ritual journal entries by ANTERO ALLI
4 September 2002
This lab has been unique in several ways. Half the participants had never worked in this medium before and the other half consisted of vets such as Nick, Julian, Diarmid, myself and Sylvi. The "trinity" theme was also set apart from other lab themes by its enigmatic emptiness. In marked contrast to the previous ANCESTORS' LAB , the vital sources were not readily apparent until well into the lab.
To prepare the ground, the preliminary warm-up cycles incorporated personal trinities, rather than the customary personal polarity. It took some getting used to but soon our minds started thinking in sets of three. Trinities. We also explored several tried-but-true group trinity rituals (head/heart/gut, savior/persecutor/victim, etc.) to develop familiarity and resonance with the triad structure itself. This was done in the faith that the triangular design might attract something more personal, and maybe essential, to each individual: a core trinity.
Throughout the first eight sessions (the first half of this lab) four of the thirteen participants dropped out. At this point, the pace and focus pick up considerably. About two-thirds of the way through (by the 12th session), many of us are discovering core trinitities or, trinities that might lead there.
For each lab session, a three-cornered ritual floor plan is marked by candles, or colored lights; a trinity temple contained by three altars. The nine remaining participants simultaneously superimpose their personal trinities onto this temple space. We all work our core trinities together, each altar now charged with nine different energies. We designate "pathways", connecting all three points, as approaches of influence between each altar.
In these pathways I discover specific relationships between each of the three zones, how each one acts on and influences the other in distinctly personal ways. The core trinity that emerged for me:
my body -- inc. personal energy, my own space; my psychology
ancestors -- inc. ancestral gestalt; unknown family legacies
the muse -- inc. impersonal spirits of creation; visionary nature
A few impressions recalled from traversing the pathways
between, moving around the temple, counter-clockwise:
From my body, I approach the ancestors with intrepidation and respect. Upon arriving there I am surprised by the enveloping emotion of support. I also notice a loss of distinction, or compromise, of my body integrity; a trade-off for clanning the familial bond. On the pathway towards the muse I feel chosen by the ancestors, as the hero and the fool, to leave the fold and enter the dark woods, where the witches and sorcerers live, to retrieve some kind of power.
A sense of forboding and sacrifice haunt my entry into the muse realm. When I arrive, my allegiances rapidly shift away from family and towards the gods. I laugh outloud; am I mad or is this genius ? I leave the muse and on the pathway towards my body, I feel a bemused detachment; am I now an essentially impersonal archetype courting something as obviously personal as my body ? A strange sensation to be on the outside looking in, out-of-body but not out of mind.
10 September 2002
The final lab night. I enter the trinity temple as if all three altars are expressions of one physical body: ancestors becomes the prima materia of DNA-produced physicality; all personal distinction dissolves into one orgiastic unified organism. A pleasantly sinking inertia has me drifting down through heavily-textured layers upon layers, down and down into this velvet black singularity, this ancestral gravity well.
With great effort, I lumber away from ancestors towards my body. Entering my body, I am spontaneously distinguishing myself -- my body twitching with delight -- and temporarily liberated from ancestors' gorgeous oppression.
Walking from my body towards the muse, I am slowly astonished by its Otherness. Upon entering, I discover that the distinction gained in my body allows me to open up to, and be touched by, life forces beyond my body; energies beyond DNA-ancestry yet, somehow inclusive of them. Subatomic quantum states ? Whatever it is, there is mysticism here, an open-ended union with life beyond my body, beyond ancestors, beyond the muse...
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