Begin by making offering to Garanus, the Crane.
Take a moment and find your center. . . Breathe deeply, first in. . . then out. . . then in. . . then out. Continue this breathing pattern for a moment, simply watching your breath, feeling it fill you. . . and feeling it empty fom you. . . [long pause]
While still watching your breath, begin to open your mind to magic. . . see with your inner eye as the mists of magic surround you . . . coloured yet grey . . . formless, yet with shapes that arise, change, and receed back into the mists. . .
Now, see the mists part, drawing back like a curtain and revealing the cosmic waters, stretching further than your eyes can see. . . You stand on the banks of these waters now . . . these cool, endless, deep waters of the earth . . . and as you look to the place where the water meets the land, you see a crane . . . tall and majestic . . . one foot on land, one foot in the waters, and his eye raised to the heavens.
This is noble Garanus, the Crane
Know that he has domain over the three realms. . . sleeping on the land . . . feeding in the waters. . . flying through the sky . . . traveling beyond the Ninth Wave . . . A creature of all realms, beholden to none.
Approach him now, slowly but with confidence. . . watch his reactions . . . feel his gaze upon you . . . know that with him, you are safe.
Ask him to show you the ways between the worlds, to take you beyond the Ninth Wave. . . Ask to see the signposts that you might know the ways again when next you pass here. . . If there is an Ancestor to whom you wish to speak, ask to speak to them.
Climb now upon his back. Settle in, and listen to the wisdom of the Crane as he takes flight and shows you the ways and the signs that mark them [long pause]
See the world beyond the Ninth Wave as it emerges from the mists of the waters . . . the Land of the Ever Young . . . the Delightful Plain. . . Know that you are heading here, and you will soon speak to your ancestors.
As the Crane lands, again with a foot in the water and a foot on the land, you remain seated on his back. . . down the beach come a troop of the Mighty Dead, with the Ancestor you sought to speak with at their head. . . As the troop comes to a stop, your Ancestor comes down the beach to water's edge.
Hear the words your Ancestor speaks to you, giving you a message that is for your ears alone. . . [very long pause]
It is now time to take your leave, for time moves differently in these realms. . . Thank your Ancestor in your own way . . . Thank the troop of the Dead . . . Whisper now your desire to return to the Crane. . . Feel him take flight back across the sea.
The return trip is faster . . . note the signs and landmarks on your way home . . . Find yourself back at the edge of the waters, in the mists of magic you left so long ago.
Thank the Crane who has taken you this far. . . Listen to any words he might say to you. . . remember the lessons.
Again, see the mists of magic roll in and surround you. . . See the formless shapes, the coloured grey. . . find yourself again at your center. . . Begin to move your fingers and toes, getting comfortable back in your body. Awaken, and relax.
Starting this journey was easy: it is one that I have done many times with the Grove, calling the mists in and letting them surround me, then watching them roll back and reveal the waters. I chose this sort of imagery because it fits well with what we do, though I had never traveled out from this place with the Crane as this induction requires. Our adding the idea of the Crane traveling "beyond the Ninth Wave" is what initially caught my attention and caused me to think about where he could take us beyond this realm in the first place.
Garanus and I have a long history of working together at this point, and that has been magnified by my work with him as gatekeeper for the Clergy Order Work that we have been doing. The relationship has grown much closer and stronger over the years, and so the opportunity to speak to him directly in this induction was valuable to me. Feeling his gaze upon me and watching his stately posture soften a bit as I drew near was a special part of this induction, and one that made me feel ever more connected to this Spirit who has become such a strong part of our Grove over the past several years.
I asked Garanus to keep me safe as I traveled, already knowing he would. I asked him to point out the signposts, reminding him of the sacrifices I had made to him earlier and promising more work down the road with him. I also asked to speak with my grandfather, a man I like to think I knew but know I didn't really know that well. Part of the hope with asking to see the signposts is that, in the future, I might make this journey on my own should I need to: he seemed to understand that, and would take special care to show me the ways.
Climbing onto his back was more complicated than I had initially thought: the feathers were sleek and tough to hold onto (my arms eventually went around his neck rather than onto his feathers), and finding a spot to put my legs that would not cause issues with his wings was also a bit of a problem. We managed, though, and were soon off, with Garanus pointing to the waves below, showing me how to count them.
As we flew beyond the Ninth Wave, he began to show me landmarks on the way to the realm of the Dead: a school of fish that stayed just below the surface; a rock that stood out of the waters, baren and brown; an island with a lone tree atop it, which Garanus informed me had a serpent at its base that I could not see; and a shifting tide that was almost imperceptable from where I sat, among other things. He explained each marking, and also informed me that there were other ways to get where we were going, with other landmarks, but that this was the sea-way that I was being shown, for it was the way he knew best.
When we landed, I stayed on his back, and watched the troop of the Dead arrive. At their head was my grandfather, not the old man I knew, but the young man that I had never met, in his prime during his war years. He signaled the troop to halt and came down the beach to meet me. We spoke for what felt like a short time, but from the trance recording I made, I know it was a while. Indeed, time did not function the same as it does in this realm.
When finished, I thanked my Ancestor and promised him a sacrifice of beer for coming to speak to me. Then Garanus sprang into the air and flew back, showing me the different landmarks (for few of them were the same going as they were coming) that marked the way back to the Grove we had started in.
At the end, as I slid off his back, Garanus informed me that he would continue to be there, should I seek this path again, and that he would show me the ways in more depth as well. Truly, an ally among the spirits is this one.
This is a reworking of the Grove's usual induction that I wrote for Garanus, used at most of our rituals just before we call to the Gatekeeper. See the Garanus Meditation for the detail on that.