Realms of Possibility

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So…after a bit of soul work, I am writing more again and feel inspired to write. Before we get to our topic of the week, I would like to share something with all of you. I tend to get reflective as we get closer to the end of a year, but it seems especially important for 2020, and even more so after the winter solstice and conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn! So, I wanted to review whether I met my goals for this year. Did I finish the Kali book according to my summer deadline? Sadly, that one is a no. But I am going to finish it. I also now have three working manuscripts: The Kali book, a personal memoir, and a sci-fi novel. There is a lot of research and editing in progress at present, but it’s progressing, nevertheless. So, while I am disappointed at not meeting my personal deadline—I’m happy to say that I made some serious headway on the Kali book and have more information to include. With that, let’s talk about different realms and inevitably, we will end up discussing altered states. I feel this is a good time to discuss them especially as all the cosmic shifts continue to unveil and reveal themselves to us like many de-cloaking spaceships, appearing one by one or sometimes simultaneously. I know, I know, I’m a hardcore Trekkie and space science and sci-fi nerd 😉

First, we need to look at what we mean when we use the term different realms. The word realm refers to a place ruled by a monarch, an area of activity or knowledge (Merriam-Webster). In the spiritual sense, a realm refers to a physical or more often, liminal space. What we mean by liminal is the threshold between the physical and non-corporeal or the “in-between”. This is where our understanding of etheric or subtle body perceptions come into play. This leads us to altered states. If you have ever experienced it, you may have different ways of expressing what it was like. However, most of us can agree that it is different from being asleep and dreaming. Some sensations produce similar dream-like states, but the line between the unconscious and conscious is blurred a little—what is obscured in the physical is visible in the altered state.

An altered state can be understood as a state between consciousness and dreaming. One can remain anchored physically but travel to a spirit realm or an astral realm through etheric means. This brings us to an interesting question. What is the difference between the two realms? Let’s talk about the spirit realm first. As implied by the word spirit, it is the abode of spirits. Ancestors and guardian spirits may walk the realm. And souls ready to take on new bodies and reincarnate may exist there or they may be at the end of the journey, preparing to move on to the cosmos to become and realize they are the Source—at least that is my take on it. You might have a different view, and that is perfectly all right. “Okay Foxy Witch, but isn’t the astral realm the same thing?” Good question. I used to think so once. But as it turns out, they’re not. The astral realm does not necessarily mean spirit realm, although you can encounter spirits. What I’ve found is that the astral realm is not so different from our physical world. There are elements of our world strewn throughout. But things normally hidden from the conscious and physical realm make themselves known in the astral. It’s like navigating the element of air in a way—in our waking state, we only have cognition and physical sensations to let us know that air exists (sure, there are scientific methods to measure it, even see it displayed on monitors for activity), but this way we are getting to see it in the astral. What we cannot see with our naked eyes are made manifest in the astral realm.

I have been experiencing altered states lately through meditation and sometimes glimpse it while running. Now before I delve any further, I want to let everyone know that I do not use any hallucinogenic substances natural or otherwise to induce such a state—and I am not judging anyone who does. It is up to each practitioner. Plants and herbal substances have been used for a long time in various cultures for different reasons. Disclaimer here, though it is self-explanatory—if you use any herbs or medicinal substances, please make sure to take the necessary precautions and be in a safe space. I am not advocating for or against the use of herbal substances. Things do not need to be done exactly one way or the other. What is important is SAFETY FIRST above all else no matter what the circumstances or preference. As I said before, I do not use anything with hallucinogenic or psychoactive properties. What I do use are crystals, saltwater, and incense. The incense helps me anchor to something solid because a sense of smell lets me know where I am. The crystals ground me and cool me down, and the saltwater helps me cleanse when I am done. Some suggested herbs to burn are mugwort, bay leaves, and mixing a little bit of dragon’s blood resin with it. I like those too.

Deep meditation with singing bowls or certain types of music can induce that state. It all begins with the breath. I also do adequate preparation. I will eat light, do specific healing exercises after energetic ones, and take a ritual bath. I will journal to de-clutter my mind. I set up sacred space, take stock of my surroundings before I close my eyes and then focus my attention on the breath and all sensations physically. I have music playing in the background. And then I count backwards from a certain number. This opens me up quickly. Mat Auryn’s Psychic Witch book describes this exercise and much more. I highly recommend reading it if you are interested in developing intuition, understanding psychic energy, and utilizing it in your practice. As I said before the countdown exercise keeps me single point focused. I’m least likely to be distracted physically as a result. Once that is done, I will watch what comes through. Sometimes I end up in the astral realm where I might see someone familiar, a guide perhaps, and travel back to past memories, including past life ones. Yes, even that can happen! In the interest of space and how long this already is, I’ll talk more about the spirit realm and some ancestral traditions in another blog post.

In a walking meditation or when I’m running, I am anchored physically by the earth because my feet hits the ground, but I may also feel weightless or floaty. I am fully aware still. I know where I am, the street names, and which direction to go—but I’ll have flashes of things that come up, in sentient or cognitive ways. I’m here and also elsewhere is the way I’d use to describe it. But knowing how to properly anchor is so, so, so, so important here. I cannot stress that enough. I keep myself laser focused on the pacing, the direction, and the heart rate when I run so I cannot zone out. I watch out for cars, bicycles, kids playing, etc. So, I never give in to an altered state while running. NEVER. These flashes happen in the conscious for me, not the threshold state. I want to make that clear, because any vigorous activity like running requires tremendous focus on the physical. Word to the wise, avoid trancing out while operating machinery or working out! And one final thing, what does the altered state or trance experience mean or why should anyone even attempt it? I find that it helps me understand the subtle workings of energetic vibrations. It allows me to sense things better; as an empath I find this useful. It can also help us find the root and deeper causes to ancestral trauma, energy sicknesses, nightmares, and more. I will revisit this topic later on in future posts since there is more to say on it.

If you survived reading this far, thank you. If you didn’t, I understand. It was a very long one! The next post is all about Tarot! 😉 Thank you for sticking with me until the end of 2020, lovely readers. Until next time, happy new year! Namaste. With love, Foxy Witch.

Trance, trance baby

Trance. Astral travel. Altered states. These are a few words we associate with mystics, mediums, seers, and shamans. Witches around the world recognize these terms. One can be a mystic and a witch, a medium and a witch, and so on. Trance is defined as: a sleeplike state (as of deep hypnosis) usually characterized by partly suspended animation with diminished or absent sensory and motor activity. (Merriam Webster). When people go into trance states, they are entering a different level of consciousness while still maintaining an anchor to the waking and physical world. In my previous blog, I mentioned trance as part of the shadow work I did. I’ll elucidate here exactly what that entailed for me, and then I’ll discuss the difference between meditative journeying and trance. And we will end on romancing our demons (sounds weird, I know).

The first time I entered a trance state was purely accidental. I literally walked up to a total stranger and delivered a message. I’m not sure why it happened that way. Whatever it was, I knew that the message was specifically intended for that individual. This is where trance can get quite interesting. Being in another realm of consciousness means that sometimes there is interaction with others—I use the term others to refer to spirits, to entities, or anything on an energetic level. A person can channel during trance and acts as an intermediary. This is true for mediums as well. In my case, when I started, trance had been totally accidental. Of course, after that, I tried to get there by meditating. But here’s the thing—I was terrified and shied away whenever I got close to doing it. I was also carrying a lot of guilt, anger, and shame over many things. These emotions kept me from being able to do it safely. In order to induce a trance state, I needed to acknowledge those emotions and proceed without any judgment. I had to still the mind and be willing to face my fears, because it can be a scary process.

The work I’d done on myself over the years was a fight to death. I don’t say that lightly. I explored every single weakness, every emotion, every lie I sold myself on, and my fake persona outside—not one area ignored—that was where the transformation began to take root. I was honest in the process. I saw facets of my soul that frightened me to the core—and some that embarrassed me so much that I longed to erase it from memory not only for myself but also for anyone else involved. It was hard. And doing shadow work this spring involved me visiting these places again to remove some of the wounds I thought had healed. In some of these trances, I saw myself as a child, viewed things through the lens of an objective observer, and in others I visited my nightmares. I tried to run away but every time I did, I’d be right back to the heart of the nightmare. So, I faced them—and still have to face them because my work isn’t done yet. Shadow work in some ways can be constant but you don’t have to use trance all the time. It definitely forced me to be more realistic and honest with myself. If you feel comfortable using trance though, you might be surprised by the answers and messages you receive. It is a useful tool, but one to be used carefully and with sufficient preparation. I’ll be doing a separate blog post on the process of trance alone in the next few weeks! In the meantime, let’s talk about the difference between meditative journeying and trance. Meditation can lead to trance—don’t get me wrong—but the big difference between the two is the threshold, because meditative journeying does not often require the preparation that trance does. Trance needs careful calibration and those who tend to work in liminal spaces are more likely to gravitate towards it. Meditation on the other hand can be practiced by almost anyone. Mindfulness in particular can be very helpful in these difficult times.  

And now we come to the last part: romancing your demons! The shadow work I dealt with led me to places in my life that I had never gone back to since they happened. Revisiting those parts allowed me to make friends with and woo my inner demons—I remembered who I was during rough patches of my life, while knowing who I am now. I thanked each and every challenger with the same amount of gratitude I would show to family and friends. I gave love to the wounded past and to the old me that lived with self-loathing. I saw these inner demons in spiritual terms, and not as negative entities because these were what I had invited in of my own accord. By “romancing” them, I romanced myself! I gave myself the love I wished I’d had then. Without those demons, I would have continued to live in fear of my own shadow. I was afraid of everything from failure, love, friendship, success to liminal and spiritual things. But my inner demons pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone so that I could rebuild from the ground up. On a mystical note and a disclaimer here, if people are struggling against negative energy and unwelcome attention from entities, that’s an entirely different matter. Romancing unwelcome and uninvited energy is not something I recommend doing. And I’ll be talking about that in detail in another blog post as well.

So, once again dear reader, you have made it to the end! Thank you for reading my blog. I’m not sure what my next post will be so let’s call it a surprise instead. With love, the Foxy Witch. Namaste.