I’ve recently been altering my meditation routines. They have now become one of either two core practical approaches.
To be clear, the first approach is not strictly a meditation. I do sometimes use it to access another plane where I then seek a place to meditate. It would be fair to describe such as meditating within meditation. The practice is essentially that of Seidr journeying. In an approach utilising Plato’s cave, I journey through the image of a camp fire within a cave. Listening to a shamanic drumming track on a pair of headphones (with or without a background track mixed in that is designed to stimulate various brain phases of activity that I have deemed suitable), or occasionally using my own drum to a similar effect, I enter an altered state and embark upon my astral journey. I have a small grove outside of the cave with a guardian to whom I always make my first call. Here I am also constructing an Temple on the astral plane. The temple is designed to function as per the initiatory philosophical schools of the ancient world. Here is where I also enter the eternal forest and access the world tree, Yggdrasil. Naturally, Yggdrasil also provides the means by which I can contact and access the other realms.
The second and much more common approach is that of true meditation. A series of breathing exercises, centring the energies in conjunction with some Qi Gong/Tai Chi that often embodies some Runic Yoga forms and then the lighting of the flame. The flame is lit both within the minds eye (the Black Flame is raised to an inferno) and the physical lighting of either a red or black candle. Colour choice is dependant upon the purpose of the meditation. Any Vitki will understand the significance of the colours. Music plays in the background and generally consists of dark ambient — Sunn O))), Wardruna, Lustmord, Wolves in the Throne Room, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Hellraiser theme, Agalloch, Ulver, Drudkh, Wagner, Gynt and a few others. It’s all suitably dark, atmospheric and absolutely mind-fucking at times. Staring at a combination of the candle flame and the combined reflection of the flame and my face in an obsidian sphere, I enter a meditative state. The purposes of the meditation vary from clarity of mind, reasoning and inspiration, focusing of the will, philosophical musings, and invocation of archetypes into contact with my psyche. The invocations are generally combined with the tattooing of the daemons sigil upon the inside of my left arm (please note I use Henna for this and not a permanent tattoo).
Will I eventually descend into insanity? Yes, I am sure I will. The question that I find interesting is thus– many great minds in the world that have been deemed as being or becoming insane. Did they go insane as a result of their minds elevation above the mundane or were they intellectually gifted as a result of a background insanity allowing them to function differently to the masses? It’s an interesting and unanswerable question. What of my sanity? Some may already say that I am. My father had mental health issues and my brother is bi-polar. You may say that I am pre-disposes to such a likelihood. Insanity may just be the manifestation of the brain working on a level that it no longer function correctly here in Midgard. Am I already there? I have not yet managed to make the flame leap from one candle to another purely by my will and the transfer of electrical stimulation from my mind to the atoms comprising the combustion. One day…