Using “Ratanen” to take a peek into the Primal Seas of Chaos.
NOTE: This is an exercise in journeying that should not be taken lightly!
Sometimes there are instances when one needs to temporarily transcend this moment of the “ordinary reality”, into a reality that is devoid of distraction, and offers a glimpse into absolute emptiness of form and definition. The chaotic void, in which Ratanen offers us a gateway, is not necessarily of absolute “nothingness” except that it may seem that way. We are talking about a state in which we perceive an emptiness of form, definition, and any predefined concept of a manifested reality. It is through this state of existence (or “non-existence”) that one can experience the raw, ever-present forces and energies that exist outside of the realm of “human” understanding.
Ratanen, necessarily, falls into the Dragon Rune Cosmology as the first rune encountered, because it is the very rune that marks the beginning of everything, in its raw, unorganized state. It is the rune that signifies a total lack of definition, a lack of form, a pre-existence of anything manifested. It is simply the primal rune representing the primal origins of everything before it was ever created.
One can think of the chaotic void as like a sea of chaotic, unharnessed energies and possibilities yet to become. Think of the lump of clay in a potter’s hands: An amorphous lump that lacks any design, shape, form, or any characteristics of anything we can readily identify as something familiar to us. It is that which is yet to become. It is that which will be acted upon by a sentient consciousness, in order for it to become something. That is the basics of what Ratanen symbolizes.
In understanding that the primal nature of chaos, is one of mixed and unordered energies and possibilities,
There are no references in which to define, nor to be defined by. Those “reference points” have not yet been formed. They are the absolute opposites that must be defined, first. in order for anything to have a basis of existence, and a reference point in which to define its existence. Some may say that chaos is total darkness. This I do not see as possible, being that Darkness can not know of itself without there being Absolute Light in which to contrast itself. Much like one can not know what one looks like without something of a reflection (like, as in a mirror) of it. (A reflection, by the way, is always opposite the viewer.) Therefore, Absolute Light is opposite Darkness. Without Absolute Light, there can be no reference to measure or know the Darkness. Without Darkness, there can be no reference to measure or know the Absolute Light. They BOTH mutually need each other, and all created things need both in order to measure and know their own existences. Therefore, Chaos is that state where nothing can be measured, nothing can be judged, and nothing can be known – because the polar-opposite reference points have not yet been defined! (D’oh!)
The state of Chaos would not know of endings, if there were no beginnings. Chaos is a state of “Endlessness”, because there must be a “beginning” in order for there to be an “ending” of anything. If this is the case, then this means that Chaos would pre-exist the idea of “time”. We usually measure time as a basis of comparing one thing going at a certain rate (or “velocity”) to another, going at a different rate (or, again, “velocity”). If we do not have the two differing concepts traveling (moving, or otherwise a similar notion) at their different rates, then we can not make that comparison – IE: determine our “reference point” in “time”. Therefore, the concept of “time” is meaningless! (Another “D’oh”, please!)
In the state of Chaos, time is meaningless. “Form” is nonexistent and also meaningless. “Light” and “Darkness” are also nonexistent and meaningless. All because neither diametrically-opposing qualities or concepts were to yet exist as the “boundaries” in which to make any judgment or measurement against. THIS is what Ratanen beautifully symbolizes: The absolute void of any definition or knowledge of any boundaries, form, shape, or any fashion of manifestation. It simply is the meaning of a total void. It is also suitable as a “gateway” to beginning to understand the true concept and idea of a vast, endless, “sea” of Chaos. This does not mean absolute nothingness as in a total vacuum (being that such is not naturally possible anyway). It simply means nothing of any definition or knowable quality (or quantity).
This brings up the idea of a form of “Mindfulness Meditation” that is about meditating on absolutely NOTHING. I have known a few folks in my area for a number of years who practice this regularly, and even do a few local workshops. One practices a very stringent following of Buddhism, especially in this respect. It may take one many years to “perfect” his/her ability to fully concentrate (actually, NOT concentrate) on purely NOTHING. Think of this as “emptying the mind” of all “distractions”. The belief here is that if one were to finally remove everything and all self-centered thought, ideas, images, or anything conjured up by the mind, that he/she would eventually see the total Light of the Divine (“Oneness”). Though, I would find that self-defeating to the extreme, because each and every one of us define ourselves as individuals based on our own unique paths. Nature deals in the infinte numbers and qualities of uniqueness and individuality. To me, dwelling on “emptiness” and emptying our minds (and probably our Souls, too) means reverting back to the primal Nature of nothingness. Does this not go against the whole concept and reason for Creation and against the role of its driving Creator??? (D’oh!)
Seems to me that taking a short “tour” of the primal existence of the nothingness should be a temporary journey, for the basis of learning where and how we may have come into existence. If we know (or at least have an idea of) where we came from, then we may have a much better understanding of where we are going (enlightenment, or transcendence perhaps). We might as well continue to move “forward”, just as the “wheels” of Creation move onward. So, as we evolve and seek to become more like our Creator(s), it works best if while we are moving in that direction, that we may once in a while take a short look “back” to see where we have been. In this manner, we are able to judge our growth, and be reminded that we are indeed making “progress” in that (“forward”) direction.
So, a means to experience this “Primation through Ratanen”,
Is to find oneself in a very quiet location, be it a room, out in the quietest part of the woods, in a field far away from “civilization”, or any place where it is easiest to find quiet enough conditions to begin a silent meditation on “nothingness”. Using an image of the Ratanen Dragon Rune can help in this manner.
1 ) Once you are in a completely peaceful position and have relaxed the Mind, Body, and all aspects you have control of, imagine all Light dissipating into nothing.
2 ) Once the Light has completely disappeared from existence (in your “journey”, that is), imagine the Darkness also melting away into nothingness.
3 ) This part of the exercise may take several times before you become successful at finding yourself in that “limbo” between the what IS, and IS NOT.
4 ) When you have finally achieved these first steps of this meditation, if you see the Ratanen in front of you as if it was a gateway, feel free to slowly walk through it, when you are ready and sure that you can navigate your way back to it (as an exit).
5 ) It is very important to not forget WHERE you encounter, and enter through, Ratanen. Please very sure you can find your way back to it, so that you can exit this “realm” the same way you entered. (I usually like to ask for Timat’s or Leviathan’s presence and guidance before I embark on an adventure such as this. – It may be best for you to find a suitable spirit guide or deity to aid you before you being this journey, too.)
Remember: This is intended to only be a “sight-seeing tour”, not a place of “escape”. Too many folks go through life looking for an escape from their day-to-day problems rather than facing them. (Like getting into drug-overuse: This could have very serious and unpleasant consequences!) – If you are under a lot of stress, or having a lot of difficulties in life right now, please postpone this journey until you have settled these particular issues.
I hope this article has given some ideas for exploration. It was my first attempt to incorporate a little bit of my knowledge of the Dragon Runes into my teachings. The Rune, Ratanen, can indeed be a very powerful experience, if done right. There will be more written about other uses for this rune later.
Rev. Dragon’s Eye,
Founder and Chief-Elder Dragon of the Temple,
TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENT DRAGONS