This journal actually covers greater than the five months of regular practice: the journey I've taken since completing Trance 1 has been full of vision work and larger steps along the path of trance, and many of my major breakthroughs have been beyond that five month mark.
I began this new leg of this journey with more body postures. I had such great success with them in my previous jounal (and before that) that ecstatic body postures are still my default method of seeking trance if I'm in need of some good trancework: I find it easy and efficient, and certainly more reliable than other work that I've done. While I have tried (with success) to use other forms of trancework, until recently this has been by far the most reliable method of entering and experiencing trance.
Beginning work on the Order of the Crane led me to the creation of several trance scripts, however. We wanted our members to actually meet the Crane, and the best way to do that was to draw them in through trance to a common inner locale. As I worked with the Crane, I found myself building that locale on my own, and then transfering that into other areas, including our Grove's Autumnal Equinox rite, where my populated inner locale became prominent as I led the folk in a meditation to meet the Gatekeeper.
Shortly after the Autumnal Equinox rite, we held a Grove ritual that was more private. There, we actually started the work of meeting the Crane, and discovering that inner locale for each member of the Grove. I have grown deeply in trance induction as a result of practice like this.
It was through the Crane Order Work that I came back to the body postures: I remembered reading about a posture that Lugh had taken at the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, where he stood on one leg, closed one eye, and pointed at the Fomorians. This reminded me of the posture that Dr. Goodman had discussed in Where the Spirits Ride the Wind, called "pointing the bone." (Goodman, 24) This posture is used to throw a "magic missile" at an enemy, and I wanted to see if the Crane posture would have a similar effect. At this time, the journey is still out, but I can see it working in a similar way, and playing into the Order of the Crane as a healing method that is rather offensive in nature: we focus our will on an infection or a tumour, and attack it with these "magical bolts" formed in trance.
My most recent and deepest experience with trancework came at Summerland in 2009, when most of the rest of the Clergy were either unable to attend or were trying to "keep up appearances" (ever important in today's ADF, I admit) by being at the Bardic Circle. I remember vividly what happened, but it was how I started the journey and walked down those paths that stands out in my mind: I knelt in the grass, lit my candle, and began to speak the trance aloud to myself. The journey came alive in ways that it never had before, and I was astounded to note the vividness of the journey.
This journey was so personal and self-directed that I can hardly begin to explain how unequivicably real it was. . . it was actually more real than the process of writing this essay is. Since that journey, I have done nearly all the Clergy Order Work verbally, walking myself through the gates and into the Otherworld down the paths I now know better than I could have dreamed before.
There has certainly been other work: I have experimented with most of the methods of trance that I did in Trance 1 again over the past year, but only recently have I really "broken through" in my trancework to a new plane and shattered the previous ceiling I was trapped under. Still, new developments in many trance workings, such as chanting and visual concentration have been invaluable as well. I have learned better how to focus and how to stay on task, and I'm reaping benefits from that in my work life as well as my religious life. I am also less likely to fall out of my own devotional schedule now than I was even six weeks ago.
In all, this has been a marvelous journey.