December 8, 2010

On Where Not To Find Spirits

The past few weeks have been a flurry of caffeine- and fear-fueled activity for me. Normally I'd like to use that as an excuse for my recent spiritual inertia, but to be honest it's a recurring problem in my life and I'd be lying to myself if I did.

Seeing that the worst of my situation is over, though, I thought tonight would be a good time to celebrate with my invisible friends. Now, I wouldn't say I'm a particularly gifted psychic or scryer, but as I was watching threads of incense curl around the water glass and over the candle flame, a few thoughts on the subject occurred to me.

The first was an exercise I read years ago on a now-defunct website, whose content eventually became Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation. Basically, the exercise entailed spending a full week trying to perceive "hollow" objects (cups, doorways, etc) in terms of space rather than form. For example, you'd see the space in a room, the space in a doorway, and the space in the next room as one continuous medium, rather than see "the door" as a discrete object. How mind-bending (and/or fun) this was depended on how deeply you threw yourself into the exercise.

But as I recalled this seemingly random memory, I suddenly understood why so many people have trouble with scrying, especially in incense smoke or another 3-D medium. They're looking at the smoke, instead of at the space itself. Although I hadn't been trying to summon any spirits into physical appearance (I'm not in the habit of coercing my guests into performing party tricks), or even trying to scry anything, I started looking at the space between the threads of incense. And wouldn't you know, there were forms there, dragging small threads along their frames like wisps of... well, smoke.

Maybe you really do need the blood of a dove and a half-pound of incense to properly see a spirit. Or maybe we're just looking in the wrong place. I don't pretend to know, but I sure as hell plan to experiment with this more.