trance stories: seventeen years


What has brought me back here, to Calgary, to 17th street, seventeen years after I moved away? The real reason is because there’s a free cabinet record player. I don’t even live in Calgary. I’m just here to help out a friend.

Then I discover that the record player comes from a junk shop. In the junk shop, there are several things sitting around in haphazard locations, people squeezing by cabinets and bookshelves, and general chaos everywhere. There was one thing for me there:


An excellent bowl, lid and ladle. It doesn’t take much to make me happy in this world. Homemade pottery, home-knit clothes, a dry place to stay and good friends with good food.

There’s too much to focus on right now with so many developments. I’ll limit myself to three:

  1. A Collaborative Base Camp
  2. Paxson chapter 5
  3. That guy from the trance

I’ll do item 3 first. Why did Njörðr feel so strongly about making himself known this morning? I’ve been slacking on writing down the content of dreams in favour of focusing more on controlled trance practice. Now that I’ve been doing this, I’ve found that the dreams are rich and my motivation for trances have increased. I don’t perseverate on the meaning of the dreams as much, but maybe now Njörðr is telling me to pay attention. What I had forgotten was that Njörðr is father to Frey and Freyja.

Here are the new practices:

Practices 13-16: Reverse memory, base camp, articulation and passages:

13. Before sleeping, go through your day in reverse to determine what events led to your present moment. Once you’re familiar with this, review your day’s journey forward, noting sensory detail. Compare these renderings of the day to see how they interact. Go back a week. Think of places you’ve lived in the past ten years. Recall life events.

-Paxson elaborates on the purpose of having a way in and a way out again
-Seek advice from someone who has done this before (so crucial!)
-Think of cultural maps that are used in meditation: Yggdrasil (Norse), tree of life (Kabbalah), … can you think of any others?
-Become familiar with the route before taking shortcuts
-Teleportation: move at the speed of thought in and out of the Otherworld (Why does Paxson not elaborate on teleportartion? Does anyone know about this?)
-Observe landmarks
-Now we start really talking about the Otherworld… in terms of safety for travel
-Speedy teleportation or emergency ejection can lead to “soul loss”
-One person needed to “gather up missing parts of soul”
-How to: repeat your journey slowly, looking for pieces of yourself you may have left behind (This seems really important)

Note: the process of soul retrieval is a process best guided by an actual shaman.

-Book: “Soul Retrieval” (1991)
-Review checksum exercise

14. Base camp construction, two options: 1) meditate on your needs and allow your subconscious to create one, or 2) build one in your imagination, perhaps drawing on the experience Paxson discussed in her chapter. Entrances and exits are important.

-Create a “power-place”
-Don’t forget doorways
-Memorize the detail and pay the base camp a visit
-George had a very detailed description (See page 87)
-Don’t forget sounds and smells
-You can use mythology (Swanhild)

15: Articulation, or “bibliomancy”: work with writing and your inner image-screen to generate sensory details based on an excerpt of poetry or prose.

-Focusing on and remembering sensory input can help you carry more information from trance states
-Put what you’ve learned into words
Think of journaling!
-“Know what we know”
-Pascal’s mystical journal, how it helped recall an experience
-Still your internal monologue to focus on other things. (I just had a thought… trying to do this in everyday reality would be a good practice, too.)
-Viga-Glum’s saga of the giantess: an example of putting a dream into words
-Use haikus or poetry
-Work with words chosen at random

16: Use the concept of passages from favourite fairy tales to visualize space, detail and routes in and out of trance spaces.

-Alice in Wonderland: rabbit hole
-Oz: tornado
-Chronicles of Narnia: Wardrobe

…What are some other classics?

-Gateways, doors and curtains
-“Going through a barrier”
-Up, down, compass points

And finally, the collaborative base camp is a work in progress. The link is:…yysKjjdKIFnamIzHQ0U/edit. The point is to have a shared space we could access. It’s all experimental at this point. I will keep the blog posted…

And soup! I shall have all the soup! What an odd gift to receive, this bowl. Beautiful though it is. I have only gratitude to pay:

Aslithar Alle, Valhallar Visir,
Tusen Takk!


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