Trance State – Basic Tutorial
Entering a trance state is a very basic magickal technique that all magick-users should master. It is the first step toward spirits communication, astral projection, and many divination methods simply do not work if a trance state isn’t first acquired. Entering a trance may seem difficult and even scary to some people the first time, but it’s very natural. Humans are hard-wired for trance. Western culture is the only culture that rejects trance as a valid form of spiritual expression.
There are no necessary tools for acquiring a trance state. There are some things that can help, or make the process more enjoyable. Music, especially drums, lighting, candles can be used for focus, strobe lights can induce a trance state (and also seizures).
There are several ways to enter a trance or ecstatic state.
The most basic and simple method for entering trance is complete relaxation and focus. That is, you simply get comfortable and focus on something, say a spot on your wall, or a flame of a candle. Get more and more relaxed, always thinking about that object and then boom. There you are.
But this is difficult for many people. Not just the relaxing, but also the focusing. The reason this is difficult is because your brain is always busy. It’s noticing all the sounds around you, the changes in light, the smells and the whole time it’s talking to you and telling you how silly you’re being. In order to be successful, you may need to distract your brain.
Drowning out environmental noises with some sort of repetitive sound is much more effective than attempting to eliminate them. Drumbeats are the best (180 beats per minute is ideal) but wave sounds or just static are also helpful. This gives your brain something to listen to, but nothing really to wonder about and because it’s repetitive, it’ll eventually lull it into a place where it’s not even listening anymore.
Your eyes also are constantly sending messages to your brain, and again, just blocking out all light isn’t going to be as effective as providing some sort of distraction. You can also pick a simple picture to look at; something tricky is ideal, like an optical illusion. Your brain will puzzle over it and forget to worry about what your mind is doing. Some people find gazing at a candle is helpful while some people prefer to overload their brain with strobe lights. Don’t do that if you have a history of seizures! Disconnecting your TV from the cable and turning it up loud will give you not only an incredibly boring visual but also a annoying audio, which will lull your brain into a stupor in no time.
Your body is also sending messages to the brain. It’s saying that you’ve got an itch, you’re a little hungry, you might have to go to the bathroom soon, it’s a little too cool in here, don’t you think and I think our pants are too tight. For many, the discipline of ignoring these sensations is part of trance, but others find these sensations impossible to ignore. If you find your body is distracting you, you’ll have to distract it. You can distract your body by repetitive sensations.
How to Enter a Trance
Calm your mind through breath awareness. Imagine you are climbing down a ladder in the dark. Don’t visualize a ladder, just imagine you can feel yourself doing it. On the exhale, feel yourself climbing a step or two down the ladder with your imaginary hands. On the inhale, feel yourself holding still on the ladder. What is needed is a mental falling effect inside your mind. This changes the level of brain wave activity from the awake level (Beta) to the asleep level (Alpha) or the deep sleep level (Theta). Once your level of brain wave activity reaches Alpha you will enter a trance. Keep doing this for as long as it takes. The time it takes to enter trance will vary, depending on your experience with deep relaxation and mental calmness.
If you don’t like the ladder, imagine you are in a lift, feel yourself falling on the exhale and holding on the inhale. Or, Imagine you are a feather, feel yourself floating down on the exhale and holding still on the inhale. As I stated above, you need a mental falling effect to lower your level of brain wave activity. This mental falling effect, when combined with deep relaxation and mental calmness, will cause you to enter the trance state. Feel free to use any scenario you are familiar with to bring about this going deeper feeling.
Many people enter a trance state through ecstatic dance. You may have seen movies in which Voodoo Priestesses or tribal Shamans performed a ritual dance and received the answers to his or her question, either by journeying to talk to the spirits before or after the dance or having a spirit actually speak through them. Ecstatic dance keeps your brain busy so your mind can wander by tying it up with moving your body, exhausting your body so that it doesn’t provide a distraction, and filling your ears with drum beats.
A trance feels like: Everything gets quieter and you feel like you are in a much bigger place. There is a very slight humming feeling in your body. Everything feels different. It feels a bit like putting a cardboard box over your head in the dark, you can feel the atmosphere change. It’s like everything goes fuzzy or slightly blurred. Any sharp noises, while in trance, feel like a physical blow to the Solar Plexus.
It’s difficult to describe exactly what it’s like to be in a trance state. Most people don’t realize they are in a trance state the first time and once they do they snap right back out of it. This is okay; it’s all part of the process. Eventually, as you move, or lay there, you will find that the music is very distant, or you will find if you are dancing that you no longer are directing your body, it’s dancing on its own. You will be in a dream state- and that’s okay. You will feel distant, relaxed, and yet hyper-aware. You will feel as if your body is unimportant, perhaps even out of your control, but you will look at the world with new understanding!!!