I am reading numerous books right now, but one of them, Baldr’s Magic by Nicholas Brink, has been engaging my thoughts quite a bit. He is a psychotherapist in practice and he has studied ecstatic postures at the Cuyamungue Institute. He employs the use of Nordic postures to aid in his understanding of his own lineage. The postures have brought him incredibly detailed journeys, and his experience in trance is certainly an asset to him in this regard. The descriptions of the journeys are quite sad, as he is experiencing different consciousnesses at different points in time in his own familial lineage. He has experienced life when folk revered only the Great Mother, the hunter-gatherer people who were peaceful and there were no raids or wide-spread violence. Then he experiences life as that changes…when raiders come, then when the raiders settle and start demanding portions of the crops the farmers sow, and how rapidly life began to change for people as this violence grew. He then goes on to experience life from a “viking” perspective and describes the life of chieftains and raiders from that perspective. He experiences life as both men and women, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandparents and as deceased ancestors in the realm of the dead. There are some truly uncanny things in there. I recently wrote a paper about Othinn and in part of it I was discussing my interpretation of berserkers and how they could be seen as a metaphor for the type of active, ecstatic trance a warrior would use to get himself prepared for battle and death, much like the ceremonial “haka” of the New Zealand Maori people. In Baldr’s Magic, such a journey exists in his findings and was accessed through the Bear Posture. I was quite pleased with myself 🙂 When I was researching for the paper, I would try to invoke this Othinic energy to learn more about it (as I mentioned in my post Ecstasy), and it is actually my custom to use such an active trance where I find that hyperventilation while chanting induces one of the best types of trance for shamanic journey for me. I typically only use this method when I’m alone as it is, I think, too intense and noisy for group journey. This energy is quite scary, and when I did this specifically to invoke Odin, I had to stop mid-way because I became terrified of the force I was feeling rise within me. I have tried on numerous occasions to use the Bear Posture as described by Belinda Gore, but I think I did not do it exactly right, or maybe because I was not ready at the time. The journey this posture invokes is usually experiences of dismemberment or being torn apart, and many reports of people having the torn apart pieces being filled with a healing “honey” or jelly-like substance, or people crawling inside of the bear’s skin, or having the Great Bear standing behind them, and is one of the main comforting, healing and nurturing postures in the whole lot, so I have been eager to try it. In the book, Nicholas Brink uses the Freyr Diviner posture, Freyja Initiation posture, Halstatt Warrior posture and a few others quite a bit. He also describes using one of the Sky World postures, but that particular posture requires a special platform that angles the body at precisely 37 degrees, so even though it is a very intriguing posture to me, one that accesses cosmic realms, I’m not sure it would work without the platform.