As fate would have it, the obstetrician looking after The Witch Doctor during her first pregnancy was the very same one who hypnotised her by mistake some years before.
It must have been because of this he remembered The Witch Doctor (it was unlikely he remembered her because of her brilliant abilities as a student in his specialty!)
In truly gentlemanly fashion he asked The Witch Doctor if he would like him to teach her how to hypnotise herself in preparation for the delivery.
Anything for a painless life! The Witch Doctor agreed, and so she padded along to his office for a few weekly sessions to learn the technique. I suppose, at that time, it is one of the few perks of being a doctor in the same hospital. It probably wouldn’t happen now.
And so all of The Witch Children (there are quite a few) first encountered their mother witch as she was emerging from a trance and they may have benefited a little from lack of exposure to the products of the opium poppy.
They may have been in a trance too as they came into the world for all I know.
To be honest, although The Witch Doctor could induce hypnosis, she hadn’t a clue what was going on inside her brain. Consequently, it seemed like a good idea to buy a book on the subject and to attend a few meetings of the local society of medical and dental hypnosis in order to understand a bit more about the methods of trance induction and changes in the underlying physiology (she never ever discovered much about the latter).
She remembers one meeting well.
It took place as usual on a Sunday and consisted mainly of a series of demonstrations. There might have been about forty people attending. All doctors or dentists. Apart from the lecturers and a few old hands most were new to “the science” of hypnosis and probably had very little experience.
She remembers one speaker vividly. He took to the floor and used both a blackboard and a flip chart and flitted from one to another.
His lecture, if you could call it that, started off sensibly enough. Then, at some point the sense gradually merged into garbage. The rubbish he was bombarding us with made The Witch Doctor confused. Then she became aware she was entering a light hypnotic state. She knew what was happening. The speaker was using a technique capable of inducing mass hypnosis. There and then, The Witch Doctor decided she was not going to participate in this demonstration and she made her self snap out of the trance. It was quite difficult to do but she discovered if she stopped listening to the speaker and instead focused on the audience she could maintain her normal waking state.
So she looked around the room. There was an unusual stillness. Everyone seemed to be motionless. All eyes were focused on he speaker. She was the only one looking around, shuffling her feet, looking inside her handbag and drawing cartoons on her notepad – all in an attempt to keep her mind occupied.
Almost the whole damned lecture theatre was hypnotised!
Eventually, the lecturer took the audience out of the trance but I can’t remember how. He informed them that he had successfully hypnotised most of the audience and discussed the technique used.
Then we queued up for a buffet lunch.
As we waited to be served there was much conversation about this experience.
Some were hopping mad, because their permission had not been sought.