Notes made while reading “A Deed Without a Name” by Lee Morgan.
Shamanic, ecstatic practice blurs the lines between physical, “in the body”, experiences and spiritual, “in spirit”, experiences. Extension of the senses leading to Other ways of being. Thus witchcraft blends both a form of spiritual understanding and a physical craft.
Most modern society focuses on outer world over inner one. Witches often swing the other way, or balance the two evenly. This leads to experiences that are difficult to explain to those who have not shared them. Why is the dreaming condition of the brain given less value and considered less real than the waking one? Why is embodied experience considered true and transcendent, visionary experience considered false? Is it because the first is easier to achieve?
In the past more time was spent in ‘twilight consciousness’ rather than in frontof televisions or before harsh electric lights. Today most of our time is spent either in light or in total darkness preparing for sleep, and so we tend to experience sleep and wakefulness, two defined states. But our ancestors, particularlyin winter when darkness fell very early, spent a large portion of each day by onlythe light of a flickering fire, with no other entertainment to occupy their imaginations than stories and conversation. It is easy to imagine that spending atleast an hour in the evening by the light of only a fire or a candle or two wouldplace one in a ‘between state’ more frequently.
Increased twilight consciousness comes from shorter periods of sleep, with limited food consumption between the periods, less electric light, more story-telling especially about dreams and use of imagination.