Other Worlds

I have to admit that  I’m not much of an astral traveler or “scryer.” Of course, I do have an intellectual understanding of parallel-universe theories, bilocation and the “illusion of time,” as well as more than a little experience with Astral Plane phenomena, but trying to approach the latter from a disciplined rather than totally unstructured way is something I have yet to master. When I consciously attempt to “pierce the Veil” I usually feel like I’m pushing against an extremely tough, unyielding membrane or dragging my feet in slow motion through a tar-pit. It may be relevant that I’ve never been a very good hypnotism or “past-life experience” subject either.

My past efforts have been two-fold. I have a long association with the qabalistic Tree of Life and have tried numerous times to perform path-working using tarot images, but my projections have always been somewhat murky. My recent experiments with the Inner Guide Meditation technique did not fare any better since it’s a bit too redolent of New-Age woo-woo for me (it is, after all, from the ’70s). I also own a 6″ crystal ball that I have attempted to work with but can’t seem to find a happy medium between too much light in the room (which creates distracting reflections) and too little (the surface of the ball is shrouded in total darkness). I’ve toyed with the idea of creating a magic mirror using Scott Cunningham’s directions, which may be less prone to picking up stray light, but have yet to make one.

The closest I’ve come is the unbidden insights I receive when working with the tarot cards in divination, through which my subconscious engagement with the cards comes to the forefront. Unlike many, I don’t think of this as mystically “intuitive” but rather more uniquely cognitive in a way that taps Creative Visualization, the same faculty that enables effective scrying. Deftly merging visual hints to generate a compelling mental image that one can climb inside and steer from an “altered state of consciousness” vantage point is an approach that I find exceptionally productive when in story-telling mode. The challenge (and, I might add, pleasure) lies in translating these visions into language that my sitters can relate to in useful context-specific ways. It can spell the difference between a merely competent reading and a truly inspired one.

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