So I know that I basically expressed that ritual is worthless in regards to healing the shadow self. It’s not the ritual that’s necessarily useless, it’s the understanding of the purpose of the ritual. Ritual actions, which were once behaviors performed by shamans and the like and with continued positive results became “sacred ritual”, are metaphors. They are symbolic representations of mental actions. In many cases the ritual itself can help facilitate the mental action. For example, many of the techniques prescribed by occultists in regard to astral projection, are not powerful because they invoke some being to assist in projection, but because they invoke a mental action. Rituals are kind of like circumnavigating conscious awareness to get to the subconscious. Naturally I feel that a direct route is more reliable and repeatable, but sometimes a ritual can be a nice alternative to get things going. However, if you understand the origin and purpose of a ritual, it can certainly be used to achieve this end of interaction on a conscious level with the shadow self. In fact, while you are performing this physical ritual, you are also performing it astrally, working with the energy.

So, I’m telling you this because I performed a candle ritual to heal the shadow yesterday. I know I know, I’m a shameful liar! Sorry. There was good reason. While I am more than capable of intellectualizing things like rituals and such, I also know when to tell my brain to shut up and listen to my heart. This was a case of the heart talking louder than my brain. We received a shipment of new ritual candles at my work yesterday and as I was stocking them I got a very strong feeling from one of them. When I picked it up I had an overwhelming surge of energy into my chest that I usually only feel when I’m near strong crystals (like moldavite) or strong psychics and their tools (like a friend’s rune stones). I feel it when I am strongly resonating with something (cause unknown, energy or some subconscious program, i don’t know).

The candle that “called to me” is from a series of ritual candles called “Robert M Place’s Vampire Virtues” and this specific candle is “Vampire Revitalization”. I know what you’re thinking, “Vampires?! I think Rusty has gone a bit nutty!” and normally I would agree with you. But I didn’t really choose the candle, it chose me and it chose me with some power. I can’t argue with that. The candle is still burning (it will probably take a couple days), but I already had an experience this morning that lets me know it’s working. I had a very vivid and almost lucid dream this morning around 5AM. I was awakened by my fiance’s alarm clock a few times in a row (she uses the snooze button, which is just plain annoying to me, i never use the snooze, it just makes you have to go through the pain of waking up over and over again, it doesn’t make the process easier). At one of these awakenings, I had to pee so i got up and took care of business. The whole time I kept my eyes mostly closed, with an occasional peek to see where I was going. The cool part was that I continued to see the imagery from a dream I was having when she woke me up as I walked to and used the bathroom. It was like the dream was still going on and I was just taking a break from participating while I peed. Really neat.

So I get back to bed and I am sucked back into a first person perspective of the dream. The details are foggy at best because i neglected to write it down when I woke up. I distinctly remember a feminine figure though. I really can’t remember the content of the dream, but I am left with some feelings about it. She felt like both an ally and a rival, which, relative to the recent post I wrote, makes me think that she was a representation of my shadow self.

[I want to stop for a moment and share with you the explanation of the energy represented in the candle I’m burning. Mind you, I didn’t read this until this morning, after the dream, I just bought it and burned it based solely on the strong feeling I got when I touched the candle. This is what the creator says about this specific candle and it’s purpose/properties]

“It may seem odd to speak of vampires and virtue together but it is my belief that the literary vampire represents the face of the unconscious that Jung calls the Anima or Animus. This archetype appears in dreams as a lover who at first seems threatening and full of fearful shadow material. As the shadow is integrated, however, we can evolve spiritually and come into our full potential. Though at first frightening, this inner vampire teaches virtue.”

Wild huh?

So when I went back to bed and continued this dream I became aware of the fact that it was a dream and I tried my darnedest to switch to full content (lucid) awareness, possibly even context (astral) awareness. Unfortunately my awareness got stuck somewhere in between the shift in an awareness state that could be described as foggy at best. I’m kind of mad at myself for not writing any of this down. I even told myself in the dream when I realized it was a dream to write it down, but when I woke up there was no writing utensil in reach. There was a pencil in my bedside table, but in my hypnagogic state I failed to realize that.

Overall though, I still have a deep emotional impression of the feminine figure. She was almost frightening in appearance, though very beautiful. There were other people in the dream as well and they all seemed to be quite scared of her. I didn’t have any fear of her though. I recognized how scary she looked/felt and how scared everyone else was, but I wasn’t afraid of her. I had a deep connection to her, a strong love between us. It feels like the love I have for myself, like this was a feminine me. When I woke, I felt at ease, very tranquil, a feeling that has been maintained thus far into my day. Hopefully we will meet again tonight.

One a side note, the successive snoozes that my fiance hit on her alarm (must have been 5+ times) seemed to have facilitated this close to content awareness state. So, it seems that the lucid dream alarm has some promise for me, so long as I use it in the right condition.