Yesterday I read several Lord Dunsany stories that involve transitions into the otherworlds. I decided to try them as a pathworking, dabbling along the edges of sleep as is my preference.
Here’s the pathworking, loosely…
First you must find Go-By Street, which is an obscure little side street in London. Along that narrow street you will find a shop where they sell all manner of things. You must ask for something they cannot provide. (I went for a pint of compassion recently milked from a Tory). Then, when the shopkeeper acknowledges that it cannot be done, you can ask the way to the cottages. The shopkeeper will show you the way, past a room full of sleeping gods, to a backdoor. You come out into a street where the pavements are normal, but all else is covered in grass, and there are no other buildings. You follow the path until you find the witch’s cottage. The windows on one side of this cottage look out over the fields we know and from the other windows you can see the purple mountains of faerie. From here, a person can go forwards.
I only got as far as the witch’s cottage, she told me to stay the night and progress at dawn. I slept, and I dreamed, and when I woke from those dreams I was back in the witch’s house. I went a whole night dreaming that I was dreaming and waking there. It was one of the most startling, and vivid experiences.
I pathwork along the edges of sleep sometimes with the aim of it feeding into my dreaming, but this is the first time in a long while that has worked, and worked surprisingly well. I feel very odd today, but in a good kind of way. I think the combination of reading several stories and then working deliberately with said gave me a real boost, but I rather felt I was going by some tried and tested route.
Dunsany did not claim to be a Druid. I’m not sure he claimed to be anything in particular. There are layers in his work under the whimsy and fantasy, layers of human meaning and also layers of something other, something resonant and wild that really calls to me. One way or another, he went somewhere. Call it imagination, or journeying, or the mad flights of a poet’s fancy, but he went, and as ways of crossing into other places, this is a fine one.
The stories were… A shop in Go-By Street and The Avenger of Perondaris and the odds are good that both are online somewhere.