Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wicca, ELF, and insomnia

I had a lot of trouble sleeping this past week. Too much waking up with full bladder around 5 a.m. and then being unable to return to sleep, sliding instead into the pre-dawn jim-jams. "My Wasted Life" and other such perennial themes.

Pre-dawn wakefulness always reminds me of one of the first Church of Wicca Samhain seminars that M. and I attended in 1977 or so. We were among the “young folks” at those gatherings--there was a larger middle-aged contingent that was less into religious Pagan Witchcraft and more into dowsing, remote viewing, experiments with ESP, energy healing, and various kinds of “fringe science.”

Several of the men, including, of course, Gavin Frost and Loy Stone, had been trained as engineers and had an engineer’s pragmatic attitude towards magic, broadly defined.

One speaker gave a talk about the military’s experiments with extremely low frequency radiation (3–30 Hz), which is utilized by our navy and the Russians to communicate with submerged submarines. He suggested that these nefarious experiments were causing mental disturbance in humans—possibly because the frequency chosen was close to the Earth’s own natural radio frequency—after thirty years I do not remember exactly.

To prove his point, he asked the audience if they were frequently awakened around 4 a.m. Hands shot up around the room.

All I could think about was that with at least four time zones represented, “4 a.m.” was not just one moment.

But later, as I aged, I realized that four o’clock was a fine time to lie awake and think about all the failures and worries of your life, and that doing so just seemed to be part of middle age.

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Blogger Hecate said...

waking up with full bladder around 5 a.m.

While my first reaction was: TMI, I have to admit that my cat prefers the period between 4:47 am and 5;19 am to make several mad dashes directly across my bladder.

I've learned to get up, feed her, TCOB, and go back to sleep for what are, often, dreamwise, the most productive two hours of the day.

Try valerian.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Carol Maltby said...

The 1968 Bergman film Vargtimmen ("Hour of the Wolf") had as its tagline, "'The Hour of the Wolf' is the hour between night and dawn. It is the hour when most people die. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful."

"Hour of the Wolf," the talk show Margot Adler originated on WBAI in 1972, still is in its original 5-7AM time slot on that station.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

Gee, Carol, thanks so much for reminding me. Maybe I should sit up listening to radio while sipping valerian tea.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Carol Maltby said...

I was trying to say that it's the human condition to be up and broody at that time of morning, not just those of us who are fiftysomethings.

I don't let myself lie in bed when that happens. I find it's better to go turn my computer on and catch up on The Daily Grail until I get drowsy again.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

After some rousing conspiracy news from The Daily Grail, how can you fall asleep?


9:18 PM  
Blogger Anti-Thesisofreason said...

Jim Jam's I like that. I hate lying awake like that, the worries, the would of, could of thoughts. I have been trying yoga and a little meditation when that happens. But of course waking up at 5 am, there is no use going back to sleep since the alarm goes off at 6:00. :-(

9:14 AM  
Blogger Carol Maltby said...

You have to go for the science articles that are geared somewhat above the level of pop sci that you could have a chance of repeating back coherently.


7:37 PM  

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