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Trance 2, Requirement 8

Describe an experience of leading a trance induction in group ritual. (min. 300 words)

At our Grove's Cantlos ritual in October 2007, I led a trance induction designed to take the members of the Grove to meet Ogmios. Cantlos is the "song moon" of the Coligny Calendar, and because the Druid Moon rites we do were private to the Grove at that time, I was aware that I was working with a skilled group, so much of the work of an induction was already done. Additionally, this was done within a full ritual, so there was less need to get the folk into a ritual mindset than there otherwise might have been.

The format of our Druid Moons takes the participants most of the way through the Core Order of Ritual, even though it's out of order. Still, the working portion of the rite, which is where the trancework took place, was in it's "usual" place after the omens.

I began by asking folks to relax and watch their breathing, and led them into a basic trance by recalling the mists of magic around them:

Close your eyes, Children of Earth, and open once again to magic.

See the mists around you, around this space. See the cosmos here in your mind's eye, and feel your connection to all the worlds in this space. Know that center, and feel it strongly.

Out of the mists, a figure appears: it is a large man, bearded, carrying a club over his shoulder and a bow as well.

A jovial old man, whose smile shines like the sun and whose eyes twinkle in mischief. Slightly balding on top, he doesn't let this bother him, and his laughter and smile is infectious. His face is tanned, but glows with an inner luminesence.

This is Ogmios, who gave us writing, who gave us song.

Open to him, listen to his words. His voice is clear and distinct, but not loud. His words are like the rushing water over stones in a rapid river, drawing you nearer and promising astounding beauty.

[drumming, 210 bpm]

Begin your farewells, and prepare to come back to the physical center. Take your leave at your own rate, and come back to the Grove.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was the fact that the drumming affected me as well: I found myself entering the trance, and it was hard for a while to keep up the drumming and to not forget that I was leading it. I used the 210 beats-per-minute time because I knew that this timing was best for ecstatic body postures.

One comment that nearly everyone came back with was that it sounded as if the drum was being moved about the circle through the entire rite, which it was not: I was stationary. I found it very interesting that the auditory notions folk had were so similar, and that the experiences were also similar: nearly everyone had a good experience with Ogmios, and a clear vision of who he was. I think that being as descriptive as I was contributed heavily to that.


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