Unawake and Unsleeping: Hypnagogic Prayer and Invocation in Witchcraft


hypno4* * *

“From spark, from ember I raise up the Warm One
As the Lady in the House Below would raise him;
In the Gudeman’s name I raise him,
And this good home I give him.”

-The ule or Fire Charm from The Witch Dreams by Robin Artisson


“Master mischievous and misshapen,
Giving power to sorcerers in sacred dreams,
Be kind.”

-From The Elphillock Charm

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Pre-Modern Witchcraft and the World of Sleep and Dreams

The most profound difference between modern witchcraft and the witchcraft of Early Modern Europe lies in the primary experiential stage that the witchcraft itself is encountered upon. For people practicing most of the forms of modern witchcraft, the primary encounter with “The Craft” lies within ceremony and ritual; “magical tools” with elemental associations are utilized within circles drawn and ‘quarters’ called, either indoors or out- and this is because most modern witchcraft is a recent decendant of European ceremonial magic, albeit a simplified form of ceremonial magic blended with heady doses of spiritualism, Neopagan Goddess worship or the worship of other divine figures from pre-Christian times, and a vaguely Eastern-flavored brew of “all is consciousness/energy” mentalism-monism and ideas of spiritual development through karma.

But the people living before the Industrial Revolution (and some living for a good while into it) who were mediators of the complex cultural phenomenon of historical witchcraft primarily encountered the agencies and powers that stood behind witchcraft  in sleep, in vision, and dreams. This difference, and the many reasons why it is critically important, can never really be emphasized enough. Continue reading