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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

November 13th, 2008

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01:06 pm - Trance induction difficulties
H. P. Lovecraft's The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath begins with a trance induction that I cannot help but think about as I struggle with this last question in Trance 1:

"In light slumber he descended the seventy steps to the cavern of flame and talked of this design to the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah," Lovecraft tells us. Hearing the dangers and warnings of the priest, he decides to go on, "asking a formal blessing of the priests and thinking shrewdly on his course, he boldly descended the seven hundred steps to the Gate of Deeper Slumber and set out through the Enchanted Wood."

Indeed, this is classic trance induction, often described as the "staircase method" of induction.

The more I think on this requirement, the more I find myself drawn back to the Dream Quest. I remember Randolph Carter's adventure in the dreamlands of our world and others, his encounters with the Cats of Ulthar and the war with the Zoogs, his betrayal by the dark merchants as they stole him away to the moon, and his wanderings through the Gugs' kingdom with Pickman's ghoul friends.

I find myself thoroughly focused on this induction, on the paths it follows and leads. I am having difficulty refocusing on an induction that does not follow the masterful Quest for the Sunset City of Lovecraft's dreamlands.

Perhaps my early work in the Mythos was deeper than I had originally thought.

I'm sure this is temporary: I simply need an intent for this induction, one that makes sense and that will allow me to think freely outside the bounds of the inductions I have known and experienced before. But until that intent makes itself apparent, I might just be stuck wandering the dreamlands, seeking the Sunset City as Randolph Carter did.

Fortunately, this is one Lovecraft tale with a truly happy ending.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: blankblank
Current Music: "False Echoes [Havana 1921]", -JB

(8 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Bill Witcomb recommends (and I agree) the story, The Silver Key. It carries some of the heaviest traces of exposure to occult ritual techniques that any of H.P.'s works do.

Opening paragraph:
When Randolph Carter was thirty he lost the key of the gate of dreams. Prior to that time he had made up for the prosiness of life by nightly excursions to strange and ancient cities beyond space, and lovely, unbelievable garden lands across ethereal seas; but as middle age hardened upon him he felt those liberties slipping away little by little, until at last he was cut off altogether. No more could his galleys sail up the river Oukranos past the gilded spires of Thran, or his elephant caravans tramp through perfumed jungles in Kled, where forgotten palaces with veined ivory columns sleep lovely and unbroken under the moon.

[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. The Silver Key. I don't have as much exposure to it, as I don't own a hard copy of this one, but it's also quite good. Poor Carter, always getting things snatched away or lost. . .

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