Lesson 31: Trance Induction and Dream Recollection

Some people find trancing really easy, almost too easy maybe.  Others find it extremely difficult.  There are two major factors that seem to affect this ability.  One is how much imagination and creativity you tend to exercise.  People who read novels voraciously, engage in artistic and creative pursuits, or who simply daydream frequently without becoming bored, often have a much easier time of learning how to trance than those who spend most of their waking conscious hours engaged in … [Read more...]

Lesson 30: Trance Throughout Time and Shamanic Consciousness

Throughout human history, mystics and shamans have used trances to heal, seek knowledge, and gain insight beyond our conscious capabilities.  Shamans used (and still use) trances to conduct healing work that the more scientifically-minded would recognize as psychotherapy from very ancient times, and to interact between the spirit and physical worlds.  In ancient Greece, pilgrims visited the Temple of Epidaurus for “dream incubation” and healing sleep, in which dreams were interpreted much … [Read more...]

Lesson 29: Methods of Trance Induction

There are hundreds of different methods of inducing a trance, which can be classified by the means used: 1.  Auditory and rhythmic driving (drumming, music, guided meditations, etc.); 2.  Kinesthetic driving (dancing, mudras, rituals, yoga, breathing and sexual stimulation); 3.  Visual driving (visual meditations, mandala, pendulums, film, art, yantra, strobe lights, cloud-watching, etc.); 4.  Olfactory driving (perfume, incense, oils, pheromones, flowers, and any scent that has … [Read more...]

Lesson 28: Trance and the Brain

Our brains function through waves of activity.  These patterns, measured in cycles per second (hertz) have different characteristics.  Anyone can enter these different consciousness levels; we do it all the time.  The trick is to do so voluntarily. During “normal” waking consciousness we function at the beta level.  This indicates that we are awake and alert, doing our daily work, learning or interacting with people.    This is the level of consciousness that deals with math, … [Read more...]

Lesson 27: Introduction to Trance

Magick is the art of changing consciousness in conformity with Will. -          Dion Fortune Welcome to the second unit in the Witch's Eight Paths of Power!  In Gerald Gardner's Book of Shadows, the second of the Eight Paths, which he called the Eightfold Way, was "Trance; Projection of the Astral."  Why don't we dive right in? What, exactly, is a trance? Technically, any state of consciousness; awake, asleep, comatose, hypnotized, and otherwise, is a “trance.”  But when … [Read more...]

Lesson 26: Review of “Intent” and Self-Evaluation

Well, conveniently the New Year is around the corner, and we have finished the first unit on Intent.  Congratulations! Good job for sticking with it!  How do you feel you are doing so far?  Take some time now to review what you've learned, and consider what you might be able to do to improve upon that work.  You can write in your magickal journal or Book of Shadows, or simply run through a mental evaluation for your own purposes.  Go over anything you feel you didn't grasp; catch up … [Read more...]

Lesson 25: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Part 3

Exercise 24: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram Happy Solstice!  We resume with Part 3 of "The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram": Evocation of the Archangels Spread your arms straight out to the sides, so that your body forms a cross. Take a second or two to feel once again the energy flowing through you and making you a brilliant cross of light at the center of the universe. The cross also represents the four magical elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth in … [Read more...]

Lesson 24: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Part 2

Exercise 24: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram We resume last week's lesson with Part 2 of "The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram": Formulation of the Pentagrams Focus your attention now back to the center of your magickal space; you are no longer at the center of the universe. Move to the Eastern side of your space and continue to face East.  (It’s generally a good idea for Witches and magicians to invest in a compass, but if you don’t know where East is, make your … [Read more...]

Lesson 23: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Part 1

I would like to teach you a basic magickal ritual that has been used for hundreds of years, called the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.  This is probably going to take you some practice to work through because the visualizations are much grander in scope than the work you have done so far.  You may find it helps you to put on some music; some people really like classical music with grand, sweeping notes, like Holst’s “The Planets” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, for example.  … [Read more...]

Lesson 22: Letting It Go

This is the part of magick-working that is hardest for me, and it may be very difficult for you too.  There is a fine line between being empowered, and being a control freak.  You can’t control everything.  There are millions of other Wills that you share the world with, and they need what they need too. Wayne Dyer refers to this as “disattachment from outcome.”[1]  I personally find that language is only good for Buddhists.  What do you mean that I shouldn’t care about the … [Read more...]