Guided Meditation: The Astral Travel Test

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After twenty plus years of being a Witch I have accumulated over ten journals, four of which are the traditional Book of Shadows. My first two have long been dismantled over time since my “little Witch” days. The remaining journals are used for my other spiritual practices, one for journeys and vision quests, meditations, and dreams. Another for ancestral work, two others are used only for specific deity and path work and the others are used for general magickal journaling. I also keep an ever-growing herbal reference book. This does not include all the uncategorized information on my computer. Journaling has become a huge part of my spiritual journey in Witchcraft and other magickal practices through the years. It has also been a lifesaver in my muggle world as well. I found that journaling during the hard-teenage years had helped me understand who I was. As a young gay man keeping a record of my thoughts and emotions had become therapeutic as I started to come out of the closet.

If you are already accustomed to keeping a daily diary, then magickal journals should be an additional easy habit to acquire. Most journal entries need not be wordy or even detailed; often, a single line entry such as “dreamt of a bear and the date” will be sufficient. When it comes to your book of shadows, more details and information might be warranted, especially when writing rituals and spells out. Many modern Witches keep a more detailed record, listing all pertinent information regarding one’s set-up, time and date, results and outcomes, and any other conditions they feel are important. Just as anything else in your spiritual journey the choice is yours and doing what you feel is right for you. In my newest book, “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” explores a full two weeks of journal keeping and the benefits of doing so. Which also carries over into another two weeks of recording experiences of various journeys into other worlds. One way of journeying that the reader can experience is through astral travel.

In simple terms all astral traveling is, is a spiritual journey within the material world. This means that through an altered state our spirit travels through our world to a location where we can retrieve information and so much more. However, this cannot happen overnight, through practice the information you will receive will be clearer more detailed. In “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” we explore this practice through guided meditation to lay the foundation of astral travel. In this guided meditation we will visit a chosen area using our astral self to test your accuracy of.

Before beginning this guided meditation, choose an indoor location that is close to your home that you have never been before. Have a glass of water and some type of food high in carbohydrates near the area you are working.

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Astral Travel Guided Meditation

This is best lying down at your regular altar or somewhere that is comfortable and where you can relax.

Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable and relax. Next begin to prepare for the meditation by breathing in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, hold for a count of three and exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, or until you feel relaxed, centered and open. With closed eyes keeping them at a centered gaze. Count yourself slowly down from ten to one breathing slowly and regularly.

Begin to feel your energy throughout your body.

Visualize with intention your energy releasing from your body and taking form of yourself.

With eyes closed, look around the room take a mental note of items of interest. This will help you return.

Now thinking of the location, you wish to visit, count down from five; visualize your outer self-leaving the room.

This may be done any way you choose. Allow your intuition to direct you into the correct direction.

When you arrive at your location, look around taking note of items of interest, colors, sounds, building layout, and anything that you might need to remember. Collect as much information as you can.

Begin to return in the direction you arrived from. Slowly begin to feel yourself back in your room. Allowing your energy self to meld back into your physical body.

Recalling from the mental notes taken before become aware of what is around you.

When ready open your eyes. Ground as needed. Drink and eat to help ground.

 

While eating write down all that you sensed and seen in a journal. Remembering as much as you can, draw the layout of the building and items you saw on your journey. Do not worry about filling in what you have not seen or cannot remember. When possible, but not too long of a wait, travel physically to the location and compare notes. Keep in mind you will not receive a hundred percent on this “test”, but with practice you will get closer each time.

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The Art of Living a Magickal Life

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Recently, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at Iron Garden. For those who don’t know who or what the Iron Garden is, it is an eclectic night-kind community found in NJ. I highly recommend checking out their website. This blog post is based of the speech I wrote for their event.

At first, I was a little reluctant about being a keynote speaker, not because of the atmosphere that Iron Garden employs, but because I had no idea what I was going to talk about. Of course, talking about the typical Witchcraft and Magickal topics would have been easy, but after looking at Iron Garden’s past events, I knew It had to be something special and different. it turned out that the very thing that brought me to this point, would also bring me to my topic. I like to consider myself a Witch, and an Artist by choice and intention, and an Author by divine persuasion and to my own astonishment. I’ve studied and worked hard in becoming a Witch and an Artist because this was the path I chose to follow. it’s what I wanted to do. Of course, I have had my teachers and guidance along the way, but It was all due to my intention.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought I would be or even wanted to be an author, let alone being asked to be a keynote speaker. The idea of writing books was never a life goal for me, it was my guides who thought otherwise. I truly thought they were out of their Divine minds, me, writing books. I was an artist not an author. Fast forward 3 years later, I have written three books, magazine articles, and maintain a blog. All while still creating art, although that has also taking a surprising spiritual turn as well.

I have a very busy and magickal life. There is not a second that goes by that doesn’t have a magickal component to my life. Even in my classroom when I am wiping snotty noses, I am connected to the magick of the universe. Maintaining this magickal life has become an art all its own. I can attribute everything I am and do to being aware and listening to my intuition, my deities, my ancestors, and who and whatever else decides to throw their mystical two cents in.

What does it mean to live a magickal life?

Living a magickal life means being constantly in tune with the spiritual world around you, it’s about listening and being open to your intuition and to the messages from your spiritual guides. It happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. Does this mean you need to run around shouting “Love and Light to all” of course not, that’s crazy. So instead I talk to the dead and spirits of animals.

The image most people have of those living a magical life is often of a robed priest or priestess, dancing around a bonfire, under the full moon, or mixing exotic herbs in a mortar and pestle. While this can seem very exciting and theatrical, alas we are not Laurie Cabot.

Actually, most of the time life can seem pretty daunting and un-magickal, between caring for our families, going to work, going to school, cleaning the house, running around stubbing our toe on that box we have meaning to put away since January. However, all it takes is a shift in perspective to see how the mundane can become magickal. Magick can be incorporated into your daily life simply just by being mindful and putting a little extra effort into your everyday life. You don’t have to perform an elaborate ritual every day to be connected. It’s about being aware of the simple things around you.

One way is by paying attention to the natural world, the seasons, the phases of the moon and how the world around you affect the way you feel or how it may correspond to aspects of your life. By doing this you are actually tuning in to the energies of the universe, which can give insight to how life will be during those times.

Secondly, Take the time to get in touch with nature and the land you live on. Even if you live in a big city, there is nature all around you. Just take a second and connect with that weed growing in a crack of the sidewalk. He may feel just as lonely as you do or he may have advice on how to deal with that loneliness.

Another way is to listen to your gut, your intuition. This takes a little practice but once you understand the feelings, life changes for the better. In most cases your intuition is your first thought or feeling, the first thing that pops into your mind and trust me it’s usually not the most logical of thoughts.

Lastly, when you are doing something mundane, think about how you can use it in a magickal application. For example, when you’re baking cookies, consider what sort of magickal working you can incorporate into the recipe. There is nothing wrong with adding a little passion magick to a meal you make for a lover.

Another way I found that helps is to keep a sort of magickal schedule and routine. It’s about dedicating yourself to doing one magickal act every day of the week. I believe so much in this practice that I created an entire curriculum around its use. In my second book, A Modern Witch’s curriculum, which will be released in June that is based on a weekly schedule, whereas each day, week, and month has a theme.

Of course, as with anything, this schedule can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it and not only will it keep you connected but can open the doors to learning about your path and yourself as well.

There are also a few other practices that you can incorporate into your daily magickal life, such as regularly openly communicating with your deities and spiritual guides. Through daily meditation and devotions with your deities and guides you keep the lines of communication open. This is by far is more complex of the methods of spiritual guidance there is. It doesn’t happen overnight.

One practice that I find the most rewarding is working with your ancestors. By building a relationship with your ancestors you can inherit valuable information about almost anything. Who better to get advice from then someone who has lived through it.

There are many ways we can reconnect with our ancestors, some of which you probably already do.

Some of the most common ways to connect with them is with use of:

Relics: these are personal belongings of the deceased, photos, written items by that person, even the cremated remains of loved ones.

Altars and shrines: Altars are a place to hold your collection of relics and to give offerings and whereas shrines are usually dedicated to one person and temporary at the time of death until they are moved to your altar. However, both are a place to honor and communicate with them.

Offerings: are how we feed the dead, we are not physically feeding them, we are feeding the link between us and the physical world and the spirit world.

Communication: conversations are a form of offering. At first this may seem a little strange, but once you do it after a few times it becomes easier. When starting out openly speaking to the dead I recommend you do this just before bed. You may find that you may receive answers to your conversations in your dreams

By connecting or reconnecting with our ancestors we bring the past and present together and bridge the gap between generations. They are and will become a foundation to your magickal life.

One of the most asked about of my practices is with working with animal spirits. Of course, this could be an entire blog post on its on as there is so much information. But what I will say is, if an animal spirit has something to say it will show up over and over again until it is heard. One rule of thumb that I follow is, if it shows up three times consecutively it has something to say.

Another question I am often asked is, how do you know if it’s a message or if it’s your imagination? There is two ways to answer this question.

1. Ask for validation. It’s ok to ask the spirits to validate your thoughts and questionings.

2. Be aware of possible causes. If you are constantly seeing a deer on your way home from work, is it because it’s in the evening when they come down out of the mountains to graze, or maybe it is hunting season when deer seem to be running amok?

I know of an acquaintance that swore up and down, backwards and sideways that her spirit animal was the red tail hawk and that they follow her everywhere and even circle her home. Ok, yes, she lives off a mountain where red tails frequent, however, they do not regularly circle, especially in multiples. Although, I had a feeling I knew what these birds were, I just left it alone. Until, one day we were together at an event, and she pointed out “her” hawks. I looked up and what do you think I saw circling above…. Yep, turkey vultures! Nope not a sign, just normal animal behavior.

Whether you are working with deities, the dead or animal spirits, the simplest way to connect to them is sending out your intentions to make contact.

And Although, these practices can take a little more work than the previous, they can be very helpful in making your life magickal.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try. If you open yourself up to the endless possibilities, the possibilities for yourself could be endless.

Living a magickal life really is an art, it’s about being able to balance the mundane and the magickal. it’s living consciously and subconsciously, in harmony with the worlds around us and to the best of your ability. It’s about acquiring knowledge, not only about magickal practices, but about yourself and your own life.

 

 

The Modern Witch’s Curriculum will be available for pre-order in late May.

Nominate Author, E. Massey for a Witch Way Magazine Award

 

 

 

 

Guided Meditation: Journey to the Spirit World

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A few years ago, I and members of the Moonlit grove, my local group got together around the full moon and held guided meditations sessions. I somehow ended up being the one that organized and supplied the meditations for the night. After running out of options every month, I began to write my own. Since then, they have been sitting in my external hard drive collecting virtual dust. Now that I started this blog, I have a use for them again. Although, they have been updated and reworked from their original development they still hold significance. I remember this guided meditation had been originally written around Samhain. It sends you on a journey to the spirit world, enabling you to communicate and connect with the spirits of the underworld. This may be done at your ancestral altar or somewhere that is comfortable and where you can relax. Choose soft music to play during your mediation to help set the mood. Continue reading

Guided Meditation: Meeting Hekate at the crossroads

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Over the last few months my work with Hekate has gone from the occasional to being a devotee within the Covenant of Hekate. In the past, she had only come when I was about to face a major change in my life. The work was usually minimal, lighting a candle in her honor or some act of thanks for being by my side during the transition. However, things had become a little more intense during the last life changing event, I had begun to see and feel her presence all around me. At the time, I did not understand what it all meant, but I knew that if she was making herself known that strongly it had to be something big. And it was. I had left my job after years, a choice I was on the verge of doing anyhow, but not under the circumstances that it had happened. After everything passed, she once again returned to the shadows. Fast forward one year later, she presented herself in a completely different manner. Leading down paths that I never knew existed, both in the spiritual and the mundane. But that it for another blog post, another day. This guided meditation was written during the very early days of her appearances. It places you at a crossroads, meeting Hekate for the first time. Continue reading

Birds, Snakes, and Airplanes. PT 3 – Journey to the Unknown

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When I started writing the “Birds, Snakes, and Airplanes” series of blogs, I had wanted to end it with my experiences and all that had occurred in my transition to new spiritual paths. However, there has been so much to date that it would be impossible to convey them all here. I will though transcribe the events that led up to starting my new path. I believe others might find it beneficial and maybe relate it to their own transitional periods. Continue reading