‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for February 27th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Autumn, described by John Keats as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, is the most restful of all seasons. We are sensitive to a change of seasons. And at this particular time we stop to consider what our harvest is, and then the age-old promise to ourselves that next year will be better, and more productive.

But now the peace and serenity of the season is upon us, and the Artist has painted for our eyes to see the most beautiful of all seasons – the autumn.

Scattered frost has touched everything just enough to give a mottled pattern of brown and green. Early morning mists, blue and gray, hang low in the hills; brilliant red sumac and maples gold and burgundy stand out like jewels among the yellow elms.

There is a whole new world for those who wish to open their spiritual eyes. We need to insist that worries take the back seat while we sniff the sweet scent of wood smoke, and see the lavender-pink sunsets and autumn haze that settles like soft, blue fingers through the valleys. This is a picture for the soul by the Master Artist.

_________________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 27

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 27

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right to pray for them because they are like us, too.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

You don’t know how an apple tastes until you taste it. You don’t know what a fish tastes like until you eat it. You don’t know how it is to be a woman unless you are one. You don’t know what it means to have a baby until you have one. So it is with the natural laws. An example: the natural law of forgiveness says, if you hate someone, pray for the person to be blessed with happiness, joy and all the blessings of the Great Spirit. You will not know about this law unless you do it. The natural law says love others as you love yourself. If you hate yourself or feel guilt in some area of yourself, you will tend to judge and condemn your neighbor. You cannot give away what you don’t have. You teach your children by your example, not by your words. The natural laws are written in our hearts.

Great Spirit, teach me how to look into my heart.

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February 27 – Daily Feast

February 27 – Daily Feast

It is important to have a vision that is not clouded with fear,” said a Cherokee leader. “As children we were able to see beyond the impossible by enjoying a vision of how we wanted things to be. It required unlimited joy, and life responded freely – until we grew up enough that everything had to be real.” Sometimes the vision is truer than that which comes from it. A pattern to make anything can be accurate, and if followed perfectly, can produce the perfect model of it. But bringing something forth is the problem. We have to have a steady hand and a mind that is willing to follow precisely. Few things are spelled out for us. We learn to focus on what we need, but there is still another step: Focus on fulfillment. See it completed. This is usually left out as we adopt a wait-and-see attitude, and this step is far too important to ignore.

~ Have a vision not clouded by fear. ~

THE CHEROKEE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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The Daily Motivator for February 27th – Moving forward

Moving forward

Live this day based on the way you can be, not on the way you have been. Live  this day focused on your best possibilities, not on your worst fears.

One big thing that makes life so amazing is the constant opportunity to move  forward. As you live this day, choose to make the most of that opportunity.

Whatever the situation may be, whoever may be to blame, your best option is  to move forward. No matter how the past has been, or what you have or do not  have, your best choice is to move forward.

There is something you can do right now that will make a positive difference  and move things forward. Find it and do it.

If you’re dismayed and don’t really feel like doing anything, what will  quickly help you feel much better is doing something to move forward. If you’re  not sure what to do, move forward just a little and you’ll soon see ways to move  forward even more powerfully.

There may be plenty of good reasons to give up, and yet there’s one even  better reason to keep moving forward. It will inject new substance and energy  into your life, and with that, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Daily OM for February 27th – A Magical Mind

A Magical Mind
Wish

by Madisyn Taylor

When we wish for something our consciousness opens to receiving it like a flower unfolding its petals to receive a bee.

From blowing dandelion seeds into the air to throwing a penny into a fountain, we have all felt inspired to make a wish, to whisper our secret desires into the ears of the universe and wait for signs that we have been heard. Some wishes come true while others remain ethereal visions that either stay with us or fade like a star in the light of morning. Whether they come true or not, wishes are important missives, expressing our heart’s desire as well as our intention to create something new in our lives. When we wish for something, our consciousness opens to receiving it, like a flower unfolding its petals to receive a bee.

There is something innocent and magical about making a wish, something that recalls the energy of childhood. Wishing is not about formulating a plan and following it step by step to attain a goal, which is the realm of adulthood. Wishing is more like a playful volley across the universe, an invitation to play. Waiting for the response is an integral part of the process. Wishing inspires an innocent opening to the possibility of magic as we wait to see if the invisible realm will bring our wish to life. This opening is a beautiful gesture in and of itself, regardless of the outcome. We place ourselves in a magical mind, and this mind is arguably as wonderful as the fulfillment of our wish itself.

In our straightforward, action-oriented society, we may tend to dismiss the power of this seemingly passive process, yet the power of a wish is well known, hence the cautionary phrase, “Be careful what you wish for. If you have given up wishing in favor of more adult pursuits, you might want to bring its magic back into your life. The next time you see the first star of the evening, or find yourself in front of a birthday cake covered in flaming candles, give yourself the gift of the magical realm that you knew so well as a child—close your eyes, open your mind, and make your wish.

The Daily OM

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On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice

On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice

Author:   Kame   

I knew I wanted to write essays about my experience of being Wiccan. I wrote a few pithy pieces, full of well-turned phrases and stunningly cogent allusions. But that’s all just verbal masturbation. I threw them in the trash. In the end, I kept asking myself… what is the purpose of these essays? What wisdom (written with a roll of my eyes) do I have to impart? Sigh.

I lost twenty-five pounds last year. Yea, pat me on the back. I have another twenty-five to lose, but that’s another story. When strangers find out about my feat, the first thing they want to know is “What’s your secret?” “How did you do it?” I gave them all the same answer: “Eat less, exercise more.” That is how you lose weight. That’s all there is to it. It is that simple. But every time I told someone that, I could see the disappointment on his or her face. They wanted it to be some elaborate thing…so they could brag about how they were able to accomplish this enormous task if they succeeded or so that they could excuse themselves if they failed by saying it was just too hard.

First bit of unsolicited advice: Quit trying to make simple things complicated. Whatever you are attempting to do, boil it down to its simplest element and never lose sight of that core truth.

Second bit of unsolicited advice: tame the boob tube or anything else in your life that is distracting you. And before you think I’m one of those snooty ‘no TV’, cold turkey types, let me tell you I have a TV — two in fact. I’m an avid fan of Mad Men, Once Upon a Time, Ghost Hunter, etc.

When my youngest was a toddler, she went to daycare at the house of a childhood friend of mine. The TV in that house was always on and I would always end up being distracted by it so that I was unable to complete a conversation with my friend without staring off at it. She frequently remarked that I, the only one of her clients without a TV, was the only one who seemed distracted by it. Actually, we owned a TV then but I didn’t have the heart to break her illusion that we were goody-two-shoe, tree hugging, neo-hippie types. Something about her reaction bothered me for many years… some niggling need to understand why I was so distracted by the thing and others weren’t. To put it simply I don’t multi-task. Not in the way most people understand that term. If you look at the studies that have been done on multi-tasking, they all come to the same conclusion: if you multi-task, your brain does not divide its attention evenly between the tasks. Dividing your attention degrades your ability to concentrate on any one thing. I record everything I want to watch. I skip commercials entirely. When I sit down to watch TV, I watch TV and that is all I do. I like to think that the difference between me and those who leave the TV running all the time is that I, to paraphrase Thoreau, “live in this world, not on it.” So do one, and only one, thing at a time.

That brings me to my last bit of unsolicited advise in this essay and after this, I’ll tie everything back to Wicca. If you’ve made it this far, and the last paragraph bothered you, it’s probably because you are trapped in the ‘time paradox’. There is never enough time to get all the things you need to do done. You probably think you have to multi-task. If you didn’t, you would fall so far behind, even though you feel like you are running as fast as you can, that you would sink into a cartoony, circling, morass of never ending tasks. Get off the treadmill. You can do it. Go ahead; step off. Turn off every electronic device, close every book, close the door. Do this at a time when you can be alone. Sit down and do nothing. Clear your mind and just listen.

There is no clock ticking. All those things you need to do are illusions. They are the bars of the cage that keeps you from being who you really want to be, from doing what you really want to do. You are so busy doing all those things you think you are supposed to do that you don’t have time to figure out whether they are what you need to do to be the person you want to be. (See first bit of advise. Insert here.) Take the time, once a day, once a week, every once in a while, to reduce the clutter of your life down to its simplest elements and think about whether those elements are the building blocks for the person you want to be.

Easier said than done. The first four essays I started and threw out revolved around ritual and historical interpretations, poetry and being a Solitary Wiccan. When I followed the first of my own pieces of advice here and reduced them down to their simplest elements, I kept coming back to the idea of “foundation”. The strength of the ‘what’ part of your path will be constrained by the strength of your ‘how’. Without a balanced approach, you will never bring your practice to full-flower.

I grew up Presbyterian. On Sunday, we would get dressed in our best clothes, drive to the church, sit quietly while the preacher imparted biblical wisdom to us and then go home get changed and eat a big meal. That was our ritual. When it was over, the TV went back on and we went back to our normal life. There was a separation between religion and real life; though it was never spoken of, it was made clear by our actions. I tried to make a go of being a Christian many times. The last time was after my father’s death because I knew it had saddened him that I had left the church. I couldn’t make it work.

The last Christian church I attended had this thing called an ‘Alpha’ course. It was supposed to teach you how to become a ‘real’ Christian. I learned some time after taking the class that one of the couples who attended had been a ‘plant’. They were actually the church members who had brought the course to the Minister’s attention. They went undercover to be a catalyst, to show the newbies by their actions how real Christians behaved. I had a conversation with a friend in the church shortly after that discovery and their advice to me was to keep doing all the things I had been shown in the ‘Alpha’ class by the two fake newbies and eventually it would all make sense. In other words, you don’t need a foundation for your belief; you just need repetition to instill the behavior patterns and the belief will follow. I grew up following religion in that way. I knew where that path leads. That was my ‘Truffaut moment’.

In the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” Francois Truffaut played the scientist Claude Lacombe. In one scene, he taps out the tune they keep hearing everywhere the aliens have dropped clues and says, “Ecoute, ecoute. This means something. This is important.” Anytime I hear something that reads as ‘BS’, but I can’t quite put my finger on why, that’s a ‘Truffaut moment’.

I left that church and all of Christianity behind that day, for good. I went back to the basics. I knew I wanted spirituality in my life, not as a pantomime with costumes and props, but as something as important to me as my breathing. I read a lot stuff: Cunningham and Campbell, anthropology, history, and eastern religion. I think it was Margot Adler’s “Drawing Down The Moon” that made me realize Wiccan wasn’t something I was becoming, it was something I already was; something I had been all my life.

I have five or six Moleskin notebooks I keep. They are full of notes, lists, book titles, drawings; none of them in any particular order in any particular book (though I do habitually date my entries) . When the mood to write comes, I pick up whichever one of my Moleskins is closest and start writing. I’m not sure anyone else could make sense of them. But I can. They are my ‘memory ball’.

I remember seeing a great ball of knotted twine and cloth in the Native American Museum in Washington DC. In my own head, I call it a memory ball. I don’t remember if that was what the scholar who wrote the tag for it named the thing. I don’t remember what tribe it came from, or what era it covered or who made it. I only remember the idea of it:

The ball represented a person’s memories of their life. When events they felt were important occurred, they would take up the ball and add to it a knot or a bead, a bit of cloth to represent their memory of that event. Knot by knot, the ball would grow as they grew old. When they touched it, unwound it, they would have available to them a linear representation of their entire life.

My Moleskin notebooks are a representation of how I came to understand the Wiccan inside of me. If I feel lost or question why I believe what I believe, I open one of the Moleskins and leaf through until I find something that catches my attention… a thought I had, a fact I learned, a place I went that brought me closer to understanding my path and myself. Sometimes reading is enough. Sometimes I take that bit and do more research, more thinking. In some ways, these notebooks are my ‘Grimoire’, though there isn’t much about spells or ritual in them. They are the things I use to bring me back into balance.

One last bit of unsolicited advice: find yourself something like that, something that can bring you back into balance. Maybe it’s a walk in the woods, a soft prayer, a bit of meditation. Don’t hesitate to use it when your life feels scattered and stressed.

There is no secret to becoming a Wiccan, Pagan, Druid or whatever you choose to call yourself. You either are or you aren’t; without meaning to sound like Yoda, there is no ‘becoming’. The only destination before us is death. Everything else is just the path to that destination. Break it down. Make it simple. Build up from there. If you don’t have a foundation for your belief, it’s just a pantomime with costumes and a meal afterward. You deserve better than that.

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Journey To Witchcraft

Journey To Witchcraft

Author:   The Wild Sorceress  

Hello from an Australian Eclectic Witch. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a procrastinator. I’ve been thinking about writing an essay for some time but as all procrastinators will tell you, it’s always the thinking, never the doing.

I have always been interested in witchcraft. I think the awareness and the interest started when I was 13, (inspired from seeing The Craft. Yes, I know what you’re thinking and you’re probably right. But we all find our path in different ways).

I went to see the movie with three friends and at the end of the movie, like all teenage girls who are not considered ‘popular’ we thought “Wow this is for us”. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble the teenage way. And like all teenagers, my three friends lost interest fairly soon after.

The interest always stuck with me in various ways over the next few years but being in high school one has enough stress and doesn’t always find the time to delve into the spiritual.

So as the story goes, years later I was cleaning out my room and came across a book my parents had bought for me when I was 13 called The Nice Girl’s Book of Naughty Spells. (Yes you read correctly, my parents bought it for me).

I also came across articles I had ripped out of magazines and a booklet I had sent off for from the Church Of Wicca in Perth, WA. It grabbed me, and then it lost me. I began working and again, it took a back seat. I think at that stage in my life, it wasn’t time for me to walk the path. (Procrastination again).

I was about 22 when the interest became more of a spiritual need, a path I felt I needed to walk. I bought books to read. My first 2 were Witch A Personal Journey and A Magickal Year by Fiona Horne, followed soon by Book Of Shadows by Phyllis Currot and then finally Wicca by Scott Cunningham. It really hit me: this is what I wanted, and I felt it was right for me.

Luckily I didn’t have any religious conflicts. For all intents and purposes my mother was a single mother and she felt, not being religious herself, that she did not want to baptize her children (I have an older brother). She felt that we should feel free to pick our own path when we were old enough to understand what religion was. Suffice to say, Christianity was not for me.

I’ve always been an independent free thinker and the rules and rigmarole of organized religion was not for me.

The way I got here was interesting. As a general rule when I was younger, nature and its elements were actually very boring to me. I knew there were trees and flowers and things of that nature but it didn’t really impact me in any fashion. I used to hate helping my mother garden. Also, every time I tried to grow something it would die. The natural world, seemingly, was not my friend.

As I began to study witchcraft the natural held more interest and I felt better and more alive when I would go outside. We have this massive Oak tree in our yard and it is magnificent and really old. Now when I stand with it and look at it or touch the leaves, I feel an affinity I never thought I would. I feel a spiritual recognition, a connection with its beauty and its sense of history. I grow herbs under it and they flourish nourished by its shade. Being a fire sign, Oak is also one of my Celtic trees.

I feel my personal power growing. I have always had a strong sense of intuition and occasionally have psychic flashes that more often than not just leave me with a head spinning sense of déjà vu.

I am now able to grow herbs. I’m currently growing about 8 different kinds from seed and they are going really strong now. To me, this is a sign that the Goddess is helping me walk this path.

The one thing that originally boggled my mind was the amount of ‘things’ needed in witchcraft. There are athames and wands, chalices, censers, candles, herbs etc and I thought that my new path — although giving me great spiritual fulfillment — was going to drain my finances. But I have found that these items have come to me when I have needed them, not before. I think that instead of rushing out and buying everything all at once that if you wait, the Goddess will deliver. If not, I have 2 great recommendations for you.

EBay is a great place to get different ritual items. I got my first lot of herbs, most of my books, runes and two lovely wooden pentagram boxes from EBay.

Another is an Australian website called Uncle Festers. They have a club called the Cauldron Club and each month for 13 months they send you a package, slowly building up all your ritual supplies. Since being with them I haven’t really bought anything. I wait; it comes. I love it; it’s like my birthday every month.

My mother and stepfather have always been incredibly supportive of my choice (as has my brother and friends). I never had to worry about their disapproval. It breaks my heart when I read articles on here about new witches who fear rejection and anger from their parents if they share with them the news of walking the path of the Goddess. It’s sad that people are not flexible minded enough to realize that what may be good for them religion-wise is not always good for someone else.

My advice is to stay strong and be true to who you are because ultimately in this world, the only person who you have to please is yourself.

Wow, do I go on. So this is the story of a 24-year-old Eclectic Witch from Australia who wanted to write an article for Witchvox.

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Instant Witch

Instant Witch

Author:   Stephanie Arwen  

Gotcha! Now you know there is no $19.95 wayof being a Witch, don’t you? Sit down; take a breath…now that you havefound something you want you want it yesterday! I understand. I can rememberwhen I started. I remember that sense of urgency I got. That “I have toget there right now” I have to be just like Z. Budapest, Starhawk, Margo!I wanted to meet them. I wanted to talk to them yesterday! But most ofall and worst of all, I wanted to be them. Put pushing the river isn’tgoing to get you there any faster. And where is there anyway?

Seventeen years down the road now and I cansay to you that you will NEVER be a Z a Starhawk a Margot a Silver Ravenwolf, a D.J. Conway, a Scott Cunningham. Oh no, you can’t be them. You can onlybe you. And that you is going to be a beautiful thing!

So I was 20 and I finally knew what I wantedto be when I grew up, but no one could give me enough information. I wasneither as fortunate nor as cursed as you are in today’s world of a dozenbooks per subject. Fortunate because you can go into almost any Barnesand Noble, Waldenbooks, or even Amazon.com and just pick up a book. Doyou have any idea how hard that was in 1981? Finding a copy of ZsuzsannaBudapest’s The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, pt 1 was an experience.I was living in Louisiana at the time and a friend had introduced me toStarhawk’s The Spiral Dance. I was hooked. I am also a bibliography reader.If an author I like mentions a book, then I want to get my hands on thatbook and see what it is about!

But you are cursed as well because thereis so much witchcrap out there. So many people who have written books thatare a total waste of paper. But the books that I think are a waste of papermay be the ones that speak best to you. That is a clue, my new Witch friend.Never let me or anyone else tell you that a book is useless. Learn to readfor yourself and think critically while you read. Does the author makesense or is there a nagging feeling you have that this person is a completeflake? If there is, then do yourself a favor and research the subject.You don’t think that author woke up one morning and knew everything therewas to know about their subject do you? Patricia Telesco, one of my favoriteauthors, has a page on her website that tells new authors to plan for 800hours per book. And that 800 hours includes research as part of it! Soif Ms. Telesco must research, why shouldn’t you?

The web has wonderful places for that kindof research, but don’t forget your local library! Find authors you admire.Then try to discover why you like them. Is it because they have writtenbooks period? Or is it in the way that they deliver their information?Dorothy Morrison has a style that I adore! She is personable and approachablein her books as well as accurate and knowledgeable. Or you might preferFrancesca De Grandis style that has the feel of teacher walking with herstudent and talking.

And don’t just read websites! A website ownercan be someone with less knowledge than you but has the ability and know-howto scan books and copy things wholesale without credit. Don’t be takenin. Go to your local library (you remember, that large brick building onthe corner?) and check out books on anthropology, archaeology, history, etc. Learn where our roots come from. And please, don’t let someone tellyou Wicca is an ages-old religion! It is not. It is a new religion. I liketo say Wicca is a new dress on a very old set of bones. We do have someancient roots, but the branches we have today are new. But you have tolearn to let the urgency not rule you. Do read everything you can get yourhands on. Read “Witch” books. Read all the books! But don’t forget to takeyour salt cellar with you.

Huh? Arwen? What the heck are you talkingabout and what is a salt cellar?

Your Salt Cellar is that thing you carrysalt in so you will always have a grain of salt to take things with. Don’taccept something simply because it is published in a book or on the web.Learn to believe in yourself. Learn to listen to your inner voice. Theone telling you that maybe what you just read is a load of manure …ormaybe it is saying that there is a pearl in that load of manure. Trustin the reality of self. I can’t stress this enough. If you will give yourselfthe tools of knowledge and discernment, then you can begin to hear thetruth in things as well as the lies and mistakes. Do listen to what otherssay about books, but don’t take their word for it. Figure it out for yourself.

The sense of urgency you feel now may makeyou too intent on getting there. But, here is the question. Where is there?Are you so focused on your race to the finish that you are not enjoyingthe journey? Be too intent on getting there wherever there is and not intentupon enjoying the journey and the journey will pass you by! I don’t knowif this message will reach you, but I am 38 (b. 1961). I began my journeyon the path to Wicca in 1981 (or 2). That was 17 years ago. I am stillon the journey of getting there. I will always be on that journey. Learnto enjoy the Trip. There is no there. When you get there, you will havereached the end and that means starting again.

Once you learn that the journey is the meansand the end, then you realize how much more you have to learn.

I wish you good fortune on your travels.A part of me wishes I was at the beginning again, but most of me is quitecontent to be where I am. I am still experiencing new thoughts, new thingsand new people on a daily basis. Remember to enjoy the trip. Oh, and don’tforget to send a postcard from some of those exotic places you visit.

Ok, for those of you who still want all theanswers.

All The Answers ™

Red, blue, green, yellow, white, Hallows, Samhain, Winter Solstice, Yule, Candlemas, Brigidmas, Imbolg, Vernal Equinox, Spring Equinox, Ostara, Beltain, Mayday, Lady’s Day, Beltaine, Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Longest Day of the Year, Lammas, Lugh’s Feast, Lughnassadh, Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, cakes and wine, Heiros Gamos, 42, North, East, South, West, Water, Fire, Air, Earth, Center, Above, Below, salamander, dragonfly, snake, dolphin, Raven, Morgan, WildHawk, Hawkdatter, OakStandingTall, cat, dog, frog, toad, A, B, C, D, All Of The Above, True, False, myrrh, frankincense, pine, oak, holly, Cerridwen, Cernnunos, Herne, Hecate, Isis, Tammuz.

Now…you have to supply the questions.
Arwen NightstarThe Instant Witch Graphic was done by Andra (webmistress for http://www.spiritonline.com) This graphic is one she made in response to a flurry of “insta-witch” questions she received on her discussion board Spirit Online, an interactive resource for those interested in understanding and discussing religion and metaphysics.

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ASTRAL TRAVEL SIMPLICITY ITSELF

ASTRAL TRAVEL SIMPLICITY ITSELF
Author Unknown

The step by step instructions that I was taught, similar to those in the
LLEWELYN Practical Guide to Astral Travel, worked better for me – it took me
a lot of practice to get to where I could do it and it seems that for most
people it takes practice, although some can do it spontaneously.  In fact it
happens to some the first few times with no warning and then, after worrying
they have gone crazy for a while, they later learn what it is. But I did just
want to say for those like me for whom it does NOT come easy, not to get
discouraged but to try working with it one step at a time.

Two interesting points about astral travel for me.  One is that I find it more
interesting to explore the astral planes than to explore specific locations on
this plane.  However when you are first learning, exploring specific locations
on this plane can help.  Laurie Cabot suggests picking a store near you that you
have never been in, try projecting to it, immediately on arising write down your
impressions of it and then, as soon as you can, visit the store and check out
your impressions.  If they are not all correct, don’t be discouraged The example
she gives is DID YOU SEE RED BEHIND THE CASH REGISTER AND IT’S NOT THERE?  Perhaps the cashier that day or evening was wearing a Red sweater!  The longer you wait to visit the establishment, the more likely it is they will move
something or change a display, so go soon after your visit.

The second is that I used to do it as a kid, no problem – right up until my Dad
told me it was all in my head and I had imagined it. Then I couldn’t do it
anymore.

A note here – My DAD, who used to be a hard-core skeptic, started attending a
Spiritualist Church I hung-out at when he married my step-mother.  I find it
humorous that originally he went there because it was non-denominational so you don’t have to believe everything the ministers teach and because he liked the
ministers, but he didn’t buy the Psychic stuff.  Well, lately he’s changing his
mind as he’s had some startling experiences.  I’m good, I’m nice, I don’t tell
him he is imagining things.  But I can’t help laughing about it to myself
just a little bit.

Oh, some of the stuff the Llewelyn book suggests is to practice opening your
chakras first and grounding the energy, work on that for 1 week to 1 month.
WHEN YOU HAVE IT DOWN PAT (be honest with yourself here or you can forget it) work on projecting a cloud of your energy out through your solar plexus (some people work better projecting from the 3d eye, I personally project the body through the solar plexus and when I project the consciousness into it, I do it via the 3d eye.  BUT since these are all merely visual aids to doing something
non-physical, I am not sure that it matters IF YOU ARE ACHIEVING VALID RESULTS) and leaving this energy as a cloud only then reabsorbing it. YOU DO NOT PROJECT YOUR AWARENESS INTO IT.  You absolutely MUST reabsorb it.  That is done for a week or a month or however long it takes.  It is done by creative visualization until you get it to the point where you can feel that it is something more.

Then you do the same thing for a week or a month, ONLY YOU SHAPE THE CLOUD INTO A SIMULCRAM OF YOUR BODY (if you are also trying to heal yourself, use the ideal form you wish to achieve – make it realistic and so it looks like you) WITHOUT projecting consciousness to it, you send it out to watch a situation you can later check on for yourself. When it comes back at a prearranged time later on, meditate for a while and write down your impressions AND DO NOT THROW ANY OF THEM OUT AS THEY SEEM SILLY OR IMPOSSIBLE – truth is often stranger than fiction.  Check on these later, DISCREETLY – don’t TELL people you sent an astral traveler to them, say I HEARD THAT you went such and such a place today while I was in school so you can say to your mom that someone saw her and told you or something, OR just say it’s a hunch, or, if you have the impression that your mom called your grandmother while you were in school, just say I WONDER HOW GRANDMA IS DOING? and see if your mother doesn’t say, THAT’S WEIRD SHE CALLED ME TODAY.

PEOPLE GET PARANOID IF THEY THINK THAT YOU CAN WATCH THEM – AND THEY ALSO THINK YOU ARE THE CRAZY ONE IF YOU SAY YOU CAN DO THIS. Interestingly enough science (psychology) tells us that one of the classic symptoms of Paranoia is to think the OTHER person is crazy.

Always be sure to bring the simulcram back at the pre-arranged time and REABSORB IT!

The next step is to project consciousness into it, go out with it, and reabsorb
the energy/substance afterwards – but only try this once you have the watcher
exercise down pat.

THESE EXERCISES SHOULD BE DONE FROM A MEDITATIVE STATE.

ALWAYS SHIELD YOURSELF BEFORE TRAVELING

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FOUR METHODS OF ASTRAL PROJECTION

FOUR METHODS OF ASTRAL PROJECTION

Method One:
Start off by placing some markers around your room or home. These markers could include such things as a rose, a bowl of cold water, a shoe, etc.. Now lie down on your bed. Next, get up and make a circle, going from one marker to the next and back to your bed. Involve yourself with each of the markers. Smell the rose. Feel the cool wetness of the water. Feel the texture of the rubber sole of the
shoe. When you return to the bed, lie down in your original position.

The next step is to visualize above you a cloud of the purest white. It may
remain as a cloud or you can form it into the shape of your own body (idealized
if desires). You may notice a connection between your physical body and your
double in the form of an umbilical-like cord at your navel, solar plexus, third
eye area, or at the top of your head. People experience this cord in different
places.

Now, will the cloud or double to circle around the markers following the same
path that you had taken earlier. If you noticed the cord, you can see that it
will stretch indefinitely. Have the double or cloud smell the rose, feel the
water and feel the shoe, just as you did earlier. Eventually, this imaginary
tour will change to bi-locationality and finally to astral projection. Once you
have attained these states, there’s no need to limit yourself as to where you
can go. Feel free to visit a friend’s home. Remember that you are learning a
new skill, so don’t try to go too far until you are very comfortable with the
experience.

Even if you are only using imagination, always reabsorb the double or cloud back
into your physical body when you have completed your journey. Also, always end
with a banishing ritual.

Method Two:
This is similar to method one. Either lie down or sit in a chair. Begin by
visualizing a cloud in front of you (or over you if you are lying down). If you
wish, you may form it into a double of yourself.

Now, firmly desire to transfer your consciousness to the double. If you feel a
sudden change in your body, described by some as a lightening or vibrating
feeling, will yourself to open your eyes. Do not try to physically open your
eyes by using your muscles. Just will yourself to see. Do not be surprised when
you see your physical body in front of you.

Spend no more then three minutes concentrating or trying to cause your
consciousness to leave your body and join your Astral self. If it works, fine.
If it doesn’t work in about three minutes, that is fine too. Relax, take some
deep breaths, and try again tomorrow.

The key to succeeding with this system (and with all of the methods, really) is
the URGENT DESIRE TO LEAVE your physical body. When you succeed, be sure to reabsorb the double into your physical body at the end of the projection. Of course, do banishings before and after.

Method Three:
Lie naked on a bed. Have a friend or relative put a folded heavy bedspread on
your feet. Now have your aide slowly drag the folded spread up your body until
it reaches the top of your head. Then the person helping you should quickly lift
the spread up and away from you and quietly leave the room.

Now duplicate the process in your mind’s eye. Only instead of a bedspread, feel
your Astral body rising up. First your feet rise, then your ankles, calves,
knees and so forth to the top of your head. At the point where the bedspread was
lifted from your physical body, imagine your consciousness going with the Astral
body. When finished, reabsorb the double or cloud back into your physical body.

Method Four:
Hear the musical note D natural above middle C in your mind. A little practice
with a piano, pitch pipe, or a friend with a musical instrument will make this
pitch familiar to you. Now double the frequency of the pitch in your mind so
that you hear a pitch an octave higher then the first note. If you are not a
musician, a friend with musical knowledge can help you with this.

Again hear the tune, only an additional octave higher, then hear it an octave
above that. Continue this process until you are far above a piano’s range.

You will notice that you are feeling lighter as the notes get higher in pitch.
You may sense a vibration in your head. Let the sound rise higher and higher as
you feel THE SOUND rise towards the ceiling of your room. When you sense that
the sound is as high as you can go, both as a pitch and within the confines of
the room, will your eyes to open. Again, don’t be surprised if you see your
physical body below. When finished, allow the double to be reabsorbed into the
physical body. This method is particularly good for musicians.

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HOW TO ASTRAL TRAVEL

HOW TO ASTRAL TRAVEL

This article is being written in response to the overwhelming interest in
“Astral Travel”.  It is my hope that I can dispel many of the myths of Astral
Travel, and provide some common-sense approaches to the subject for the student.

WHAT IS ASTRAL TRAVEL EXACTLY?

The very first myth I wish to dispel is the nonsense concept of “Out of Body”.
When speaking of Astral Travel, the term works well enough as a metaphor;  but
many people today seem to have forgotten that it is only a metaphor.  How many
hours of wasted time have students invested in half-baked techniques of “getting
out of the body”?  I, personally, spent years laying on my back vainly trying to
figure out exactly how to leave my physical body.  Likewise, most of the people
who I run across report the same results.

Astral Travel is, quite simply, a method of visiting other planes.  However,
it is the nature of these planes that are gravely misunderstood.  Let us use, as
an example, the Wizard who spends much time Astral Traveling into the various
Planetary Spheres- also known as the Seven Heavens.  In all of the mythological
writings which describe these Heavens, they are specifically described as Higher
Realms.  However, when we read the writings of these Wizards, the journey is
described as an inner one.  In Shamanic Cultures as well, the Astral Journeys
known as “Vision Quests” were known to be the inner realms of the Shaman’s
psyche.  In Australia, the Astral Elm is plainly called the “Dream-Time”.

And so the Astral Realms are, in fact, the inner realms of the Self.  Thus it
is that getting “out of body” is a worthless goal- not to mention impossible.
Of course, others will present evidence that they do have interaction with other
Beings- sometimes right here on Earth- while Traveling.  These experiences are
often valid, and their nature will be covered below.

The basic thing to keep in mind is that you have been Astral Traveling all of
your life.  Being that the Astral Realms are within us, then the obvious
realization is that gaining them is simply the gaining of a certain level of
consciousness.  Have you ever been so extremely bored that you “zoned out”?  You
entered into a fantasy of some sort, and lost track of everything going on
around you.  You were perfectly awake, yet you were “a million miles away”.
This was Astral Travel.  Dreaming is another form of this, and Lucid Dreaming is
certainly a form as well.  It’s that simple;  there are no hidden meanings to
this.  Dreams and Daydreams are Astral Travel.  The only “trick” is in learning
how to do it at will.

GIVING THE ASTRAL BODY A WORKOUT

The first and foremost thing we must do is give the Astral Body (or Body of
Light) a workout.  After spending your whole life in a wheel-chair, one can not
hope to be a runner without some effort toward physical therapy.  Thus it is
that I will stress the need for three practices to be done daily for a while
before you can hope to achieve any real success.

One is a Purification and Balancing Ritual.  This will serve to blast out of
your aura (the Astral Body) all of the garbage that might otherwise hinder
progress.  I suggest the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram very strongly
for this purpose.

Two is a Charging of the Chackras.  This will bring large amounts of Energy into
the aura, and get all of it’s component parts up and running.  For this purpose
I suggest the Middle Pillar- which should be done immediately after the
Purification above.

And Three is the Circulation of the Body of Light.  This consists of two or
three different exercises, all designed to immediately follow the chakra
charging.  One is to visualize Energy rising from the ground, through the body,
and bursting forth from the crown of the head like a fountain to rain back down
to the ground.  This should cycle repeatedly with the breath- Energy rises with
intake of breath, and falls back to the ground with each exhalation.  The next
is to visualize Energy running up one side of the aura and down the other- first
up one side and down the other, and then up the front and down the back.  You
can also make it change distances-  first a full arm’s length from the body, and
then later make it go up and down along the spine.  This should also cycle with
the breath.

Do this everyday at the same time.  After you have learned the exercises so that
you can do them smoothly, allow them to continue for a couple of weeks before
continuing with the following.  Once you begin the methods below, do not
discontinue them at all.  It would do no harm to do them everyday for the rest
of your life, but at least do them until you have mastered Astral Travel.

METHODS OF TRAVEL

Before you continue reading this, I want you to try an experiment.  Get into a
comfortable sitting position, or perhaps lay on your back.  Clear your mind, and
begin to fantacise about something.  It doesn’t matter what- just chose a
setting and allow a little movie to play out within your mind (you don’t even
have to be involved in the movie).  Do this now, and then read on afterward…

Now, at this time I will ask you a few questions.  Number one:  Were you able to
accomplish the exercise at all?  Were you able to bring any pictures into your
mind, and have them be solid enough to have any impact?  Number two:  Did your mind wander?  Was it hard- or even impossible- to keep your mind focused on the fantasy?  Did you keep losing your train of thought?  Did you perhaps fall
asleep?

And, Number Three:  How real was the fantasy?  Were you aware of what was
around you in the room you sat or laid in?  Did you have to move the characters
of your fantasy around consciously like puppets?  Did you have to write the
story as it progressed?  Or, were you able to completely lose yourself into the
fantasy?  Did it seem to take on a life of it’s own and just take you along for
the ride?

If you were able to completely lose yourself into the fantasy, then you are very
lucky indeed.  Most likely, however, you experienced some of the above
problems- if not more.  The skill of Astral Travel is the skill to avoid these
problems;  and, as you can see, not one of them has anything at all to do with
getting “out of body”.  Following, then, is a method you can use to gain an
Astral Experience.

MAKING THE ASTRAL BODY

The first thing you have to do is to make your Astral Shell.  Of course, it’s
already there, but it’s your ability to picture it that lacks.  Thus, we will
work on some techniques for this.   Of course, you will surely experience all of
the same problems as you did during the above exercise.  However, if you do this
often you will get better at it.  There are no easy answers, only practice,
practice, and more practice.  It is best to do this everyday at a specific time;
begin at perhaps five minutes, then ten, then fifteen, twenty, and so on.

Get into a nice quite place where you can be sure you won’t be disturbed.  Get
comfortable in either a sitting or lying down position.  Now, take a deep
breath, and as you do so imagine a great amount of Energy being drawn into you.  You can visualize this coming from everywhere, or from the Earth, or from Above- it doesn’t matter.  Just make sure that you see and feel this Energy building higher and higher as you take in the breath.  Don’t worry about whether it is real or imagined, just imagine it and know that it is working.  Once you get
used to the feeling, you’ll know it’s not just imaginary.

Now, once the Energy is built, let all the air out.  As you exhale, hold your
hands out as if grasping a ball, and imagine all of the Energy being forced
between them in a spherical shape, and glowing a Golden color.  Once you get
used to doing this, you will notice a very specific effect.  Holding this ball
of Energy tends to feel much like trying to hold two magnets together with the
same poles facing each other.  You’ll feel a kind of non-physical “push” against
your hands.

Once you’ve accomplished this, visualize the Ball moving away from your hands
to a short distance in front of you.  Immediately see the sphere take on the
shape of a body- specifically yours.  Once more, I stress, don’t worry about if
this is real or imagined.  It is real.  What the beginner must realize is that
what he imagines IS real.  The methods I’m describing are simply ways to make
the imagination seem more real.

At this point, you have a version of yourself standing before you.  Of course,
it could (and should) be an idealized version of yourself.  I usually picture
myself in full Ceremonial garb.  Spend time picturing this.  Allow it to move
around some.  You can even get up and move, visualizing it matching your
movements (this is similar to an important technique that I will describe
later).  You can even go ahead and picture yourself doing something in an
imaginary world- but I would reserve this for a while at first.

The point behind all of this is to help you to visualize yourself.  You should
become so familiar with this picture that you can easily call it to mind.  At
first, however, you will probably have difficulty.  You will only see parts, and
often forget details.  Each time you do this, simply correct it and go on with
the exercise.  As you practice, it will get better.  Give this about a month or
so- or until you are good enough at it to satisfy yourself.  Remember, the only
one you can lie to or cheat on this is yourself.

Lastly, as you do this, and the vision gets more stable, you can dispense with
the golden sphere.  Just gather the Energy and send it out to form the Shell.
Just remember that this should only be done once the Shell is fully formed, and
you can easily picture it in all detail.  Making the golden sphere will help you
focus your mind to the goal.  Once you’ve accomplished a good mental mock-up of yourself, then proceed with the following:

THE ASTRAL TEMPLE

This method is one which kills two birds with one stone.  Many, possibly most,
Magickal Traditions put a certain amount of stress on the Astral Temple, Middle
Temple, or Place of Comfort.  All of these are names for the same thing- a kind
of personal space upon the Astral Plane which only you can access.  Once you
master Astral Travel, it is a place where you can go to perform Ceremonies at
any time, anywhere, and with little notice.  Best of all, it will always live up
to the image of your own dream Temple or other Sacred Magickal Space.

The practical work on this is extremely simple.  Get into your usual place, at
your usual time, and start to fantacise:  Get a good picture of your ideal
working space.  See yourself walking around in it.  Examine all the implements
upon the Altar and the Temple furniture.  Have fun with it- it’s that simple.
Of course, you’re just adding the aspect of a background to your previous
visualizations.  You want to be able to call the image of your Temple to mind as
easily as the image of your Astral Shell.  You’ll want to give this a month or
so as well.

Besides walking around in the Astral Temple, you may wish to perform a simple
Ritual.  The Cabalistic “Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram” is a rather
nice one, as well as the other Rituals I mentioned above such as the Middle
Pillar and Circulation of the Body of Light.  In fact, you will want to
eventually perform these daily Rituals strictly on the Astral.  This serves as a
kind of gauge for progress- to see how far you can get through the ritual before
losing the train of thought.  In time, you will be able to perform the entire
Ritual.  It will seem less forced, and, most importantly, you will lose track of
your physical body.  However, keep in mind that you should NEVER attempt to cast a spell while learning.  What harm could be caused if you get half-way through a spell and then lose your train of thought?

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is OK to see yourself from the outside
at first- as you did in the first exercise.  Just daydream as you normally
would.  As you become accustomed to it, you can begin to try the Astral Body on
for size and daydream from the view-point of the main character- you.  After a
while, this will happen naturally anyway.  Above all else, BE PATIENT.  Give
this time- it could take months to make progress.  You would short yourself if
you gave up even before a year (though, don’t allow that to frighten you, as you
should have results much sooner than that).

A SIGN TO LOOK FOR

As you practice this, I’m sure you’ll be looking for some kind of sign of
progress.  Of course, the main sign is that you forget about the physical body;
that you get lost within the fantasy completely.  However, there is also another
side-effect you will notice in time.

Events on the Astral are not limited the same way as they are here on the
physical.  There is no inertia to overcome, no muscles to flex, no atmosphere to
push through, no gravity pulling down, even words do not have to formed on the
lips and vibrated through the air.  Thus, you may spend what seems like an hour
or more upon the Astral, only to wake and discover that it’s only been fifteen
minutes to half an hour.  This “time displacement” is only achieved by becoming
properly lost in the fantasy, and forgetful of the body.  Thus, it serves as a
great sign-post for progress.

BODY MOVEMENTS

There is one final aspect of the above work that I wish to now stress.  As you
move within the Temple, and you finally begin to view the fantasy from your own
viewpoint, you will want to pay special attention to how your own body feels.
Not your physical body, but the Astral Body.  Feel your legs as they move, and
your feet as they move across the carpet, tile, grass, or whatever.  Run your
hands along the surfaces of the Temple furniture and implements.  Feel the
temperature of the air around you.  Hear any sounds that may be present.  This
is an important aspect of gaining full Astral Travel;  this is the “trying on of
the Astral Body” I mentioned above.

There is also an exercise that you can use to aid this process.  Just as above,
the main problem with gaining Astral Travel is the difficulty of “tricking”
yourself into feeling like you are there for real.  Therefore, we can aid our
Astral Senses by first getting better acquainted with our physical ones.

To begin with, simply sit or lay in your comfortable, quiet place as usual. Hold
your hand in front of your face and look at it.  Don’t just glance at it, but
really look at it as if you’ve never even seen a hand before.  Take in every
detail you possibly can.  Most importantly, move the hand.  First flex each
finger.  Then move the entire hand in various motions.  All the while, pay very
close attention to exactly how the hand looks during that motion, as well as how
it feels.

Now, while keeping the hand in front of your face, close your eyes and create a
mental picture of the hand as if it were “overlaid” over the real one.  As you
move your real hand, picture the imaginary hand making the same motions. Since your real hand is acting as a guide (even though you can’t see it), this
shouldn’t be too difficult.  While you do this, tell yourself that the physical
sensations you are feeling from the motion are coming from the imaginary hand-
that is, forget about the real hand as best as you can.  Finally, once you get
that down, cease moving the real hand altogether and allow the imaginary hand to continue it’s motions.  You may be surprised to notice that the physical
sensations- which you have tricked your mind into thinking are coming from the
imaginary hand- do not cease.  Of course, they will waver some at first because
you will be able to feel your real hand stop.  However, the skill here is to
ignore that sensation and to remain focused on the imaginary (Astral) hand.

Once you have this down, then continue with both hands.  From there proceed to
your arms.  And do not stop this process until you have targeted every body-part
possible in this way.  Do this with walking, sitting, crouching, etc., etc.,
etc. A good friend of mine once made the wonderful suggestion of doing this
(once you are working on full-body movements like walking) in a pitch-black
room.  If this is not possible, then simply closing or blindfolding your eyes
will do.

Once again, this is not a process of hours, days, or even weeks.  Give it a
couple of months at the least.  The point here is to become intimately familiar
with your body-movements, and it will take as long to do this with each movement as it takes to become familiar with anything.

THE OTHER SENSES

Once you can  A) control your mind to have a decent daydream, and  B) trick
yourself into thinking you are physically there, then you can proceed onto the
other senses of the body.  This exercise will be a breeze once the above is
mastered.

Around your comfortable area, place five different objects that relate to the
four senses of smell, touch, taste, and hearing.  For instance, place a glass of
vinegar about five feet to your left;  a bowl of ice five feet in front of you
to your left;  a lolli-pop five feet in front of you to your right;  and a bell
five feet to your right.

Now, sit in your place, relax, and clear your mind.  Slowly stand, walk to the
vinegar, and take a good whiff.  Then continue to the next station and push your
hands into the ice.  Go from there to the lolli-pop and taste it.  From there
continue to the bell and ring it, and finally return to your starting place and
sit or lie down.  Just as above, REALLY experience these things as if you’ve
never been exposed to them before.  Normally we take these things for granted,
and that is why I’ve suggested such extreme sensations as vinegar, lolli-pops,
and ice.  Also, don’t forget to concentrate on your body-movements while you
stand up and walk from one station to the other.

Do this a few times until you feel you are familiar enough with the procedure.
Then, upon returning to the starting position, simply imagine yourself arising
and repeating the process anew (you might want to actually project the Astral
Shell as described above first).  Once again, you want to trick yourself into
thinking you’re really doing these things, and to forget about the physical
body.  If you lose train of thought at all, simply imagine yourself returning to
the starting point, and then physically get up and start over again.  Also, you
may also wish to picture the Astral part of the exercise as being within the
Astral Temple.

This process shouldn’t take as long as the first procedures.  At this point, you
should be getting pretty good at it, and things will fall into line rather
quickly.  But, still, give this a couple (or more) weeks to really set strongly
within you.  As it gets easier, you may wish to alternate the sensations. Change
the vinegar for a sweet smell, the lolli-pop for a salty taste, the ice for
something warm, soft, or rough, and the bell for other sounds.  Once you
dispense with the physical objects altogether, spend time on the Astral
alternating them.  Pick up the glass and will it to be vinegar, and then
immediately will it to be another liquid, and then another. And so for the other
stations.

By the time you complete this, you should be pretty set as far as the Astral
Body goes.  You have charged it, fitted it for size, and gotten used to walking
around in it.  At the same time, you have fully constructed your Astral Temple
for later use.  All in all, you are Astral Traveling, and it only remains to
make some use of it.

SENSORY DEPRIVATION

Before I continue, I want to briefly discuss the concept of gaining Astral
Projection by way of sensory deprivation.  This is a kind of short-cut to the
practice, but as you will see it is certainly not the desirable method.

In the Ancient World, an Initiate into a Mystery Tradition (or sometimes even
manhood in general) was forced into Astral Projection for the purpose of coming
into contact with Spirit Guides, Gods, Elevated Masters, and other such
concepts.

Especially in the instance of “coming into manhood”, the Priests did not have
the months necessary to train one for Astral Travel.  And, quite frankly, these
Ancient Cultures did not have the sophisticated techniques we do today to make
the process any easier.

The Ancient Egyptians would tie the Initiate to a stone slab in a dark,
soundless room for three days.  Of course, the Initiate was not bond fast- but
if he got up, he would not be able to re-tie the knots himself and his failure
of the ordeal would be known.  In the Celtic lands, the Shaman would wrap
himself in a hot, scratchy wool blanket for a few days.  Other Cultures would
mutilate the body and, literally, half-kill the Initiate.  The purpose of all
the above is the same:  to deprive the mind of all of it’s input (the sensory
deprivation), and also to make the person as uncomfortable as possible without
actually killing him.

The result was that the mind HAD to wander elsewhere- else it would surely go
insane.  Simply, the lack of sensory input, food, and water, as well as the
pain, would make the person hallucinate.  The Priests would have previously
spent time training the Initiate in their systems- filling his head with all the
appropriate Symbolism- so that the hallucinations were more than likely to
follow along those lines.  If they did, then the Initiation was a success.  If
the Initiate failed to meet the correct Astral Beings, then he was deemed
unworthy of the Path, and sent elsewhere.

What might surprise you is that you have, most likely, already undergone this
very Initiation!  Remember above when I asked if you had ever been so bored that
you “zoned out”?  When I speak of this, I tend to think back to my school days.
Long hours sitting in a drab classroom, listening either to absolutely nothing,
or to the incessant droning of a teacher.  Not being allowed to move, fidget,
speak, or focus your attention on anything of any interest.  Add to this the
horribly uncomfortable seats they made you squeeze yourself into, and (if you
happen to be old enough to remember the older ways, or Catholic) even the pain
of the stick as the teacher patrolled the class looking for reasons to abuse
you.

And what was the result of this?  You zoned out, went a million miles away, and
basically went jaunting around the Astral Plane.  You didn’t know it then, but
now you do, and I hope it brings things into perspective.  You’ve already been
Initiated into the Art of Astral Travel.  Of course, we experience some problems
because (unlike the Ancients), these were the very times that we were told to
“come back to earth” or to “stop pretending!”.  Now we simply have to learn how
to Pretend again, and to make practical use of it.

SO, DOES THIS MEAN IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD AFTER ALL?

The answer is no.  Astral Travel is not a state of getting out of body, but it
is a the gaining of a state of consciousness that is not restricted by the body.
As Shamans and Wizards alike know, the deeper into our Selves we go, the closer
to the “Collective Consciousness” we get.  Ninety-nine percent of what we
experience on the Astral is totally subjective.  However, there is that small
percentage of the experience that is objective.  People can interact with each
other, and with other Entities upon the Astral.

One of the things that seems to draw most people to Astral Travel is the concept
that we can do things such as visit friends or other Earthly locations. However,
what is not understood is that this is not Astral Travel, but Etheric Travel.
To understand this concept, I will simply have to explain how the various Planes
are constructed.

THE PLANES AND SUBTLE BODIES

There are five principal Planes (supposedly accessed by various spiritual
“bodies”) that concern the student of Astral Projection.  For those of you who
have read other books on Astral Travel, you will be familiar with the following
list of “Subtle Bodies”.  From the highest to the lowest they are:

-Causal Body
-Higher Mental Body
-Lower Mental Body
-Astral Body
-Etheric Body
-Physical Body

You will notice that the Astral Body is the second step from the physical. The
fact of the matter is that all Astral Travel occurs here.  Some theorize that it
is possible to travel on the Higher Planes, but I do not know if this is the
case at all.  The higher Planes shown above are more concepts than anything
else.

If, when we Travel, we are upon the Astral Plane, then when are we on the
Etheric Plane?  The answer is simple-  the Etheric Plain is the realm of the
Conscious Mind.  Modern science has long pondered exactly what the Mind is.  The brain we know- but the physical matter which we call a brain does not account for the concept of the sentient and conscious Mind.  The Mind is not something physical, but it is certainly something that interacts with the physical.  Thus, the Mind must be one single step above the physical- which is the Etheric Realm.

The normal Etheric state is to be perfectly awake and conscious of the world and
the body.  When we Astral Travel, we are elevating our awareness another step
higher into the Astral Realm.  And thus is the difficulty with Etheric Travel.
In order to project to a physical location, we must force our awareness back to
the level of normal waking consciousness, but somehow keep ourselves from BEING awake and conscious of our bodies and immediate surroundings.

This is certainly possible, but it is extremely difficult.  Most texts on Astral
Travel will speak of this “Out of Body Experience” occurring to people who are
sick or dying- where their Mind is not functioning properly to begin with. In
fact, I have personally Etherally Projected once in my life- while I was
extremely sick.  It was fun for what it was worth, but that wasn’t much.  It is
not only a rare and difficult thing to achieve, but it is basically unnatural,
and an overall useless practice.  If it were indeed of any real use, I assure
you the Spy industry would be a vastly different field today.

ENTERING THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Now that you have both the practice, and the concepts behind the practice down,
it’s time to leave the Astral Temple and start visiting some of these Outer
Realms the Grimoires tell us so much about.  Though I will not go into any major
detail at this time, I will at least cover the concept.

Many sources tell us about “Gates of Entrance” which we can pass through and
meet all kind of strange and wonderful Beings.  They give us the image of the
Gate, and the formula for entering, but only the Initiate may know exactly what
the “Entrance” itself is.

Let us say that you wish to visit the Astral Realm of the Forces of Aries.  You
would construct an image of the Aries Symbol, in the proper colors of Aries, and
place it upon your altar.  You would then go about a Ceremony of Invocation for
the Forces of Aries, complete with a Calling of the Entities who you wish to
speak to within the Gate.  Once all the power has been raised, you would sit
before the altar, get a good picture of the Aries Image in your mind, and then
Astral Travel through it.  Some teachers have you actually enter the Astral
Temple first, and then to see a Gate, Door, or Curtain at the edge of the Temple
with the Image upon it.  Then, already in your Astral Body, you simply walk
through the Gate and into the land beyond it.

From that point onward, everything you experience will relate to Aries.  You
will meet with the Beings you have Called, and They will guide you through the
land and teach you what you are ready to learn about it.  If you call no Guide,
or if They simply to not show, then you can walk around and see the land for
yourself.  Though, you will more than likely see things that you will wish to
have clarified at a later date.

This practice is for the intermediate to Adept student ONLY.  One must know all
about the Sign of Aries so that one can verify the vision.  For instance, if the
Adept enters the Aries gate and sees a vast sea with mermaids lounging on rocks,
then he knows that a mistake has been made (for Aries is a Fiery Sign, not a
Watery one).  The beginner would not recognize this, and thus would be receiving incorrect information.  Of course, there is little to no chance of the Adept entering a Gate with such contradictory results.  And, in fact, the same goes for the beginner.  Instead, the differences will be subtle enough to fool the
Wizard if he is not on his game.  There are many skills that must be learned so
as not to be deceived within the Gates.  I am specifically leaving these skills
out, as well as the above mentioned Ceremonies, so as to discourage any foolish
experimentation.

The Major point to visiting these Realms is Initiation.  As we visit each Plane,
we will be Initiated into the Forces contained there.  We can become Initiated
into the ways of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, the Zodiacal Forces, and the Planets.
We can Astral Travel into ANY symbol to learn more about it- be it occult or
mundane.  One could Travel into that man-shape on men’s rooms if one so desired.

SCRYING

As a final note, I wish to mention Scrying.  This is exactly the same as Astral
Travel, with the exception of not losing consciousness of the body.  You do not
participate in the vision, but simply watch it as an observer.  As above, any
symbol can be used for this.  For general divinitory purposes, many things can
be used such as a crystal ball, candle flame, etc.  Of course, there’s nothing
wrong with just closing your eyes and going for it as well.

Other than that, I will not go into the subject of scrying.  I do hope that the
above has greatly helped you in your search for Astral Travel.  And I hope that
it has cut through most of the bull surrounding the subject.  Good luck on your
journeys!

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Today’s Goddess – Diana

Goddess Comments & Graphics
Diana

 

The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity’s triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong.

 

Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces. She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the “Wild Hunt” or the “Furious Horde”) who flew through the air. The “Wild Hunt” was comprised of “people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end.” The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do. Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.

 

Diana was intrinsically linked with several other witch deities, including Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Perchta, Satia, and Venus.

 

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A Little Humor for Your Day – You might be a redneck if…

You might be a redneck if…

You might be a redneck if…
You’ve ever been involved in a custody fight over a huntin’ dog.
You’re an expert on worm beds.
The dog catcher calls for a backup unit when he visits your house.
Your wife has ever said, “Come move this transmission so I can take a bath!”
Your family tree does not fork.
The flood history of the area can be seen on your living room walls.
You haul more than U-Haul.
Your momma has ever stomped into the house and announced, “The feud is back on!”
There is a gun rack on your bicycle.
Your wedding was held in the delivery room.

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