Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Ninth Ritual

The first ritual is Creation
The second ritual is Dominion
The third ritual is Love
The fourth ritual is Birth
The fifth ritual is Sacrifice
The sixth ritual is Ablution
The seventh ritual is Reminding
The eighth ritual is Crowning
The last ritual has no name
The ninth ritual can't be called
The last ritual has no name
The ninth ritual can't be called

-Ataraxia, The Nine Rituals

When my friend Braxie asked, after my last post, "What exactly are you doing?", I kind of had to do a I'll-get-back-to-you-on-that-one, and I was suffering from tiredness and a bit of strain. As all working shamans know, this thing sometimes called Death Walking does take it out of one.

But the moon has passed into New, and the weekend has been relaxing and restoring, so here's a basic description of what exactly it is I'm doing in this ritual - the one that can't really be called:

After years of practice as a Witch and as a Shaman, I know places belonging to other dimensions, for want of a better word, where I can go and do ritual, commune or just stroll about in my etheric body - know them well by now, so there's little danger of getting lost.(Which is a real fear early in the practice, believe me). I also have, by now, several different guardians and guides who invariably accompany me when I journey. They are intrinsically attached to me in Shamanic trance - so that if one of us strays or runs into difficulty, the rest of us will get us all safely back to the earth plane.
These two things are important - knowledge of the territory and trustworthy companions - but not so important as that core value, intent.

My intention in this journey (which took three episodes) was to locate the spirit of a young colleague of mine who had recently died in tragic circumstances, find out if he was all set for the last ritual himself, and if not to call in aid and/or to offer some guidance myself.
To this end I approached my maternal grandfather, Ernst von Banning, who is not yet a fixed member of my Shamanic collective - called him in last, after deities and ancestors and power animals -to act as an interface between me, my collective,and the young dead spirit and his ancestors. If Don wouldn't respond to me directly, I reasoned, he could be accessed through his own ancestors, by way of mine(that get-your-lawyers-to-call-my-lawyers I mentioned in my last post).

So, each night for three nights as the moon was waning in Taurus, I sat down before my East altar, grounded and centred, erected elemental protections, and called in my journeying companions. Then I called the maternal grandfather in his role as spirit ambassador.
Together we traversed the trance country which is familiar to me by now, taking the sky lift to a place I call the Ancestral Plains - a location of great natural beauty, bounded by a huge lake in the west, a forest in the east, and far-off cliffs and mountains in the south.
The place where we came out is bare of human or animal forms. The wind blows gently across the large expanse of grassed plains.
On the first night, I located Don and let him know he was not alone - we are never alone. Then on the second night, coming from afar in the north west, I spied some human forms of black African appearance.
It's true-I had some difficulty communicating with them. But with grandfather von Banning's help, I managed to get across the idea of why I was here and what I wanted to make sure of.The young man died either through a particularly grisly method of suicide, or he was murdered -the authorities are not sure yet, although I'm pretty damned sure of the truth here.
Well, I was privileged to see Don's ancestors gather around his spirit on the third night, forming a great brown-gold ball, and this ball rolled off over the plains, back the way they had come. I kept a communication line open for a while, in case I was needed. But it seems our young man is in good hands. Now, his essence can be nurtured and restored, before he makes that decision we each have to make at least once, sometimes many times - to return to the earth plane or to the All?
It's an outcome I may never know before my own passing, but on the other hand, who knows? Perhaps we'll meet again as humans on this plane, in this lifetime.Fare thee well, my friend.