my front door still smells like cinnamon and cider, fyi). And I use mood lighting.
Candle light, for me, is a visual cue. Sometimes it’s a cue for The Romantic and sometimes it’s a cue for The Special in some other way (like “We are having a Phamily Get-Together”), but just as frequently, it’s a cue for “My home is now my Capital-H-Hearth and I am working in some capacity”. I’ll light candles – usually dressed tapers – when I have magical jewelry comissions, or use the time it takes to do the lighting – along with the actual light itself – to invite in the People I’m wanting to have come visit (as with the Ancestors last Thursday).
Candles aren’t my only visual cue, though they’re probably my most consistently used one. I put together an Ancestor Plate the other day, for example, and decorated the space with a cloth that used to be one of my grandmother’s scarves, along with a vase (er, mason jar) of crow feathers and another of dried savoury. I’ve done similar things with seasonal wreaths, vases of wheat or coils of grape-vine wrapped around heaps of just-harvested winter squash, or blooming pots of dafodils and bowls of last year’s seeds now ready for planting. Every season has it’s symbols and its offerings, right? Good for setting the tone of a feast (subtly or otherwise), and for getting your head right when it comes to Calling People In.
Anyway. That’s my short and somewhat overdue chat about visual cues.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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