(read Lucid Dream Room. Part I)
One of the most enjoyable features of the working was putting myself into an alpha state that I felt to be akin to the experience of lucid dreaming. I attempted to project myself with the fluctuations in self-perceptions in weight/weightlessness, the transitions in time perception, etc. that seem to occur on the astral.
I have already worked with attempting to mimic the sensations of astral travel as a dancer, so the physical movement piece was not entirely new to me. However, as a dancer, I am "monologuing" with an audience that is set apart, and though I do often break the 4th wall, there are generally no exchanges of words. In this case, it was a very intimate "dialogue" of energy and movement, as well as words.
I tried to push myself and my inhibitions "out of the way" as much as possible in order to allow my unconscious mind to take over. It is my understanding that as we dream (as part of what we know as "sleeping") we come out of "resistance" to ourselves in a different way than we generally can while waking. It was this path of least resistance to myself that I endeavored to take in this ritual space.
One of the major issues that I felt it important to consider as part of this undertaking was personal physical and emotional safety. I would be in an enclosed space with one person at a time, engaging in who knows what. How can I stay safe? And yet, how can I make a need for boundaries consistent with trying to let go of constraints normally associated with this plane? Is that even the right question? I wondered. (I'll get more into that in Part III next week.)
Another issue was how to stay "in character" while also letting people in and out of the room.
Both issues were sufficiently resolved in this case by the inclusion of the "priestesses" at the door (see Part I)
Originally, I told everyone involved that there was to be "no physical touch" with anyone coming into the room. This policy went out the window with the very first person, as I was immediately grabbing, groping, pulling people down to the floor with me, etc.
I was amazed at the way that participants managed themselves in this space, and this part of the experience has been a great source of joy and wonder for me! There was of course no "wrong" way to behave, so everyone was absolutely correct in their way of experiencing it and expressing themselves. Responses ranged from careful consideration, to amusement, to freezing, to mirroring me, to easy laughter and enjoyment, to exuberant physical demonstrations--dancing, rolling on the floor, jumping, etc. Some people told me true intimate things about their dreams, some people made up stories on the spot. All the while I said out loud whatever came to mind, (freely interrupting or laughing or showing boredom or changing the subject), and moved about the room according to impulse. I also played card games with dreamers; there were of course no rules. I'd pull a card... "Tell me why this is you. QUICKLY!!!"
Part way into the performance, I put a sleep mask over my eyes so I wouldn't know who had entered the space (the priestess knocked on the door loudly to let me know someone new would be entering.) Each person entering got a completely different experience.
That said, about halfway through I began to notice myself developing a pattern that "worked". As a performer, this is generally a normal and welcome process, but this case, I wanted to resist doing that. I wanted the Working to spontaneously, organically unfold, and not get caught up in any kind of leaning that my ego might have toward making this "successful". I wanted to keep taking bigger and bolder risks rather than stay with something that was losing life-force. It was a great thing to notice, and to work with. How much a of rhythm can I establish for the sake of flow (if any) without the piece losing energy and meaning?
I was very tired by the end of this 2 hour Working! And high, too. I have more to tell you about it, as well as my observations on the nature of "Dream" and "reality" that came from this, and other longer term results. But that will have to wait for Part III, posted next week.
P.S. The monkey in the glass in the photo above was definitely necessary, and kindly placed there by the hosts of Star and Snake per my request. He more permanently shares residence with Natan and K in Salem, MA.
P.P.S. I welcome your comments!
I've been wanting to write about this for some time, but I was waiting to be able to include it on the new aeprilschaile.com!
And what perfect timing, really. We are moving toward the next major hinge of the Wheel at Imbolc, which is about a week away from this writing. A proper time for reflecting.
The "Lucid Dream Room" surrealist performance art/magickal Working happened on October 31, 2015 at Star and Snake. As part of the "planning team" for this event, I was assigned a room in which to create an immersive theme for participants at the event.
My vision and mission: to create an intimate, one-on-one live immersive "lucid dream experience" in which I was the dreamer, dreaming the room and the others in it. That said, each participant became a "dreamer", too, dreaming me, and dreaming the entire experience. Yesod overlapping Malkuth; the Astral bled over into the Physical. Like it always is, but not always perceived.
The hosts were kind enough to let me use the master bedroom, a beautiful room with a four poster bed. We set up wall-to-wall mirrors in order to create a disorienting, multi-dimensional effect. I had playing foot-long playing cards, to indicate the "game" of the mind, of the choice-making of living. I wore a wig formed into a bird's nest...with nest and bird/eggs (birds=Air element=the mind) and a half-century old vintage nightgown.
In preparation for the ritual, I created "oracles" via Automatic Writing, at the Dark Moon, winding each into a scroll. To each scroll was added a skeleton key (open doors of perception). These were given out to each Dreamer upon their "initiation" via experiencing this room.
I created a soundtrack via Spotify of Musique Concrete and other ambient forms (it is public, so you can listen), which I played throughout the Piece/Working. Some artists included Nurse with Wound, Pierre Henry, and the Subterraneans ("Themes for Maya Deren").
A "priestess" was designated as guardian and overseer of the room (two amazing women volunteered and took turns). She let each participant into the room, one by one, oversaw the interactions, and the gently guided each person out of the experience. It could be said that she playing the role of "witnessing mind".
The performance/working went for 2 hours. Prior to executing the working, I went into an alpha state, getting as close to a lucid dream like feeling tone as possible. Into this performance went my skills as a dancer, ritualist, magickian, performer, and experienced astral traveler/lucid dreamer.
The room was cleared and then "glamoured" prior to entrance by participants. A space was set up outside the room where people could wait to enter. The stairwell leading to the room from downstairs was adorned with veils (lovingly and artfully placed by hostess and artist K Lenore Siner), and, on each stair, I placed a piece of paper stating such things as "You are dreaming" "You are the dreamer" "I am dreaming you" "You are dreaming me" to be read by participants on the ascent toward the room.
What each person did was unique and amazing...
...read more in "Lucid Dream Room, Part II", which will be posted next week!
Taking an icy walk through where the dead sleep; 2015 ev was a much better year than the one prior; still, I'm glad to put it to rest and step into and even more exciting and highly attuned 2016.
I'm so pleased to be updating my site! The old aeprilschaile.com was embarrassingly outdated, as my consciousness has expanded exponentially over the last 2 years. I am writing this well before the unveiling, as I work. I can't wait to see what happens!
Note: As I am going over old stuff and writing new, I am seeing how much I grew out of my old site. Wow! I am looking forward to the same happening with this one. In fact, I am conscious of the fact that, as I put new elements up, I am simultaneously shedding the old skin already. Yay for accelerated growth!