Lessons in Magick: Lucid Dreaming

sleeping

Image: Anka Zhuraleva

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”

Akira Kurosawa

This is highly a requested blog, and I know Lucid Dreaming is something that many people wish to Master, or at least try successfully. Why does Lucid Dreaming elude so many?

For me, I have always been aware that I was dreaming; I even developed at a very young age an escape method to come out of a dream if I went “too far”. I trained myself to blink three times in the Dream State, and it would in turn pull me back to the Awakened State.

First let us define Lucid Dreaming: A Lucid Dream is any dream that you are aware you’re dreaming. In relation to this phenomenon, Greek philosopher Aristotle observed: “often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream”.

Basically a Lucid Dream is when you are within the Dream Consciousness (collective) but you are aware (consciously aware) of every move you make; you are able to manipulate and control your Dream State surroundings.

I am going to give some basic tips to help become more aware when in the Dream State. The first thing I have to say when trying to hone a new skill is that you must remain as grounded as possible, and be patient with yourself.

You must allow the mind, and the Soul to find the same rhythm so that when you are in a sleep state you can have control. People do not seem to realize that everything affects our dreams, and our ability or inability to dream cognitively.

There are many old wise tales that my family has about not eating pickles, chocolate or peppers before bed because they can cause strange dreams. I am sure you have heard of similar stories, and some have proven to be true. Our nutrition affects the chemicals within our bodies, it also creates the fuel for our brains. If we are lacking in good “brain food” then we are wasting away our experience here. I am going to tell you what I have done, and you may take from it what you wish.

The first thing I did was I cut out red meat, this was a personal choice and to be honest a hard choice. It’s cool if meat is your thing, it has been completely cut from my life though;  the vibrations of the meat lowered my own vibrations and I was having a hard time releasing the depression. It is my belief that cows and pigs are hyper aware of their surroundings during slaughter and the Empath in me cannot handle that.

I also found that eating by veggies based on colors of the rainbow has worked wonders. A Hindu friend told me that they (traditionally) incorporate food with their belief; such as fish on Tuesday for Hanuman, as one example, but they also eat by the idea “the brighter the color (of the food, veggie, spice) the more rich in nutrition and vitamins it is to the body and soul”.

So I try to follow this rule. This also ties into the Hindu concept (more Shaivism) of the three gunas: Satva (or Sattva)- (goodness, constructive, harmonious),  Rajas- (passion, active, confused) and Tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic).

Click here to read more about the gunas.

I think it’s also important to note that Shiva (my Patron deity) and his trident (trishul) “signifies that Shiva (the divinity) is above all the three states – waking, dreaming and sleeping, yet is the upholder of these three states. The divinity is beyond the three gunas, but it holds the three gunas together”.

Shul means problems or suffering. Trishul means that which destroys all kind of suffering.

Three types of pain that arise in life:
1. Aadibhautik (physical)
2. Aadhyaatmik (spiritual) and
3. Aadidaivik (ethereal)

To read more, click here.

Dairy is another item that should be cut from our diet, and it’s probably the hardest. Personally, I have cut every dairy product except cheese. I know there is plenty of evidence to suggest the human body does not need any dairy product to sustain itself; some studies even suggest stopping all dairy after the toddler years. Your diet should be as pure, and as fresh as it possibly can be. As you change your diet your vibrations will become more intense, and vibrate on a higher frequency. When this happens it allows your mind to reach its full potential. I have suggested many times before to stop with this processed “food like substance” nonsense that is plaguing our shelves in the grocery store. I know that budgets are tight, and not everyone can afford to buy the best of the best, nor do we all have space to grow our own food. We just need to be more aware of how to get our bodies thus our minds to work the best way possible. Be conscious of what you put in your mouth, and the portion size.

If you eat a big meal before bed you are less likely to Lucid dream, you will reach a much deeper sleep where Lucid dreaming is not possible, and you are more likely to wake up early, or have disturbed sleep because you are digesting food when you should be resting.

The next suggestion is something that may sound crazy, but it is proven to work. The whole idea of dreaming is that, just like everything else, our brains are (essentially) in control.

You have to think of your mind as a bottomless pit of storage and knowledge and you can train this mental Abyss to work in your favor but you must train HARD.

Our brains are the best athletes on the planet.

How do we train our brains, you ask?

Well, you start off by randomly asking yourself throughout the day, “Am I dreaming?” I know it sounds crazy, but it works.

This method is based off the idea that whatever we do while awake, we potentially can do while asleep; sex, eating, sleeping, working, talking, etc.

If you train your mind to randomly ask a question, or think a thought, act a certain way, etc. you are more likely to do that exact same habit while in a dream state.

It is not impossible to gain the ability to Lucid Dream, frequently and successfully, I just think people overthink it.

I would like to say a word of caution, once you gain the ability to consciously dream and participate in those dreams, you are more likely to end up on the Astral Plane; if you are not used to projecting this can be a problem. I have seen people come back with attachments because they thought they were consciously dreaming and safe “in their own mind” but in reality they were on the Astral Plane.

Be aware, and have fun but don’t be stupid.

My next suggestion, crystals. I am always ranting and raving (in the best way possible!) about how amazing crystals are because they are a hobby of mine; I collect them, I wear them, I have them surrounding my space and my home, but I always use them in Magick, too.

I think that using a crystal that is good for dreaming is one of the most effective methods of Lucid Dreaming. The more you ream, the more aware you become within those dreams.

I would suggest sleeping with a few crystals under your pillow, or in a pouch next to your bed. You may also use herbs to create your own sachet, and put that near your bed as well.

There is not much that triggers the brain more than scent. Some herbs could be Rosemary, Chamomile, Mint, Sage, Lavender, Jasmine, and Passion Flower. An oil diffuser can help, too.

The crystals I would suggest are: Amethyst, Ametrine, Azurite, Clear Quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Moldavite, Kyanite, and for those experienced, Nuummite. I would also suggest having something like Dalmation Jasper to help keep away nightmares, and Black Tourmaline for protection of the physical while in dream or Astral state.

You may also use Sigils near your sleeping body to protect the area. It is up to the individual. You can also write down whatever it is that you do remember. I keep a journal and pen next to my bed, and no matter how tired I am, if I wake up with a dream still in my head, I write it down immediately.

In order for us to be successful in our dream state, we have to take care of our bodies, mind’s and soul’s in the physical. I have a routine for sleep, and also drink a mixture of Peppermint, Valerian root, Rose and Chamomile tea to help relax my mind and body.

Other good herbs are to add for dreaming/relaxation purposes are Skullcap and Mugwort, both as tea and smoking blend Note that Mugwort is bitter (add salt to alkalize it)  and Skullcap can be described as a spiced mint taste.

Taking a hot herbal infused, crystal bath is also recommended but I think a bath is good whenever, so…

Successful Lucid Dreaming is about pampering your mind and body, and if you do that your reward will be issued in the form of wild dreamy adventures.

Lessons in Magick: Channeling Emotion

Deborah Sheedy

Image: Deborah Sheedy

“You learned to run from what you feel, and that’s why you have nightmares. To deny is to invite madness. To accept is to control.”

Megan Chance

Today’s post is going to deal with a topic that far too many people cover up, run from or deny altogether: emotions.

Being a moody Cancer myself I am all too familiar with emotions that run deep as the Ocean itself. Thing is, people just think as a Cancer and a Woman that I am emotional in the sense I cry all the time, need to be coddled or that things upset me in a sad way; of course those moments happen, but I am run by a gambit of emotions, most notably, rage.

The temper, rage and emotional extremes most likely come from my Rising Sign, Capricorn and my Moon Sign, Taurus.

Those stubborn Horns…

I am a contradiction, you see; never knowing which way I want to go, not knowing what my mind wants to do because my heart tells me something else and vice versa.

I guess to put it bluntly, I am just a hot fucking mess.

I understand this, I accept this and I have begun to own this, but the people around me are not so understanding; I am constantly met with “Jac, just calm down” or “Jac, it’s just life” or my favorite, “Jac, this is no reason to get upset”.

Don’t tell me to calm down.

Don’t tell me that this is “just life”, if that is the case, you can have that stress.

Don’t dismiss my feelings just because it is not something that you would get upset over.

Honestly though, you know why people tell emotional beings like myself to “calm down”?

Because they are scared of their own emotions.

People will (rarely) tell you to chill if they actually understand the power of emotions; most times we are confronted with people who are afraid of themselves, afraid to dive into their mind so when they see it live and in action (in another person at that) it’s terrifying to them, and makes them feel very uncomfortable.

Let’s be honest, rage makes everyone a bit uncomfortable, especially my rage.

Generally speaking, though, next time you have an emotional outburst, or are living in an emotional extreme, pay attention to those who see it, and watch them wiggle in their skin.

People just can’t handle emotions anymore, debatable if ever, but for those of us who feel so deeply, we know the toll emotions take on the Soul and the physical body; not to mention that flipping the fuck out is not on the list of things to do for living a life of abundance, gratitude and manifestation of desire.

So, what are us lunatics to do?

Channel the energy.

This is something that I have learned to do out of survival, it was triggered when I was a younger Witchling and I read the story of how people used to collect tears in vials; it was said tears held power. I have taken this idea and put a more real life, modern application to it. If you are anything like I am, these last few years have been times of death and rebirth, total destruction and an onslaught of Cosmic energy—add these factors together and we have a volatile situation. I don’t handle change well, and I hate when my emotional conflicts are caused by outside sources. I try to be consciously aware as often as I can and literally tell myself out loud “don’t let outside sources ruin your inner peace” and I have tried to keep hidden during Full Moon’s (The absolute worst time, ever. I refer to that time as my ‘Lunar Menses’ because it’s awful and I am on a war path) but sometimes, my emotions will not be reined in, they will not be tamed or told what to do, and it is because of those moments that I had to learn how to not kill myself, or those around me (Metaphorically. Chill, people).

I am going to give the tips that I have learned to channel, make sense of and retrieve emotions for later use. These tips can be modified, and I encourage you to do so, after all Magick is most powerful when it is personal. However, if these work for you as is, take them and allow them to help you. If only some resonate and other tips don’t, take what you want, and leave the rest; there is not one way, or a right way to do anything on this path, everything is subjective.

My first tip is Divination, and I know already some people are uncomfortable, and rightfully so.

Divination is the practice of contacting the other side, or a specific deity/Spirit using tools or other mediums to help act as conduits and the practitioner is the energy source. This is not a practice that is for everyone and only you can decide if it is for you or not. I think when people hear of divination they think of the Ouija board, completely unaware, or dismissive of all other techniques.

To be honest, I hate Ouija boards, had a really bad experience as a teen (one that I do not even get into details about, with ANYONE) and I will not touch one now. I have been made fun by fellow Occultists and Witches for my choice of not using a board, which is utterly ridiculous, and childish on top of that but it is what it is.

Scrying is an Ancient technique that originated long before the Ouija board came to be. The fact that so many muggles have put their intentions into this board is what the problem is, they have created a monstrous portal, and frankly I just don’t want to deal with none of it.

My methods of divination are flame, water, mirror, tarot, runes, herbs (smoking) and pendulums. When I need to really channel, I use a flying ointment(s).

In the midst of emotional turmoil, I grab whatever method I am vibing with at the time, light some candles and incense, cast a circle and I sit down on my floor and let the otherside tell me what I need to know. I allow my guides to come through (and anyone else who chooses to do so) and speak to me as if they were my counsel and I am a Queen running a Kingdom; I know, corny analogy but true. There are times when our emotions truly aren’t ours to own or make sense of, sometimes we have tapped into the collective unconscious or conscious; in those moments when we cannot see clearly because we are blinded by rage or driven into the depths of depression from the collective sadness, we must rely on the Spirit World.

My next tip is meditation, but not just any meditation, I am talking about active meditation. I prefer dancing, and coloring. So simple, and so effective. The act of dancing releases hormones into our body that trigger us to be happier, lighter, and carefree; it reminds me of childhood, and the innocence of not knowing what I do now about this ugly and tragically beautiful world we live in.

The main reason I dance now is because it allows my mind, body and Soul to be one while being free at the same time; there are no limitations to dancing. I put on whatever genre of music best suites my emotional state, turn it up as loud as I can, close my eyes and just allow the music to takeover. Some days it’s easier than others, and some days I can dance for hours, whereas other days I am self- conscious about my body and the connection between it, my mind, and Soul cannot be made, or I just can’t seem to find my groove; those are the days I know I need it most. So, I turn the music up louder, and force myself to dance until I am wet with sweat or tears, in most cases both.

As for coloring, I have been coloring, or drawing long before the adult coloring book craze came to be, but man have they come out with some awesome mandala inspired books. There is something about getting lost in the colors, swirls and designs of art that just makes me completely forget about whatever was bothering me. I don’t know if it is the instant gratification of it all, or if it truly is just the technique itself that allows me to focus, center and calm my mind. Often when I have finished a particular piece, clarity about the situation that initially upset me just seems to pop into my head.

My next tip is kind of two fold: using crystals to store the emotion for later retrieval, or to take the emotion entirely and transmute it into energy that you can use. I will also be giving tips for using crystals to heal the emotional wounds.

The best crystal for storing memory is Quartz. My suggestions for emotion, memory or any other storage that you need would be: Lemurian Quartz, sometimes referred to as Lemurian Seed Quartz or Lemurian Star Seeds, Herkimer Diamond (double terminated variant of Quartz), and Clear Quartz. The shape does not necessarily matter, though points are the best for memory storage, from my experience.

Other crystals that hold intentions, emotion or memory well are Emerald, Moldavite and Jet*. Emerald is a great stone for a variety of reasons, most notable being its green color associated with healing and the Heart Chakra. You simply put the Emerald close to your lips and speak into it, you will feel it begin to vibrate from your intentions, words, and energy. It’s a wonderful experience. Moldavite is actually fairly expensive and there are lots of fake pieces running around, make sure to do your research beforehand to make sure you are buying from a reputable seller. Moldavite is one of the strongest vibrational stones I have worked with, and holding it up to Sunlight while looking through it is said to shift your consciousness. The thing about Moldavite and Lemurian Quartz (all Quartz really) is that they hold memories and knowledge in them already and can be tapped into by us. I am a firm believer that crystals choose us, they choose their owner. They are after all, active, living energy. Yes, I said, crystals are living. Refer to Tesla.

People probably wouldn’t think Jet would be a good memory stone because of its reflective and protective properties; this stone protects by absorbing the energy and returning it to sender. However, Jet is known to become “one with its wearer” and if worn/used enough you will begin to feel a oneness, or an attachment to this particular crystal. Note: Jet when worn at the breast is great for releasing Kundalini energy up and out through the Crown Chakra.

So, what do you do after the emotion or memory is stored and you need to retrieve it? You meditate with the crystal in your hands, say an incantation to retrieve the memory, and then you can channel the energy in whatever direction you want. If you wish to use rage for a Casting, you would say an incantation to pull the emotion and then channel it into your workings, simple. You can even pull the emotion forth and put it inside a hex or mojo bag and it will work for the long term without draining you because it is stored emotion, not active emotion.

Crystals are one of the few tools we Witches have access to that are “ good as is”. We don’t really have to do much else except cleanse and charge them every once in a while. They each inherently hold specific vibrations, frequencies and purposes; with the variety of stones available to us, the possibilities for their uses are endless.

Crystals that are good for healing are: Malachite* (toxic in the raw form), Kyanite*, Selenite, Amethyst*, Rose Quartz, Citrine, Emerald (as mentioned above), Moonstone, Hematite*, Celestite, Fuschite, Mica (I prefer Yellow Star Mica), Angelite and Bloodstone*.

Crystals that are good for protection are: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian (all variants), Smoky Quartz, Agate, Lava Stone, Labradorite (the most protective in the mineral kingdom), Nuummite and Fluorite.

You can wear them, put them into a sachet and carry it with you, collect larger pieces for gridding of your home and/or Sacred space, or all of the above. It is all about personal preference and what you are drawn to, these tips are merely guidelines, and suggestions.

I think it is important to take this time and say that Grounding is also essential to controlling, and channeling emotions. I did not touch on that too much because I just recently did a piece on Grounding techniques. If you wish to check it out, click Here.

*These healing crystals also carry strong protective properties. Note that black Kyanite is more protective than blue or green Kyanite because the black will absorb, but all Kyanite carry the same basic properties, color only changes them slightly.