Today is Day 6 of my Descensus Averni ritual. I have to admit, I passed out last night without doing the ritual. I think fasting and then gorging myself afterwards took its toll on me.
I have debated whether to break my fast before or after the ritual. I’m not sure which would be more effective. If I wait, I am concerned that my anticipation of eating will distract me. But if I break it before, I won’t have the benefit of the altered state of consciousness created by the fasting in the ritual itself.
I think I need to give it an extra effort today. I will fast for the full 24 hours, which will mean I will be fasting during the ritual and while I am sleeping. I am also considering doing a blood sacrifice, just a small prick of the finger with a ritual knife I bought years ago. I was thinking I would actually extinguish the last candle with my blood.
Also, I have gone back to reciting the poem from Havamol, rather than listening to my recitation of it on my mp3 player. There is something about saying the words that I don’t get just listening. It helps me get closer to the feeling that I am hanging on the tree:
I wot that I hung on the wind-tossed tree,
Hung there for nights full [seven].
Pierced by spear, bespoken to John,
Bespoken myself to myself,
Upon that tree of which none telleth
From what roots it doth rise.
Neither horn nor bread they upheld me.
Downward I looked, and aloud I cried.
I look up the runes; shrieking I took them up.
And from that tree I fell.