Cats of the Borderland (text trance)

by Pirouette

Tags: #hypnotic_language #solo

Do you remember childhood summer afternoons that seem almost unreal? Has art ever made you homesick for memories that probably never existed? Would you like to idly watch cats in the summer heat, with nothing on your to-do list? You’re welcome to follow along and do just that.

Hello there! Let's get the complicated things out of the way. This writing is an actual guided trance you can follow along, to experience a sense of safety, wonder and connection. It uses hypnotic language to guide the reader into a state of daydream, and walks them through a warm and relaxing scenery involving a summer afternoon, countryside railway stations, cats, and the metaphorical borderlands between our minds and inner worlds. The story involves multiple layers of dissociation from the physical body and from imagined bodies in the form of nested loops, but resolves this tension with a re-integration suggestion at the end. No post-hypnotic triggers, and no lasting suggestions beyond a permissive suggestion about the reader being capable of re-living positive experiences.

Hello there! Welcome!

I'm glad you're here. We're going to do a quick trance, okay? It will only take about fifteen to thirty minutes of your time. I hope that's okay, and it's what you're here for. If not, you're welcome to come back another time. No hard feelings. If you want to start now, please make sure you're in a safe and calm place, that you're warm enough, and you can lean back comfortably while still reading... Feel free to get up, drink some water, make yourself comfortable, and come back when you're ready.

Oh... you're here already? I'm glad. I'm sorry we have to do it this way, but you'll have to keep your eyes open for this experience... After all, you have to read the text, right? But even if we don't close our eyes, we can imagine closing our eyes, right? So please imagine closing your eyes for me, and take a deep breath. It feels so good to imagine closing your eyes, doesn't it? Even though you just imagined it, it almost feels real. Isn't it strange? Almost as if we had two pairs of eyelids.

You might have already noticed a change in how the world feels... You might wonder whether your breathing really had become deeper and slower, now that your mind's eyelids are closed. As I'm writing this, I'm also doing it along with you. I imagined closing my eyelids and took a deep breath. Now my body feels a little bit heavy, a little bit floaty, a little bit warm... The world a little bit more subdued... My heartbeat even and calming... My vision more focused on what I am writing... You might have already noticed the same, as you are reading. Of course, we are all different. Maybe, just maybe... you need more time to notice the changes. Or, maybe, you are noticing some other change through which your body tells you about how it relaxes and calms down. Oh... I just noticed that the text I'm writing looks unusual to me now. It's easy to write, it just seems different from how I usually see it. Maybe, just maybe you're also noticing something similar as you read.

For most of us, it is so much easier to sink into our inner world when we close our eyes. Sometimes in hypnosis, we consider closing our eyes as the moment where we fall into a deep trance. Of course, by the time our eyes close, we are already deeply hypnotized. That moment is just when we finally recognize what has been happening all along. Your eyes are still open, reading this text... Yet, we have started out by imagining closing them. That act of imagining a different set of eyelids already took you inside your mind... into your inner world. You might feel like you are ready to fall into a deep trance... But... one might wonder, aren't you in a deep trance already? Your mind's eyes are already closed. You might still believe that you aren't. That is perfectly fine. There is no need to think about that too much. We are just going on a walk together in your inner world, and let your body and mind rest a little. You already are in your inner world, and that is enough.

As you have imagined closing your eyes, you may imagine that you see a safe, warm, welcoming place behind them. Take a look around. I wonder what your inner world might look like... Would you like to try something with me? I cannot see your inner world, but maybe I can show you mine. Maybe I can help you imagine what I am imagining right now. I am going to tell you what I imagine, and what I think... And the most wonderful part of this is, you won't have to do anything special at all. You can just read my words and stay here with me, your mind's eyelids closed, your body relaxed. Our minds cannot not imagine the things we feed it. Especially in a trance, when we are lost in our inner worlds. So find a nice, cozy spot in your safe space, and sit down there. Make yourself comfortable. And then... close the eyes you just used to look around in your inner world. There... You are doing wonderfully.

Now your eyes are closed two times over. Are you in a deep trance now? I wonder what feelings it would spark in you if you had already realized that you are. Joy? Excitement? Fascination? If you still haven't, what will it feel like when you do? Don't worry about it too much. We are just going to go on a walk. You might imagine me as a presence next to you, or you might put yourself in my place, and be alone. Whichever feels more natural or more comfortable to you. We are walking on a gravel road right now. It's that chalky, off-white sort of gravel that paints your shoes white, and smells like childhood summers when you kick it up with your feet. It's an early summer afternoon, and you can almost feel how still and warm the air is. It almost pushes back against you, as if it wanted you to stay still and rest. There are fields around us, and you might hear the sounds of nature, of cicadas rising through the afternoon stillness... The gravel crunches under our feet, giving way slightly as we take step after step, walking along the road. Walk slowly, give yourself time... From now on, we're going to play a game. I would like you to make this fantasy yours. So when you see a line consisting only of three dots - like this ... -, I want you to pause reading at that point, and let your mind explore the scene you are in. Take in the sights, the sounds, the feels. Let your mind fill it with wonder and beauty. And when you feel like you want to go on, and notice something new... just continue on reading from there.


That was nice, wasn't it? I wonder what your summer scenery is like. As you are walking along the road, you hear the chime of a railroad crossing, and the noise of a train approaching. You see the crossing, it is just across the road you've been walking along... a small, countryside train chugs through, and comes to a stop at a small station next to the road. Just a tiny station, a few small buildings, a platform and a single pair of rails. Driven by curiosity, you leave the road and walk onto the platform. The station looks sleepy, the afternoon sun painting it with pastel colors. There used to be a ticket office in one of the buildings, but now it's closed, and a brand new ticket vending machine stands in a corner, next to a much older machine that sells soda and lemonade. The train is waiting with open doors, but you are not planning to leave yet. There is an old wooden bench with a fading paint job next to the soda machine. It's in a comfortable half-shade, you may choose to sit in the sun or in the shade, whichever feels more pleasant to you.

As you settle down on the bench and take in your surroundings, you notice a cat. It sits on a concrete pillar next to the tracks, and is looking at you. It slowly closes its eyes, and opens them again. That is the way cats say hello. Even though you have just noticed the cat, it has been sitting there since long before you sat down. Now that you have looked at the cat, it found it only polite to greet you. You might want to return the gesture. As you slowly close your eyes, you might wonder how you now have closed your eyes three times over. Isn't that fascinating? Take a deep breath before you open your eyes again. Cat greetings are only polite if you leave your eyes closed for a breath. The cat licks its nose. I do wonder what color the cat is. I have told you about the cat, but I never mentioned its color... You might have imagined it with a specific color, or you might still be uncertain of it... As you look at the cat, try to observe its colors, its patterns. You may allow some time to pass. You're free to just imagine sitting there, looking at the cat. We are in no hurry at all, and the cat seems quite content sitting on its pillar.

Take a deep breath for me, and after you exhale, wait until your breathing evens out. Try to notice sensations on your skin as you sit on that old bench. The cushiony summer afternoon air, the uneven texture of the aged wood through your clothes... You might let your eyes wander, explore the station and its surroundings a little bit more. Slow down a little. You can let yourself slow down in reading, too. You might even want to pause for a moment. Just breathe. You have time to rest. It is okay. You are okay. You are going to be all right. It's so warm, and there is even a cat here for company.


Eventually, as your eyes wander, you might notice another cat, a bit farther away. As you notice it, it also greets you, slowly closing and opening its eyes. Feel free to return the greeting, as you observe its surroundings, its color and pattern...  The first cat has stood up, and you can still catch it with your eyes as it jumps off the pillar. Cats have such a weightless-looking way of getting down from high places, don't they? It looks around, and confidently boards the train.

Now, look back at the second cat. I wonder where you have discovered this second cat. Allow yourself to notice and remember its color... Did you know that cats like to rest in groups? Sometimes you only notice one cat at first, but then suddenly there are two... then maybe another two... and then another three... It is not like they were hiding... They were in plain sight all along, you just skimmed over them at first. Now that you have seen two cats, your mind is primed to begin to notice the ones that have been eluding you so far... As you relax and watch the station, you might discover further cats... I don't know when and where you will notice them - maybe you will tell me once you have come back from trance. Just leave yourself time to notice them. They will all greet you, and you can return the greeting, each time taking a deep breath, and sinking further into this relaxing, warm trance. A few cats might even decide to follow the first one onto the train. So mysterious, right? Why are they gettin on the train? Do they know it's going to leave soon? Do they want to go to another station?


When you feel satisfied with the time you spent observing the station and noticing new cats, your eyes might wander back to the train. Oh, there was another cat already sitting inside. You can now watch as it slowly walks out onto the platform, and sits down in front of you. You might wonder where this cat came from. Does it commute between stations every day? The cat looks at you and greets you. Take a deep breath as you answer the greeting, and observe its color and patterns. Suddenly, you hear a chime from an old, crackly intercom system, and the doors of the train close with a slow, deep rattle. Some of the cats look up, while some don't let themselves be bothered as the train slowly leaves the station. You remember the cats that boarded it... Where are they going? Let yourself close your eyes again - now your mind's eyes are closed three times over... It should be easy, you have practiced it a lot, with all those cats to greet.

There's a cat sitting in front of you that had been on that train before. What did it see? Let your mind wander, and follow the train with the cats. Let yourself feel the vibration of the engine, the buffeting wind as the train trudges forward. The cats inside are calm, they know exactly what they are doing, where they are going. Do you? Give yourself time to imagine. This is no longer my inner world, it is the land between yours and mine and everyone else's. A sea of warmth, and safety, and love, and connection. I don't know what's there, but you can discover. It is a warm, safe place. It has train tracks, and little stations, and cats, and summer afternoon clouds, and maybe other cute and warm things, too. It might be a little fuzzy... It is a borderland, after all. Even time may become fuzzy. It is a slow, small, countryside train. It takes long to get to the next station. Or the previous one? Maybe you have already left the next one, and are headed to the previous? Maybe some of the cats have already gotten to where they were going, and left the train. Did you notice? Or is it only in their past, but your future?



Eventually, you will notice familiar surroundings outside the train. It is your safe place you imagined when you dropped into this trance for me. It is in your inner world... but now you can see how it is connected to the sea of warmth outside that you traversed with the train and the cats. From now on, it may be easier for you to find your way out there whenever you want to. Even though you followed the train in thought, now you may feel your feet pressing against the floor of the train, stepping out the door, back into your own inner world, your own safe space. Maybe you can ask a cat to stay with you a while, if you'd enjoy that? It's ultimately up to them, but I do think there's one who'd be glad about the invitation.

The train doors close with a rattle, and it slowly leaves your world, along with all the cats that remained on board. You are home now, settle in. Let yourself relax and rest... And when you are ready, notice that your body is still sitting there, in your safe space, with eyes closed. Just as you have left it... But now you see it from the outside. Walk around it, observe it. Now, sit down facing it. Isn't it strange and mysterious, sitting down facing yourself? Imagine a light filling up your body... Both the one you currently inhabit, and the one facing you. Think of your body you left on the train station bench... And of the body that's reading this text at this very moment. All of them are filling with light, all at the same time. Allow the light to illuminate all the sensations you have ignored to get in this deep trance state. Allow it to fill your muscles with energy and tone again. Allow it to slowly bring your mind back to an active, self-directed, aware state...

And just before you're there, just before you are awake, we will merge all these bodies, all these spaces, into one. When you get to the line that says 'NOW', you will close ALL of your eyes, including the physical ones reading this text... You will imagine all the closed eyes being the same pair of eyes, all the bodies being the same body... And take a deep breath, and stretch, and if it feels good, make a sound to express how nice it is to be awake and stretching your body. And after stretching, you will open your eyes. Your physical eyes, and your mind's eyes. And you will be awake, and refreshed, and feeling nice, knowing that you are connected to a sea of warmth and love.



Thank you. You WERE in a deep trance, weren't you?

Welcome back, and let me thank you for following me on this journey. I'm sure you did wonderfully. Now, feel free to share the color and pattern of the cats you have noticed in the comments. I'd be happy if this became a thing.

Also, feel free to redistribute or adapt this trance, under the CC BY-SA Creative Commons license:

Take care, fellow psychonaut!


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