I have a keen mind for occult studies and my biggest hang up is lack of a teacher. I have read many books in numerology, astrology and yoga, and I very much desire a teacher in these areas.In ancient times, yoga was disseminated person to person, this was the study of yoga. I have had many wonderful teachers, especially during kundalini teacher training, but I long for the intimate interaction of a teacher.When it comes to numerology and astrology, I have basic tenets but I long for the next step in learning. I've asked the universe for a teacher and guide both in my writing and my meditations.Finding a teacher can be tough, especially finding the right teacher. You've taken the first step and put your intention out there, and now it's time to take action.You can always Google for books, blogs, and people, but personal recommendations tried and tested from people who have already walked the path are always strongest. Read More
I wish to explore these two topics which I see, in my opinion, as the grey area that is known to be ritual magic. First off I would like to say that it will be of great interest for the magic(K)ian or Magus to learn well the human body and what it consists of, and the principles of the universe. One’s body and brain steadily maintain a flow of what is called bio electrical energy or to be esoteric Kundalini flow or chi. Your thoughts generate electrical impulses, so with the altered induced state that a ritual will produce if performed correctly, will cause an abundance of this energy. The trick is to make use of this normally dissipated and wasted energy and to focus it in direct accordance with one’s will, showing that indeed the universe will bend unto the adept’s whims and desires.
Lust/love/sorrow/sympathy/pain/pleasure/hate and fear, if properly released can be used to manipulate one’s reality. In fact it will be the catalyst for change where change is needed.
This is contrary to popular belief that one must seek a “higher power” to elicit such change in one’s realm. Well none is higher than the self!
Tools that are used in ritual are just that! Tools! They have no more power than what one gives it. It is the need to believe these tools, be it sword, athame, dagger, chalice bell or candle (you get the idea) will help one enter into his/her altered state of consciousness like a shaman or what have you. It is this dimension of fantasy where all magic takes place.
When you have entered this state of being all that you employ will work on your subconscious mind. The world of symbols plays an important role as well. And that is what dreams are made of.
Of pray and predator, the midnight hour, the witching hour holds true to the case of hitting your victim while they sleep, for they are passive and will hold no fight. It would be as if you are sending a strong signal (electrical impulse) to them and they become a huge antenna receiving all that you send them. You have become the broadcaster, now all you need is an audience.
With a proper balance and an application of certain skills, there is not much one can not do. But these skills are what you learn through trial and error and experience.
What works for you might not work for another; no one can teach you how to apply magic in your life. At best you can be lead on the right path from another’s influence and experience.
In the deeper truth it is a task to learn yourself, as lonely as this path may seem to be it is in fact that common goals and common interest are seldom the same.
So it is upon that premise that you must create your own goals and aspirations and find the best means of working them out and achieving them one by one in the manner that you so choose. Beware of the one that says “I can teach you all this” or “I can make you a powerful warlock!” These are games of a conman and you will find many that will try to play upon your ego and your wallet at the same time.
The most common warning I can think of would be “Heed the one that teaches a spiritual pipe dream as some big revelation or some kind of grand secret.” Spiritual pipe dreams are for those that choose to hide from reality and enter into a fantasy world akin to the xtoids(Christianity). Although it might seem comforting to hear things such as “brother Jim is in a better place now”, it helps to keep a firm grasp on reality. The ritual chamber you use is another fantasy tool, but the difference is you know it is fantasy and you know that you are gaining from the fantasy; it will become your blue print for your reality.
Entropy is the scientific name that can be related to what is known as the dark force in nature. This dark force or yin force is the thing or principle that sustains and gives balance and evolution upon the universe.
It is the solve et coagula that pushes one into being, planting the seeds of life … and at the same time pulls one back into one’s primary essence (Death).
The Law of Entropy
The first law states that all matter and energy in the universe is constant and that it cannot be destroyed, only its form can change, but never its essence. The second law states that matter/energy can only be changed in one’s direction. That is from usable to unusable or from available to un-available.
According to the entropy law whenever a semblance of order is created anywhere on earth or in the universe it is done at the expense of causing a greater disorder (action/reaction/cause and effect) in the surrounding environment.
The entropy law reigns supreme over all physical reality in the universe. The thing that is important to remember is that we cannot create energy, and no person ever will! The only thing that we can do is transform energy to one state or another (magic?), and the energy that everyone and everything holds never dies or disappears… it is only transferred back to where it came (NATURE) Life after Death per say.
I am a spiritual activist, a person who feels that spiritual practice, study, and wisdom are inseparable from the minutiae of day-to-day living. The German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, “God is in the details.” This is a wonderful slogan for a spiritual activist. The demonstration of our spiritual work must find expression in our every word, choice, and action. We cannot separate yoga, meditation, and deep spiritual work from living: they are inseparable. We cannot separate the spiritual from the worldly. These are language-based distinctions we use to appreciate various aspects of the great Mystery of existence. It is a tragic conceit to think that yoga, meditation, and spiritual wisdom exist outside daily life. They don’t. A flower and its fragrance cannot be separated, because they are innately inseparable.
Along these lines, I’d like to share an excerpt from a recent email I received, and my response.
“I was initially attracted to you and your mailing list because of, for lack of a better word, spirituality — your clarity and accuracy in issues of the Holy, or God, or the Great Mystery. Recently, however, it seems that everything coming from your direction has been your political and anti-war sentiments.
“While I respect your opinion and your right to speak and email whatever you wish, I would just like to let you know that the more you wander into political territory and away from spirituality, the more you alienate me, and perhaps others, as a ‘fan’ of your work. The more you speak about politics, the more my respect for you evaporates.
“My point in writing this is primarily to say that I have seen other spiritual figures whom I respect and admire look foolish and lose respect when they wander away from their true area of expertise, and begin to think that they are experts not only in matters of the spirit, but in everything else as well.”
As I travel around the country talking with many people, and corresponding with many more, I frequently encounter this point of view. I have been rebuked by some yoga and meditation teachers for circulating “An Open Letter of Conscience and Choice,” for “mixing spirituality and political choice.” I understand this, because I was at one time a poster-boy for this perspective. Perhaps that is why I was so attracted to this letter: it showed me the distance I have traveled in my life and consciousness, from that first step long ago when my kundalini opened like an exploding sun.
I do not believe in such things as “spiritual” and “political” as though they were shoes and beer-bottles. They are just notions in the mind and have life and force only to the extent we empower them. The naming of things is a feature of the mind: its nature is to name and separate one thing from another. Beyond the mind, in the realm of Silence, all things are expressions of one Consciousness and have the same name.
I have never felt that I had any “expertise in matters of spirit.” If anything, 35 years of spiritual practice and study have made me acutely aware of all that I don’t know. I must admit, however, that I have encountered the infinite majesty of the Great Mystery and can confirm that it is aptly named. I also confess to knowing that I am a portion of the Great Mystery and to feeling within my blood the murmurs of a universal heart. In this heart I live as a song of Silence. In this song there are no verses of murder and the mayhem of war. I am not an expert in spiritual or political matters; but I constantly hear the murmur of the universal heart within my blood, telling me that I must pour my heart into this world, that I must live in this world as a strong emblem of love and peace.
My Merriam-Webster dictionary defines politics as “the totality of relationships between people living in society, especially involving power, authority, and influence ” To say that one should refrain from politics is like saying that one should refrain from breathing. It is not possible. From cradle to grave, we exist in relationship. Our very life comes from others. Our food comes from others. Our clothes come from others. We are affected by others, as they are by us. Think of your life: it is nothing but relationship, and each relationship includes negotiations and transactions of power, authority, and influence.
How are we to live in these relationships? To me, this question is of equal weight and importance to “Who am I?” This latter question is often regarded as spiritual, while the former is termed worldly. Nonsense.
During the last few years in America, we seen the growth and popularization of ancient nondual wisdom traditions like Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, and Dzogchen. This is good news. However, with popularization comes the danger of distortion. One such distortion lies in thinking that the answer/resolution to the question “Who am I?” represents the summit of Self-Realization. It does not.
“Who am I?” is but half of the true question; the other half is “How shall I live?” The answer/resolution to this true question is the gateway to realized Self-expression.
If one only asks “Who am I?” then one has but one leg, one hand, one eye, and half a heart. I want to be whole, for I am whole. So I also ask, “How shall I live?” Asking this gives me my second leg, second hand, second eye, and whole heart.
“Who am I? How Shall I live?” is really one question, one breath, one path, one realization. Insight and action are one movement; realization and expression are one movement. One cannot separate nondual perception and knowledge from its behavioral corollary. Pure consciousness and the world are not different. Each exists as reflections of the other. Therefore, knowledge and action arise together, just as form and formlessness arise together. The perception of self, other, and world as vibrations of pure consciousness is only the foothills, not the high mountains.
“Who am I?” is the easier part of the koan: I am that which is beyond thought and concept; I am that eternal Silent presence which pervades the entire cosmos and which lives in and as all things.
Okay. Now what? Now comes the hard part: “How shall I live?” Taking up this question with sincerity and commitment is the true beginning of realized Self-expression, the true beginning of spiritual maturity and wisdom. What, in fact, does a life of Oneness look like? How shall I live? From whom and from where shall I receive money? To whom and to what shall I give my money? For whom shall I vote? What car shall I drive? What is my civic responsibility to my community, country, and the world? How much responsibility do I take for the condition of the world, the world of which I am a part?
These are just a few of the questions that one must ask and answer every day. There are many more. What are they? Please spend some time with these questions, let the asking and the listening for answers affect how you live your life. As with “Who am I?” do not be content with first answers. Dig deep. Challenge your beliefs. Challenge what your teachers have told you. Challenge your complacency.
Asking “Who am I?” alone leads only to self-absorption and spiritual narcissism; it does not lead to wisdom or to freedom. In your spiritual practice, if you do not already do so, please begin asking the true and correct question: “Who am I? How shall I live?”
Robert Rabbin is a writer, speaker, and spiritual activist. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the creator of TruthForPresident.org, an online spiritual activism center. For contact information, please visit www.robrabbin.com or www.truthforpresident.org.
© 2004/Robert Rabbin/All rights reserved
Astral projection (OOBE, out of the body experience) is a popular area of occult literature; for travelling to see other worlds and places while the physical body sleeps or is entranced is an exciting notion. Astral projection is not dangerous. It is as safe as sleeping. Most dreams are probably unconscious astral projections, anyway. Although there has been quite a bit written on the subject, astral projection is difficult for many people. The main difficulty is the tendency to forget dream consciousness upon awakening. Accordingly, the successful practice of astral projection requires work.
Modern psychology discounts the idea of actual OOBE (that the spirit temporarily vacates the physical body). However, the idea is very ancient. The Tibetans have an entire system of yoga (dream yoga) based upon astral projection. And here we have an important assumption: you are involved in an OOBE (at least to a degree) whenever you dream. What sets it apart from a full OOBE is your hazy consciousness during the experience and poor recall afterwards. Many people forget most of their dreams completely. Learning astral projection requires a kind of inner mental clarity and alertness.
Dreams are a door to the subconscious which can be used for psychological and spiritual insight, and sometimes for precognition. Dream content is influenced by external sounds and sensations. For example, a loud external noise (such as a train) will likely appear in your dream (if it doesn’t wake you up!). Dreams are also influenced by events of the previous day, by your moods, and by suggestion. Everyone normally dreams 4 or 5 times a night (about every 2 hours). The longest dreams occur in the morning. Everyone dreams. You are more likely to remember the details of your dream when you first wake up. By keeping a dream diary you will improve dream recall. Have writing equipment or a tape recorder at your bedside for this purpose; also a light which isn’t too bright. Suggest to yourself several times before you go to sleep, “I will awaken with the knowledge of a dream.” Then when you do awaken, move quietly (sometimes just turning over drives the idea away). Remember first, then write the dream down, and th en add as many details as possible. The next day check for objective facts and expand if you can (by remembering ‘what happened before that’). Once you start remembering your dreams in this way, it will become easier to do so. (If you are unsuccessful at this, and *really* want to remember your dreams, you could arrange for someone to sit by your bedside all night long with a dim light on. Then when he sees your eyes moving back and forth — rapid eye movements, a sign you are dreaming — he can wake you and ask for a dream report.)
Forms of Astral Projection
Astral projection may be subdivided into three basic types: mental projection, astral projection (proper) and etheric projection. And your OOBE may shift between them. Mental projection is really simple clairvoyance (‘remote viewing’), and ‘travelling in your mind’. Imagination plays a key role. The experience of mental projection is not particularly vivid, and you will more likely be an observer than a participant. Nevertheless, mental projection is an important ‘way in’ to astral projection proper.
During mental projection and astral projection you are able to travel through solid objects, but are not able to act directly upon them or to move them (if they are in the physical world). This is not true during etheric projection. Whether it is simply subconscious expectation, or whether it is a true etheric projection which in theory means that part of your physical body has been relocated with your projection (the etheric or vital part) may be difficult to determine. Etheric projections generally travel at or very near the physical world. There are even cases reported (very, very rare ones) in which the entire physical body is transferred to another location (teleportation), or cases in which the physical body exists and acts in two separate places at once (bilocation)!
But our primary interest is astral projection proper, and mental projection to a lesser extent. Astral and mental projection are not confined to the physical world. Travel in the mental and astral realms is feasible, and often preferred. Nor are astral and mental projection restricted to the realm of the earth (you could even go to the moon and planets).
States of Consciousness
The electrical activity of the brain has been observed and classified with EEG (electroencephalograph) equipment; signals picked up from the scalp by electrodes, then filtered and amplified, drive a graph recorder. Brain activity has been found to produce specific ranges for certain basic states of consciousness, as indicated in ‘hz’ (hertz, or cycles/vibrations per second):
delta — 0.2 to 3.5 hz (deep sleep, trance state),
theta — 3.5 to 7.5 hz (day dreaming, memory),
alpha — 7.5 to 13 hz (tranquility, heightened
beta — 13 to 28 hz (tension, ‘normal’ consciousness).
As you can see, some form of physical relaxation is implied in the alpha, theta, and delta consciousness. These states are in fact reached through deep breathing, hypnosis, and other relaxation techniques. OOBE occurs during these states, and delta is probably the most important for it. The problem is really, as we have said, one of maintaining mental awareness and alertness while experiencing these altered states. Experimental subjects hooked to an EEG do not show a discrete change from drowsy to sleep; it is very gradual.
At the threshold between sleep and waking consciousness is a drowsy condition known as the hypnogogic state. OOBE seems to occur during this state, or a variant of it. By careful control of the hypnogogic state (not going beyond it) it is possible to enter OOBE directly.
Most methods of astral projection are methods of conditioning. Some form of trance or altered consciousness is always involved. No one ever projects consciously while fully awake (some may think that they do). Although there are many techniques used to produce an astral projection, they boil down to nine of them. They all sort of overlap.
- Diet — Certain dietary practices may aid in OOBE, especially at first. These include fasting, vegetarianism, and in general the eating of ‘light’ foods as discussed in a a previous lesson. Carrots and raw eggs are thought to be especially beneficial, but all nuts are to be avoided. Over-eating should be avoided. And no food should be eaten just before an OOBE attempt. If you intend to practice during sleep, for example, allow 2 to 4 hours of no food or drink (except water) before bedtime. In general, we see here the same kind of dietary restrictions advocated for kundalini yoga.
- Progressive muscular relaxation — This is one of the basic methods used in hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Physical relaxation can assist one in attaining the requisite trance state. These techniques involve beginning at the toes and tensing, then relaxing the muscles, progressively up the entire body.
- Yoga and breath — Yoga, mantra, and breathing exercises similarly aim at physical relaxation. The practice of kundalini yoga is particularly relevant, since it is concerned with altered consciousness. In fact the arousal of kundalini requires a similar state of consciousness to OOBE.
- Visualization — This involves a type of extended clairvoyance or picturing of remote surroundings. If you can experience the feeling of being there, so much the better. Although this technique is essentially mental projection, it is possible to deepen mental projection into astral projection through (you guessed it!) visualization. Crowley taught a similar technique: a) visualize a closed door on a blank wall, b) imagine a meditation symbol on the door, c) visualize the door opening and yourself entering through it. And J.H. Brennan describes similar techniques wherein the door is shaped and coloured like a tattva, or alternately, a chosen tarot card is visualized and the student visualizes entering into it.
- Guided imagery — In many respects similar to visualization. Except in this case, there is a guide (or perhaps a voice on tape) directing you by means of descriptions. As with visualization, mental rather than astral projection is most likely.
- Body of Light — The old Golden Dawn technique. Imagine a duplicate (mirror image) of yourself in front of you. Then transfer your consciousness and sensation to the duplicate (‘body of light’).
- Strong willing — Sort of like creative visualization experienced in the present. That is you express your strong desire to project through your willpower while you visualize yourself doing it.
- The Monroe techniques — These are a series of steps developed by Robert Monroe: a) relax the body, b) enter the hypnogogic state, c) deepen the state, d) develope the senstation of ‘vibration’, e) separate from the body. The Monroe Institute has developed some cassete tapes which are claimed to help in this.
- Dream control — This is one of the most important techniques. It involves becoming aware that you are dreaming. There are several ways to do this. Oliver Fox says to look for descrepancies in the dream to realize you are dreaming. One occult student I know of visualized a white horse which he could ride wherever he wished to go. After a time, when the horse appeared in his dreams it was his cue that he was actually dreaming/projecting. Don Juan tells Castaneda to look at his hands while he is dreaming. And even the tarot and Cabala may also be used as dream signals. Another method is to tell yourself each night as you go to sleep, “I can fly”; then when you do, you will know you are dreaming. Once you know you are dreaming you can control your dream/OOBE and go anywhere you want. Repetitive activities will also likely influence your dreams. For example, if you are on an automobile trip and spend most of the day driving, you will probably dream about driving. You can condition yourself to be aware you are dreaming by doing a repetitive activity many times (walking across the room or a particular magick ritual, for example). Then when you dream about it, you will know you are dreaming.
Although all these techniques may appear straightforward, they all require effort. Astral projection is generally learned.
The astral world is the “ghostland” into which one passes after death. It is sometimes possible to visit with the dead, or you might be called upon to reassure and assist those who have just passed over (died) or those who are consciously projecting for the first time. Many spirits, elementals and ghosts exist in the astral world. The magician should feel comfortable there. Tibetan belief is that through proficiency in OOBE, you no longer need reincarnate after death. The astral world is extremely changeable and subject to your thoughts. Your will can control your movements in the astral world, and if you seem to be going somewhere non-volitionally (‘astral current’) it is probably your true will causing it anyway. You might also experience heightened magical ability while in the astral realm.
- What is the relationship between astral projection and dreams.
- What is mental projection?
- List the nine basic methods of astral projection.
- H.P. Battersby, Man Outside Himself.
- J.H. Brennan, Astral Doorways.
- Robert Crookall, The Techniques of Astral Projection.
- Denning and Phillips, The Llewellyn Practical Guide to Astral Projection. Oliver Fox, Astral Projection.
- Gavin & Yvonne Frost, Astral Travel.
- Celia Green, Out-of-the-body Experiences.
- Richard A. Greene, The Handbook of Astral Projection.
- Herbert Greenhouse, The Astral Journey.
- Jack London, Star Rover (historical occult novel).
- Janet Mitchell, Out of Body Experiences.
- Robert Monroe, Journeys Out of the Body.
- Robert E. Moser, Mental and Astral Projection.
- Muldoon and Carrington, The Projection of the Astral Body.
- Ophiel, The Art and Practice of Astral Projection.
- A.E. Powell, The Astral Body.
- D. Scott Rogo, Leaving the Body.
- J.M. Shay, Out of the Body Consciousness.
- Susy Smith, The Enigma of Out-of-the-body Travel.
- Brad Steiger, The Mind Travelers.
- Yram, Practical Astral Projection.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.