About Us Courses Articles Spells Rituals Suggested Reading Disctionary Links
“Canvas, Clay and Memes: Astral Magic Unveiled” equates to a short treatise on post-modern Astral Magic, the basic pre-requisites and structure, plus some handy hints and good ideas for operating with mental canvas and clay.
Why have we written this document, you might ask? Well … Astral Projection and OOBE mostly seem to get covered with personal accounts of "Look at me Ma, I can fly". Extracting theory and specific practices about these concepts appears about as stressful as going to the dentist. Lucid Dreaming (theory and techniques) has had plenty of intelligent and insightful attention. However, Astral Magic, that style of magical practice where you stay awake, close your eyes, get still and quiet and empty of mind before launching yourself into some mental magical action has few detailed accounts offered. Previously, Peter Carroll's Liber KKK document offered the gist of this style of magic.“Canvas, Clay and Memes” endeavours to rectify this situation. Su Leybourn © 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
A). DEFINITION OF ASTRAL MAGIC
B). PRE-REQUISITES FOR ASTRAL MAGIC
1. Seclusion 2. Darkness 3. Body Position 4. Breathing Controls 5. Silence 6. Concentration 7. Visualisation 8. Trance 9. Summary
C). THE ART OF ASTRAL MAGIC
1. Constructing Astral Landscapes 2. Building the Temple 3. Creating the Astral Eidolon 4. Summary
D). THE SCIENCE OF ASTRAL MAGIC
1. Progressive Muscular Relaxation 2. Self-Induction 3. Summary
E). EUREKA ! ASTRAL MAGIC UNVEILEDF). TROUBLESHOOTING: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Knock, knock, who's there? 2. What you don't know can't hurt you, right? 3. Oops! 4. What do you mean … protection? 5. Where did I go? 6. Don't worry, everything's under control. 7. Everybody needs a hobby, right? 8. Then Cthulhu turned up.
CANVAS, CLAY AND MEMES: ASTRAL MAGIC UNVEILED
A). DEFINITION OF ASTRAL MAGICIn modern terms, Astral Magic equates to a level of disciplined magical operation using visualisation and gnosis i.e. "a singularity of consciousness", a state in which everything becomes so focused as to exclude all other awareness and stimuli. The magician utilises the most fundamental gnosis technique i.e. sitting still and clearing the mind, in preparation for work with evocation, divination, enchantment, invocation and illumination, unencumbered with physical equipment. “Have mind, can travel” offers a unique opportunity to gain knowledge or push back the boundaries to possible actions with the singular use of mind and visualisation. This may seem easier than it looks, when to an observer, the astral magician sits quietly in a chair with eyes closed. Nothing would seem further from the truth however. In actuality Astral Magic requires an enormous amount of self-discipline, dedication, attention to detail, considerable preparation and effort in order that results happen as intended. We do not intend some foray into fantasy or psychosis.In effect, the magician develops and maintains a series of skills that disciplines the mind. With these skills in situ, imagination weaves a canvas on which we can design/paint landscapes and environments that suit the intent of any magical working. Imagination transforms to clay in our hands in which we shape and manifest/fire our intent. Sounds and words create hypodermic sigils with the precision of a steady mind. We can scry into the depths of the Graal or invite deities to tea, should we choose.“Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”
B). PRE-REQUISITES FOR ASTRAL MAGICPeter Carroll, in his Liber Kaos, has the following to say on the subject of Astral Magic: “This magic is performed by visualisation and altered states of consciousness or gnosis, alone. Physical paraphernalia is not used although the tools and instruments from the previous levels can be used in the form of visualised images. At first the magician will probably require seclusion, silence, darkness and considerable effort at concentration and trance to succeed with such magic, but practice will allow it to be performed anywhere.” p 160.Note these “probable” tools that Carroll mentions i.e. “seclusion, silence, darkness and considerable effort at concentration and trance." If you stop to consider that these specific elements, plus visualisation, seem intrinsically significant to any successful outcome in Astral Magic, then you have the ingredients at your disposal with which to operate.Let's put these pre-requisites to Astral Magic under the proverbial microscope:
1. SECLUSION:How secluded do you need to get? Shut the door, put up a “do not disturb” sign, take the phone off the hook and sit in your favourite chair? Find the nearest sensory deprivation tank and make a booking? Build your own “Vault of the Adepti” ah la hermetic traditions of long ago? Shut out the world with a quick fix of chemical? Sail away to some deserted atoll?Think back to a time when you got confined to bed because you got sick and mother knew best. Did not your mind start to wander from the absolute sense of boredom? Aha! Light dawns she muses. Shamanic practices have long utilised seclusion to help initiate the process to tip the mind from the conscious to an altered state of singularity that we can call “gnosis” and we can do no less.Construct a work environs in which to practice astral magic techniques. If you do not have a spare room that could get used for this purpose, check out nooks like under a bed, a large disused table, a stairwell etc. Partition off some corner of a room with sheets, blankets or screens. Remember the cubby-houses that kids would build inside on rainy days? Ensure that your new environment seems simple and uncluttered i.e. boring, and that ventilation more than adequate. Do this and you now have made “seclusion” a tool at your disposal. At the simplest level your physical work-space could start and finish with a simple high-backed wooden chair with arm-rests.
2. DARKNESS:Given that we spend our day dealing with a veritable onslaught of sensory data, the astral magician needs to hone in on mentally tunnelled vision in terms of specific visualisations. The simplest way to set the scene for this comes from sitting quietly in some secluded space and closing one's eyes.For those starting out, the practices in physical and mental quiescence, breathing controls, concentration and visualisation etc often work better if done in a quiet darkened room. Minimising external stimuli as distraction by wearing a blindfold can come in handy. Parents often joke about their elective deafness or vision when they cut out the background noise of children at play or in argument. Such experience also makes excellent training, she muses.Eventually the astral magician can mentally exclude all extraneous factors and focus on the work at hand.
3. BODY POSITION:The operator in magic often assumes a body position (asana) when meditating or doing magical practices and remains motionless for the duration. You could balance on one leg; fold your legs into the lotus position; or kneel with hands flat on thighs and spine erect etc. The difference between adopting some specific asana instead of the “curled up and comfy” mode comes down to the body/mind requiring a little tension to stay alert. As an exercise in self discipline it serves us all well to master some various postures. As an exercise in concentration try balancing a saucer of water on your head without spilling a drop.Please note: Common sense should never abdicate itself from any magical equation. Personal health and safety should always come under consideration. No one body position equates to obligatory. Explore and practice variations and eventually choose postures that suit your needs.Astral Magic operations might have a person in the same position for 45 minutes or longer. Keeping that in mind, let us examine the two simplest forms of asana:a) Supine position: Stretched out on a bed or couch, on your back, with arms relaxed at your side, your neck and head supported by a small pillow, and you have a position that seems most restful. In fact, many people do end up falling sleep this way. Now this might seem fine if you intend nodding off after doing some relaxation exercises (see progressive muscular relaxation) but can equate to a nuisance in Astral Magic terms. Since you need to remain alert and focused, you may want to implant a message that you shall stay awake until you have finished the work at hand.Note: The supine position can also trigger some peculiar sensations. We have probably all experienced a split-second sensation of falling or flying during sleep. Some of us have felt a pressure on our chests that seems like someone, or something, sits on us. These sensations, the Free Fall and the Old Hag Attack, equate to characteristics of Sleep Paralysis, and usually occur whilst lying in the supine position. In fact, research suggests that such sensations seem five times more likely to happen when supine, than in any other position. Perhaps this could account for many of the "astral attacks" or OBE/flying impressions that we hear about, she muses.b) The Throne asana: Seated comfortably in a high-backed chair and you have a position that affords maximum time for working. This position entails having your hands resting on the arms of the chair or lightly in your lap, knees together and feet on the ground. The plus here equates to sitting with an erect spine and with a minimum of discomfort. This would generally suit someone with back problems.
4. BREATHING CONTROLS:We would all recognise the vital role that breathing has in sustaining life. We recognise that regular, natural breathing maintains the mental and physical systems and alleviates stress, anxiety, anger, irritability and fatigue. Increased energy and a heightened sense of awareness get induced when we deliberately focus on our breathing.The Four-Fold Breath: Inhale slowly and deeply over a count of four. Pause/hold breath for a count of four. Exhale slowly and deeply over a count of four. Pause/hold breath for a count of four. Repeat.Try these exercises in conscious breathing control:Breathe in deep and focus on the breath, breathe out deep and focus on the breath; Breathe in shallow and focus on the breath, breathe out shallow and focus on the breath; Breathe in to see your body, breathe out to see your body; Breathe in and examine your thoughts, breathe out and examine your thoughts; Breathe in to calm the body, breath out to calm the body; Breathe in to energise the body, breathe out to energise the body; Breathe in to energise the mind, breathe out to energise the mind; Breathe in alertness, breathe out alertness; Breathe in to concentrate, breathe out to concentrate; Breathe in to still the mind, breathe out to still the mind.
5. SILENCE:”Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence” -- Lyrics from “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel.Long has magic held the maxim “to know, to will, to dare and to keep silence” but the silence component often gets seen as just keeping your mouth shut in terms of etiquette or ethics. Some folk forget that silence might equate to a dynamic stance in which to operate.So … what would silence actually mean as a tool for Astral Magic?Silence seems to have two basic components that we can learn to utilise i.e. physical quiescence (motionlessness) and mental quiescence (not-thinking). Note that neither of these would seem as easy to master as you first assume.a) Motionlessness: Basically motionlessness equates to sitting back in your favourite comfy chair or lying supine and not moving a muscle. Try doing that for five minutes without twitching or blinking to realise that this discipline of body may seem a little trickier than you first assumed. Observe yourself passively and breathe slow and regular. Do not fall asleep. Aim for 15-20 minutes in complete motionlessness and you should start to feel satisfied with your achievement.b) Not-thinking: Our minds generally operate at warp speed with turbulent electronic flashes that would do a thunderstorm proud. Astral Magic requires an absence of conscious thinking in preparation to an altered state of mind. When opportunities arise in a day to practice physical motionlessness, use that time also to still the mind from any thoughts that occur. Do not expect more than a couple of second's worth of mental quiescence of not-thinking at the start of this practice. Eventually, with regular practice, you shall find yourself able to monitor thoughts and withdraw the mind from its usual frenetic activity.
6. CONCENTRATION:A focused mind makes all the difference between result and failure in magic, and this fact seems never more important than in Astral Magic. Exercises in concentration should also include working with the other senses at a mental level.a) Sight: Initial practice with concentration should fix the mind on simple meaningless subjects like a crack in the ceiling, a table leg or an angle caught in shadow. Selecting stuff that may have personal significance such as a favourite book or some treasured possession may cause the mind to wander away into memories. The objective, in this first instance, equates to staring at something without getting distracted or attempting to mentally manipulate the image in any way. How long can you fix your gaze on some target and keep your mind from wandering?~ Achieve this and you control pictorial imagery and symbolism that arises in the mind. Eventually you may even develop the ability to decipher the unknown that comes your way.b) Sound: Simple sounds, mantras, a string of babble, mentally imagined, create the play and practice for this aspect of developing concentration. Internally repeat the selected sound in an endless loop, shutting out all other thought. Should you start dreaming the sound then consider yourself on the right track.~ Achieve this and eventually you control your verbal thoughts. You might also end up using your mind like a laser cannon.c) Scratch ‘n sniff: Concentration on scent and odour brings your imagination into the 3D realm. Can you mentally reproduce favourite smells from your memory without getting lost in the trigger? What do we mean by “trigger”? The sweet smells of baking on a winter's day; the hint of honeysuckle on a warm breeze; the sharp antiseptic tang of a hospital waiting room; the pong of rotting road-kill … you get the picture. As per the other exercises, concentrate on the target and avoid having your mind wander.~ Achieve this and eventually you add depth to your imagination.d) Contact: The sensory nature of touch starts with the new born baby. Without the comforting and socialising nature of touch we can fade away. Pleasure and Pain get signalled in the messages we receive. We remember once playing with a museum exhibit of sensory data hidden inside boxes in a wall. You stuck your hand in and felt the contents. Some folk screamed when they encountered spaghetti because their minds ran the message “wriggling worms” or such like. Would you do the same in the circumstance? Mentally reproduce a variety of tactile information i.e. soft and velvety; sharp; smooth; abrasive; cold; liquid; slimy; ice; warmth and fire and control the sensation to a strand of singularity.~ Achieve this and eventually you can reach out with mental hands to shape your Intent. This skill also comes in handy as a pain control measure in terms of personal health and well-being.e) Taste: The sensory aspects of taste can get reduced to five elements (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami) when your nose gets blocked from adding input. Anyone who has had nasal surgery and has endured nasal packing for 7-10 days whilst healing occurs can probably relate. Consider tastes that you know and like or dislike, reduce them to one of these five categories and reproduce the data with imagination only. Your mind controls your senses.~ Achieve this and eventually you have the last ingredient and component to successfully construct your astral double (see “Creating the Astral Eidolon”).
7. VISUALISATION:“…One of the most basic and essential techniques that we employ in the course of our magical workings equates to focussing the mind i.e. Visualisation. Everyone can visualise to some degree, but anyone working within any magical paradigm should have a more disciplined mind than most to achieve successful outcomes in this medium. Effective magical actions come from a sharply focused mind. We understand this as much as we recognise that our desires and wishful thinking, fear of failure and self-obsessions obstruct result…” -- Mentally Wyrd (part one) by Su Leybourn.Visualisation skills should get developed to a level in which you could project mental images to a blank screen in your mind, for example. A number of magical actions, including working with sigils, require high level skill in this art of mentally seeing.Exercises to develop Visualisation could include the following graded sequence:a) Colours: Select one colour and hold that image within the mind. Work through the colour spectrum. Aim for a minimum of 5 minutes. Practice switching from one colour to a second choice and back again. Consider a rainbow.b) Linear: Concentrate on the image of a straight line (horizontal then vertical). Maintain this sharply delineated image for as long as possible. Add thickness. Visualise a moving line and follow the thread for as long as possible. Find a piece of string and learn to do Cat's Cradles.c) Cross-wise: Hold the image of a simple equal armed cross in the mind for as long as possible. Change the image, modify the thickness of the lines or add colour. Mentally flip/rotate the cross.d) Curves: Imagine an arc mentally, such as the letter "C" as shape and maintain the focus. Explore a wave, part of a waterfall or a coiled spring.e) Shapes: Visualise a circle, triangle or square. Mentally play with the depth of edge. Add colour. Rotate. Explore fractals and tessellations.f) Solids: Create a lustrous pearl from a circle. Explore the facets of a cube and mentally scribe letters or symbols on the sides. Unfold the cube as a box in which something could get placed or as a surface on which a word or symbol could get written.Note: ANY daily routine of magical practices should include visualisation and concentration activities. Even the most proficient would benefit from a maintenance program to keep the mind honed."You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" -- Mark Twain.
8. TRANCE:Astral Magic works with the level of trance or gnosis that comes from sitting still and deliberately clearing the conscious mind so that intended magical operations can occur. Austin Osman Spare referred to this state of mind as "vacuity" which seems quite apt and descriptive, actually. This trance, or inhibitory gnosis, occurs when the mind reaches a singularity of consciousness via the specific use of these mechanisms to their successful outcome:a) Silence as in physical quiescence (motionlessness) and mental quiescence (not-thinking); b) Slow, deep and regular breathing; c) Concentration/visualisation.Certainly, people can experience altered states of consciousness induced by sensory triggers, but this does not necessarily indicate gnosis. Intense pain could flip the mind but that hardly seems a palatable option. Chemognosis offers an interesting taste but who sits in the driver's seat? Hyperventilation or running to complete physical exhaustion could switch the gears but try working in that excitatory state for anything longer than a couple of minutes! Mind-numbingly boring repetitive tasks might dampen the conscious mind from a conscious state to a dreamy one but that rarely goes anywhere in particular. Meditation can lead to gnosis however it generally requires the addition of a deliberate sharp focus to take this up a notch from a pleasant or interesting meander.We could paraphrase the Mad Hatter from “ Alice in Wonderland” here i.e. you might just as well say that gnosis is an altered state of consciousness and that all altered states of consciousness are gnosis. Not exactly true, she muses. However, the bottom line may end up as this … IF any technique to induce gnosis works to bring about a magical result AND that result can get reproduced, then you have a viable medium in which to operate.So how does one determine what constitutes this singularity of consciousness that we can call “gnosis”?Astral magicians who recognise and utilise this particular state of altered mind could rattle off symptoms if any one bothered to ask. Ah someone up the back raises their head slightly like some periscope to get a better view. Should we put you out of your misery and write the list?Some, or all, of these side-effects shall get experienced during the course of trance i.e. inhibitory gnosis. As to the whys of it all … we leave that up to you to determine:a) Auditory hallucinations: People often experience particular sounds on entering gnosis which may differ from one person to another. Common signals would seem a sharp cracking sound that resonates through the mind, or a deep hum like the gathering of immeasurable bees.b) Visual hallucinations: Behind the visual projections of the magician, if one stopped to consider, after the event, the underpinning to the individual astral magic landscape may well look like a Mobeus strip.c) Tunnel vision: Central vision with lack of peripheral vision.d) Sensory deprivation: We do not register external stimuli. If you shout we do not hear. If you pinch us we do not feel pain. If you drop some object with a clatter we do not jerk. If you laugh we do not blink an eye. We have entered a state of deep self-hypnosis.e) Loss of self: We have no memory of some individuality of self and mundane things for the duration. We have meta-morphed to multi-faceted and magic personified.f) Distortion of time: Long periods of time can seem to pass very quickly or vice versa. This can cause some amusement in retrospect.
9. SUMMARY:In terms of these pre-requisites, check that you have mastered the following:a) Ensure that you have a personal work-space that affords you seclusion away from the maddening crowd.b) Develop proficiency in holding a body position and controlled breathing.c) Work on acquiring competency in motionless and not-thinking, concentration and visualisation.Practice, practice and more practice with all the dedication that you can muster. Keep a daily record of all exercises to develop these pre-requisite skills in a magical journal. No day should pass without an entry made into a journal. No day should pass where we do not maintain such skills forever after. Just as the body responds to simple exercise programs to maintain health, the mind benefits from activities that hone its function.
C). THE ART OF ASTRAL MAGICSuccessful use of Astral Magic requires very detailed and precise internal imaging. Just as an actor requires a stage or set in which to operate, so does the astral magician. However, in this instance, you design the sets and scenery, the specific work-space (temple), the props and special effects with visualised imagination. No effective magical workings will occur at this level of mind until you have created your mental environs and locked them into situ. Once you have established your own landscaping and filled in the details, then, and only then, can you begin working magically at this level of mind.Let us examine the three components that make up this new world of mind-use i.e. the Astral Landscape; the Astral Temple or work-place; and the Eidolon, or Double, your own image projected out from the deep space of mind.
1. ASTRAL LANDSCAPES:Imagine yourself in some quiet, private place where you can relax and think. Do you sit under a tree beside a river bank? Do you stand on a beach watching the moon reflected in the waters? If you pause and search your memory, you will find images of favourite places come to mind.The astral magician needs a quiet, private place in which to operate. In fact, the practitioner in Astral Magic probably requires a few variations on the theme, so that any workings hone in on the specific target at hand. Mentally explore a few variations of landscape, filling in the details with as much definition as possible.Landscape imagery could include the following:Flames flickering from an open fire; Solar flares as tendrils from a giant sun; A vast and boundless sea at sunrise/sunset; Reflected sun through ripples of water; Lighting crashing through swirling storm clouds; Fireworks bursting into patterns across a night sky; A mountain plateau catching the first/last rays of the sun; Heat haze rippling off a sun-lit road; A waterfall cascading into a lake; Bubbles in the air; A weeping willow beside a river bank; A cluster of large boulders in a landscape of desert; A dark cavern; A meadow surrounded by woods; A promontory of rock that extends out over a seemingly bottomless pit; A simple stone room with a single door and a small slit for a window.The list goes on and on. Any person's reaction to such areas will vary according to her/his subjective approach to life and experience. We have no right or wrong answers here and only intend suggested images for exploration of personal insight.“All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?” -- Lyrics from the musical “My Fair Lady”.Astral Landscapes i.e. selected and specific visualisations, that conjure an emotive response, may well have a multi-purpose. Certain images could assist in pain control, stress management and clarity of thinking. Visualising yourself emersed in fluffy pink clouds makes for a pain/stress inhibitor. Renaissance explorers of mind used a garden image to heighten memory (see Ars Memorativa). Visualising yourself standing on a mountain-top watching the sun rise, seems to assist recall. Mentally seeing an image of your self sitting under an old tree by a riverbank might aid in relaxation. Choose your own landscapes from memory and imagination, and, having locked them into situ with detailed visualisations, begin to use them as you see fit. Visualisation makes a powerful tool for maintaining quality in our lives.One very particular landscape will need to get created before you can begin using this mental medium i.e. the route to your Astral Temple . This astral pathway might look like a long and winding road, or a straight path between banks of mist or trees or beside a running stream. In many instances, astral magicians choose to use the visualisation of a winding staircase (going up or down to their temple). You intend that an amount of time (duration) will pass, from the moment you start on this astral way-in, until you reach your work-space. Practitioners often count off a designated sequence along this pathway. Some people use a 7x7 or a 9x9 step pattern to get to their astral temple. We have always counted off a 5x5 pattern, which we repeat 5 times. This aspect of astral landscape, the pathway, AND the time it takes to move along it, helps in the process of reaching inhibitory gnosis. Do not attempt to rush this phase (see Self-Induction).
2. THE ASTRAL TEMPLE :The Astral Temple represents your personal, visualised, work-space. It could look like a cavern or some pillared temple from long ago, or even reflect the bridge of the star-ship “ Enterprise ” (Star Trek). It might mirror your physical temple. You create the image that suits you. You should design this work-space with as much detail as possible. All magical actions i.e. divination, enchantment, evocation, invocation and illumination, can, and will, occur in this Temple .Your temple (work-space) can have equipment in it that your imagination designates as useful. A movie projector could come in handy for rehearsing events, like going to a job interview. This medium seems perfect for a Scrying pool to see around corners, or a Transporter Room for fast paradigmal manoeuvres (beam me up Scotty). How about a Laboratory with all the equipment to make an alchemist green with envy? A sigils cannon for quick reflexes on the “fire and forget” mechanism in chaos magic would come in handy. We know someone who has a “Head Generating” section to his temple. If he wants to understand someone better he will make a head and put it on his shoulders like a mask. Any equipment visualised into the temple should remain in situ unless deliberately removed/erased at some juncture.Orthodox magic has long recognised certain tools as useful. The symbolism of such images as sword, dagger, wand, staff, chalice, stone etc. can, and do, impact upon the mind. These days, we have no such hard and fast rules. If it works for you, use it. If you can imagine it … even better, she muses. The only limits to Astral Magic come down to a lack of imagination, an inability to concentrate and visualise, and a mind that cannot become focused on some singularity of intent. Hopefully, this document will cover most of those short-falls. We leave imagination in your court.We have two Astral Temple constructs that we have worked in for about twenty years. We could call them Alpha and Omega. We will use these as examples:a) The "alpha" temple has three tributaries. To the right, a pathway leads to a deep "scrying" pool of water (looks like an overgrown bird-bath actually). The left tributary leads to a temple with entry through a golden veil/force-field. This temple has "court" facilities. The central way leads to the void. We use this temple mostly for information retrieval.b) The "omega" temple seems bigger than big. It also has a golden veil entry but we generally enter next to a pillar near the other end of the Temple (with encoded sigils). A huge spinning mandala takes up the centre of the floor. Beneath the mandala we have an eerie dark and bleak desert landscape with a very strange old man attached (the Oracle). This temple has five tributaries in five altars/force-fields. We use this temple for most of our magical actions.Why do we have two astral temple constructs, you ask? Both of these temple constructs first appeared in dreams that impacted upon our mind, at different times. Since we have no rules on the number of constructs that one could use and maintain, we chose to develop both dream images in detail and divvy up the functions between them.
3. CREATING THE ASTRAL EIDOLON:The astral Eidolon or Double represents the likeness of the magician working in these mental environs. You will need to build up an image of yourself that can move around inside the visualised landscapes and temple. This may seem a little difficult to achieve, at first, but persist and with practice you will have a fully functioning double (see Concentration).Should your double look like you?It would make sense that your eidolon looks like you. However, we have no hard and fast rules in this regard. Over the years of working in this medium, we have developed three distinctly different aspects of our selfs, two of which have no bearing on any mirrored likeness. These variations, a winged gargoyle-like creature and a coiled plume of smoke/mist afford us opportunity for manoeuvres outside the normal range of a biped. Experimentation on your part will determine what seems most effective for you.
4. SUMMARY:Astral magic requires sophisticated levels of visualisation. Check that you have achieved the following:a) Several astral landscapes with designated functions.b) A defined pathway or staircase leading to your astral temple.c) A detailed astral temple complete with equipment and storage facilities for anything else that you might want to add at some later date.d) A visualised image of yourself that can move freely in this environs.Once you have secured your visualisations of your astral landscapes, the equipment you want, AND have created your astral image, then, and only then, can you proceed to Astral Magic operations.
D). THE SCIENCE OF ASTRAL MAGICAstral Magic requires a state of deep calm in the operator. The preferred method begins with Progressive Muscular Relaxation and then continues to Self-Induction. This happens each time that the magician starts to work in this astral medium.
1. PROGRESSIVE MUSCULAR RELAXATION:Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) involves applying tension to specific muscle groups and then relaxing them. Physical relaxation produces a state of mental calm.Note: Before beginning to practice PMR, please discuss this with your doctor if you have a history of spinal or muscle problems. The deliberate muscle tensing of this procedure could aggravate such pre-existing conditions.Procedure: Begin by getting comfortable, preferably seated in a chair, and taking a few deep breaths. You can do PMR lying down, but you may find that you will fall asleep before you finish this exercise. Focus on your right hand, breathe in and make a tight fist of your right hand (a left-handed person may prefer to start with their left side). Clench your right hand for about 8 seconds and then release the tension quickly as you breathe out. Feel the muscles relax as the tension falls away. Repeat this with the right arm. Then do the same with the left hand and arm, before continuing on to the right and left feet and legs. Methodically work through the remaining muscle groups i.e. the buttocks, stomach and lower back, chest and upper back muscles, neck, and facial muscles, first tensing then relaxing each area in turn.When you have completed PMR you should feel extremely relaxed, almost in a dreamy state.Practice this technique daily. This will take a little while to master, but once achieved, you have an invaluable life-time skill for stress management and a general sense of well-being. If you do PMR in bed, before retiring for the night, you could also affect improvements to sleeping patterns. We used PMR daily for a number of months to break an existing sleep-deprivation condition that had us cat-nap for 30-45 minutes, several times in a 24 hour period. We now sleep 5-6 hours straight.Once mastered, you can add triggers, such as a verbal cue, to speed up the process of PMR without needing to go through the entire procedure of tensing and relaxing each of the muscle groups in turn.
2. SELF-INDUCTION:Begin Self-Induction by breathing deeply. Imagine a golden light that starts at the soles of the feet and gradually flows up through the body. As this light permeates up through your body you will feel more and more relaxed. When you have reached a deep level of relaxation, visualise yourself standing at the top or bottom of a stairway or on a winding path to your Astral Temple door (see Astral Landscapes). Continue along this pathway or traverse the steps until to reach the door. As you progress along this route, you will fall deeper and deeper into inhibitory gnosis.At this point, Astral Magic begins.
3. SUMMARY:The article “Self Hypnosis Induction Procedure” by Charles E. Henderson, Ph.D., available via an Internet search, will offer further insightful information on preparation, deep relaxation, deepening procedure, suggestion application, and termination. We recommend that you do a little Googlemancy.
E). EUREKA ! ASTRAL MAGIC UNVEILED Astral Magic depends upon a certain form of inhibitory gnosis to occur, for result. We use Motionlessness, a deep sense of Silence, and specific, focused visualisations (plus Intent) to launch our magical actions. We have the advantage of extreme portability and no need for physical accoutrements. “Have mind, will travel” would seem a useful motto, in the circumstance.Imagine, for a moment, the astral magician getting ready to work, settling back into a high-backed chair and closing their eyes. Look closely. Deep, controlled and regular breathing kicks in whilst the person progressively relaxes. Now if we add one of those wavy thinking-bubbles (cartoon style) above the astral magician we can examine what happens next. This technician of mind becomes quieter and quieter. The mind and body stills as the state of not-thinking comes into play. Five minutes, perhaps ten, might pass us by as we watch this transformation. The astral magician keeps going deeper and deeper.Eventually, we will begin to see specific visualisations appear in our wavy thinking-bubble construct. These visualisations will differ from person to person. The use of some specific colour, a particular sigil or image as trigger may come into the picture. A long and winding pathway or staircase will induct the operator towards their Astral Temple . Once inside their mental construct, the actual magical work chosen for that moment will begin.Any magical operation can translate to the Astral Magic format. You can work with entities, either classical or personal constructs. Specific actions for self improvement have the added bonus that retrograde magic slides easily into this mental imaging. Scrying works well. Runes or Tarot seem reasonably manageable methods of divination via visualisation and gnosis. Enchantments and tossing sigils look a cinch. You have probably not experienced saturation point exploring invocation, until you give this a go under Astral Magic parameters. All adaptations require the same planning and attention to detail as if you worked in Ritual Magic. Just because you operate mentally does not mean that you can cut corners
.F). TROUBLESHOOTING: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERSWe shall assume that you have a few questions (grins). We shall also attempt to answer the most likely queries that you have, either in starting Astral Magic, or anywhere down the track.
1. KNOCK, KNOCK, WHO'S THERE?If a stranger comes to your door, do you let them in without seeing ID first? Commonsense dictates that you want information and explanations before permitting someone to enter your home. Similarly, your mind equates to a precious commodity. Do not risk it on flights of fancy and “I will just see what happens.” If, during the course of gnosis, some unexpected element arises, obtain information immediately or stop the proceedings. You can always start again another day.
2. WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN'T HURT YOU, RIGHT?Wrong. The Astral Magician should have competency in sorcery, shamanic practices and ritual magic BEFORE turning to this level of mind control. The level of self-discipline and attention to fine details makes this a most potent form of magical technique. Anything less than this and you risk delusion and obsession happening, with potentially horrendous consequences. As with any other level of magic, test and re-test what you do, where practical.
3. OOPS!The information given in “Canvas, Clay and Memes” comes to you in a sequential order of complexity for learning purposes. This should make things relatively simple for the person starting out in Astral Magic. Those with some expertise in this area, but consider that they have a stumbling-block at some level, may well find that back-tracking through the contents should assist in targeting the problem.
4. WHAT DO YOU MEAN … PROTECTION?a) Use a banishment ritual of your choice before and after.b) Additional protection could come from visualising a chaostar, a pentagram or some other device upon your physical body.c) Hurling a pentagram or some other protection image at anything that comes your way, whilst in gnosis, can come in handy. The rule-of-thumb here says that if it absorbs the image with ease, then you have a “green light” situation. If the entity starts to unravel or fracture in any way, quit the proceedings. Better safe than sorry.d) Avoid doing Astral Magic when tired or feeling sick.e) Eat a little something, drink something and LAUGH a lot after the activity.f) Always maintain diary entries on your workings. Evaluation and testing will determine what works and what needs getting tossed or modified.
5. WHERE DID I GO?The mind equates to a most wondrous tool. We still have much to learn in this regard. Over the years of working in Astral Magic we have discovered some limitations to our own efforts. We can genuinely stay in inhibitory gnosis for around 45 minutes. We have reached 90 minutes on several occasions. But for some reason, still unexplained, we cannot get beyond that time-frame without collapsing unconscious. Yes, you read this correctly … you can hit the deck and go out for the count. Presumably, the depth of the gnosis and the intensity and duration, hit some overload point. This does not appear to present a problem, or cause one, because we still feel quite rational and all remaining neurones still fire away happily. Whenever we have wondered where we went, when we encountered some absence of mind, the image of the Mobeus Strip appeared in answer to the query. We do not pretend to know what that means, she muses.
6. DON'T WORRY, EVERYTHING'S UNDER CONTROL.Never assume anything in magic. Ensure that you have a specific Statement of Intent (SOI) attached to any, and all, workings. Your SOI will play a major role in keeping you on track. Operating at a high level of visualisation and focus whilst in gnosis can flicker a little around the edges, if your planning seems shoddy or you have skimped on the preliminary relaxation and self-induction elements.
7. EVERYBODY NEEDS A HOBBY, RIGHT?Considering the number of people who claim to have “out of body experiences” and think that this seems “way cool” but cannot explain the hows and whys, we need to reiterate that Astral Magic does not equate to a game, or some party trick. Those who operate in this medium, usually keep their minds honed with daily exercises in visualisation and concentration, in particular. We would do, on average, 30-45 minutes worth of exercises daily, rain, hail or shine, in sickness and in health.
8. THEN CTHULHU TURNED UP.Personally I would run like … “Canvas, Clay and Memes: Astral Magic Unveiled” represents the techniques used by the author. At this juncture she has managed to evade any suggestion of insanity or psychosis. She cannot remember anyone having said that she seems off with the proverbial fairies. Her cat Bastian might offer a different opinion, but only when the time for dinner becomes an issue.Su Leybourn © 2005