Have you ever had the experience where a scent wafts by and you are instantly transported back to an experience that you had when you were younger? The scent of mangoes brings me back to time on the beach, eating thin-skinned mangoes and having the juice drip down my arms – it’s a time of peace and presence for me. Sweet cigar tobacoo reminds me of sitting with my Grandfather watching TV or talking.
We can use these associations in our every day lives. Sage, frankensinse, dragonsblood, myrrh – all these scents bring back the experience of sacred space. So I can use them by carrying around a bit of perfume, hydrosol or oil to smell to put me back in the sacred mindset. Are there scents that are paritcularly calming for you? Carry those around to help you keep an even keel in times of stress.
Little bits of magic that you can bring into your lives every day.
You’ll often find people describing the way they “see” energy. There are the aura photos that are supposed to show the energy around someone, and I do know some individuals who describe energy in visual terms.
Not me though. I feel it. I know that there are at least some other people who experience energy through non-visual senses, but I don’t know how many. Certainly, the common descriptives are visual. When I was first learning what it was that I was experiencing, I found it odd that I didn’t use visual cues for energy because I tend to be very visual in trance work.
I feel energy, I don’t see it. The space that the energy is in may feel dense, or light, or spiky or like it’s pushing back on me. It could feel warm or cold, dry or wet, hard or soft or springy. And sometimes it just gives me goosebumps. Over the years, I’ve learned to pay attention to these feelings and have personal translations for how to describe that energy to other people. I can “see” it if I focus now – but it’s more about being able to interpret the sensations that I’m actually getting into a visual mode (although it’s more about “energy here” than any definition of the energy by sight). I think that it’s more that I can visualize the sensations that I’m feeling rather than something that I actually see.
If you don’t see energy visually, the first step is to understand what you are sensing. Is it a smell? Or a taste? Or a touch? Or just a feeling that you have? Understand how those sensations make you feel. For example, there’s a range of temperatures of energy that feel “normal” to me, but too cold or too hot, and I know that something is wrong. Experiment, learn the sensations and come to understand them. If you have people to talk with about energy work, use the vocabulary for the sensations that you’re getting – don’t try to map it onto the visual cues yet. See how other people describe their sensations from different types of energy.
Experiment, experience, and see what you can come up with.
Many times, my job requires me to travel, and that means hotels. I currently do a (mostly) daily practice, and this becomes a lot more challenging when I’m in a hotel. I don’t have access to my altar, or my stash of offerings, or my space. I usually can’t light a candle or incense and am limited by the considerations of whatever space the hotel has.
I have a traveling altar that I bring with me – it’s small enough to be stored in a Korean rice bowl that has a lid. I usually put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and leave it there for the whole time – unless I’m there for more than a week and then I’d like clean sheets and towels – so I don’t have to worry about maids disturbing my altar.
My offerings and practice change too. Instead of making physical offerings, I will usually brew a cup of tea and share it with the Kindreds. Sometimes I bring tea bags with me, and sometimes I will use the tea that is in the hotel. Because I don’t leverage the maid service, I usually end up having to buy some tea if I didn’t bring some. My choice of tea is because I’m not a fan of coffee. Feel free to use your beverage of choice!
So, I brew a cup of tea and share it between 2 cups or mugs – whatever the hotel provides. The Kindreds’ cup gets placed next to my little portable altar as I say “Hail to the Kindreds” or something similar. I take my cup and stand by the window and connect with the city or space I’m in. I try to be present in the moment, feeling the energy of the city and of the hotel. I’ll usually also say a prayer, sometimes it’s pre-scripted, but often it’s ad-hoc.
If for some reason you can’t have an altar out – you’re sharing a room with someone who wouldn’t understand, you can still spend some time in the mornings in quiet contemplation of the world around you as you enjoy your cup of tea.
So if you’re ever stuck away from home, maybe this little ritual can help you stay connected.