Upperworld: Shamanism and Magick of the Celestial Realms, by Chris Allaun
Mandrake of Oxford, 9781906958923, 260 pp., 2019
I still remember the powerful transformation I experience reading Underworld: Shamanism, Myth & Magick of the Celestial Realms by Chris Allaun. An entirely new world seemed to be dug up from the chthonic, primal darkness that lingered deep in the recesses of my mind. Calling forth ancestors, working with underworld spirits, and learning the underworld mythology of cultures around the world was greatly influential to my magical practice in the heart of a dark winter.1
I was quite excited to see Chris Allaun had released the next book in the series titled Upperworld: Shamanism and Magick of the Celestial Realms. Although I have been working with angels for quite some time, the celestial realm of magick still holds so much possibility and potential to cultivate and explore. I was particularly excited for this book since I am an astrologer and incorporate my passion for the planets and stars through magick seemed like an exciting venture.
Allaun wastes no time and dives right into the material. In the first chapter, after giving an overview of the Upperworld and what one can expect to find by journeying here, he provides a history of magicians and shamans travelling to this plane for the purpose of seeing the interconnectedness of life, finding divine inspiration and healing, and connecting to the gods. Three exercises are offered for astral travel plus ones to find your totem animal and Upperworld guide. I have to admit that it did take a little bit of time to feel capable in my astral travelling. Creating the portal was easy for me, but the leaving of my body I still don’t think I have grasped the proper technique. Rather than using force to make the experience be how I thought it should be, when I relaxed and allowed my imagination to wander, I found the exercises to be quite do-able.
If the Underworld feels like a dream, then the Upperworld can feel like a fever dream. This is a place of higher beings, angels, gods, ascended ancestors and healers and planetary spirits. Their concern is with the order of universe and the evolution of all species, including humans.2
The Upperworld is filled with diversity of perspectives and Allaun provides a smorgasbord of information, filling each section with stories from different cultures around the world rather than focusing on one culture exclusively in the chapters “Creation,” “The Heavens,” and “The Gods.” For instance, in “Creation,” Allaun touches on Egyptian mythology, kabbalah the Tree of Life, Hinduism’s story of Vishnu enlightening Brahma, Nordic mythology, China’s story of Pangu and the classical Greco-Roman gods. Clearly, this is a wide range of cultures and this makes for an interesting experience when you can read the mythologies next to each other.
Once again, Allaun is consistent in providing exercises for the reader to practice during these sections. He writes to guide the reader to journey to the astral library, different heavens (Babylonian heaven, Egyptian otherworld, Asgard, the Greek Olympus, Muspellheim, and the kabbalistic Tree of Life), devoting oneself to a god or goddess, and invocation techniques for possession by a deity. I have been practicing many of these but the one that had the greatest impact for me was Allaun’s Ceremony to Discover Your Personal God. While I have worked with goddess energy for years, I have always struggled to find a god that resonated with me. I would try to petition different ones but nothing ever stuck, or felt right. Using Allaun’s instructions, I was able to journey to the Upperworld and much to my surprise meet a very powerful god that had apparently been waiting to connect with me. It was shocking but made perfect sense at the same time. Since this time, a whole new level has been added to my magical practice by working with the energy of this god. I feel like I found a piece of me that had been missing for too long. The cultivation of masculine energy has been powerfully enhancing to my magick and personal well-being.
In Upperworld, Allaun also covers angels and archangels. The information provided is brief, but enough to give the reader an overview of the types of magick available to do, in addition to exercises one can do for experiential learning. Topics covered include archangel magick, summoning gregori, invoking Metatron, scrying with a crystal ball to connect with angels, and a Luciferian initiation to awakening. As for higher beings, Allaun teaches the reader how to connect with Thunder Beings, ascended masters, and divine ancestors to enhance their work in the Upperworld.
Finally, my favourite two chapters were “Stars” and “The Planets.” After giving a very interesting overview of how different civilizations have shaped their mythology and belief systems around constellations, Allaun dives into star magick. Exploring the different constellations in our night sky, Allaun guides readers to journey to these different celestial places. He also offers a method of celestial candle magick for both stars and planets, which I really enjoyed using because it felt more grounded than some of my attempted journeys. My current focus is using Allaun’s writing to explore star portals, which “are created when the energies of stars crisscross each other creating a celestial vortex.”3 He claims there are not many shamans or magicians doing this kind of work, but again, contributes his do-it-yourself, experiential advice of “instead of relying on other shamans and magicians to teach you what to do, you must discover the magick for yourself.”4
Interestingly enough, despite my study of astrology and magick, it had never previously occurred to me to invoke a planetary energy into my work and space. Upperworld has inspired me to begin to do this more often. For those who are not familiar with astrology, Allaun provides short but thorough descriptions of the constellations, zodiac signs, and magical significance of each planet.
My only caution in reading Upperworld is that at times it made me feel extremely ungrounded. I would start feeling disconnected from my physical senses, occasionally have bouts of anxiety, and feel disassociation if I tried to read it in a crowded setting. Therefore, I decided to only read it at home on my sofa or in my bed. I personally feel it’s charged with a potency that helps you to transcend the body and be able to travel to these other realms; I seemed to journey better when I was holding the book. Also, I fell asleep a lot doing some of the visualization practices. I would reach these cool places in the exercises, but then almost be overpowered by the experience and fall asleep, only to wake up disoriented 15 minutes later, wondering if I was doing this successfully or had just dreamed it all. It’s a work in progress I suppose! Keeping track of these experiences in my journal was really helpful though and I’ve referred back to them quite a few times.
Overall, Upperworld: Shamanism, Myth & Magick of the Celestial Realms is a very hands-on book packed with tips, tools and background knowledge needed to travel to some neat places and practice Upperworld magick. Allaun seems to lay out for the reader a multitude of options and then say, “Now go explore!” Through reading this book, one will feel confident to take the journey in the Upperworld and see what they might find. Allaun offers so many ways to enhance one’s personal work by using deities, higher beings, and celestial magick of the Upperworld. This is a great read for beginners or advance magical practitioners alike — there’s something for everyone here. According to the book’s conclusion, Allaun will be following up with a book on the Midworld; I can’t wait!
Image Credit: GollyGforce