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Psychic Energy

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

We have seen in the theories of magick, that there is a definite relationship between the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ worlds. We saw this in the theory of the microcosm and the macrocosm; in the four worlds; in the theory of correspondences; and also in the Cabala and Tree of Life. This relationship between inner and outer is very important. And it means quite simply that success (or lack of it) in one world (inner or outer) influences success (or lack of it) in the other. Therefore developing of magical ability is more than meditation and magical practice, for it implies mastery of the four worlds. The developed magician is not only master of the inner worlds; he is also master of himself.

This is not to imply that successful magicians are all millionaires (or whatever standard people measure success by), but it should mean that they are basically pleasant people, at least; no serious hangups. The developed magician is described as a ‘king’ in the Book of the Law. This means simply that he has full control over all aspects of his physical and inner life. He should be who he wants to be, doing what he wants to do.

Planetary Correspondences

The *numbers* in the tables and diagram of the preceding lesson on Cabala are the ‘key’ numbers which we find in various *correspondence tables* (such as Crowley’s ’777′). One important set of correspondences for the planets, is shown below…

KEY   PLANET       METAL        ATTRIBUTE
===   ======       =====        =========
3     Saturn       lead         home
4     Jupiter      tin          luck, wealth
5     Mars         iron         anger, war-like
6     Sun          gold         vitality
7     Venus        copper       love
8     Mercury      mercury      knowledge
9     Moon         silver       emotions, travel

Notice that we have included the metal which is associated with the planet, as well as common attributes of each planet. The theory of Cabalistic magick is to select the appropriate planet for the desired result. The attribute column will assist in that selection. Once a particular planet is determined, an entity is selected from the correspondence tables by matching the key number.

Although Hebrew Mysticism is the original source of Cabalistic ideas, it is mostly unconcerned with the magical implications of those ideas. How can a religious philosophy which is monotheistic lend credibility to a polytheistic approach? Various deities are understood as *aspects* or *qualities* of the Supreme God. This is not a contradiction, merely a restatement of the microcosm and macrocosm idea once again. The Sefirotic Tree, in its representation of the universe is the Macrocosm. While it could be said that any single sefiroth has its own separate qualities, it remains, nonetheless, a part of the whole tree, and a part of the macrocosm. As a result, virtually any pantheon or belief system is compatible with the Cabala.

Willpower and Magick

Western magick has traditionally placed a great deal of emphasis upon the use of willpower as a means of development and self-mastery. But this may not be the best method in the long run.Isaac Bonewitz describes how the subconscious will sometimes rebel against willpower with ‘spectacular results’. It is far better to run one’s life democratically.

Hawaiian Kahuna magick describes the ‘three selves’, ie. the lower self (or subconscious), the middle self (or normal consciousness), and the high self (spirit or Holy Guardian Angel). Enlightenment in the Hawaiian system consists of unification of the three selves. They become ‘buddies’. Enlightenment does not come from great change. It comes from great acceptance. Continual effort at becoming better takes you nowhere. For becoming it is not being it. The unification is achieved by first developing communication with the subconscious and later with the high self also. Simple exercises with a pendulum, automatic writing, raised finger responses, self hypnosis, recording and analysis of dreams etc. facilitate communication with the subconscious. At first communication with the high self must be via the subconscious, but later it is possible to go direct to it.

Psychic Energy

Many occult groups follow an energy model for magick and the physical body. This model (or theory) equates psychic energy with kundalini/prana/sexual or life force energy. The ideal of kundalini yoga is thus to raise the kundalini to the higher chakras (especially ajna and sahasrara) thereby enhancing psychic/magick powers. The release of psychic energy is also relevant to mental control, good health and longevity, and the attainment of ‘cosmic consciousness’. Meditation and yoga is used to liberate psychic energy so that it can be used for magical purposes. But there are other ways to liberate psychic energy. Many of these techniques will act as a mental catharsis in the sense of invigorating the psyche and resulting in improved intellectual and physical performance.

  1. Psychotherapy of certain types which releases pent up psychological energy.
  2. Overcoming mind games, hangups, and inhibitions. This is the basis of all listed practices, as hangups waste psychic energy. Certain psychotropic drugs may have this affect. Also the ‘kicks’ from ‘risks’ like skydiving.
  3. Vigorous dance and physical exercise — to the point of ‘second wind’.
  4. ‘Desirelessness’ and various religious practices.
  5. The way of return, and various other mystical practices.
  6. Atavistic resurgence. This last item deserves some extra mention. It was one of Austin Spare’s methods. It means to contact the primitive emotions deep within the psyche. In a sense it is regressive. However, there is power there, if you are able to control it.

We have seen how magical theory is based upon the assumption that psychic phenomena is real. If this is so, then magick is also real. And we have also seen how magick is the art and science of causing change in accordance with the will by non-physical means. Magical philosophy is the working system of terms, theories, and symbols upon which magick is based. But magick goes further than that, for as an ancient system of psychology, magick may be used as is a means of self improvement and spiritual growth. For magick and mysticism are parallel paths, each ultimately leading to transcendence.

Review Questions

  1. What do we mean by the relationship between the inner and outer worlds?
  2. What is wrong with willpower?
  3. Explain the energy model of magick.

Book List

  • P.E.I. Bonewitz, Hawaiian Magic (tape).
  • Pete Carrol, Liber Null.
  • ——, Psychonaut.
  • John Heriot, Teaching Yourself White Magic.
  • Allan P. Lewis, Clearing Your Lifepath.
  • Max Freedom Long, The Secret Science Behind Miracles.
  • ——, The Secret Science At Work.
  • Stephen Mace, Stealing the Fire from Heaven.
  • Julian Wilde, Grimoire of Chaos Magick.

========
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.


Cabala

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

Western magick is based upon the Cabala, a Jewish mystical tradition first written down in 12th and 13th century southern France and Spain. It was oral before that; and it contains the “lost” knowledge of the ancients, possibly going back to Egypt and before. The most important Cabalistic books are SEPHIR YETZIRAH (The Book of Creation), and the ZOHAR (Book of Splendour). Through Cabalistic philosophy we are able to classify and “pigeon-hole” all of existence.

The four worlds are recognized in the Cabala, but they are given Hebrew names. Thus — Assiah, physical; Yetzirah, astral; Briah, mental; and Atziluth, spiritual; as shown in the chart.

WORLD        NAME        MEANING             ATTRIBUTE
=====        ====        =======             =========
spiritual    Atziluth    Archetypal World    pure deity
mental       Briah       Creative World      archangels
astral       Yetzirah    Formative World     angels
physical     Assiah      Material World      action

The divine name of God is TETRAGRAMMATON (or name of four letters) made from the Hebrew letters YOD HE VAU HE (English YHVH). Of the four letters, YOD corresponds with Atziluth and the element of fire; the first HE corresponds with Briah and water. These first two letters make up a yang-yin pair (respectively). The other two letters also form a yang-yin pair (respectively), with the VAU corresponding with Yetzirah and air; while the second HE corresponds with Assiah and the element of earth.

The Cabalistic parts of the soul use new names for the three highest vehicles of consciousness. NESHAMAH (Divine Soul) is the Spiritual body; RUAH (Moral Soul) is the Mental body; and NEFESH (Animal Soul) is the Astral body.

An important attribute of the Cabala is the SEFIROTIC TREE (or “Tree of Life”, Otz Chieem). The Sefirotic Tree is a diagram of the universe made up of the ten SEFIROTH (primal numbers or orders of creation) drawn as circles upon the Tree in a descending pattern from the highest aspect of God at the top to the most physical aspect of our world at the bottom. As can be seen in the accompanying diagram, the sefiroth are connected together with numbered lines, called paths.

                 / (1)\
              /     |    \
           /        |       \
     (3) /----------|---------\ (2)
      |             |            |
      |             |            |
      |             |            |
     (5)\-----------|---------/ (4)
      |    \        |      /     |
      |       \     |    /       |
      |          \ (6)/          |
      |          /  |  \         |
      |       /     |    \       |
      |    /        |      \     |
     (8)/-----------|--------\ (7)
          \         |        /
            \       |      /
               \    |    /
                  \(9)/
                    |
                    |
                  (10)

This is my attempt to draw a Sefirotic Tree using ASCII characters. Several paths are omitted (15, 17, 29, 31). Please refer to a printed diagram (in most any book on Cabala) for a better illustration.

Above the Tree is the infinite void — the unknowable, unmanifest God as Divine Light — the three veils of negative existence: Ain, Ain Sof, and Ain Sof Aur. The Divine Light (Ain Sof Aur) is made manifest by the first sefira where it is transformed into positive existence. Emanations of energy (magical current) flow from the first sefira (Source) along the paths into other sefiroth which transform and emanate to lower and lower sefiroth. In Adam Kadman (primal or ideal man) the sefiroth fit upon the physical body; note the similarity to the chakras. The process of creation is one of emanation from the spiritual at the top of the Tree to the physical world (Sink) at the bottom. All current which is Sourced into the Tree must also be Sinked (earthed). That is, magical energy set in motion by ritual shoud be used up in the physical world whether or not the ritual was a success.

Sefiroth 1, 2, and 3 on the Tree form the Supernal Triangle which is beyond normal human experience in the world of Atziluth. The first sefira, KETHER, is the supreme *crown* of God; it signifies pure Being, and is the Source. Kether is androgynous. Immediately arising from Kether are two further emanations. The second sefira is HOKMAH, the *wisdom* of God and the masculine force of the universe. Third is BINAH, the *understanding* or intelligence of God; this is the supernal mother.

Between the Supernals and the other seven sefiroth is the Abyss — a great gulf which forever separates ideal from actual. Within the Abyss an 11th sefira, DAATH, the *knowledge* of God is sometimes placed.

The second triangle, comprised of the 4th, 5th, and 6th sefiroth in the world of Briah, is sometimes called the Mental Triangle. Sefira 4, HESED, the *love* or mercy of God, is male and positive. The 5th sefira, GEVURAH, the power or *strength* of God complements Hesed as justice. Sixth is TIFARETH, as the compassion or *beauty* of God; the heart of the universe.

The third or Astral Triangle contains sefiroth 7, 8, and 9 in Yetzirah. Sefira 7, NETSAH, is the lasting endurance or *victory* of God. Complementing Netsah is 8, HOD, the majesty or *splendor* of God. The 9th sefira, YESOD, the *foundation* of the world, is linked with the moon, hence the tides and the libido. Yesod is experienced as dream consciousness, and is very important in magick and astral projection.

Finally, at the physical world of Assiah is the 10th sefira, MALKUTH, the *kindgom* of God, and the basis of all material creation. We experience Malkuth as sense consciousness.

The Sefirotic Tree has three vertical columns or *pillars*. As you face the tree, the pillar on the right, headed by Hokmah and ending with Netsah, is called the Pillar of Mercy and has light/masculine (yang) qualities. The pillar on the left, headed by Binah and ending with Hod, is the Pillar of Severity with dark/feminine (yin) qualities. The Middle Pillar between them equilibriates the two opposites, and is the *Shekhinah*, or feminine counterpart of God. The *klippoth*, or evil demons, generally in Assiah, represent unbalanced forces or excesses.

All the attributes of the universe fit like pieces of a puzzle upon the Sefirotic Tree. Each numbered part is a numeric key to the various correspondence tables, such as Crowley’s ’777′. The sefirotic tree has its parts variously coloured and each sefira has a colour; in fact the paths which run between the sefiroth have their own colours too. There are four major colour scales for the sefirotic tree and each colour scale corresponds with one of the four worlds. That means we are dealing with not just one sefirotic tree, but actually with a separate tree for each of the four worlds; although it is easier to think of it as the same tree with a different color scale. The Queen (Briah) and King (Atziluth) scales are the most important. There is also the Empress scale (Assiah), and the Emperor scale (Yetzirah).

The Queen and King scales for the sefiroth are shown below. (Note that when 4 colours are listed together, the sefira is divided into quarters and the first colour is assigned to the upper quarter, the 2nd colour to the right quarter, the 3rd colour to the left quarter, and the last colour to the lower quarter.)

KEY     QUEEN SCALE                     KING SCALE
===     ===========                     ==========
1       pure white brilliance           brilliance
2       gray                            pure soft blue
3       black                           crimson
4       blue                            deep violet
5       scarlet red                     orange
6       yellow (gold)                   clear pink rose
7       emerald green                   amber
8       orange                          violet purple
9       violet                          indigo
10      citrine, olive, russet, black   yellow

The 22 paths connect the sefiroth together. These paths correspond with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, as based upon the SEFIR YETZIRAH. Due to the nature of the Hebrew alphabet (some letters can take two forms) SEFIR YETZIRAH divides each of two of the letters into two (dual) parts. For this reason, it is necessary to divide each of the two related paths into two (dual) parts. These are numbered 31, 31b (bisected); 32, 32b. Yet when these paths are drawn on the sefirotic tree they are usually shown undivided (and numbered simply 31, and 32). The following table shows the colours and location of the paths in relation to the sefiroth. You will want to add the path numbers to the illustration of the sefirotic tree, or draw a new tree. Some writers may refer to “32 paths”, by calling the sefiroth “paths” 1-10.

KEY  JOINS SEFIROTH  QUEEN SCALE          KING SCALE
===  ==============  ===========          ==========
11   1 - 2           sky blue             brt. pale yellow
12   1 - 3           purple               yellow
13   1 - 6           silver               blue
14   2 - 3           sky blue             emerald green
15   2 - 6           red                  scarlet
16   2 - 4           deep indigo          red orange
17   3 - 6           pale mauve           orange
18   3 - 5           maroon               amber
19   4 - 5           deep purple          greenish yellow
20   4 - 6           slate gray           yellowish green
21   4 - 7           blue                 violet
22   5 - 6           blue                 emerald green
23   5 - 8           sea green            deep blue
24   6 - 7           dull brown           green blue
25   6 - 9           yellow               blue
26   6 - 8           black                indigo
27   7 - 8           red                  scarlet
28   7 - 9           sky blue             violet
29   7 - 10          buff, silver-white   crimson (ultraviolet)
30   8 - 9           gold yellow          orange
31   8 - 10          vermilion            glowing orange-scarlet
32   9 - 10          black                indigo
31b                  deep purple          white merging into gray
32b                  amber                citrine, olive, russet, black

The queen and king scales are complementary. Also complementary are the paths and the sefiroth. Traditional use of the queen scale sefiroth will find the king scale as paths and vice versa. The use of complementary scales is based upon the idea of balance. A tree composed of sefiroth in the queen scale and paths in the king scale is all you need for most magick. Although correspondences are what work for you, there is said to be an ancient tradition surrounding the conventional color scales and it may be helpful to lock into the energy associated with them.

From the magical point of view, the Tree of Life is a map of consciousness which is useful for understanding and attaining various states of consciousness. In cabalistic magick we are concerned with the linking of higher energy to lower levels on the tree. That very thing takes place naturally as well, in nature and in life. A subject in itself is cabalistic meditation (pathwork, or the way of return), in which we attempt to climb up the tree (ladder of lights) to attain union with divinity.

Review Questions

  1. What is the sefirotic tree?
  2. How is the queen scale used in magick?
  3. What is a path? How many are there?

Book List

  • J. Abelson, Jewish Mysticism
  • Edward Albertson, Understanding the Kabbalah
  • Bernard J. Babmerger, Fallen Angels
  • Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts
  • ______, editorial comments to “Cabala”, Man Myth and Magic
  • Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
  • ______, 777 Revised
  • Denning and Phillips, The Magical Philosophy
  • ______, Magical States of Consciousness (on pathworking)
  • A.D. Duncan, The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic
  • Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
  • Adolphe Frank, The Kabbalah: The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews
  • Perle Epstein, Kabbalah, the Way of the Jewish Mystic
  • William Gray, The Talking Tree
  • Stephan A. Hoeller, The Royal Road
  • Isidor Kalish, Sepher Yezirah: A Book on Creation
  • Alta J. LaDage, Occult Psychology
  • Bernhard Pick, The Cabala: Its Influence on Judaism and Christianity
  • Charles Ponce, Kabbalah: An Introduction and Illumination for the World Today
  • Henry B. Pullen-Burry, Qabalism
  • Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegranets
  • ______, The Golden Dawn
  • ______, The Middle Pillar
  • Leo Schaya, The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah
  • Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah
  • ______, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
  • ______, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism
  • ______, Zohar: The Book of Splendor
  • Arthur Edward Waite, The Holy Kabbalah
  • R.J. Zwi Werblowsky, “Cabala”, Man, Myth and Magic
  • William Wynn Wescott, An Introduction to the Study of the Kabalah
  • ______, Sepher Yetzirah

========
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.


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.


Basic Ritual

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

‘The first part of every ceremony is the banishing; the second the invoking.’

–Crowley, Magick, p. 104

It may be said that ritual is the very heart of magick. For it is through ritual that we achieve our magical results. Ritual is a magical procedure or ceremony we perform in order to change the environment. Usually we think of ritual as bearing on active magick, although certainly, it can also affect passive magick. Most often the change achieved is subjective (it may be subtle) and in the physical world. Outsiders may put them down to coincidence, but the effects are very real. Magical goals for a ritual should not be taken lightly.

The successful practice of magick depends upon strong belief. The simplest ritual of them all must be belief itself. If you can believe in your desired results strongly enough, that act is a magical ritual which will achieve your results. Even a very complex ritual is no more effective than strong belief. There are aids to concentration which may help. Thus in *creative visualization*, imagination and controlled breathing are brought into play.

Creative Visualization

When you want to magically achieve something, first picture it clearly in your mind. The more definite and specific your idea of what it is the better. Picture yourself having it or doing it. Visualize it as vividly and as intensely as you can and hold it in your thoughts for a few moments. Concentrate on it intensely (it may help to hold your breath). Feel the energy of desire welling up inside you. Then suddenly feel the image or desire released from your mind. Feel the energy filtering through the image and intensifying it, as if the image is a ‘stencil’. Imagine the energy exploding out from you into the macrocosm in all directions at once, and feel the universe ’tilt’ as it reacts to the force. (At the same time it may help to release your breath suddenly). Feel the energy draining from you. Finally, *believe* that your purpose *has* been accomplished; that it HAS HAPPENED, perhaps saying something such as “so mote it be”, or “it is done”.

The Basic Parts of a Ritual

Often rituals are more formal than the above, but any full magick ritual must always reduce to these stages — 1) imaging; 2) building; 3) firing. Sometimes a ritual must be repeated every day for a while to achieve difficult results or to overcome weak belief.

The Magick Circle

Often an important part of formal ritual is the magick circle. Medieval magicians considered the circle essential, and placed great emphasis upon its exactness. Elaborate designs were invented with many layers of complex symbols and words. It was very important that the circle be completely intact with no breaks in it. The magician and any other participants stand in the circle during ritual. The ritual began with a banishing of evil forces (using the lesser ritual of the pentagram for example) to keep them outside the circle. Today, circles are made on the floor with chalk or paint, rock salt, or a rope. Whatever its form, the circle is still an important part of magical protection for the magician. This is especially important for aversive entities and purposes. The circle also helps in focusing the energy of the ritual toward its purpose, that is, it keeps it contained until the magician is ready to release it. Of course, the magick circle is basicly only a symbol, but it may eventually be possible to supplement the circle with electronic equipment for a similar purpose. We are researching the practicality of electrostaticly charged Faraday shields.

Artificial Elementals

An artificial elemental is useful for certain tasks: 1) invisible watcher and observer, telling you what it sees; 2) psychic guard; 3) it can be used in healing; 4) it is helpful in other ways. Ophiel calls the artificial elemental a ‘familiar’. Producing your own artificial elemental is fairly easy. YOU MUST ASSUME THAT THE ACT HAS PRODUCED RESULTS, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT IMMEDIATELY OBSERVE THEM. It is entirely possible to produce one of these little beasties and not know it (not being clairvoyant enough to observe it directly). Therefore, and this is a general principle of any magick, never ignore forces you have set into motion. Even though you may not see the elemental, you may nevertheless ‘feel’ it.

WARNING — Do not use artificial elementals for any kind of aversive magick at this point; they can be nasty little critters to get rid of. Should you have to eliminate one of them which you created in error, you must re-absorb it back into yourself through your will; or in some cases you can ‘exorcise’ it.

How to Create an Artificial Elemental

You can create your own artificial elemental for various purposes. An artificial elemental is basically a thoughtform which has been strengthened with emotion. Refer to the aura colour chart in the previous lesson and decide what colour to make the elemental, based upon your intended purpose. Apple green is a good choice for general purposes. Then decide on a shape or outline. Do you want your elemental to resemble some sort of animal? A simple circle or cloud is a good place to start. With this in mind you can use ritual to create your elemental. Creative visualization is good for this. Visualize it glowing before you. A darkened room is helpful for this.

Communicate with your elemental with telepathy, by talking to it, or with creative visualization. Your artificial elemental is closely linked to you and your subconscious attitudes. It will generally not do things you think it cannot do. As in any magick, results relate to effort and belief. Another way of looking at an artificial elemental is as an aspect of your personality (sub personality) which has been detached from you.

Invocation

Formal ritual usually involves the invocation (ritually calling up) of a god or goddess, spirit, or other entity. In this sense, magick is somewhat similar to pagan religion and witchcraft. However, we consider magick ritual a technique, not a religion. Worship need not be involved. Sometimes the invocation of an entity creates an artificial elemental. Crowley says there are three different kinds of invocation –

  1. Devotion to the entity (as in the Bhakti yoga of the Hare Krishna sect; the Faustian devil pact).
  2. Ceremonial invocation — usual method of the middle ages.
  3. Drama — usually needs more than one person (as in a mass).

Because of the microcosm-macrocosm identity, when you invoke the gods, you are invoking aspects of yourself. Jung has referred to the gods as primitive archetypes. This makes it sound like spiritual entities are illusions. But in fact the microcosm and macrocosm identity does not discredit the gods and goddesses. It instead helps to illustrate our relationship to the cosmos.

>>Cautions<<

Balance is important in magick. Vary the entities invoked in order to keep your personality in balance.

    Often as not a ritual may produce side-effects, usually something similar to, though not exactly the desired goal. If the true goal is delayed (as sometimes happens) we may see the side effects first. And if for some reason the goal is not achieved at all (‘missing the target’) the side effects may be pronounced.

    Examples:

    • You use magick ritual to hurry shipment of an anticipated package in the mail. Side effect — the next day an unexpected package (the wrong one) arrives instead.
    • You use magick ritual to cause a certain person to phone you. Side effect — for several days all sorts of people phone you…The sides effects will not affect you (or anyone else) adversely unless that is what you inwardly want.

    We may say with certainty that “something always happens” when we perform a magick ritual. But like everything else, magick follows the ‘law of results’. This means that results require effort of some kind. And if you don’t work hard enough at it you don’t get results. Difficult goals have greater resistance (magical inertia) to overcome. If the ritual doesn’t produce the desired results there is a good chance that the reason for the failure is within oursleves. Be certain there is no contradiction between your model and your magical goals. Sometimes self doubt and mental contradictions (wanting and not wanting at the same time) may interfere. The first step in magick is to re-program your model. And, of course you can help your magical results by working on the physical level toward your goals. Don’t expect them to fall into your lap by themselves.

    A peculiar quality of magick is time displacement. Results of a ritual are not usually instantaneous. There is often a delay of 12 hours or more. Difficult tasks or weakly performed ritual are more likely to be delayed. In most cases a slight delay is alright, and it gives us time to get used to the comming changes. And sometimes the effects of a ritual appear to extend to before the ritual was performed

    Because of the way magick works, a ritual may create an emphasis in what is sought, and a de-emphasis in everything else. Balance is therefore important here. Once the magical result is achieved it may be ‘bound’ to you and difficult to get rid of should you later decide to do so.

    Example:

    • You use a magick ritual to help you find and buy a new house. Years later when you decide to sell it, you are unable to do so. Consider your magical goals wisely so you dont get stuck with something you don’t really want. Note that theory says you can always unbind through ritual what was bound to you…theory says.

    Sometimes the environment appears to react against the magick after the results are achieved. This is particularly noticeable in using magick to affect the weather (and the main reason why you should NOT use magick to affect the weather). For example…Your performance of a ritual to produce a sunny day produces a sunny day. The next day is sunny, alright, but the rest of the month is cold and overcast. Here the weather seems to react to the magick in the opposite way to re-establish its natural balance. It is something like pushing a pendulum to one side and releasing it — the pendulum swings to the other side. To quote Emmerson — “For everything you gain you lose something…”. I don’t know that this is always true in magick, but it does illustrate the point. And another reason not to use magick to affect the weather is that it might foul it up in other parts of the country (world??).

    Finally, magick ritual (or any magick or occultism) is very dangerous for the mentally unstable. If you should somehow ‘get out too far’, eat ‘heavy foods’ as previously discussed (lesson on chakras) and use your religious background or old belief system for support. But remember too, that wierd experiences are not necessarily bad experiences.

    Review Questions

    1. What is creative visualization?
    2. List the basic parts of a ritual.
    3. What is invocation?

    Research Topics for Independent Study

    • Examine the differences between western magick and oriental magick.
    • How do medieval grimoires follow the basic ritual pattern?
    • Research and design your own formal ritual.

      Book List

      • P.E.I. Bonewitz, Real Magic.
      • David Conway, Magic: an Occult Primer (or Ritual Magic).
      • Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice.
      • Denning and Phillips, Creative Visualization.
      • Ophiel, Creative Visualization.
      • A.E. Powell, The Astral Body.
      • ________, The Mental Body.
      • Joseph Weed, Wisdom of the Ancient Masters.
      • Julian Wilde, Grimoire of Chaos Magick.

      ========
      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.


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