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I was recently taught the following oracular, necromantic trance technique by Andrew Bentley, a good friend of mine trained by his father in a Pagan Irish Druidical tradition. It involves a journey to the Celtic Otherworld. I don't remember the Gaelic name and couldn't spell it anyway! I have his permission to share it with you.
I will not address at length the controversial issue of whether or not such oral survivals of European Paganisms have occurred. My personal belief is that in a few instances they have. In any case, as a practicing seidhmadhr, I found the following technique both fascinating and effective. I had to consciously keep myself from going into trance as he taught it to someone else. I plan to try it myself, under Andrew's supervision, in the near future. Those interested in corresponding with Andrew on the subject of Irish Paganism may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org (that's "L", followed by "3".)
Before going into trance, ask the people with questions to give them to you (maximum of four or five). Then sit in a lotus-type position with your head in your open hands. If your hair is long, put it over your face. If not, a veil of some sort may prove useful. In the old days, the seer/ess often wrapped himself in a hide. As with seidhr, the journeyer often comes out of trance cold and ravenously hungry.
Here is the visualization for the journey. No drumming is used, and only the seer/ess travels. "You are flying over a forest, so high that you cannot make out the individual trees or even their color. You go lower, and can see the trees and their colors. Then you are at treetop level. You go lower, among the branches; then lower still, among the tree trunks. Finally, you are at ground level. It is twilight; it is always twilight among the tree trunks. You get your bearings, and look around yourself until you see a white deer with red antlers. Chase it! You can't catch it; if you speed up so does it; if you slow down it does likewise. Follow it until you reach the edge of the forest. Beyond the trees lie pasture and cultivated fields, and off in the distance are houses. Go to the houses and talk to the people who live there. They are ghosts, and will answer your questions, but not in words. Some of them have been there before there WERE words, and few of them will speak your language anyway. They will talk to you in your head. When finished, thank them and look for a green deer with yellow antlers. It will lead you home the way you came. " I was most impressed. I hope you will find this information both interesting and useful.
last modified 07/20/2003