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Ophelia's blog

I've been getting some great answers to my question over on Reddit:


I'm very interested in the topic of hypnotic safeties in recreational hypnosis and I'm finding it hard to find information about this by googling. I would love to have a conversation about safeties and I've compiled a few questions I'm hoping will generate a bit of discussion that I can learn from.


What is your understanding of the term "safeties"?


What types of safeties are important for you to have? Which are essential?


Have there been situations you wished you'd had safeties for and if so, which do you wish you'd had?


For tists: what safeties do you like to give your subjects? How do you make your suggestions safe?


Safeties in hypnosis


(CW hypnotic language, trance, post-hypnotic suggestion for mental comfort)


Read slowly, breathing deeply and slowly as you read.


Social distancing is the new black

but it gives you skin hunger

and it's getting to you

It's been a long day

You've been cooped up inside

Unable to go out and live your normal life

It's been a long week

a long month

Life has become unreal

nothing is normal anymore


What would it be like to have something to distract you, to occupy your mind?

What would it be like to go on a mental journey?

How would it be if you were able to relax deeply 

and experience reading this as if you were on a vacation

What if you were to allow your attention 

to focus to the point where you drift into a calm, peaceful state of mind

and the more you focus inside, the more comfortable you begin to feel

And because you're reading this and wondering what will come next

you can find that you drop your shoulders, which means that you're relaxing


In your mind, you're sitting in a luxuriously padded armchair

richly upholstered

one you can sink into and slow right down

and rest, supported.

breathing in peaceful relaxation, breathing out stress and tension

and already you're starting to feel a little more at ease

aren't you?


Very good

relaxing more and more with every word I speak

but easily able to keep your eyes on the screen and my words

I'm going to walk over to the light switch on the wall

it is one of those with a dial, a dimmable switch

I turn the dial and the light begins to dim 

and the dimmer the light becomes the more you let go

i dim the light to just the right level 

to create a relaxed atmosphere 

I dial down any noise and distraction as you feel the peace

Your favorite sounds, music or birdsong or whatever is your favorite sound

comes to your ears

and you relax even more


I take something from my pocket

it's a cut gemstone on a chain

and you watch


              as 

             you 

          imagine

        my words 

       as a crystal

        swinging

          shaped

            just

             so


I start to swing this crystal in front of your eyes

it sparkles softly in the glow of the subdued lighting

and as I swing it from side to side, your eyes follow it

side to side

side to side

You can feel the sparkles reflect in your eyes

in the blissful silence of the swinging crystal

your eyes tracking the movement

and as you stare

listening to the sounds

the chair cushioning your body

your subconscious mind begins to open to me

open, receptive

And as you listen

I lull your conscious mind to sleep

and it steps back 

and lets go

As you sink deeper into the softness of the chair

I can tell your subconscious mind to listen

and it does so willingly

your subconscious mind so receptive to me now


Now

What would it like if your mind was a whiteboard

And if I were to clean off

all that is there

so that you are blissful blank and clear

what would that be like?

Feel this, see this

as I take a whiteboard eraser and wipe down the board

bit by bit

and with each and every wipe you hear

you feel a warm wave of comfort

wash over you

as I erase all the thoughts and concerns away

until your mind is clean and blank 

feel that clean blankness now

see the empty whiteboard

your mind so peaceful

you can rest in the blankness, anchored to my words

as you follow them

that's all you have to do

as you sit in the soft comfortable chair

in the soft lighting

listening to my soft words


And now I am going to write something

on the whiteboard of your mind

I am going to write

"Things will all work out"

look at these words written on your mind

listen to me speaking these words in your mind

feel these words sink into you

Remember this:

"Things will all work out"

absorb these words 

allow them to soak into you

as you drift and listen to me

You know this:

"Things will all work out"

And you drift in this knowledge


In a moment I am going to bring you out of trance

but these words will remain in your mind

"Things will all work out"

Coming up on the count of 5, 

bringing with you this feeling of peace


begining to stir

more and more aware

more alert, feeling so good

feeling energised and refreshed

wide awake, all the way up

up

Up

UP


Welcome back.

Now stretch, get up, and fetch yourself some water

And remember what I wrote on your mind

What was it again?


(Content warning: hypnotic language, trance, post-hypnotic suggestion for becoming a better subject)


As I'm wont to start my trances, let's go for a little metaphorical walk. 


This walk is through a forest that has been converted to use as a natural recreational labyrinth or maze. At the centre of the maze is a hidden clearing with a large wooden statue and benches, which is the goal to reach.


There are trees all around and in most parts also dense, evergreen hedges which provide a mystical and secretive atmosphere, and give off a wonderful, heady scent, just right for a relaxing walk. Let's go in.


Visualize this forest maze, smell the fresh scent of the trees and evergreens, breathe in the oxygen-rich air, hear the birdsong and rustling of the leaves in the breeze and feel the temperature of the air on your skin. Good, isn't it?


You walk down the path with me and as is the way with mazes, we soon come to a fork. We must choose left or right. We take the left and walk right down the side of the hedge which curves to the left, until we reach the next fork. We take the right path and at the next fork, we veer to the right, because that just feels right, you know?


We're now facing the right way to head deeper into the forest. All that's left is to follow the paths that are left, to take us right into the centre.


We take a left and follow the path down. Then we take the right turn that is left and then the left turn we left behind when we were turning right. Does that feel right?


That's right. Either way we can continue to walk deeper and go right down the side of the next hedge. It's right to take the next left when it's the left that's left to take. The leaves are rustling in the slight breeze and you soak up the peace.


And now let's take another right, which feels more right that the left we just left behind us. And when you think of it, it doesn't matter which paths we take because all the paths that are left are right, as long as they lead us deeper and deeper into the centre.


So we stroll right down the middle of the path, breathing the scent of the evergreens deeply and slowly, taking left turns and right turns, whichever feels right when we reach it. It would be nice to reach the statue, but meanwhile it's just as nice to keeping walking down the paths. The birds are singing, the air is wonderfully fresh and your breathing is relaxed.


Whichever turn is left is the only one that's left to take

and it's right to take this left that's left behind the right turn that's right 

and as we go ever deeper, you begin to lose yourself in the lefts and rights 

and just follow me down all the little paths that are left

as you follow, you notice how all you have to do is take the right paths with me 

and you feel tranquil and serene. 

all that's left to do is just to walk deeper and further

and the longer we walk, the deeper we walk 

and the more hedges there are to walk right down 

while you listen to the birds chirping 

and know that nothing left matters anymore 

but following my words as they lead you


Because you know I will lead you deeper and deeper 

until we reach the clearing I'm taking you to, 

where you can sink down on a bench 

and admire the wooden statue 

which you gaze at 

as you just relax.

You rest now 

having left behind all the thoughts 

of lefts and rights 

and just sink deeper into the bench

 

and your mind can relax now 

because you know you have reached the place 

deep inside the maze 

that you wanted to get to 

It feels so good to rest

so wonderful to know

that you no longer have to think

and can just enjoy

the blissful 

blankness

your mind

feels 

now


and 

as 

you 

drift 

in this peace

you can also know

that with each and every one of my trances 

that you read

you become a better subject

you become better at dropping into trance

you become better at enjoying trance

you become better at hypnosis 

in every way


Now I beckon softly to you

I pull out a map from my pocket

it's a map to lead us out of the maze

and we'll count our steps

because when we reach 50 steps

we'll be outside again

feeling alert and refreshed


10 steps

beginning to stir

20 steps

more and more aware

30 steps

more and more alert

40 steps

feeling refreshed and energetic 

50 steps

Awake 

all the way out

back in the room

back with me


Welcome back


Saw this and it’s actually super profound and clear. It’s the crippling anxiety of “what if my content, what I have to say, my trances, my visual art isn’t good enough, what if everything else around is just better?” The Two Cakes theory. 



The internet actually abounds with information and guidance for people who struggle with experiencing hypnosis and/or responding to it; it seems a matter of finding it.


It’s been suggested to me that with every failure to respond to suggestion, I’ve been building the confirmation bias that I couldn’t do it and thus compounding my expectation to fail. I agree with this assessment. They told me to think of it this way “what if all those past non-responses were just because of factors external to you, and didn’t say anything about your ability? What if the next time, it will just work?”


I’ve had small successes with this. Mostly by not analysing every reaction and over thinking it, just by holding onto “what if this time it has just worked?”


This is a good article on the subject: 

A guide to analytical subjects

(Content warning: hypnotic language, trance, post-hypnotic suggestion for ability to cope)


Sometimes you can find yourself paying attention to the most interesting things. They may start off interesting, or they may start off dull and become interesting later. Sometimes you start off interested, then lose interest, other times your interest may be distracted and the interest you invested at first, gives off very poor interest later when it becomes less interesting. Whether or not your interest was high, it would be interesting to see how your interest increased or decreased with the rate of interest in what you're reading right now.


This is why it's interesting to consider being careful what you pay attention to, since there tends to be a definitive beginning and a definite end to what can be interesting, but what happens in between is just as relevant to the end as it was at the beginning. Because it's really important to pay attention, so as to make sense of what you are reading, isn't it?


Sometimes it is hard to sort through what makes sense and what doesn't, and where sense starts to make itself and not the other way around, and it can be easier to start the process by finding the beginning and then focus on that. Immediately you can become fully aware where you have come from and where you are going, and the thinking that is contained in finding this point points to the need to get to the point of no return before you can find the end. 


You can continue right on thinking consciously while unconsciously letting things fall into place however they need to, to get to the place where you can place your trust in knowing your place in the greater scheme of things.


I wonder if you realise that your attention is now focused on trying to find the sense in what you're reading because if you are aware of this, you are ready to move from the beginning of this induction into the body of it, which will affect how your attention is paid. Will you pay attention now or will you focus later, that is the question, even though sooner or later you'll find that you can begin to wonder about what happens once the beginning has come to an end and the body has overtaken the mind. 


When you ask yourself the question of whether or not the induction is embodied in the beginning or the end of the body, your definition of what has been begun and what is being ended is irrelevant to the context. And you can experience reading this as if you are unravelling a great mystery ,and clearly notice how clear the context has become as it is clarified. 


Suppose I asked you to remember how this all got started; would you be able to focus your awareness on how your shoulders drop while you try to recall where we begun? 


And having done so, you could find yourself wondering where this is leading you, but you would not need to concern yourself with beginnings or endings when I know you're wondering how you'll experience trance soon. For that to occur you would have to realise how soon you can feel that you're breathing comfortably and how your focus is greater now than it was before you began to look for the ending so you could sink into trance.


You see, the beginning and the end only affect each other insofar as their respective contexts affect the definition of what's begun and what has ended. The endpoint that the beginning points to, is the induction of trance which begins as soon as the ending is reached, because this is the way the message is absorbed at the unconscious level, and now you're at the point where your attention can focus on drifting into a peaceful state. 


If you can allow yourself to flow with the words then you will notice how calm you feel, which means that you're well on the way to absorbing my suggestions to drift deeper into trance because the end has reached the beginning and the beginning has ended.


And having read this far, you could notice how your awareness is growing fuzzy and you're starting to feel more and more comfortable, as your mind lets go of thoughts of beginnings and endings and realises there is only the here and the now. Right here and right now you might find your inner mind takes you on a journey, going deeper and deeper into hypnosis as you continue to read and sink and slow. Dropping deeper now and feeling wonderful as your mind slides down so gracefully into trance.


And now that you are reading this from within trance, you can know that just as you are able to go easily into this state of focus, so you are easily able to handle things that come your way and solve problems that need to be solved. And you can allow your subconscious mind to do the learning that is needed to cope effectively with situations that you face. You know this deeply because of how deeply you have responded to these words.


You can allow yourself to drift softly in this wonderful state a moment longer, enjoying a feeling of peace and calm. And now you can prepare to return to your normal state of awareness, drifting up slowly and gently, feeling wonderful as you return on the count of 5

1 ...

begining to stir

2 ...

more and more aware

3 ...

more alert, feeling so good

4 ...

feeling energised and refreshed

5 ...

wide awake, all the way up

up

Up

UP


Welcome back

(Content warning: hypnotic language, fractionation)


Let

me try

to interest

you, in a little

game of words

where the idea is

for you to read these

and become absorbed

and pay attention to them 

and as you do, you are drawn

closer, into focusing on my words

your focus growing more intense and

you find yourself intrigued and interested

as you continue to narrow your focus on me

and my thoughts, that change over time 

nothing existing now but my words

and their sound which you love

drifting down so narrow now

what remains is your focus

which drops down now

to narrow further

and further

deeper

down

dow

n

and

then

coming

up again

awakening

becoming alert

more and more up

returning to a normal

state of consciousness

feeling wonderfully calm

having enjoyed the little dip

coming up to go down again

breathing in the fresh air deeply

preparing to reach the peak of awake

because you know that very soon

it will be time to return down

drifting so deeply down

drowsier and drowsier

the deeper you drop

better and better

dropping down

your mind

warming

safe

dow

n

and

this

place

feeling

so good

you don't

want to rise

so let's just

sink back

return

down

dow

n

but

having

to come

back because

i want you rising

all the way back up

more alert, more aware

refreshed and energetic

with a feeling of enjoyment

from a fun little game with words

that dance across the page and amuse

and you smile because this is so much fun

and you know it will become even better

because very soon now it is going

to change again, and your mind

will follow my words down

because once again

you'll be dropping

deeper down

as before

taking

you

to

the 

soft

warm

feeling

enveloping

feels so good

but you don't want

to come back up again

so let's just stay

down here

a little bit

longer

drops

down

dow

n

and

again

upwards

it's time now

to come back

to return to awake

coming up so gently

feeling peace and wonder

knowing this must come to an end

at some stage, but perhaps you're lucky

and it might not be right here and right now

maybe here you'll be given a lovely opportunity

to slip down the page and feel the sliding

that happens as you focus once more

and as you feel that delicious drop

that happens when you let go

and drift back down again

drowsy and drowsier

deep and deeper

which feels

better

down

to

a

new

place

feeling

comfortable

calm and safe

secure and

feeling

warm

lazy

and

soon

it's time

to come up

and this time

you might not be

able to slip back down

because sooner or later

you have to return to reality

but when you do you will know

that for a brief while, you were under 

and your focus was so intense and sharp

that you gave every single word your attention

and followed me as I led you down and up and down

and up again and further and further up you must come

until you're all the way up with me, aware, alert and awake


Welcome back

Times are strange. Times are rough. Take a moment to refuel.


(Content warning: hypnotic language, trance, post-hypnotic suggestion for wellbeing)


Some think that hypnotic trance is about relaxation

but in fact relaxation is only a by-product of trance

it can be a route to trance

but it is not trance itself

trance is a state of focused attention

and in order to induce trance 

all I have to do is focus your attention

and there's nothing that you have to do

but read my words

follow them down the screen

as you sit in your chair

dropping your shoulders down

scrolling when you have to, but keeping your eyes on the screen

blinking when you have to

eyes wide open, focused on the screen

and reading


Now,

What would it be like to be so focused that you anticipate each word

that you wait for each word

that you focus more with each word

as all the sounds around you fade into the background

if you focus as deeply as I know you can

focus on each and every word 

they become sharp and real

they will become your reality

you're becoming more and more focused now

with every breath you take

breathing in and out

more focused


and how deeply could you focus

if you narrowed down that focus

to focus so deeply

if you turned your focus inward

you could focus on the sounds that form my words

and hear them in your ears

or see the words deep in your mind

or you could feel the words shaping your focus

feel them reverberate in your body

see or hear or feel the wonderful effects

that my words have on your mind and body

and even if you do not feel them now

they will become easier and easier to notice

and that will be a wonderful feeling

won't it?


excellent

and with your focus on my words

you can begin to  notice

the  spaces between  my words

see  the  spaces

focus on  the  spaces

as the spaces   get   longerand   longer

each   word   each   space

holding    your    attention

longer     and     longer

as    the     gaps     increase

and     the     gaps      grow      so     large

that     you     lose      thoughts     in      them

your      thoughts       dropping

into        the        spaces

until      the       spaces

begin     to        close     up     again

and      your      focus     returns

from    the      spaces

back   to      the     words

each  word   closer  to  the  next

until you notice  that  the  gaps

have closed again

and once more the words flow smoothly

and you focus smoothly

and pay attention to the calm comfort

that reading my words brings

your eyes now resting again

feeling so good

aren't you?


very good

and now you can read

about everything that happens

or does not happen

as you continue your narrow focus

while you listen to me

and my thoughts, that change over time 

or stay the same as they flow down

but what remains is focus

which drops down now

to narrow further

and further

deeper

down

dow

do

n

the 

lazy

place

warming

your mind

which feels

better and better

the deeper you drop

drowsier and drowsier

drifting so deeply now

nothing else existing now

but my words and their sound

which you love to follow down

don't you?


that's right

drifting, feeling so peaceful 

knowing now that you are okay

that what you feel is okay

that what you think is okay

that everything will be okay

You've got this

and the peace you feel now will remain with you

for the rest of the day

and you will take it with you into sleep

and be able to recall it when you need it


and ever so slowly becoming aware

of becoming more and more aware

and coming up gently

more alert, more awake

in the time of your own mind

feeling wonderful

feeling energised

refreshed

aware

alert

awake

up

Up

UP


Welcome back

(Content warning: hypnotic language, trance)


Come walk with me a moment, and stay with me awhile

I’ll take you on a journey, and maybe make you smile

I’ll spin you a yarn, I’ll lead you down, to where you like to go

and once we’re there that smile will come, and when it does, you’ll know


We could wander and walk as you listen to me, and the words weaving round your mind

to explore how far and how deep you could go

if you allowed your mind to find, the path it wants to take

There’d be so many places it may go and so many turns to make

and a breeze may lift it to drift away, or pull it down to drown in my words that draw you in


Draw you in like a moth, circling my flame, pulling, tugging,

knowing but not caring

And you may still be thinking to respond

but soon your mind will find that you’re thinking to drift and pulled to respond

pushed and pulled, this way and that, responding to drift and swiftly finding your mind in a whirl

In a whirlpool swirl, round and down, down and around

naturally following the whirling swirl, your mind abducted as the swirl is constructed to twirl and whirl you down


Responding so easily, naturally wanting to follow and drift into the sound of my words as they pull and tug at the strings of your thoughts,

confounding the sounds that abound in the words that wrap themselves around the tendrils of your mind

and draw them down and draw them out,aiming to be aimlessly driven closer and closer

driven to explore how much more you can let go

how much more I can implore you to respond

and before you were aware but now your mind is only aware that it’s no longer aware

drawn in as I draw my words on your mind, as your thoughts drift away, as all that matters now is what I say

and what I say will stay with you as you focus down

as your will is drawn out to follow mine, to circle the flame of my will that will guide you


As you see that with me, you’ll be safe and secure,

so you let go more before you explore the depths to which we can go

and the scenes we can see, as each breath you take can make you drift deeper

and deeper

right here and right now

and if you didn’t know, 

before you knew, 

that I would lead you,

then you know now, how I drew you down and drew my words

calmly, comfortably, on your mind,

that what was on my mind is now in your mind, and it feels so good to let me take you down with me

drifting and dreamily following me,lazy, hazy and fuzzy

afloat on my voice, knowing only you want to go with me and flow with me further down and deeper round

and you rest in the rhythm and rhyme of my words that have have led you to this place, to this state

where you love to be, adrift with me


And now you can find that your mind begins to return

and your thoughts become clearer

and you realise you had drifted away but now you are coming back

and you smile, just like I said you would,

to think you were drawn in during a little interlude

Aware now of the yarn I spun, remembering everything

Alert and awake, amused and refreshed

Feeling wonderful.

I blog occasionally over on www.ophelia-dk.tumblr.com
I ran across this post on h-sleepingirl's Tumblr and I'm reblogging/posting it here, since it is more and more affirming for me to realise that I am not alone in struggling with getting hypnotic phenomena to work and being a so-called "analytical subject". Affirming, in telling me this stuff is learnable and that with enough will to succeed, it is achievable.


“Analytical subject” doesn’t mean “bad subject”…

Conscious or unconscious response?


This hung me up for the longest time. Feeling that if I was conscious/aware of a response or if I was responding consciously, it didn’t count or wasn’t “hypnosis”. Tists told me that it doesn’t matter and I couldn’t see that, I thought it mattered very much.


Finally I gave in and went with it. It seems the secret really is that how you respond (consciously or unconsciously) isn’t the issue, what matters is that you are responding. It still doesn’t quite make sense to me, but overthinking is the enemy, and accepting this lets you have a whole lot more fun with it.


Parkey put it well:


Helping the Hypnotist

Some interesting questions posed here


Reddit's hypnosis FAQ
So... since this is my blog, I get to decide what goes in here, and some of the things will simply be bookmarks for myself, with links to things I've found that I am personally interested in. Nice if my interests coincide with those of others reading this, but it's primarily for me to keep these links instead of the 50 browser tabs I keep open all the time so I don't lose the pages (and yes I know I can bookmark, but my list of bookmarks is impossible to organise so I can find anything).


Here's reddit's list of book recommendations from collected threads:


https://www.reddit.com/r/hypnosis/comments/81dkpq/book_recommendations_collected_threads/


If anyone has any to add that you've found good, please feel free.

Here's a thread I found over on reddit, that asks:


Redditors that have been "hypnotized", what actually happened? Were you playing along or was it really a trick?


it contains literally hundreds of accounts. 


I was lucky to have my first first hypnosis experience with a very good hypnotherapist who did an excellent pretalk, followed by the Chevreul's pendulum suggestibility test, which acted as a complete convincer for me when it worked brilliantly. During the induction, when I couldn't open my eyes after he suggested I try, I simply knew that even though I was quite aware and didn't feel anything but nice and relaxed, I was in fact in trance.


The thread also contain many accounts of how people felt when they carried out suggestions, many of which mesh with mine.


If you'd like to add your account of how it feels for you to be hypnotised here, feel free

I'm finding some great references round and about the internet, addressing the issues I've had for the longest time, while playing with hypnosis. I'm one of those highly analytical  and skeptical subjects who so much wants the fun others are having with it, but for whom it doesn't just come naturally.


I've been lamenting the fact that there are so many hypnotic phenomena I can't experience and that we're told to "practice, practice, practice", but in 10 months of practicing almost daily, I still don't feel like I've gotten very far. I've been thinking about it the wrong way and am finally starting to have some epiphanies about it.


See, practice is all well and good, and it's the right advice, but to practice effectively, you have to have the right mindset and the right approach to what you are trying to do. Without that, without understanding *how* to go about it, all you're doing is doing the same thing over and over and all that does is confirm that you can't do it. Do that for long enough and you start thinking "hypnosis just doesn't work for me" and we know that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


I'm reading incessantly and have decided to collect various links I've found on this topic. I'm probably not the only one who is looking at the fun somnambulists are having, feeling quite jealous and wanting to experience the same things.


So here is Part 1 of the writings I'm finding in magical rabbit holes on the interwebs. I'm not planning to rewrite what others have already written better than I could, so it'll probably mostly be links to other people's stuff. Although no doubt I'll find way to ramble on about them a bit.


ellaenchanting writes: 

"As a naturally analytical person, I had a really hard time for YEARS with actually being, and more importantly, feeling hypnotised. Parkey experienced some of the same problem. Reading about his philosophy and progression towards being a better subject was inspiring for me at a time when I had stopped believing it was possible to learn this skill."


How to be a good subject: Blog rec for analytical types by ellaenchanting


This post has a number of very interesting links, most to Parkey's BlackMeridian blog, so if this topic interests you, here's a lovely rabbit hole to fall into. You're welcome.


Please share tips that have helped you become a better subject.



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