By Hypatia Of Alexandrea
Written for Coven Life
Walking between the 2 worlds is never an easy task with one foot in each. What does that mean? Every single person whether magical or not experiences this to some extent. Some experience this in their dreams whether sleeping, lucid or just day dreaming. Others call it “Déjà vu”.
For those of you who are familiar with Castaneda’s books on Shamanism back in the 70’s, he draws from his experience of living with Shamans in the Amazons and their traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years. He delves into the world of Non- Ordinary Reality ( N.O.R) as experienced by many spiritual practitioners before them throughout different cultures and throughout time.
N.O.R is not exclusive to one form of spiritual belief but a universal wisdom practiced for eons throughout humanity.
So let’s begin with explaining Ordinary –Reality (O.R), as without this we would not be able to live our lives on earth and grasp the true meaning of Non-Ordinary Reality (N.O.R). O.R is a state that is obvious to the senses. This is defined as our perpetual life or living, as without this we have no life. For this reason it is essential that you master O.R and ensure that you have both feet on the ground. Grounding is essential as this gives you roots and foundation to build your spiritual practices and beliefs. This nourishes your being and allows you to expand your mind and grow to your full spiritual potential. Every conventional and non-conventional spirituality follows this rule. Some people may choose to do it through visualizations, others prefer the direct contact with the Earth Mother and are involved directly with preserving the environment and others volunteer with humanitarian projects. Whatever way you choose just understand that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience.
N.O.R allows you to see, smell, hear touch, and sense what others usually are unaware of. This opens up the universe and allows you to connect to the life-force energy all around you. This is a place where one travels to obtain information, to contact higher forms and in some practices like Shamanism to retrieve lost souls. This is a place where healing is performed whether for the self a group or for someone else. A place where we meet our power animals, crystal- stone people, and tree people, where we converse with our Familiars, where we perform Magic, where Guardians guide, protect and instruct us. It is in this state that we expand our awareness beyond our earthly duties.
This is a valuable tool to poses and practice makes perfect. Allow yourself to feel the energy of the Earth by feeling Her Gratitude all around you. Hone your senses into your surroundings that not only include people. The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Sioux and Lakota traditionally call on all their relations “Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ” translating as all are related. This includes other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys. This is a strong statement holding all and everything as their equal, no one or thing is greater than another. In the eyes of creation we are all equal, from an ant to a mountain, so ego for the sake of self-perpetuating is no excuse. It is thought processes like this that continue to weaken our hold in the O.R. Instead of building a healing paradise for all in O.R this mind set only creates an indistinguishable illusion from N.O.R that makes life feel like a bad dream.
How does this apply to you?
Witches like Shamans and other conventional and non- conventional religions around the world are walkers between the 2 and sometimes 3 or more worlds. We bring the Dreamtime and physical realm together. We speak to Gods and spirits on behalf of ourselves and others and allow them to speak through us. A Witch is familiar with the healing lore of natural medicine, rhythms of seasons and the ways of the plant and animal kingdom. We are familiar with the spirit of the psyche that heals the mind, body and soul. We are magicians and catalyst for transformation lurking on the fringes of society in order to gain a perspective of the true world or O.R.
To find the spiritual in the material it is essential for the Witch to have their head in the clouds and their feet firmly on the ground, otherwise the wisdom gleaned from spirit serves no earthly good. It is essential that intuition is balanced with reason, not getting too attached to either, but accepting that both are purely a way of “knowing”.
It would also be naïve not understanding that all spiritual traditions are only handed down from our predecessors, we all stand on the shoulders of giants before us. Balancing the ancient with the modern, allowing progression, accepting change and still respecting what we have inherited as a human race is a delicate balance. How you choose to apply your spiritual practice is purely up to you. Use your discretion and do only what makes you feel comfortable by remembering the Wiccan Rede “An it harm none, do what ye will”.
Look at your sacred space within and decide how you choose to move between the worlds. For some it comes naturally and for others it takes a little longer. Either way just know that your N.O.R is not too far from your O.R and both reside within you, learn to find the balance. When you begin to see them as one and the same yet still have the wisdom to be able to tell the difference then this is when you begin to heal yourself, others and everything that is around and near you. You begin to gain a natural glow that people notice. By you respecting everything and everyone it will give you a vantage to experience with wisdom and gratitude the power that you hold within. You will learn to see without eyes, to walk without feet and to fly without wings, yet travel to the other ends of the earth and to worlds beyond what your O.R perceives. This is what N.O.R feels like.
Humanity is not a person, it is a collective thought process. Realizing that we are all intricately connected like the beautifully spun web of a spider to the beginning of time and before time existed, this is the coming of wisdom or enlightenment.
N.O.R is defined by no time or space, however there is still a natural order that one must abide by. The laws of the universe apply to all and everything, this is what structures our O.R as the very energy that created us can just as easily destroy us.