Two weeks ago I had the great honor to attend a weekend workshop held by Dr. Raymond Moody in Rowe, MA. Based on his book “Reunions”, which I highly recommend reading, we spent the weekend preparing for an opportunity to connect with dead loved ones using an ancient Greek technique known as the psychomanteum.
Dr. Moody has visited the famous Necromanteion of Ephyra near the Acheron River in Greece and learned about the rituals those who aspired to make contact with their beloved dead underwent – 29 days in the dark, making their way through labyrinths, crawling under very low archways, spending hours talking to the priests about those they wished to connect with, inhaling fumes of hashish. After nearly a months’ worth of preparation, they made their way to a cauldron supported by a tripod and there in the reflection of the water, would hope to connect and communicate with their much loved dead.
We spent a good deal of time understanding the history and literary background of the Necromanteion and thoughts of the various ancient Greek philosophers about the afterlife. Honestly at times, it felt as if we had been transported back into time, sitting at the feet of Socrates and carrying on the dialogues. We also learned about what we would need to build a modern day version of the psychomanteum.
Obviously the elaborate and time intensive way the Greeks prepared for visiting with this dead is not really viable in the 21st century. Dr. Moody has, in his book and during this weekend, settled on the most important elements in a modified version better suited to today. We were able to experiment with it and perhaps get a small taste of the experience with the hope that we would continue the practice on our own.
Basically, Dr. Moody refers to this practice as “mirror gazing.” Many different modalities can be used – mirrors, crystal balls, scrying bowls, polished obsidian stone, shiny bottles, etc. but that weekend we used mirrors and darkened rooms with dimly lit candles. I won’t go into too much detail as you can read about it in his book if you are so inclined. I would just say that his has modified his technique a bit since writing the book to make it simpler and easier to do.
He suggested that to begin with; go into the psychomanteum with no preconceived agenda, then over weeks and months, perhaps even years, to then begin evoking the dead. Since I knew I would be working with him privately at his home in Alabama and our time this weekend was limited, that is what I chose to do, though some desperately needed to connect with lost loved ones. This technique has far reaching applications in grief therapy and many find even five years after their experience that their grief has been greatly reduced. Some during the weekend were successful in making contact; some were not…though some experienced bedside visitations from their beloved dead that night when they went to sleep. I had a truly unexpected and rather psychedelic experience I am still trying to wrap my head around today but did not make contact with the dead.
Now here is the interesting thing about this process and why I am pursuing it as adjunct to Rudolf Steiner’s work. Steiner himself admits that his process of entering the “supersensible worlds” is infinitely difficult. Very few of this students are successful. He assures us, though, that if we cannot access the worlds ourselves, we can trust the reporting of those precious few who can. And you know…somehow that bothers me. I am not giving up on learning the technique Dr. Steiner offers but the “mirror gazing” technique, which has been practiced in many cultures for thousands of years, has been used successfully by almost everyone of sound mind, with practice, who has the ability to let go of results and “not try.”
You see…I just don’t like relying on someone else’s experience. I want direct experience myself – not through mediums and not even through the genius of Steiner. I prefer to be my own crash test dummy. So I have started my own private practice, at home, with my first rendition of “mirror gazing.” It so far, it has been very, very interesting though I am not ready to share my experiences as they are too new and too few. Also, there are many ways one can use mirror gazing beyond communication with dead loved ones and I am very interested in experimenting with all the ways this might be used to help “bring down the Light,” as we need it now more than ever.
Until I go to work privately with Dr. Moody in January, I will be practicing with mirror gazing and journaling my experiences. But this is just one phase of my work with Dr. Moody. We are in the process of defining a project to work together upon using his logic of nonsense as a means of “cross dimensional” travel. So there is a LOT of work yet to be done. And as I know what it is, I will it share with you.