To use modern scientific terminology, as astral journey requires that
you acieve an altered state of consciousness (ASC) so that you can
go "out-of-body" to the realm you wish to visit. Saying the same
thing in old-fashioned esoterie terms, it requires that you go into
trance and use astral projection to reach the desired realm. Stated
in plain English,you must first physically relax to the extent that
you become unaware of your body, and then imagine yourself in the
realm you wish to visit. It's really quite simple.
simplicity, however, should not lull you into a false sense of
security. There are more things between heaven and Earth than are
dreamt of in you philosophy,and if you wish to explore the areas
which lie between the spiritual and physical planes, you must be
prepared to meet these "things." The astral plane is inhabitied by a
great variety of creatures, some of which--on the lower levels,
anyway--aren't particularly pleasant.
Some of these are peculiar to
the individual, while others are picked up from society at large.
The unconscious mind takes your darker feelings and thoughts and
molds them into those forms, personal or collective,which will most
frighten you so that you will heed its warnings. Individuals who face
their inner demons head-on, usually through the psychotherapeutic
process, don't have to fear confronting them while exploring ASCs,
because the mere act of acknoledging them effectively exorcises them.
But for those who have not squarely faced the ugly or dangerous
aspects of their characters, it is quite a different story.
Psychological considerations aside, classical esoteric theory
maintains that the universe contains some energies--beings, creatures
or whatever one wishes to call them--that are not altogether friendly
to humankind which, if suddenly or unexpectedly confronted, could
cause a good deal of trauma for any magician operating at levels
other than normal consciousness. My purpose in discussing possible
dangers relating to astral travel is not to frighten you to the
extent that you don't attempt it, but rather to warn you that safety
measures are required for this kind of work--even for those who are
experienced and knowledgeable about the Shadow side of their
characters. My own psychotherapy has exposed to view most of my inner
demons, but even so I would never consider going out-of-body without
adequate protective measures.Never indulge in drugs or alcohol prior
to astral travel. To do so is to court disaster.
As Dion Fortune said:
To open the psychic centres and contact other planes does not
constitute the whole of psychism. 'It is necessary to know how to
approach and handle that which is contacted. Drugs do not confer this
knowledge, which only comes with experience'....Moreover, a dangerous
astral contact may be formed at the very first experiment. (Note from
Molli- Ms. Fortune states that some on the Left-Hand Path may use
drugs for raising con-sciousness, i.e. black magician, so if you are
not on that path, they are stating to avoid this)It is imperative
that you perform the personal and god symbols exercises recommended
by Murry Hope. (will be given at end)before you attempt this journey,
or any other form of astral travel. These symbols will act as your
passport and personal security guard while you explore altered states
Shamanic journesy with earthly destinations require
that you move downward, at least for a time, before you reach the
disired realm. Astral journeys with cosmic destinations--those which
require you to leave the planet and move into space--demand that you
move upward before reaching you destination. Keeping these principles
in mind, you can easily design you own astral travels.
Journeying requires a good deal of physical and mental discipline.
When leading groups of people on shamanic journeys, it's been my
observation that some individuals have difficulty remaining
physically still. This usually reflects a parallel mental unrest. The
inability to acieve physical or mental stillness represents a serious
obstacle in the path of the aspiring magician. One of the best ways
to overcome the problem is through the practice of Hatha and Raja
Hatha Yoga teaches bodily discipline, and Raja teaches
meditation (mental stillness). My own Hatha Yoga teacher included
meditation along with physical instruction; it's my understanding
that this is normal procedure. Astral travel plays a large part in
the advanced magician's repertoire, and with good reason. It enables
them to acquaint themselves with beings who can help them with their
projects. There are reasons for journeying beyond the purely
practical, however. Knowledge may be gained from beings who belong to
other dimensions--and in magic (as in life), knowledge is power.