So, we have a perfect storm – one part freely available magical lore (some of it from quite old sources), one part people who may be emotional about a subject and willing to use magic to remedy it and one part natural talent. Shake, stir and wave a wand and you have a circumstance that could open a portal quite easily but only for a limited period of time.
In that article, I provided a rather extensive theoretical example but something occurred in my own practice recently that has really driven this point home to me.
In one of my shamanic journeys, I was shown, very clearly, the importance of the Ancestors in my work so I have looked at a number of ways to honor the Ancestors and develop a relationship with them. I settled on the idea of developing an ancestral altar where I light candles, offer water and incense and meditate several times a week. The Ancestors have responded quite favorably to this invitation from my side and, while much of what I have learned has been deeply personal to me, I will say that They have helped me discern a path in life that I had not seen.
As part of fine tuning this work, I have sought ways to make the two way communication easier so, recently, I borrowed a technique from Jason Miller and began each Ancestor session with a version of his Rending of Space. Basically, this entails opening a door between this world and the Otherworld via a series of simple gestures.
In my view, this technique worked quite well and allowed me to commune more fully with those Ancestors who love and support me. For those who might be interested in actually trying to commune with their Ancestors, I highly recommend listening to The Online Ceremony of Ancestral Communion for an excellent pathworking that will take the listener into the presence of his or her ancestors.
So, all was well – I established contact with the Ancestors through shamanic work and meditation, I fine tuned the process and the Ancestors were responding kindly. There was only one problem. Last week, I forgot to shut the door when I concluded my ancestral communion.
It was such a beginner’s mistake that I am embarrassed to admit it but I allowed myself to be distracted as I was coming out of meditation (one of the pets required my attention) and went to attend to that distraction without closing out my little rite properly. Then, to compound my stupidity, I promptly forgot that I had not closed out properly, leaving an open ancestral altar/portal in my bedroom (I need to move that altar, too, the bedroom is not the best place for ‘feeding’ spirits). Suffice to say that I had a very interesting night, filled with wild dreams full of people running up to talk to me, some of them quite wild eyed and insistent. I puzzled over the cause of my restlessness for a few moments as I awoke but, when my eyes fell on the altar, I knew. I closed the portal as soon afterward as I could and have been very diligent about doing it since.
I paid for my inattention with a restless night full of spirits trying to get my attention in the dream world. My little portal is not meant for anything more than communing with my ancestors. Imagine, for a moment, what might happen if a group of inexperienced magic users opened one of these portals in a quest to invoke or evoke any of a range of powerful entities and then failed to properly close that portal before leaving the area. Essentially, if they have any ability at all, they will have lit a powerful beacon in the Otherworld with a sign over the top that says “Door to the Earth Plane here – free passage”.
As I have said, I think that there are many reasons for the manifestation of seemingly random occasions of high strangeness. One of the things that I would be looking for, as an investigator, would the presence of magical practitioners in the area. If a fairly experienced walker between the worlds can make a rookie mistake like the one described above, it is well within the realm of the conceivable that this type of incident has happened elsewhere and perhaps with stronger results.