Visualisation Session 4 – Keeping Your Self Safe

In this fourth session we will be continuing on from where I talked about the seamless transition from visualisation to astral projection and the creation of a place in which to work rituals, meditate or for any other activities you may require.

As a recap of my purpose in taking this direction, I use these tools (namely visualisation and projection) to remove the need for physical ritual, achieve a more accurate physical appearance during ritual and increase the potency of the connection with my goddess.

The two main decisions I had to make in the construction of a safe place to work was what will my workspace look like and where will it be. Appearance was perhaps the easiest to answer and that was to base my design on a traditional Egyptian temple.

The choice on location was a little more tricky. In a previous talk discussing my guided working I showed that I have a stepped process that moves through successive stages. This was where I decided to create my front door so to speak.

But still how did I chose my location? I felt my visualisation had gravitated towards a suitable location. My view is that the imagery bubble you create needs to seek a place that can house it in the most convenient way for it to become a stable environment. I have very faint memories of the raw location of just a void, but in any case unless you are really bothered build where you are and it will sort things out for you. Travelling about looking for somewhere a little off topic for this session and with such a vast range of possibilities you had best find out for yourself.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty of construction, and this goes for any kind of visualisation process as there are common themes, it does come down to a lot of hard work. There are however a few things that can really help with this:

  • Draw a picture – you don’t have to be a great artist but sketch out, artistically or technically as a plan, whatever way you think will help you to visualise it. The aim is to ensure that each time you are there you can keep the images of the area consistent. That will strengthen it’s existence in the place it’s in and in your mind.

  • Jot down words to describe it – think of the all the senses. If its a leafy glad, are the leaves on the ground dry or wet to your bare feet? Can you hear animals? Water? Wind? Is it warm or cold? What do you smell?

  • Use whatever skills you may have to increase its potency and reinforce the stricture in your mind, which like wishing will eventually pass out through the subconscious and manifest in the place that’s suitable or where you choose.

  • If you have second life building skills use them here. Some of you may already perform rituals here and experience the power of them, what is to say this reality is no different to planer realities? You could even just build here instead of full visualisation or just use it to create the model in your mind.

  • If you have any other design/construction skill then make something.

These things help reinforce a rough model in your mind and as previously mentioned once you have something in your mind you can push it out to your subconscious where the real magic can begin.

Building on all that experience and effort from creating convincing visualisations, this is where the most rewarding part comes in, it’s also the biggest is it takes time and effort to at least initially construct and maintain your environment there. Like general visualisation, and more specificity when you are trying to ‘wish’, its important to really keep it there, go there frequently to reinforce its existence and tweaking it so that you really can believe it and ensure its real to you, otherwise its effect will weaken with neglect.

Going back to my temple as an example of a process and how it relates to what I’ve just spoken about. I have placed my temple in the middle of an endless desert. When I go there I sense the heat on my skin, and the sand between my toes and it you know me well then you will know I hate sand between my toes! But I’m aware of it and it reinforces my awareness and connection with the environment I have created, even if it’s an annoyance, but that’s what would happen in this reality if I were to walk on sand. I could change it to never happen but that would feel odd as I expect sand to be everywhere, and sometimes when I go there sand is heaped against the closed door as somehow its managed to work it’s way along the corridors, but a brief desire to clean it up is all that’s required.

You now have a place to work. What now? Well, whatever you would normally do in physical ritual is equally valid here. So do whatever you would do to mark out a sacred space is a good first move to do, but remember this will be a permanent place so unless you only use temporary spaces in the material plane you can might want to rethink your approach on how to make this a little more permanent.

You can also bring along things you’ve created from the material plane and is something I discussed in the the previous session. Creation is much easier within your sacred space, much like the creation of the space its self, the matter it contains can be simply manipulated and a controlled for moulding to whatever you desire at will, be that ritual items, furniture and aspects of your environment.

The effects of ritual can be more intense because of these facts, and that is why its also such a great place to work. This however leads to one very significant facet you will need to take into account. Being outside the material plane closer to forces that you normally experience as small force on our plane, means that they will be stronger here than you expect. Protection is important, the most important, I cant stress that enough, that you are potentially in a very hostile place. It is most probable that chaotic forces that were available to in the creation of the sacred space, will try and revert it back to its original form, and on top of that native forces, entities, whatever you might want to call them will take an interest in you, even if they are harmless.

For example with my temple I have it situated in the middle of an endless desert, but bizarrely on the horizon, very faint in the intense heat of a blazing sun, is an encircling range of mountains. That is my border. I’ve placed my temple infinitely away from the edges. Distance, mountains and baking heat of the sun is my protective shield. No one can survive that intense sun for such a long journey to my temple, except me.

Multiple layers of protection are more effective, just remember that this is not your home plane, there will be inhabitants that will be stronger and have varying abilities so layers of varying kinds will be more effective.

Physical protection is not as effective as you are not on a wholly physical dominant plane, that leaves energy field shields the only and luckily most effective. Gaining the help from friendly spirits can be helpful but don’t expose yourself too much to something that may appear friendly but could turn against you unless you are absolutely sure. What you can and cannot see may be out to get you, and in places like this having a small level of paranoia can be a good thing.

Of the shielding methods I’ve used, they fall into a number of styles:

  • Egg shell method – A egg shaped or sphere shaped protective energy field which can’t be penetrated, or will ground, disperse the blow.

  • Spiked door method – A barrier that has spikes, thorns et on the outside so that any attempts to against it will go back to the sender causing them some pain with the hope that they will stop because its hurting them. Some may find this against their particular path, fair enough I accept that but I’ve found it highly effective.

  • Diversion method – What you want to protect is hidden in plain sight either by making it look dull and not worth looking at.

  • Size method – A variation of the previous one, if the protected area is so small as not to be seen then its wont attract attention.

Using those last two I employ to effectively keep the location/door the door secret.

Those are effective against planer entities but what about people on this plane? The best was is keeping details secret, its all down to not allowing anyone to visualise what you can. I’ve been telling you about my temple, but I’ve not told you it’s exterior or interior details, only the desert, so you will not be able to visualise it as I do and be drawn to where it is. And as I’ve been working this one for many years the the layers hiding it have matured and are thick helping this protection along. The knowledge of it’s appearance is important as this will aid in you and anyone (or thing) in finding the pocket you’ve created.

Visualisation Series 2 Session 2 – A Guided Working

In this session I will pull together elements of the previous one and describe one of my visualisation workings. Do bear in mind that this works for me and may not work for you. As I go through I will explain some of the key points in how I constructed mine with refence to the previous session and this may help you adjusting or constructing your own. I will also describe a number of common problems you could encounter starting out or even through regular use, and ways to over come them.

My process:

  • If I feel in the mood for music to help acieve the ‘right frame of mind’ then I will switch something on for either the whole working or just a quick listen before I begin to invoke a change of mood.

  • My breathing is measured and calm – not too deep so that it’s laboured and requiring too much thought about it whichh will distract me from what I’m doing. I am trying to visualise, not do breathing exercises!

  • With my eyes closed I try and loose any thoughts. This is a really difficult bit so sometimes if something keeps popping back in then I just move on and hope that some focus will push it away.

  • I then start to chant my usual spoken ritual words (or rubric) for Selket. This is one of a very few spoken rituals I use and I use it when I’m serious about doing some work with my goddess, she knows then to prick her ears up and take note that this is something other than idle chat between us that’s the daily norm. It focuses my mind and intent and purpose through its rhythm.

  • Running through the rubric does not take long as its quite short and I can repeat it if I feel it not had the desired effect on my mental or emotional state. What I’m looking for is a sense of calm, awareness outside my normal senses, the presence of my goddess above the normal background sense of her, and a nice slight tingling on my back and neck. When I am there I continue on.

  • Once ready I visualise I am standing or floating in an endless ocean (at this stage I’m not actually aware of hot/cold, sound of the water, the opposite to what I will discuss later). My focus is on the water’s surface.

  • This ocean is more than just visually easy for me to use, it has a significant symbolic function too as the Primordial Waters of Creation. I am saying to myself and my goddess that in my ‘created world’ I exist alone, and I am the creator, all that is around me is chaos and I can fashion it as my will sees fit. Its a strong symbol, and although I don’t like to presume that I am the creator of all, in my ‘world’ I am.

  • While in this water my mouth is just level with the surface.

  • Now I begin to notice the music around me if its playing.

  • I start to visualise the surface of the water vibrating to the rhythm of the music with the ripples going out from me.

  • I try and keep this going as long as possible. I tend to have my most common tracks on loop for this! If I am not doing any workings then I stay in the water. I find visualising the water very relaxing and requires a fair amount of focus but not too much to give me a headache. I feel quite refreshed afterwards. Its worked for me.

  • When I feel ready to start the task in hand if this session is for a working I then start to call the name of my goddess and bring to mind the desire that I want to begin the journey to my temple. The subject of the following sessions from this point on.

  • This process consists of visualising a serious of symbols approaching me, like road side signs, flashing past at speed. As this beings I tend to be distracted from the background music and it’s presence will start to fades I focus on the symbols around me. The water may still be bobbing but it can be independent of my concious thought.

  • The first is the winged goddess Maat starts off a long way and passes by me

  • Then the symbol Ankh.

  • Sometimes I then let my subconscious pull any more in and this can be quite interesting to see what comes by, its a little like some people do when on a guided working and they wander around say a forest and see what animals pop by to talk to them.

  • By now the temple is starting to solidify around me like its coming out of a mist until it’s solid.

You might ask how long this takes to do. That would be a good question and one that’s very interesting when working with visualisation. Time does not function the same, and you’ve might have noticed that with dreaming too as they are both connected. The time varies quite a bit, sometimes when I come back any where from minutes to an hour or two even though it’s felt the same inside.

What Can Go Wrong And How To Deal With It

Whatever you are trying to learn, failure happens, mostly in the early days but can occasionally occur again for a variety of reasons. In particular using visualisation you can encounter more than it’s fair share and we shall discuss some of the problems that are commonly encountered.

A frequent one I’ve experienced is ending up being too relaxed and falling asleep! I don’t worry about it as I end of having a pretty good sleep with no side effects. I usually sleep very deeply with rarely any memory of what if any dreams I had. If you end up having deep sleep by accident and no memory, something could still have happened and its down to personal taste if you want to dig into it and go along exploring this route. If you want to stay in control or don’t feel comfortable with discovering what was behind it then chalk it down to experience and try again.

Previously I said there are a number of ways to go in visualisation? You could progress down this road and investigate lucid dreaming, and try and keep awake. It’s not a method I’ve explored so I’m not able to give any advice on that, but I’ve seen many books around on this so check them out.

Blocks are a common hazard to overcome, it could be blocks on meditating, on trying to visualise or to travel. Knowing its something I want to do, and not need to do, its forced and just doesn’t flow naturally. Happened as part of the writing for this workshop, I just ended up feeling frustrated by not being able to do it, something that’s been natural for many years felt a block, a resistance and try as I might could not get focus. Ways to address it are doing some physical exercise which helped with relaxation, or doing something completely different and leaving it for a while. Forcing it does not help, and if this was an early learning process I could understand when some would give up and not try again.

In a way perhaps this was to give me some material for this course. She has a funny way of teaching me sometimes.

Perhaps its obivous, but whatever the problem, just step back, think is there something I’m missing? Am I happy with what’s going on? If you can’t pick any particular glaring faults, then take a break it might not come to you straight-away.

When you feel ready to give it anther go, like all aspects of following a path there is always self doubts, insecurities. These are normal human traits and they can and will be overcome, if this was easy, everyone would be flying around Harry Potter style wouldn’t they? It all takes time, energy and determination, I personally don’t care how many times I fail, I learn from it each time and gradually move forward. Sheer bloody mindedness it is. Don’t let it beat you, but don’t beat yourself up about it either? If it truly does not work for you then try something completely different for a while.

What You See When You get it right Are There

Assuming then you are progressing and stuff is appearing in your mind, what do you see? How should you deal with the images? Do they actually mean anything?

I’ve not said much apart from a few clues in my example, of what you will see when you visualise. Do you see forests, wilderness, cities? Are you trying to let the mind show images as a form of divination? Don’t be afraid, and this is what I previously said about not being depressed, can be quite a shock for the mind to see what comes in.

Going back to my working, it has a number of stages that I can put to use for various things. There is the floating in the water with ripples from music if I just want to relax. There is the motor way signs flashing by that I can use for divination symbolism or listening to my subconscious. And finally should I choose to reach the other end then I’m off to my temple.

As well as the visual sense, what about your other senses? What do you hear? Smell? Touch?

And gravity, what is that doing?

Pay great attention to what you sense around you, and as soon as you can regain conciousness back then write it down. Look for patterns, anything that could be meaningful. If there is any symbolic images then like dream interpretation, those symbols will have had significant focus of your attention through the process, or show up in stark contrast to any surrounding detail. They could be clues to help you or other forces trying to attract your attention.

Detail is everything.

Touching slightly on other topics that use elements of visualisation, There is always the possibility that a guide of some form will try and make contact. That path is a little out of the scope of this topic.

We covered a basic structure and having a set structure will aid in easing you into something that is repeatable to give yourself some pointers on what you might experience when the working is in progress. And some common issues you might encounter at any time throughout your visualisation journey with some solutions to them.

Visualisation Series 2 Session 1 – What is Creative Visualisation?

Visualisation, or a more the proper title of Creative Visualisation serves a number of functions, it can provide the means to enjoy successful meditation, aid with healing, take you on a journey to your inner self, bring about change in your life, or provide the basics to enable journeys and ritual practice on what is generally referred to as other planes.

For brevity sake I will refer to myriad number of planes as the Astral Plane as this is where most end up, but it can be any plane you desire, the point being is that we are looking at is the difference between physical and non-physical working. As well extra-planar travel, any reference to visualisation I make will generally cover that and your own mind scape and/or creative effort. This is because I see the transition from your mind to planar travel as a seamless transition.

As the both subject matters are vast I will touch on many common themes between the two usually taught spheres. Obviously most aspects discussed here are my personal opinions if you don’t agree with me, or you have a question then just ask in local chat or IM me if it’s personal. I welcome a fair amount of discussion on this subject during the sessions, because as I say, what I am presenting are my personal view and others views will vary. We can all learn something from others experiences.

However you do need to find your own way and I frequently say, read extensively, question everything and go with what you feel is good and right to YOU.

To help understand where I am coming from, an brief description of my path may be in order. What I understand and have experienced about these subjects has been greatly coloured by my guide Selket who has been with me since I was very little on a solitary path. So what I’ve found has been self taught from reading and from what guidance Selket has given me, some of which may sound a little odd from what you’ve read or know but that’s only because I may have discovered this or was guided to try that particular way as it’s more suitable for me.

Back to the question then of what is visualisation? In it’s simplest form it can be used as a tool to push desires and wishes to the subconscious mind or externally so that they can manifest in this reality (how this happens I won’t be going into during these sessions). I will however discuss some of its practical processes as most practitioners of visualisation will have their own views on how it works, but we all have the similar views on how to drive it.

Whichever path you take with visualisation, to me it’s primary function is to focus the mind and imagination to create imagery that can be a literal or symbolic representation of something that can be interacted with. Some examples being aspects of your own mind, spirits in the local area or higher powers meeting you half way between realities. I will be touching again on those aspects in a later session.

As far as what you can do with visualisation, there are few limits on it’s list of features, and many of them I consider are successive stages in the process of using visualisation to higher goals. At the lowest level it gives the grounding in relaxation, gaining and maintaining a focused state of mind, another gives the mind something to actually work with, and once those skills are mastered then it can be used to create and maintain a convincing reality.

Setting The Environment

First principles are really to do with setting the environment in which to work, here we must set our ground rules. Many of them will be familiar and I wouldn’t be surprised if you use them already for other things. Importantly setting these ground rules enables the right focus and consistently doing them will enable you to become comfortable learning a new technique and provide a repeatable experience as a way to measure progress. This is important as early on there will be failure and it can be very disheartening if you can’t repeat the workings so as to over come the failure.

For me the following are the things I try to maintain each and every time I use these tools:

  • Most often I prefer lighting low to dark. Bright light distracts my attention and if I close my eyes I don’t get complete darkness, sometimes I can work in lighter environments though.

  • Sit or lie down. I prefer to sit. Standing could be a problem, should you lose it enough to fall over and that’s not helpful.

  • Try to isolate daily life and distractions, kick the family out, or wait for them to go to bed or work or school etc.

  • Noise can be distracting unless of course it forms part of the process. At least get rid of annoying noises.

  • If you can find somewhere outside to do this then all the better, in some woods, by the sea or water. Up a mountain, whatever feels good. And importantly safe from harm should you not have full attention. So no doing this while driving your car or riding a bike please!

  • Room temp does not bother me unless its extreme hot or cold.

  • Clothing loose depending on room temp. With or without I’ve tried and found no advantage either way.

  • If you are finding it hard to empty your mind as they say, then try a candle or any bright point of light as it can help with a dark room to focus on a point and keep it from wandering.

  • Try and ensure no one is going to walk in or try and talk to you. It takes enough effort when learning and there is nothing like almost getting there and the door bell or phone rings.

  • Keep in mind the simplicity and belief and perhaps the naivety of a child’s imaginative mind. They are open to so much more than us conditioned adults,.

  • Keep food and drink to the minimum, just my preference, as I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

Right frame of mind.

Most will understand this for any workings whether they are physical or not, you have to be in the right frame of mind, and that is be open with no day-to-day thoughts and worries in the way.

  • Mood is also important. Be happy as they say!

  • Calmness of mind. I have recently dusted off my Tai Chi books to revisit the calm and focus that comes from that form of martial art.

  • Not tired.

  • Mental stability. Any instability such as depression or anxiety will not necessarily cause a block, but it will impact the quality of the working and could throw up some surprisingly bad images. I’ve ignored this on occasion and immediately regretted it.

  • Look at your relaxation methods but not too relaxed though, want to try avoid falling asleep, although sometimes it can’t be helped.

  • Avoid using substances as they can have unpredictable effects on this process, some of course say it’s positive when you think about some elements of Shamanism, but I’ve never had the need to use them and don’t think I’ve missed out because of it.

With practice you will come to realize what aspects of the environment and mood level are required for successful workings and those that have an impact on them. Take note of them and work with them knowing your limitations, it’s not worth pushing in the wrong direction and doing yourself mental or physical harm.

Off we go!

So now we have our environment, the right mood and so we can moves smoothly on to the next stage which is the actual methods we can use to trigger effective and vivid visualisation.

Many books are around to help you, all that I’ve seen contain at least one guided meditation as an example. They have never worked for me straight from the book and that may be the same for you, but long term but its always worth a try if you are stuck for inspiration on how to get started, or for clues to help develop something more personal and hence more effective.

The book that got me started was Applied Visualisation: A Mind-Body Program by James Lynn Page (ISBN 0-572-01555-0) and I suggest trying a few books to see what might work for you, I will however use my personal and most frequently guided working later on.

In addition to a guided workings, I advise looking to apply other methods to boost the effects, one of which is the use emotional triggers. This works particularly well for me and serves two purposes, one as before about getting in the right frame of mind, the other as a way to draw myself into the working. It’s not something I’ve come across in many books but perhaps the reason I find this highly effective for me is that I’m empathic and a typical Piscean and emotions are quite significant for me.

Taking this method further, there are a number of ways to achieve an emotion link, colours, sound, taste, visual, but my preference is sound or more specificity music. Music can be left on in the background with no direct focus required which makes it less intrusive through the working should I no longer require it’s use. I will show my use of it later on with my guided working.

The idea with music is that I want to use music to trigger a positive state of mind with very strong pleasant emotions, it can be something that triggers memories of someone, a place, a thing I really love or a memory of an event.

Therefore the choice of music is very significant, and very personal. But that’s good. I personally don’t get on with the fancy meditation ones in the shops, and as I just said, I need a strong personal connection to it, so I use music from my past such as Wham, Kylie, Kate Bush, various dance, rock, jazz tracks. There are a number of key in my choice and it much depends on what I a going to use a particular track or set of tracks for, one important aspect is to avoid sudden changes in tempo (unless I need it to heighten the working). To illustrate here are a few of my choices:

  • Careless Whispers by Wham (emotional tie).

  • Kylie track called Slow (hypnotic beat good bass).

  • A dance track called ‘You’ve Got The Love’ by the Source (combination of emotional tie and good bass),

  • Ecci Mundi Gaudium by the Medeaval Babes (a good high energy workout – but a bit too short so I put it on loop).

  • And recently found ‘Fiesta de Amor’ by Inkubus Succubus (wave like feel with a few crescendos, feels like the sea).

Unless you already have a strong emotional tie to piece of music, you will need to build that association and that takes a lot of time and effort. Most of us have something that means something to us.

Same goes for other form of emotional inducement, be that a photograph, a painting, a smell, memory. Emotions have powerful mind altering properties that are well known, so use them, it could save you a lot of time and effort trying alternatives.

Whatever the method or combination of methods you use its important to use them repeatedly so that your mind and body becomes programmed.