Trance 1, Requirement 5
Describe three ways trance can be used in personal spiritual practice. (min. 100 words each)
Painting the Cosmos
Ritual, no matter where it is done, is done in a profane environment. The space is full of distractions and very concrete forms that rarely (if ever) match up with the way the cosmos looks in ritual. As a result, trancework can aid and inform our spiritual practices by allowing us to clearly visualize sacred landscapes, cosmic pictures, and our place within these special landscapes. The ability to enter a trance state can help us to avoid distraction through stronger focus or by a lack of focus. We can replace our logical knowledge of how the world works with a mythical knowledge, or even make the difference between logical and mythical moot. Through trance, the cosmos can be painted in any manner we may need to see it in order to perfom rituals within that cosmos.
The calling of a deity or one of the other Kindreds into oneself is not something often done in ADF ritual, but it can be done. Trance is one way of opening one's self to the being invoked, either through prayer, posture, or song. A good example might be the idea of the ecstatic body posture, in which a person might feel "inhabited" by deity or spirit. Also possible is what is known as glossilalia, often considered a symptom of being "filled with the spirit," and now widely accepted as a trance state in academia. Invocaton of a foreign spirit into your own body certainly requires trancework.
Direct Experience of the Kindreds
In the Dedicant Path work, Dedicants are encouraged to go out into a private place in nature and meditate. When doing so, the Dedicant will often find herself in the company of many spirits of nature, from the breezes that play among the trees, to the blades of grass that tickle her feet. Engaging in meditative trance in a place well-known as a place of the Kindreds will bring direct experience with them. When I was at Delphi, I found direct experience with the Earth Mother beneath the Temple of Apollo at Delphi when I entered a trance there. At Thermopylae, I found direct experience with the Ancestors as I stood upon the mound of the dead. In places near to the Kindreds, the experience of trance can be transformative.
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