I have been exploring more methods of mind-scaping, or whatever you want to call it. After reading Carl Jung’s “Liber Novus: The Red Book” last year, I decided to try to employ a method he seemed to use on himself in his many years of study as he explored the inner workings of the mind and soul. If you’ve read (or attempted to read) this book, you’ll understand how complex and insane the mind can seem, and he, himself, admitted that he had reservations about publishing such a book because he said (paraphrasing here) it would seem like the ramblings of a madman. In fact, he never did publish it, and it was only just recently published. As weird and as difficult to get through as it is, the book is stunning. If you can check out the actual portfolio version of the book (which is enormous, I think it is 11×24 or something) you will be treated to his gorgeous German calligraphy and pages of his drawings of his different mind-scape experiences and mandalas. The English translation is the last half of the book. I highly recommend reading it start to finish, it is a privilege to read such an amazing journey through the web of the self and soul.
The method is incredibly simple. I write down “I:” in my journal, and write out what it is I am thinking on a very basic, mundane level. Then I ask myself, my soul, to respond. I then write “S:”, and I quiet my mind, and listen for a response. When I start getting any thoughts, I just start writing, as if you are doing automatic writing. In fact, I think this could be considered automatic writing, though I think there are a few different ways to use that. What I’ve always understood to be automatic writing is where you actually channel other spirits and write down what they are saying, so I just call this “conversation with my soul” or “higher self” to keep it clear. This method has been surprisingly helpful to me. I usually let a little bit of time pass before I re-read what I have written, and the first few times I did this and reviewed the outcome a week or two later, I was astonished. It was revealing in a way that completely caught me off guard. The honesty of this method is both matter-of-fact and gentle. It tells me what I need to hear and what I need to do, why I need to do it, what will be gained from the experience, and it sheds light on things that I may be averse to looking at fully. The other day in class, I shared some thoughts about something that triggered some extremely painful memories, and I could feel that icky, visceral response beginning to rise inside at recalling the trauma of it. I was angry at myself for bringing it up in class, and I was ashamed at the memory which is one that I do not suppress, but it is a difficult one to linger on too long. I decided to consult my inner self about it that night, and here was the response I got:
“S: You have a need to release certain painful memories. When they come unbidden and out of context, you fear that it makes you look badly to others. You need to share these memories with yourself, write them out in full so that you may re-visit them as real things, tangible things that can then truly be let go of.”
“I: I think I am scared to give voice to some memories (most memories) because they make me ashamed of myself and my inability to act. They make me feel very vulnerable and weak. I am afraid of these things.”
“S: These are wise to fear, because fear is there to protect you. But as you well know, it can also completely halt progress. You are strong enough, you have healed enough that you can face these memories again.”
“I: Is this why my Muninn (komodo dragon) revealed itself to me finally just yesterday?”
“S: Your Memory is now available for you to work with. You would be wise to call upon the healing powers of the dragon. They can reveal many mysteries to you. They can help purify that which is cloudy and uncertain. Call on him again.”
I’m sharing this particular conversation because it was quick and also not too deeply personal. Some of them get pretty gritty, so if you try this method, be sure you are ready to hear. I almost see this as inner therapy. We have been separated from ourselves, our intuition, our deeply spiritual roots through religious dogma, violence, and a fierce pragmatism that I personally feel are some of the most destructive forces known to this world. To open up to the mysteries of life, death, the universe and the soul, one must have a completely open mind. You must be able to let order and labels serve you when needed to make sense of thoughts and ideas and to get along in consensus reality, but release them when they limit progress into the unknown.
Another method I’ve recently been reading about it is ecstatic postures. These are more complicated and I will need to wait until finals are over to explore them first hand. I have tried a couple of the lower world postures after yoga, but I was not successful with them, so I think that these particular exercises are pretty specific so I will have to follow them to the letter. The trances these postures induce are usually achieved with the help of a rattle or drum, so I will need to invest in some specific journey recordings, or maybe I can try to keep a rattle or drum going as I journey. I do it with staving, I guess, so I suppose it should be no different with a rattle or drum. I first heard about ecstatic postures through Vincent Ongkowidjojo’s book on Norse runes, “Secrets of Asgard” and it peaked my interest then. Then just recently, my Hubby and I were on a walk and stumbled across a box of books that had been abandoned in the snow and dirt, and I found a bunch of awesome books, including Belinda Gore’s book “Ecstatic Body Postures”, which I almost left but am so glad I grabbed it! It’s fantastic, and it marries the work of anthropology, archaeology, psychology and esoteric principles into a beautiful understanding of these ancient shamanic practices. I am very excited to try some of these postures, but will definitely be selective as some of them are more advanced than others.
I believe that inside everyone is the inherent capability and the birthright to explore all that is Unseen, that the mysteries are accessible to all (not just humans, but all consciousness). That’s not to say that I think all modern peoples should pursue this work because we have been so dis-empowered to trust our inner voices, rendering so many people seemingly helpless in their own consciousness and skin. One of the most helpful things in self-exploration is understanding when you engage in deflecting responsibility for words and actions. Working with this within myself has been immensely empowering and eye-opening. One of the biggest, more recent influences on my path is the wonderful Four Queens! I’ve never been one to get readings from anyone, but I HIGHLY recommend Kelly-Ann Maddox. She knows her shit. I purchased her Energetic Shadow Map, which is not a tarot read at all but different kind of reading. Once school is done, I intend to get a smaller tarot read from her on some more specific pieces I’d like guidance on. Her YouTube channel is very educational, and she has a couple hundred videos with great advice all for free. If you want to order reading options from her, her shop information is listed on her YouTube channel page, and usually in the comment section of each video. She totally rocks!
Here’s a great video of her speaking about Accountability and Taking Ownership: