Traveling the Astral
Astral travel is the process of projecting one’s consciousness out into realms and worlds far from, adjacent to, and/or overlaid with everyday consensus reality. In my own practice, I most often refer to astral travel as journeying, soul flight, or faring forth. When I plan to fare forth and its on my own timetable, I like to prepare by igniting rich resinous incense and lighting anointed candles. These acts serve two purposes. First and foremost they are initial offerings for the Powers who taught me to journey and who support the work that I do on those journeys. Second, beautiful fragrances and warm lights signal to my busy mind that stillness is needed. When taking a planned but somewhat leisurely trip to the Otherworlds, I take these early moments of preparation to focus on my destination and any Powers I need to meet and greet in that place.
When I have time to prepare, because I am journeying on my own schedule, I prepare offerings for the denizens of the worlds I plan to visit. My offerings are sometimes simple, taking the form of bread and wine or fresh flowers, or sometimes elaborate, requiring two or more hours of cooking, arranging, dressing, anointing, and pouring. These things I place in sacred space along with candles and incense and any other items requested by spirit.
When I fare forth on my own schedule, I also enjoy taking time to slowly ground and center. I draw my awareness to my body by wiggling my toes and fingers, rolling my neck, flexing my muscles. I settle into my own skin and the wonders of corporeal existence. I bring my awareness to my breath, to the steady rise and fall of my abdomen as I take in and release measured air. I allow myself the simple pleasure of humming a haunting melody, whatever creeps into my mind at the time. I feel the vibration of my voice as it resonates through my bones and blood. When preparing to fare forth, I take stock of exactly where I am in this world that I might more easily find my way back.
When it’s time to then fare from here to there, I allow my body to sway, my breath and voice to summon a spirit song, and my mind to reach out in search of a road, a path to carry me there. Sometimes the way is smooth and clear, sometimes its crooked and narrow. My fylgja comes with the song and rides it with me into the Otherworlds. It may sound like I’m in charge but in fact he leads the way. Oftentimes he is sure of the place to which we journey. Sometimes not. But he leads all the same. And with the flapping of his wings we end up exactly where we need to be, having a chat with exactly who we need to talk to.
When our audience is done, my fylgja leads the way back home. With a whoosh of my own breath I am back in my body, wiggling my finger and toes, checking my mind, body, and spirit for heaviness, disturbances, broken or lost bits, and hitchhikers, and then spiritually cleansing accordingly.
This is a snapshot of my process. Each person finds and walks their own road. I hope that one or more of the roadmarkers and guideposts along my road is of value to you as you walk your own.
Happy astral travels!