Penny Lane shares an oracular journey through the Portals of Presence
designed by Deborah Koff-Chapin.
Experimentation starts with an open mind, without fixing the outcome. We accept the possibility of surprise. So, when my friend and I sat down to spend the evening with the Portals of Presence by Deborah Koff-Chapin, we were excited by the energy of anticipation.
Some people get together over food, go to a bar or simply chatter. Sasha and I find ways of getting in touch with the Universe. Today we decided to accompany our experience with some ceremonial cacao mixed with herbs to open the inner eye. The lights are low and candles are on.
We are already primed for an experience.
The deck comes with a link to an audio file, which guides your experience with the image. There are no fixed meanings for the cards, only intuitive insight gained in an altered state, induced by the audio.
We begin by grounding and focusing on our own presence in the web of life. We are guided to notice our feelings, so that we can detect the shift induced by the cards in a moment.
The cards consist of otherworldy faces; Sasha and I have already chosen ours to work with. Some seem disturbing and we avoided those for the first trip. Tasha’s has what looks like a female face, shrouded in what could be a headscarf. There is a fish and a bird. Mine has piercing eyes, each surrounded by concentric circles.
As the music plays, we turn over our cards and stare at the image. We allow the picture to fill our field of vision and become real. Fully embodied, we lean forwards to trace the shapes, as if touching the face of a loved one.
I start to see scribbles that I hadn’t noticed before and decide to continue to engage using automatic writing – writing without censorship or checking.
I realise as I write that this is an exercise in trust, in faith. Keeping pure the idea that something will come from it. Faith in the creative process. I pull back from lust of result, from imagining the future where I have already written this piece and it is well received. Allow the unfolding. I worry about how to start but I have already started. Faith. Faith and trust. An action ripples out from an idea.
After offering gratitude to the image, we part as if saying goodbye to a beloved guest. Such was the shift that I experienced, I need a few minutes to recover before turning to Sasha to find out how she fared.
Looking at her face, I see that she has had an experience too. Not only that, but I realize that I’m looking at her face differently, with more intimacy and intuition.
Her image imparted wisdom about her own magic and how she can choose to cover it up or express it as she sees fit, rather than feeling it must be shared all of the time. She suddenly clicked with the idea of flexible boundaries.
We chatter until it is time to part.