Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Intent Isn't Enough

"It's all about your intent."

"I work through my intent."

"I don't light candles, I just focus my intent."

All of these statements are false. In fact, such statements are so false and misleading that they probably stem from someone who has to come to social media to brag and puff up their ego. Beginners come to the internet and social media trying to learn how to help themselves with magic and conjure, and the first thing they find are people intentionally and unintentionally misleading them. 

Intent Does Little To Nothing

The average person probably has hundreds of intentions in the day: "I should go to the gym." "I should mow the lawn." "I should go on a diet." "I should call my parents." Etc.

Most "intentions" that go through the mind will never be more than thoughts, thoughts that most likely have the vaguest of desire behind them. Once the thought pass through the head it falls by the wayside to focus on the current distraction. The "intent" to go to the gym? Forgotten as soon as the couch was spotted. The "intent" to mow the lawn? Forgotten when the television was turned on. And so on...

The mind is constantly attempting to escape from doing things that require effort and will seek out the path of the easiest reward. Without discipline, it becomes very easy to let goals and desires to fall to the wayside. Occasionally, a desire may happen to come to the person by chance, and for many that believe themselves magical, they will develop a process of "magical thinking" giving their brains the easy reward while doing nothing. They will then turn to social media and brag getting more rewards for their magical thinking, all the while they have really done nothing. 


You can enchant yourself with too much magical thinking. Constantly convincing yourself that your very thoughts are enough to make dramatic change in the universe is dangerous. This thinking leads to grandiose behavior that can get you into a lot of trouble. Being a magician is a careful balance between skepticism and faith, when you have no foundation to measure your actions you can easily lose touch with reality. At least if you work a candle spell and you don't get results you can analyze what you have done and find the problem. 

Part of the Magic is in the Preparations

When you go shopping and foraging for ingredients you are sending signals to your spirits. You are taking action to try and make a change. When you speak to your ingredients you are impressing the energy of your desires into them. When you light your candles you are giving energy to the spirits to take action on your behalf. It's the difference between thinking about going to the gym and actually getting changed and getting in your car. You may not see results right away, but you are one step closer to getting there. 

The Breath And Words Have Power

The act of speaking your desires to ingredients and spirits is extremely powerful. In your lungs is the Breath of Life, when you speak you are giving life to your desires and hopes. When you speak to spirits you are giving commands for them to move into the action you desire. Without the breath to animate your desires they are nothing more than whimsical fantasies in your mind. 

Magic is a Discipline 

An artist spends hours experimenting and refining their technique to advance their skills and a musician does the same thing. Magic is no different. Practice is required to perfect your skills and advance yourself to greater levels of influence. In order to advance yourself you must first get out of your own head and start chasing after your desires. Just twenty minutes of practice with prayer and meditation will change your game within six months, and that sounds much better than simply imagining yourself as a powerful wizard. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Just Relax

Between media sensationalism and memes about martial law and forced quarantine, anxiety is running very high. Many are feeling powerless in the face of the unknown, and some are worried because they have been sent home from work and are unsure how they will pay their bills. In these stressful times it's extremely important to remember that magic works best when you are relaxed. 

"How do I relax when the world is going crazy?"

Becoming mindful of your body and how it behaves under stress is part of the key to gaining control over your anxiety. Your heart may be pounding and you may have shortness of breath. The shortness of breath is probably worrying right now when COVID-19 affects the respiratory system so your anxiety increases. Your thoughts are racing over your worries over and over again and you are feeling claustrophobic and unsure of how you will be able to handle isolation. You get on social media and your anxiety rises again when you see people saying grocery stores are empty! How do you get away from this?

Take A Break From It

First, put down your phone or step away from the computer. If you can step outside for 20 minutes away from your phone or at least ignoring it for the time do so. If you have a lawn, take off your shoes and walk in the grass and dirt barefoot. Sit down and take a slow deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs like a pitcher completely, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this several times over until you feel your heart rate slow down. When you are calm and collected you can go back inside your home. 

Relaxation And Bodily Awareness

Now that the initial cycle has been broken at least temporarily, it's time to do a conscious inventory of bodily tension and release the points of tension. First, you must lie down, preferably on a flat surface. If you have mobility issues a reclined position is perfectly acceptable. Close your eyes and gently scan your body with your mind from the top of your head all the way down to your feet. When you find a point of tension stop scanning, actively tense the muscle, release it, and then continue scanning until you get to your feet.

Opening The Mind

While in this position your goal should be to keep your mind aware and not drift off. Draw your attention slowly and deliberately all the way to just above the crown of your head. Imagine a white sphere above the top of your head. Inhale slowly and deeply, as you exhale you will say, "Eh-Hah-Yeh."

Draw the light down to a white sphere in your neck. Inhale slowly and deeply, as you exhale say, "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh Eh-Lo-Heem."

Draw the light down to your solar plexus. Inhale slowly and deeply, as you exhale say, "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh El-Oh-Ah-Veh-Da-Ath"

Draw the light down to your sex organs. Inhale slowly and deeply, as you exhale say, "Sha-Dah-EE-El-Sha-EE" 

Draw the light down below your feet. Inhale slowly and deeply, as you exhale say, "Ah-Do-Nah-EE- Hah-Ah-Retz"

Slowly draw your consciousness back up you body and into your head. Take a moment and observe the energy in your body. When you are ready to move, wiggle your fingers and toes, and slowly bring yourself back to an upright position. 

Regulating Your Breath

Sit upright in your chair or on the floor. Bring your shoulders up towards your ears, then roll them back. Your back should be straight and your head level. Gently tilt your chin downwards, imagine that you are gently holding a ball against your neck with your chin. Try to keep your head in this position while you do the following exercise, if you find your head tilting upwards stop the exercise and tilt it back down. 

The first step is to simply sit and breathe. Follow the air as it goes in and out of your lungs without modifying your breath. Just observe your breath. After a few minutes, start imagining that the air is filling up your lungs like water entering a jug. Filling the the bottom and slowly filling to the top. Try to keep your breath as quite as possible and breath slowly but naturally. As you exhale empty the jug of water just as slowly and naturally.  Try to keep the the filling and the emptying breath the same length. Don't force this action, try to be as natural as possible. After a few minutes you may stop.

Completely Calm

After all these exercises are complete you should be feeling very calm and serene. Hold on to this feeling for as long as possible. Take the time to analyze your concerns while in this state, you may find that many of your concerns were anxiety induced and not a reflection of reality. This state is also the ideal place to do magic from. Now is the time to prepare your candles and start making moves to improve your life. Remember: You now have the tools to get back to this state whenever you want. 

As I have been telling my clients, "We don't have total control over the world, but we do have control over our actions and choices. Be smart, be safe, and don't lose your head."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Spirits I've Summoned: Prince Seere

"Seere (or Sear, or Seir) is the Seventieth Spirit. He is a Mighty Prince and powerful under AMAYMON, King of the East. He appears at first in the form of a beautiful man riding a winged horse. His office is to go and come, and to bring abundance of things to pass on a sudden, and to carry or re-carry anything wherever you would have it to go, or where you would have it from. He can pass over the whole Earth in the twinkling of an Eye. He gives a true relation of a theft, and of hidden treasure, and of many other things. He is of an indifferent good nature, and is wiling to do anything which the Exorcist desires. He governs 26 Legions of Spirits."

I had read the description of Seere countless times in a day while hemming and hawing over whether or not I should attempt to conjure him. At that time in my life, I was struggling to pay bills as work had suddenly slowed down and I desperately needed new opportunities. I needed a real solution to my problems and I felt like turning to the spiritual world was the best solution. 

My magical practice at the time largely centered around spagyric alchemy, as I was trying to build a relationship with the planets and elements through plant medicine. I was working in the sphere of Jupiter and working on a plant stone for lemon balm. Because work was so slow, I had lots of free time to read and pray, while trying to get a grip on a life that was slowly spinning out of control. My anxiety was through the roof and I knew in my heart that I needed to make a bigger move to change my situation. 

I had been studying and attempting different techniques of evocation taking notes from Franz Bardon and the Key of Solomon. I had somewhat successful attempts at creating pentacles from the Key of Solomon. My Jupiter pentacle had undoubtedly saved my job, but money still was not quite right. After reading so many accounts on forums of people turning their lives around with Goetia I decided it was the best place to look. 

I did careful divinations with the Tarot to help me narrow down if Goetia would be helpful for me and to determine the nature of the spirit of the spirit I should work with. Being some years ago the best resources on Goetia were the Goetia of Dr Rudd and Crowley's illustrated version. Something about binding the demons with the Shemhamforesh angels didn't feel quite right so I discarded Dr Rudd's method, yet I decided to utilize the book for other purposes. 

Crowley's illustrated Goetia, assigned Jupiter qualities to the princes, and my divinations determined this was the type of being I needed to work with. I wanted to determine if the spirit wanted to be helpful to me. So I carefully drew his seal on a piece of paper and placed it on my nightstand. I asked the spirit to visit me if he wanted to be helpful to me. That night I had strange dreams of a dashing man in Renaissance period clothing riding a white horse who told me that he had been watching me for some time. I took them dream as a hard yes to proceed with the evocation.

There is something about desperation that makes a person unsure of themselves and question all of their abilities. I was nervous of doing the ceremony and not being able to detect the spirit. I remembered a halfhearted attempt to summon Raam years earlier where I could not detect the spirit and it wasn't until a couple days had passed and mayhem was happening in my life that I realized my error. How then would I be able to ensure that I would see and hear the spirit?

I turned to Franz Bardon and his work The Practice of Magical Evocation. He talked about creating an environment that was comfortable for the nature of the spirit so that the could more easily manifest. I had also created his fluid condenser from Initiation Into Hermetics a few months earlier, which gave me a fantastic idea.

With a piece of copper pipe I created the ring as described in the Goetia. I made an apron and with a fabric pen I drew the Hexagram of Solomon to reveal to the spirit when it manifested so that it appeared in a comely form. Finally, I went to an antique store and found a silver plate on which I inscribed the Pentagram of Solomon. I consecrated these items according to Key of Solomon and made them ready for the ceremony.

The temple was prepared in the colors of Jupiter as I understood them at the time. I hung banners with various god-names in flashing colors cut out of iron on fabric. I placed images of of Zeus and Jupiter on the high altar in my temple, and burned rich incense for the spirits of Jupiter. I bought blue gels to cover my lanterns with so that the room had a blue glow. Finally I carefully painted a circle on the floor and wrote names of God in Hebrew around it. 

As I completed my preparations in the temple, I realized that I had completed my plant stone. The timing was perfect. It was as if the entire coming operation was predestined to occur. I knew that the time had come to begin cleansing and purifying. 

I ate only bread and water for three days and abstained from sex. Each day, I would wake early and begin the day with prayer. In the evening I would take up a bundle of hyssop and dip it in holy water and recited Psalm 51:7. I felt so clean and pure in both my interior and exterior that it was like walking on air. 

Finally, the evening of the ritual was upon me. I dressed myself in ritual vestments. I painted the seals I had previously made for Seere with the fluid condenser and poured the rest of the fluid condenser and poured it in a fondue pot inside the triangle of art. I quietly and carefully consumed a small piece of the plant stone while I waited for the hour of evocation to happen. I was filled with waves of ecstasy which contrasted the nervousness I was feeling about what was about to transpire. 

The hour upon me, I rose from my chair and lit the fondue pot and a gentle steam began to slowly rise. I began to recite the Bornless Rite to the four directions. As I recited the barbarous names, my head began to fill with an expanding consciousness. I continued to press as waves of energy filled me and I felt as if I was growing in stature and proportion to the energy. My body trembling but my voice steady I began to recite the conjuration of the spirit from the Goetia. 

There was a sudden rapping on all the windows in the room simultaneously, but I did not let it distract me. The room was filling with a mixture of incense and steam from the fluid condenser. I began to see strange faces appearing in the smoke and mist outside the circle. Suddenly, a puff of steam rose from the fondue pot and there was the figure of man in the mist. The figure was very detailed and I could even see his facial expressions, in fact, he resembled the man I had dreamed about! I recited the constraint while the grinning apparition stood before me.

Holding my consecrated sword in my hand I demanded that the spirit swear an oath of loyalty to me. That he would not deceive me or work mischief against me. I held the sword beyond the circle and a misty hand touched it as a reply. "I am here as you have summoned me. What is it you want?" 

I explained my problem and that I required a solution of steady income that would cover all of my expenses so that could live the lifestyle I wanted and be free from worry. "This I can do for you. What can you do for me?"

I said that I would honor him with incense and wine if he fulfilled his task for me in a timely manner and without mischief. 

"We have an agreement. Do not forget me." 

I halted him at that moment. I was so caught up in my business that I forgot to ask if he appreciated the accommodations. 

"These things are greatly appreciated as it is an effort for us to manifest in such ways."

Satisfied, I bid him to depart in peace and that there be peace between us. Slowly the apparition faded, and the presence in the air began to diminish. Eventually, it was just me in the circle alone and excited.

About five days passed and I received a phone call from a company I would subcontract for. They were offering me $1000 a month per diem plus an accelerated pay rate to travel to train new technicians. I took the opportunity immediately. I remembered to leave the offering for Seere and even told a few other magicians that they should call upon him. 

I worked with Seere on and off for a couple of years before moving on. I came to realize that he is an instructor for the magician and can unlock knowledge on how to work Goetia effectively. He is still a very good spirit and I recommend that those wanting to pursue the craft to consider evoking him.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Spirits I've Summoned: The Gnomes

The frame work of ceremony I followed in the early years my magic carrier were based on the Neophyte and Grade initiations of the Golden Dawn. I worked the elements by following an outlined based on the Grade ceremonies in order to scry and commune with the elemental beings of each realm. My  first experience with this method was introduced to me by an Adapt of the Golden Dawn.

In my early days of practicing magic, I was very influenced by the visionary works of Dee and Kelly as well as Crowley with his infamous Vision and the Voice. I was fascinated by the idea that magicians could view the invisible through ceremony and scry stones in order to gain knowledge and power. Naturally, a young magician like myself would want to gain esoteric knowledge from spirits and be able to predict the future.

I recall voicing my fascinations to a more experienced magician and he informed me of the Golden Dawn making use of tattwa cards to interact with elemental beings. Tattwa cards used specific elemental images of the Samkhya Hindu philosophy to symbolize the basic elements. A yellow square for earth, a blue circle for air, a red triangle for fire, a silver crescent moon for water, and a black or deep indigo egg for spirit/akasha.

I sat out to acquire Dr Mumford's book and card set Magical Tattwas, and straight away began to attempt the exercises in the book. One of the main objectives of the exercises is to "see" the tattwa image within your mind and project yourself through the image into the elemental landscape. I spent long hours attempting to open visualize the images with my eyes closed and see the "portal" so often described to little avail. However, despite not yet having the ability to see the elemental landscape, I was getting quite good at simply seeing the tattwa image in my mind.

I vented my frustrations with my progress after a couple of months to the same more experienced magician. He suggested that we open an elemental temple and then try scrying the tattwas. Admittedly, I was uncertain how a ceremony would improve the ability to scry, it seemed to me that all the action would produce the opposite state of mind I was striving for. Regardless of my feelings, I decided to go along with the ceremony.

The next day I went to the park to try and get in touch with earth elementals. I found a shady spot under a tree where the soil was rich and soft. I introduced myself quietly and sat around for a while, I thought I felt a presence like being watched but eventually gave up and decided to leave. I touch a small amount of soil with me for the ceremony that would take place the following evening.

We prepared the space for the ceremony by doing a Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Then we cleansed and incensed the space with water and frankincense. I was given the task of doing the invocation of Earth. I had spent the day practicing tracing the Earth invoking pentagram while intoning the God names of the Zealtor ceremony. I felt my whole body shaking while I drew the pentagram while intoning the names. The room began to feel animated and a lamp flickered on and off while I said each name.

The presence of the spirits fully invoked I picked up my little dish of soil and sat down in front of the altar where a the tattwa for earth was on display. I gazed into the yellow square and felt my consciousness begin to move into the image. I closed my eyes and saw the portal! I instinctively walked through and saw a landscape of rolling hills. It was like looking at a television screen. Suddenly I saw squat ugly little men in funny clothing coming over the hills. They were dancing and singing a strange little song. It seemed like they were watching me as I was watching them. They began to dig gold out of the ground and offered me handfuls of it.

Slowly the vision began to fade and I found myself back in the temple. I took a moment to regain my bearings and looked around the room. I was informed that I was in a trance for a very long time. Excitedly, I explained everything I experienced and I was surprised that no one else had such intense visions. It was suggested that because I was the one who did the invocations that I would have the more potent visions.

After that ceremony I began to experiment more with using God-names before scrying with similar success. I found myself being requested to be a scryer for ceremonies after I developed the skill. It even translated into my tarot reading abilities as I began to see things when I looked at the cards. I still employ a similar technique to this day when I wish to speak to angels in a crystal ball.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Spirits I've Summoned: The Great God Pan

Of all the exercises that the Golden Dawn offered that were of value, the absolute greatest of them is the assumption of God-form. This is an excellent exercise for aspiring mediums and those seeking control over their mediumship. I was not aware of my gifts as a medium (although I think I had suspicions) until I started practicing the assumption of god-form and the practice of invoking deities.

My earliest success with this practice came almost 17 years ago when I discovered Aliester Crowley's Hymn To Pan in an old hardcover copy of his Magick. Mind you, I believe that Crowley should be taken with a grain of salt and a laxative as his notions are deliberately way off base, however, a broken clock is right twice a day. 

Even reading the Hymn To Pan silently to myself I began to be filled with an otherworldly notion. It seemed as if a wild energy began to flow through as I excitedly read the words. I found myself working to memorize the Hymn in an afternoon so that I could enjoy it whenever I pleased. Around this time I was reading Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magick, and was learning some basic Golden Dawn Magic techniques. 

For a little over a month I would sit quietly and relax myself. I would gaze at various images of Pan and satyrs. I would begin to recite the Hymn and imagine the shape of the god formulate around me. I would begin to feel my consciousness expand into the image, all the while visions of satyrs and nymphs would fill my mind. Gradually I would wind myself down from the ecstatic state and ground myself by touching things around the temple. 

I noticed during this time period that my life was becoming VERY interesting. It seemed like I was always getting invited to parties and my sex life had never been so wild. There was a charm in the air around me and I noticed that people seemed to center around whatever I was doing. People would often give me things for free and my social life was expanding.

I wanted to see how far the experience could go and I decided that I wanted to formally invoke Pan. I told some other young magicians that I was acquainted with about my desires, and everyone agreed that they wanted to make it happen. We convened at another magician's house because it was centrally located and the space could accommodate the small crowd. We brought a bottle of wine for the god to drink and some bread for him to eat. 

The ceremony opened with a Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram and followed with the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. I burned an incense that I had made from cedar, pinion, vetiver and other resins while asking that my prayers be heard. I stood between the pillars temple and began to recite the Hymn. As I did the other magicians began to chant, "IO Pan! IO Pan!" 

Waves of ecstasy washed over me and I felt as though I was transforming into what had previously been an image in my mind. I felt horns protrude from my forehead, and my feet twist into hooves. My voice changed into the sound of a goat baying when I would try and say, "IO Pan." Eventually I lost all sense of self and everything disappeared. 

When I came too, I looked around the room to see an expression of shock on every face. It seemed as if just a moment had passed, but each magician informed me that they saw me change before their eyes. They said I looked like a satyr and began baying like a goat. That I then grabbed the bottle of wine and drank the whole bottle in a few gulps, and then began to give an oracle to each person present. I informed them that it was not me but rather Pan that had done so. There was no doubt in the room that a god had just been present.

I maintained a very special relationship with Pan for many years after that. Eventually, I felt that he brought me to the place I needed to be and that we both needed to move on. However, those experiences with him were very special and still fill me with delight when I think about it.

"Goat of Thy flock, I am gold, I am God!

Flesh to Thy bone, flower to Thy rod!
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks,
Through solstice stubborn to equinox!
And I rave, and I rape, and I rip, and I rend,
Everlasting world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,
In the might of Pan!
IO Pan! IO Pan Pan! Pan! IO Pan!"

Monday, March 9, 2020

Spirits I've Summoned: Cassiel

I've been asked repeatedly lately if I could share methods of summoning spirits. Mind you, I consider any sort of conjuring of spirits whether by prayers or evocation to all be valid. There are many ways of summoning spirits, all of which have their pros and cons and some ways are more dangerous than others. The methods I outline are no longer methods I use to summon spirits, however, that does not make them less valid it simply means I've found more efficient ways of working. 

About 15 years ago I moved to riverside Jacksonville, a charming historic downtown area that has a fair share of drugs and crime. Despite it's obvious issues I liked my shotgun apartment and the location was convenient for the job I was working at the time. My job at the time meant I had to carry quite a bit of tools and inventory for AT&T in my personal vehicle. I made sure to place some wards in my car to protect it as much as possible, but I still managed to attract the attention of some little punk. 

Om more than one occasion, I caught this guy trying to break into my car and once my apartment. You have to give some credit for tenacity, despite the obvious stupidity of the guy. Absolutely fed up, I decided to deal with the guy from a magical perspective. I got out my cards and began inquiring as to which spirit would help me. I ended up drawing Death and determined that a Saturnine spirit would be the best to call for assistance. Further divinations determined that Cassiel would be the best spirit to call for this purpose. 

Now, at this time my magic was heavily influenced by the Golden Dawn system of magic, and even though this is no longer the case I emphasize that some techniques can be useful. As a novice at the time I followed the correspondences as outlined between Agrippa and the Golden Dawn to create a ceremony to evoke Cassiel. I first painted the sigil of Cassiel on a wooden disc on a Wednesday during the Saturn hour. I incensed and consecrated the sigil and recited a short prayer to Cassiel during this process. 

I then prepared began my temple by hanging black and white curtains and burning Myrrh incense for the Saturnine spirits. On my central double cube altar I placed the sigil of Saturn along with it's Kamea. I printed a picture of Chronos on my high altar. For the next few days I donned my black hooded robe when I entered the temple and said a short prayer to Saturn before beginning my daily ceremonies. 

That Saturday, I remember the moon was waning and I felt that the time was right to perform a ceremony to place some severe limits on this persistent offender. I feel like I should note here that every time I conjured a spirit for the first time successfully, conditions would feel right on their own. I knew the time was right and that my preparations were more than adequate. 

I opened the ceremony with a short prayer asking that God and my Guardian Angel guide me through the ceremony so that I execute it flawlessly and beautifully. I then began the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to banish all unwanted energies from the temple. I then performed a Banishing of the Hexagram to banish unwanted planetary energies. I took up my cup and began to purify the temple reciting Psalm 51:9 and sprinkled water throughout my temple. Picking up my censer I recited Psalm 141:2 and imagined the incense carrying my words to the ears of the spirits. 

The temple buzzing and feeling alive with the spirits, I took a moment to compose myself and performed the Middle Pillar ceremony before preceding with the actual conjuration. Once I felt ready I stood up and picked up my black handled dagger and began reciting a brief conjuration I had written. I repeated it over and over again while I poured myrrh on the hot coals, as I did I began to feel the pressure begin to change in the room. 

I watched as the incense smoke seem to form a dense shape in front of me. I could easily see a figure of what looked like cruel king standing in front of me. Not exactly what I had been expecting! A grimness fell over me and I could feel a sense of dread as though I was standing in the presence of death itself. Suddenly a deep voice crept through my head, "You have summoned me. What is it that you want?"

My excitement was overwhelmed by the overwhelming dread inside of me and I quickly explained the situation to the spirit. I told the spirit that I wanted the person gone from the neighborhood so that he could not mess with my vehicle or more home again. "So, it shall be." 

I bid the spirit farewell and asked it to go in peace and let there be peace between us. The heavy feeling began to lift and I patiently waited for the spirit to completely depart before doing or saying anything else. When I felt the presence leave, I noted that the incense smoke was almost completely gone. I closed the ceremony by doing a short Eucharistic celebration to rejuvenate myself and then banished once again.

Three days later the stooge that had been harassing me tried breaking into the wrong house and was badly beaten up by local gang bangers. The little house he was renting suffered a small fire, and he was promptly evicted. After I was certain that he was completely gone, I offered a small glass of wine to the spirit as a payment for the work that was done. Although I have dealt with Cassiel a couple of times since, admittedly that first contact was a powerful experience that changed my view of "Angels."

Friday, March 6, 2020

Sweet Dreams

After a brief hiatus no thanks to the flu, I'm back. Having had lots of free time to stare at the ceiling of my living room, being too tired to do anything all the while being unable to sleep, I spent time reminiscing on past magic I've tried. 

I've always been a big lucid dreamer, striving to achieve greater lucidity and control while most are being lead from one dream to the next. Learning to go willfully wake and control my surroundings gave me a sense of power over a state that used to haunt me with sheer terror as a child. You see, I suffered from sleep paralysis and night terrors growing up. Preparing for bed often meant exhausting myself with prayers until I would drift off hoping that each night I would not be visited by shadowy beings.

As a teen I began to develop an interest in the occult. I can no longer remember the name of the book I found in a New Age store as a kid, but I remember the techniques I learned on how to gain lucidity in my dreams. The first lucid dream I experienced was so ground-breaking that I no longer feared going to sleep at night, in fact, I couldn't wait for night to come so that I could go back to the dream world.

The first and most important practice I took on was keeping a dream diary. This is very important because it helps you to focus on images from the previous night that your mind might normal discard. Every time I would wake up, I would force myself no matter how tire, to recall every detail I could remember from the the dreams I just had. At first I was only able to write a couple of words, but after a few weeks of practice I was quickly writing detailed descriptions of everything that had transpired. 

The second practice I began was to stop and check my hands. Once an hour I would stop whatever I was doing and carefully inspect my hands. This habit always works like a charm, because inevitably when I would ingrain myself with the habit I would stop what I was doing in a dream and check my hands to see something very bizarre in place of my hands. Immediately I would become aware of the fact that I was dreaming and gain lucidity. 

Chanting was another powerful tool that I would quietly employ during my days to prepare me for sleep. I created a simple chant in high school that I still use to this day to create awareness while I am sleeping: Mind awake body asleep, controlling my dreams while I sleep.  I would sometimes hear the chant echoing in my dreams and it would cause me to wake up from my dreams and gain control. 

Finally, there was my nightly dream tea. It worked in two ways, the first way was to make sure that once asleep I stayed asleep (I have a form of insomnia that causes me to wake up throughout the night), and secondly it made my dreams more vivid and colorful. The recipe is as follows:

2 parts mugwort
2 parts chamomile
1 part lavender 
1 part Valerian root

Obviously, you should consult with a doctor before trying out different herbs to make sure that you do not have adverse effects. 

Generally, lucidity can easily be gained if you employ a bit of strategy. You may find that your dreams will gradually become more clear and the messages given to you by the spirits are more easily  remembered. The best way to gain lucidity is to make it your primary goal each night, and once you gain it you should work to refine it and make it happen every night. Good Luck!