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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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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Meeting Your Power Animal

Meeting Your Power Animal

Totem animals represents great spirit or that which they need to survive. We all have power animals which can be accessed by meditation. Below are a list of animals and their symbology.

Ant: group mind, patience, action

Antelope: action, agility and sacrifice

Armadillo: safety, boundaries, medicine shield

Bat: rebirth, secrets and initiation

Bear: power, healing

Bears hibernate in the winter, which may explain their association with “dreaming the Great Spirit” or  retrospection. The symbolism of the Bear’s cave reflects returning to the womb of Mother Earth. [A Cave is an archetype for the mind – sleep – returning to higher consciousness.] This also suggests a strong feminine aspect, one of nurturing and protection. Bear cubs, born in the early spring, can spend as many as seven  years with their mother before reaching maturity.  People with Bear Medicine are considered by many as self-sufficient, and would rather stand on their own two  feet than rely on others. They are often considered dreamers. Many have developed the skill of visualizing new things, but as a result can get caught up in the dreaming, making little progress in waking reality.  Bear’s medicine includes introspection, healing, solitude, wisdom, change, communication with Spirit, death and  rebirth, transformation, astral travel, creature of dreams, shamans and mystics.

Bearpaw: power and direction

Beaver: builder, protector

Boar: is one of the most important totem animals of the Gaelic Celts:  the South and the element of Fire: The life giving power of the sun

Buffalo: sacredness, life, abundance

Buffalo is considered by many tribes as a symbol of abundance: its meat fed the people, skins were used for clothing and covering, bones and sinew were crafted as survival tools, hooves were converted into glue. According to Lakota tradition, White Buffalo Calf Woman gave them the Sacred Pipe, promising abundance as long as they prayed to the Great Spirit and honored All Their Relations, that is, all other creations of nature.  Buffalo’s Medicine symbolizes an honor, reverence or special love for all the things that Mother Earth offers her children. It is also knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred, and when gratitude is expressed to every living part of Creation.  Buffalo signals a moment to reconnect with the meaning of life and the value of peace, to praise the gifts you already have, and to recognize and honor the sacredness in all paths, though they may be different than yours.

Butterfly: metamorphosis and transformation

Scientific research has shown that the butterfly is the only living being capable of changing entirely its genetic structure during the process of transformation: the caterpillar’s DNA is totally different from the butterfly’s. Thus, it is the symbol of total transformation.  Butterfly represents a need for change and greater freedom, and at the same time it represents courage: one requires courage to carry out the changes necessary in the process of growth. Its Medicine is related to the air and the mental powers. It teaches us to find clarity in the mental processes, to organize projects or to figure out the next step in our internal growth.  If Butterfly is your Power Animal or if you feel in any way attracted to it, this means you are ready to undergo some kind of transformation. Examine which stage calls your attention the most: the egg is the beginning, the birth of some project or idea. The larva is de decision to manifest something in the physical world. The cocoon has to do with “going inside”, either through insight or the development of the project or idea. The breaking of the cocoon deals with sharing the splendor of your creation with the whole world. Once you understand the stage you are on, you can discover which is the next step.

Cat: Independence

In Egypt cats were always given special privileges and were treated like royalty. In Scandinavia the cat stood for fertility, and in India it is a symbol of childbirth. In ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night. Cats are fiercely independent. You can never own one: it allows you to take care of it and love it, but only on its terms. They come and go as they please, when they please.  Cat’s medicine is independence, curiosity, many lives, cleverness, unpredictability, healing, the ability to fight when cornered, seeing the unseen, and protection. He also represents love and can assist us in meditation.  If Cat is your Power Animal, then you have magic and mystery in your life. You are independent and a free thinker. You probably feel energized at night. You will stay with a person or situation until it bores you, and then you’re gone. You have a great talent for organizing things.

Coyote: the trickster, devilment

Crane: solitude and independence

Crow: law, shape shifting, change

Deer: gentleness, caring and kindness

Deer blend very well with their environment but are very sensitive to every sound or movement. Often twins, even triplets, are born in the spring. Does and bucks live in separate groups until the mating season. The white-tailed deer are moderately gregarious, and family members forage food together along with other family groups, giving the appearance of a large herd. People with Deer Medicine are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often appearing to have well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening. Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch, ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance, understanding of what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland spirits, alternative paths to a goal. The gentleness of Deer is the heart-space of the Great Spirit which embodies His love for us all. Deer teaches us to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds, to stop pushing to get others to change and to love and accept them as they are. The only true balance to power is love and compassion.

Dog: noble, loyal, teaching

Dog was the servant/soldier that guarded the tribe’s dwellings and protected them from surprise attacks. Dog helped during the huntingÕs and provided warmth in winter. It is a symbol of loyalty, unconditional love, protection and service. Its Medicine incorporates the loving kindness of the best friend and the protective energy of the guardian.  If your Power Animal is Dog, your devotion towards your family and friends is infinite. You get great satisfaction from rendering service to others, offering your hand to a friend in need. A kind word, a caress, an act of kindness mean much more to you than material things. However, there is a risk of coming too close to the other side: allowing people to take advantage of you because of your gentle nature.  Dog reminds you that your loyalty should always be to yourself, to your own truth. He reminds you that by respecting and valuing yourself you can truly render a service to those who honor what you can give them.

Dolphin: kindness and play energy

The beautiful, graceful, sleek dolphin carries many messages for the two-legged. Even though it is a mammal, its home is the sea and has mastered the art of breath control. Since water is the symbol of all life – of creation, passion and even sexuality – dolphin brings us teachings from the waters of life.  Playful creatures, dolphins have long entertained man with their joyful antics. Studying dolphin communication has proved to be an awesome task for man. As in all animals, dolphins have developed sophisticated auditory signals that warn others of impending danger. Some believe that these animals are now warning man of impending danger as he ignores the balance of the natural world. Swimming with the dolphins has become a powerful experience for many people, and as they interact with these playful creatures, they cannot help but feel their communication.

Dolphin reminds us that time to play is a crucial element to walk in balance. It moves through the water quickly and with great grace. Dolphin tells us to move with the ebb and flow of life, and not to search for brick walls to smash into, for to spend our energy fighting the current gets us nowhere.  Dolphin medicine includes change, wisdom, balance, harmony, communication skills, freedom, trust, understanding the power of rhythm in your life, use of breath to release intense emotions, water power.

Dragon: longevity, infinity, wisdom, movement through space

Dragonfly: Illusion – Transcendence

Eagle: divine Spirit and connection to creator

Eagle feathers are used all over the world as ceremonial instruments and are considered to be the most sacred healing tools. They are a symbol of power, healing and wisdom. Eagle represents a state of grace that is reached through inner work, understanding and passing the initiation tests that result from reclaiming our personal power. Eagle Medicine is the Power of the Great Spirit. It is the spirit of tenacity. It is the gift of clear vision with which one can truly see the things one sees. It is the patience to wait for the appropriate moment. It is to live in balance with heaven and Earth. Eagle reminds you of your connection with the Great Spirit. It tells you that the universe is giving you the opportunity to fly above your life’s worldly levels, or above the shadow of past realities. Eagle teaches you to look above in order to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the Shadow as much as the Light. Eagle asks you to grant yourself permission to be free in order to reach the joy that your heart desires.

Elk: strength and agility

Fox: cunning, agility, quick-witted

Frog: water energy

Hawk: messenger, intuition, discernment

Horse: stamina, mobility

The horse shows up in almost every mythological writing, folklore, and reality. There is the mighty winged Pegasus, the eight-legged horse of the Norse god Odin, the stallions of the Hindu sun god, the stallions of Apollo, and so on. Many legends speak of the horse as being clairvoyant and able to perceive humans with magical powers. No single animal has given man the physical freedom of movement as the horse. If you are drawn to Horse, you feel a power in your spirit that is sometimes difficult to control. Horse is a symbol of loyalty and devotion, of unquestioning love and faith in his master. He says that you love to travel, and have more than a touch of gypsy in your soul. Horse is also your warrior spirit – the brave fighter who brings you safety in your journeys, both physical and metaphysical. Horse’s medicine includes power, stamina, endurance, faithfulness, freedom to run free, control of the environment, awareness of power achieved with true cooperation, interspecies communication, expanding one’s own potential abilities, friendship and cooperation, travel, astral travel, guardian of travelers, warns of possible danger, guide to overcoming obstacles.

Hummingbird: messenger, timelessness

Hummingbird – the tiniest of all birds – brings special messages for us. It is the only creature that can stop dead while traveling at full speed. It can hover, or can go forward, backward, up or down. It lives on nectar and searches for the sweetness of life. Its long tongue lets it bypass the often tough and bitter outer layer to find the hidden treasures underneath. Hummingbird is loved by the flowers and plants, for as it sucks the nectar from the flower, the plant reproduces and more of its kind are created. In many traditions, Hummingbird feathers have been prized for their almost magical qualities. It is said that Hummingbird brings love as no other medicine can, and its presence brings joy to the observer.

If you have Hummingbird medicine, you adapt easily to whatever situation you may find yourself in, and make the most of your new circumstances. You don’t waste time looking back and wishing for “what was” for you are concerned with making the most of “what is”. Also, you could never become addicted to any artificial stimulants, for you find joy in your own heart. You take great pleasure in spreading joy and love and beauty to all around you, and have the gift of taking that inner joy into new and different surroundings. You have a talent for finding the good in people, and are not put off by a gruff or abrupt exterior, for you know that, if you can only get beyond that tough outside layer, you’ll find goodness and beauty inside. You may have a gift for working with flowers, maybe growing them to share with others, or using flower essences for healing. Aroma therapy may be your calling.  You have high energy and a spirit that must be free. To restrict that wonderful, free, loving energy is to suffer great depressions and feelings of uselessness. Hummingbird must fly free in search of beauty, spreading joy and love to all it touches.

Kokopelli: fertility, music and joy

Lion: Power of feminine energy

The female hunts and kills prey, feeds the group and takes care of the young. She is the nurturing force in all senses. The male roars to frighten prey and force them toward the lioness, who waits patiently for the right moment to attack. Although the male is the group’s protector, he doesn’t look for confrontation nor attacks needlessly. He only acts when challenged and will fight to death in order to protect, but in reality he prefers the easy, peaceful life.  Lion’s Medicine teaches us the magic of group interaction, of group energy. It also teaches us the secrets of silence and patience. Patience is to pay attention to detail. Lion suggests that we examine ourselves closely in order to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and to wait for the proper moment to act and take full advantage of a given situation.  Learn from Lion the proper way to use power and strength. Stay calm and still, sure of your power. But if necessary, don’t hesitate to fight for the things you are interested in.

Lizard: conservation

Lynx: keeper of secrets, guardian and guide

Moose: headstrong, longevity, steadfastness

Mountain lion: courage, leadership and foresight

Mouse: scrutiny, order, organizer

Opossum: diversion, strategist, deceiver

Otter: playful, prognostication, woman medicine

Owl: deception, clairvoyance, insight (the night eagle)

Owls come in all sizes, from a tiny miniature that actually lives inside the cactus in the desert, to the great horned owl, which is the only bird that can out fly the golden eagle. A fully grown great horned is an awe inspiring creature. Its talons are furry, and closely resemble the paws of a baby mountain lion with claws extended. It is a meat eater, which means it can be a fierce warrior if challenged, or if something dear to it is threatened. It is often referred to as Night Eagle.  Owl is at home in the night. It has great awareness of all that is around it at all times. It has predator vision, which means it sees clearly what it looks at. It has great intuition: it is the totem of psychics and clairvoyants. It has the courage to follow its instincts.  Owl’s medicine includes seeing behind masks, silent and swift movement, keen sight, messenger of secrets and omens, shape-shifting, link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light, comfort with shadow self, moon power, freedom.

Porcupine: innocence, companionship, trust

Rabbit: fear, timidity, nervousness, humility

Rabbit’s medicine includes moving through fear, living by one’s own wits, receiving hidden teachings and intuitive messages, quick thinking, strengthening intuition, and paradox. Rabbit also represents humility, because he is quiet and soft and not self-asserting.  Rabbit reminds us not to be afraid. Fearful thoughts reproduce (like rabbits) and bring the very thing we fear. Rabbit people are so afraid of tragedy, illness, and disaster, that they call those very fears to them to teach them lessons.  If you see Rabbit or in any way feel attracted to him, it may be telling you to wait for the forces of the universe to start moving again, to stop worrying and to get rid of your fears. It always indicates a need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing, to rid yourself of any negative feelings or barriers, and to be more humble.

Raven: introspection, courage, self-knowledge

Seahorse: confidence and grace

Shark: hunter, survival, adaptability

Skunk: reputation, presence, strength

Snake: shrewdness, rebirth

Spider: Creatrix, web spinner

Squirrel: planner, gatherer

Swan: grace, balance and innocence

Turkey: generosity, life-giver, sharer

Turtle: nurturer, protector, mother energy

Many Natives refer to North America as Turtle Island, because their legends say that when the earth was covered with water, Turtle dove to the bottom of the oceans bringing up earth on its back so that the people could have a safe and dry home. Turtle is at home anywhere because it carries its home on its back. It does not become attached to places, for it is free to search for new opportunities wherever they may be found. When they sense danger, or are in uncomfortable and insecure settings, they withdraw into their shell, and are protected.  If you have Turtle medicine, you value both the power of the earth, the waters of the earth, and the magic of the heavens, for Turtle symbolizes both the grounding quality of earth energy, and the magic of the mystical. Using Turtle energy can help you achieve real balance in your life and your spirit so that you don’t get “stuck in the mud”.  Turtle’s medicine includes a connection with the center, navigation skills, patience, self-boundaries, associated with the feminine, power to heal female diseases, respecting the boundaries of others, developing new ideas, psychically protecting oneself, self-reliance, tenacity, non-violent defense.

Whale: wisdom, provider

Weasel: (ferret) strength, energy, ingenuity and stealth

Wolf: loyalty, perseverance, success

Wolves have been long regarded by Native Americans as teachers or pathfinders. Wolves are fiercely loyal to their mates, and have a strong sense of family while maintaining individualism. In the stars, Wolf is represented by the Dog, Sirius, thought by many aboriginal tribes to be the home of the Ancients.  Wolves are probably the most misunderstood of wild animals. Tales of cold-bloodedness abound, in spite of their friendly, social and intelligent traits. They are truly free spirits, even though their packs are highly organized. They seem to go out of their way to avoid a fight. One is rarely necessary when a shift in posture, a growl, or a glance gets the point across quite readily.  Traditionally, someone with Wolf Medicine has a strong sense of self, and communicates well through subtle changes in voice inflection and body movements. They often find new solutions to problems while providing stability and support that one normally associates with a family structure.

Wolf’s medicine includes facing the end of one’s cycle with dignity and courage, death and rebirth, Spirit teaching, guidance in dreams and meditations, instinct linked with intelligence, social and family values, outwitting  enemies, ability to pass unseen, steadfastness, skill in protection of self and family, taking advantage of change.

Source:
Crystalinks

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For The Beginner – Witchcraft 101 – Lesson Four

Lesson 4

Beginning Shadows

Meditation Meditation is important in ritual work. Listen when a spell calls for any sort of meditation. It is used to calm the body, cleanse the soul and remove any unwanted energies from the body before ritual is performed. It can cleanse the mind. Try different meditation positions. Many people can meditate while sitting, but I have trouble and must lie down on my back. Others cannot lie down at all to meditate. Try meditation to different types of music or to cassettes of nature sounds. You can incorporate chanting and drumming into your meditations as well as they produce a mind-numbing effect.

A Meditation I have read many books and  articles on different types of meditations and I have found one meditation in  particular very useful. Begin by lying or sitting in a comfortable position. You  may wish to play some type of soothing music or nature sounds such as ocean  waves, water running or a rainstorm. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes.  Let your entire body relax beginning with your toes. Feel your toes slack. Let  it move up your legs. Feel your legs relax, then your thighs, then your stomach.  Let your arms relax, your neck and then your face and head. Slowly, you will  find yourself surrounded by light. This light will spread until you seem to  float in a void of white light. Reach out before you and grab some of the light.  Tear it open and step through the hole. You find yourself in the middle of a  wood. The white hole remains open behind you. You are standing on a little path.  Look around you. Is it night? Day? Are there birds singing? Paying attention to  detail during meditation will help you get better in your astral travel. Follow  the path. After a while you will see an old moss-covered bridge. Step onto the  bridge. A small burbling stream flows beneath it. As you look over into the  stream, you will notice that your pockets feel weighted with stones. These  stones are your worldly troubles, worries and problems. You cannot take them  with you where you are going. Pull the stones from your pocket and drop them  into the stream. Watch the water bubble over them. If you feel any more stones  in your pocket, keep emptying it until it is empty. Continue across the bridge  to the path on the other side. Soon, the wood will open up into a large  clearing. There are mountains in the distance and before you is a small hill  with a single tree. Grassy hills with wildflowers stretch off into the distance.  This is the astral plane. Once you get proficient in visiting this area, you can  go anywhere you wish. You might meet people here, or animals. Talk to them and  listen to what they have to say. Get to know your surroundings. Explore a little  but don’t get lost. Confusion on the astral may cause you to leave part of  yourself behind when you leave. After you have finished your business on the  astral, be sure to leave the way you came. Go back across the bridge and enter  back through the hole. Seal it up behind you. Let the light die around you and  feel yourself return to your body. Open your eyes.

There are some troubles that you can run into on the  astral. Remember that there are dangers there the same as anywhere else. If you  meet a being that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable, just surround  yourself in a bubble of light. They will soon leave.

Visualization Visualization is very important in spell work. In order for your spells to work well, you must be able to conjure up images of people and objects in very great detail. This will help to make your magic stronger. There are a variety of techniques used to practice visualization. My favorite is the candle method.

Begin in a quiet, dark room. Light a candle and sit comfortably with the candle in front of you. Do not stare  directly into the flame, but choose a place near the base of the flame that is  not painful to look at. The blue area near the bottom is good for this. Stare at the frame and let the image imprint itself into your mind. When you feel that you have stared at the candle long enough, close your eyes and imagine the image of the candle burning there. See the flame flickering and note the color of the candle and the way the wax is dripping or how it melts into a clear liquid at the base of the wick. Envision the candle until you cannot envision it anymore and do it a second time. Do this as many times as you like (at least twice) for one week.

After the first week, try and envision the candle without it in front of you. You can do this in meditation or any time that you have free time in a quiet place. Once you can envision the candle, try envisioning other objects. Try, for example, an apple. Without having one in front of you, imagine an apple in your mind. Hold the apple in your hand. feel the weight of it and smell it. What kind of apple is it? What color is it? What does it feel like? Once you get the hang of fruit, try the same with people. You may want to begin with a photograph. Then work with people you see around you. If you are sitting on the bus, look at someone across from you. Close your eyes and see how long you can envision them before you loose the image. Try becoming different things. Try envisioning being an animal, say a bird. Feel yourself flying and landing. Try being a fish and swimming or a horse and running. Try being an ant. What does the world look like from where you are? After a short time, you will get quite proficient at this.

Dreaming Dreams are very important. Witches learn to pay attention to dreams. Sometimes they are prophetic and can tell the future or they allow one to astrally travel to another time or dimension. At other times, dreams are just the mind’s way of sorting out the day’s events or dealing with a problem that you have been thinking over. Whatever the reason, dream recording should become an important practice.

I keep a dream journal by my bed. I have practiced remembering my dreams since I was a child and so I have not trouble recording them later or remembering the dreams years after I dream them. Many of my childhood memories were dreams.

Once when I was about five years old, I dreamt that I was a grown woman, probably in my twenties. I was lying in a hospital bed when suddenly, I began to float out of my body. I sort of hung on the ceiling looking down at myself. The room was grayish white and there was a television in the corner. There was a door, but no windows. Some doctors were looking over my body and talking, but I could not understand what they were saying. I floated up through the ceiling and then woke up. I can’t help but think now that I must have been experiencing something from a past life or that I was having a prophecy of my own death. I could not have known at five years old that people who have come back from death described death as being the same way.

My dream journal is just a blank journal with lines. Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I open my eyes and blurt out whatever I can that I dreamt about. This helps me remember. Then as soon as I get my contacts in, I take up the book and record my dreams.

Once your dreams are recorded, you can try interpreting them. I do not use dictionaries as definitions for certain symbols can be different for different people. For example, if a woman who is terrified of rats dreams that she is covered in rats, she might interpret that as being an nightmare in which she was being warned not to take on something that will be too difficult for her so that she is in over her head. I, on the other hand, have had and love rats. To me they are symbols of curiosity, cleanliness, and play. If I had the same dream, I would interpret that I was going to have great fortune.

Try practicing determining the meanings of your dreams. Notice what happens that day and see if it has anything to do with what you thought the dream was about. You can get quite good at this. Dreams can be your mind’s way of telling you what you need to do.

Heal Thyself You can heal yourself simply by paying attention to your chakra centers. When  you are looking at your chakras in meditation, you may notice that some appear  dull or might have black spots on them or areas where no light shines through.  Sometimes dark or mottled spots may appear. This is a manifestation of a problem  with your health dealing with whichever chakra has been affected. Silver  Ravenwolf describes one way of healing yourself and bringing your chakras back  into balance by using what is known as a “vacuum ball.” Visualize a ball before  you that is devoid of light, much like what you might imagine a black hole to  be.  Visualize this vacuum ball sucking in things around it from the  spiritual plane such as light and dust. Open the chakra that has been affected.  For example, if you have a sore throat, open the throat chakra. Visualize the  vacuum ball sucking all of the spots off of the chakra until it is clean. Close  the chakra and allow the vacuum ball to sink into the ground. If you are very  ill or your symptoms are more apparent, it may take many cleanings to get your  chakras back in tune with each other.

The Temple Or the Altar Space. Most witches prefer to work out of doors, but sometimes this cannot be accomplished. Wherever you work, the rules are generally the same.

The room or space should be large enough to house the sacred circle: the circle of power in which a witch works. The circle is usually six or nine feet in diameter, but if neither of these sizes can be accomplished, then you can improvise. The altar sits in the center of the circle facing east – the direction of birth and beginnings. A candle or colored lamp or bonfire sits at each of the four Airts or directions. Blue for west, yellow for east, red for south and green for north. These will represent the four powers of the elements that are called on to protect the circle. One should always enter the circle from the east, the place of new beginnings. The altar is also set up to face east. Depending on your path, the altar may face a different direction. Wiccans, however, have the altar facing the sunrise.

Your sacred space should be a space in which you feel comfortable. A clearing in the woods or a clearing in your living room are both fine places to work as long as you are alone or it is quiet. If a coven is working, the entire coven stays within the circle. Usually, each member has their own job to do within the circle to keep it in good working order. Do not allow children in the room or pets other than cats that are free-roaming as they may cross the boundaries of your circle and inhibit your working. Cats do not seem to have an effect on the power of a circle and can easily cross between the worlds. You will learn about circles in a later chapter.

Cleanse your ritual space by sweeping. Sweep out the bad energies. Chant something like:

Sweep, sweep, sweep this place By powers of Air, I cleanse this space.

Carry a lit candle around the area, making sure to thrust it into all corners and closets. Do the same with salt water and burning incense. You may want to wash the area with holy water as well. Draw a pentacle over the area with your finger for protection.

 

Witchcrafted