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Magic 1, Requirement 6

Discuss the existence and relative function of trance-journey magic within at least one Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words)

A fine example in Celtic myth and legend of divination is dream interpretation. The ritual involved the slaughter of a white bull, and the seer would wrap himself in the bull's hide, and sleep for two days. When he awoke, the answer to his question (or a description of the past, present, or future) would be clear to him. Another example (from farther afield) is that of the interpretation of Baldur's dream by the witch that Odin raises from the dead. The chilling Eddic poem describes her interpretation of a dream Baldur had. Unfortunately, the dream itself was not related, but we see quite clearly that dreams are considered something important, and even prophetic.

The relative function of such journeys is that it serves as a way to achieve inspiration (or Awen), provides an outlet for such inspiration, and opens a culturally acceptable and defined channel for the attainment of such contextualized inspiration from a source that is "authentic" and "authoritative".

A Neo-Marxis scholar would point to the lack of external verification of experience of inspiration in this case as a ay to maintain societal norms. The question of function, though, is reductionistic, and would indicate that a further explanation is required for validation; therefore, I suggest that we ignore this particular angle of the trance-journey for now.


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