Tag: Kundalini

Astral Priojection

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

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
awareness, meditation),
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.

Basic Techniques

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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’).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Review Questions

  1. What is the relationship between astral projection and dreams.
  2. What is mental projection?
  3. List the nine basic methods of astral projection.

Book List

  • 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.


Chakras and meditation

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

According to East Indian philosophy, man possesses seven major *chakras* or psychic centres on his body. Each of these forms a bridge, link, or energy transformer; changing pure (higher) energy into various forms, and connecting the four bodies (ie. spiritual, mental, astral, and physical) together. The chakras are located along the nadies (a network of psychic nerves or channels) and follow the autonomic nervous system along the spinal cord. Chakras correlate with major acupuncture points along the ‘governing vessel meridian’ (acupuncture term). The seven major chakras are connected together by three major nadies which are parallel and near each other. The middle nadi is called sushumna and it has neutral characteristics. The nadi on the left (ie. nearest your left hand) is the ida nadi which has yin characteristics. On the other side of sushumna (nearest your right hand) is the pingala nadi, having yang qualities.

Chakras are visible to clairvoyant sight as variously coloured rotating circles or funnels. In the East they are described as petalled flowers or lotuses. Sources disagree on the colours.

The first chakra, located at the base of the spine at the perineum is the root chakra, muladhara. It primarily relates to the element of earth and to psychic smell.

The second chakra, known as the sacral centre, svadhisthana, is located above and behind the genitals. Its dominant element is water, and it is related to psychic taste.

Third of the chakras is the solar plexus, manipura, located at the navel and corresponding with the emotions and with the element of fire; also with psychic sight (clairvoyance).

The heart chakra, anahata, is the fourth chakra, located over the heart and corresponding with the element of air, and also with psychic touch.

The fifth chakra is the throat chakra, vishuddha, located at the base of the throat (thyroid) and corresponding with psychic hearing (clairaudience).

The remaining two chakras are very important. They relate mostly to elevated states of consciousness. The frontal chakra, (or ‘third eye’) ajna, the sixth chakra, is located between, and slightly above, the eyebrows. Ajna is the centre of psychic powers and can produce many psychic effects. Meditation on ajna is said to cure nervousness.

Finally, the crown chakra, sahasrara, located atop the head, (pineal gland) is the seventh chakra. It is referred to as the thousand-petalled lotus and corresponds with astral projection and enlightenment.

There are also many minor chakras throughout the body. Each chakra has a sound (letter) and a pitch which is sometimes used to invoke it.

The Tattvas

Some occultists prefer to describe the magical elements as tattvas according to the Eastern system. Notice that these symbols and colours are generally different than the western symbols and colors for the elements.

element             tattva              tattvic symbol
=======             ======              ==============
earth               prithivi            yellow square
water               apas                silver crescent
fire                tejas               red triangle
air                 vayu                blue circle
(spirit)            akasa               black oval

Yoga

Yoga originated in India. It is a physical or mental discipline designed to condition and invigorate the mind and body. There are many kinds of yoga, but they may be generally divided into three main types…

Hatha yoga — affect the mind through the body using physical exercises; improve physical health and endurance.

Raja yoga — affect the mind through mental training; improve concentration.

Mantra yoga — affect the mind through chanting and affirmation; achieve relaxation.

Meditation

This is a much touted area of the occult. There are many meditation techniques, and many claims made for the benefits of meditation. Basicly, meditation has two functions — relaxation, and perhaps, improved concentration. There are two main types…

  1. concentration meditation (focusing),
  2. insight meditation (mindfullness).

Most kinds of meditation are the concentrative type. One simply focuses his attention upon a single physical object (such as a candle flame); upon a sensation (such as that felt while walking or breathing); upon an emotion (such as reverence or love); upon a mantra spoken aloud or even silently; or upon a visualization (as in chakra meditation, see below)…Concentration meditation is, simply put, a form of self-hypnosis.

A mantra (or mantrum) is one or more words or syllables which are repeated — often chanted — aloud…A simple yet powerful mantra is to vibrate the mystical word ‘OM’. This mantra has long been associated in India with the godhead/unity. Use it to aid in tuning into universal vibrations which promote feelings of harmony, peace, and well-being. Use it before magick ritual to ‘get into the mood’ and afterwards to ‘dismiss the forces’. You vibrate a mantra by saying it slowly aloud in a lower-pitched voice than your normal speech, and a more or less constant pitch as well. Let the sound fade at the end of the mantra. A powerful one such as ‘OM’ will seem to vibrate the air around you. It should be vocalized for 5-10 seconds and repeated a number of times with a few seconds rest between each vocalization. Chanting of mantras may cause slight dizziness from hyperventilation.

The other main type of meditation — insight meditation — is the analysis of thoughts and feelings in such a way as to cause realization of the subjectivity and illusion of experience. This is done in a effort to attain transcendental awareness. Such statements as, ‘This body is not me’, fall under this category. Buddhist meditations are usually of this type.

Chakra Meditation

There is a special type of concentrative meditation which we will call ‘Chakra meditation’. This is basically Kundalini yoga — the practice of causing psychic energy (kundalini) to flow up sushumna, energizing the various chakras along the way. The practice, considered dangerous by some, will produce definite physiological sensations and psychological effects if continued long enough. It should not be attempted by epileptics or persons with an unstable mental or physical condition, or with heart disease. Certain drugs and medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy may retard progress. Although the technique is very simple, it may eventually produce powerful results. Results may at first appear hours after the practice during sleep. As each chakra is energized by this practice, it is said to add occult powers (sidhis), until at last the crown chakra is reached, and with it, full enlightenment is attained. Sometimes kundalini awakens all by itself.

To practice this chakra meditation, you simply concentrate on the chakras, beginning with the root chakra, and moving progressively up, as you visualize psychic energy from the root chakra traveling up shushumna and vivifying each higher chakra. As we mentioned the chakras have certain properties associated with them, so that this type of visualization may ‘raise consciousness’, promote astral projection, and other things — once you have reached ajna and eventually the crown chakra. You might typically meditate in this fashion for 15 minutes to a half hour a day. It might help to practice some hatha yoga or other physical exercise in an effort to make the spinal cord ‘more flexible’. Diet may also affect the process. The technique is also similar to the Tibetan ‘Tummo’ meditation. The rise of kundalini is sometimes experienced as a ‘vibration’ or buzzing, as light, or as heat.

Heath and Diet

Certainly the way you treat your physical body will affect your mind. In magick you want an alert mind. Therefore, your body must be as healthy as you can keep it. Take care of your body. Exercise regularly. eat a good diet (with vitamin supplements), and do not consume anything which will have a negative effect upon the mind. Drugs, smoking,, and alcohol should be restricted, or eliminated. (The mind can create any condition which a drug can create.) A good rule here is moderation in what and how much you consume. (Most of this stuff is pretty obvious isn’t it.) You may also want to cut down on sugar and processed foods. Many occultists advise dietary changes, especially the non-eating of meat. We cannot deny the physical, psychological, and spiritual effect which all foods have. This effect may be described as the ‘heaviness’ factor of foods. Various foods are so ranked in the chart, lighter to heavier…

  1. lettuce and other greens.
  2. fruits and most vegetables.
  3. wheat, rice, and other grains.
  4. nuts, beans, and other legumes.
  5. cheese, dairy products, including eggs.
  6. fish, seafood.
  7. chicken, poultry.
  8. beef, pork, other red meats.

Note that meats, especially red meats are the ‘heaviest’ foods. Generally, foods which are harder to digest, or which are higher in protein are ‘heavier’ than those which are not. Animal products are heavier than plants. Foods high in carbohydrate (candy, bread, starch) are heavy. However, the ‘heaviness’ of foods is not directly related to the amount of caleries.

What this means is that for various reasons, the heaviness of food in your diet will affect your magical experiences. You may be able to increase your psychic receptivity (‘energy level’) by eating lighter foods, or by eating less. Conversely, emphasizing heavy foods in your diet, or eating larger helpings, may help to ‘bring you down to earth’ should you ‘rent the veil’ too much. These are generalizations, of course, and it may take a number of days of dietary change before you notice much effect. I do not advocate radical dietary changes, excessive fasting, or malnutrition. Your good health is far more important in magick than any temporary effect you get from prolonged starvation. A change in diet will sometimes only produce a temporary effect, until the physical body adapts to the change. Healthy natural foods and lifestyle make it easier for us to be healthy, but ultimately, good health is a mentual quality (attitude).

The Four-Fold Breath

With physical exercise too, moderation is advised. (You should be cautious, or not attempt it if you have a respiratory or heart condition. Check with your physician if in doubt, and don’t overdo.) One of the most useful physical exercises is pranayama, or controlled breathing (actually a type of hatha yoga exercise). For this and any other calesthentics or hatha yoga which you might choose to do a ‘kitchen timer’ is suggested (many of these aren’t accurate for under three minutes, but are helpful for longer periods).

The main purpose of pranayama is to relax the body and mind. There are many kinds of pranayama, but a simple one called the ‘four-fold breath’ will suffice. This consists of four short quick inhallations, then four short quick exhallations; then repeat, continuing until the allotted time is used up. It will take about 1 1/2 seconds for the four inhallations, and about 1 1/2 seconds for the four exhallations; or about 3 seconds for the complete in-out cycle (‘rep’ for repetition). There should be no strain of any kind during your pranayama. You will probably notice a slight dizziness, particularly at first, since the effect of pranayama is to hyperventilate. Try sitting back in a chair with your eyes closed when you do your pranayama. Begin a minute a day for the first week and gradually increase up to about five minutes a day. If you do the pranayama befor your magical activity, it will help you to get ‘into the mood’. It is also an excellent aid to relaxation and tension release. Pranayama should not be done during heavy air pollution. Other exercises you might consider are hatha yoga, calesthentics, walking or jogging.

Review Questions

  1. What is a chakra? List them.
  2. Name the three major nadies. Which nadi is hot?
  3. What is pranayama?

Book List

  • Arthur Diekman, The Observing Self.
  • W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
  • Sandra Gibson, Beyond the Mind.
  • King and Skinner, Techniques of High Magic.
  • Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga.
  • John Woodroffe (pseud. for Arthur Avalon), The Serpent Power.

========
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.


Chakra Advice

By Darkstar | April 22, 2001 | Leave a comment

Subject: Re: [IvyAers_Coven] Digest Number 264
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 11:05:11 -0700
From: Darkstar
To: IvyAers_Coven@yahoogroups.com

Hi Lady Silver! I’m glad to hear you had some success. :)

One thing you must realize when dealing with chakras, and their subsequent blockages is that all types of pain and illness can be stored in them. Once you start to get in touch with this, old memories may come flooding back.. things from your past may come back needing to be healed. Perhaps this is why I suggested just trying to relax at first, and then delving into the Chakra work once you feel comfortable letting yourself relax. These memories should be nothing to fear.. they are there for a reason, and are a part of removing those blockages. Remember to keep track of your meditation experiences, as they may help you focus on the areas that need particular attention. Healing is hard work… I myself have become sicker in the process.. but I know it’s all a part of getting somewhere because other parts of my body that have refused to work for 10 years are suddenly working!

You will most likely always see something when you reach your Crown or Third Eye Chakra.. it might just be a shot of light or, as you’ve seen .. memories… sometimes it’s the leap off point for Astral Travel. Once you’re more comfortable with the meditation process, pay close attention to what the other Chakras show you as well… their energies may be more subtle than the crown at first, but no doubt their healing is no less significant. One thing you might try, especially if your meditations ever make leave you feeling detached, or disoriented is to ground the chakra energy by going through the Chakras backwards, from Crown to Root.

Brightest Blessings for a Glorious Weekend!
~darkstar~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
darkstar@inthemist.com

http://www.inthemist.com

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