Lucid Dreaming

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Second Edition – 2002

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction

Instructions for Attaining Lucid Dreaming:

Projects for the Advanced Lucid Dreamer.

Lucid Dreaming Protocols of the Hermetic Order of Sol Ascendans

Epilogue: Hymn to Morpheus

Bibliography

Appendices


Preface to the Second Edition:

LUCID DREAMING AND MENTAL HEALTH

Within the human brain there is a neurotransmitter called Serotonin. Empirical studies have established a number of things about this important chemical, of which the following are germane to this work on Lucid Dreaming:

  • Its presence in the brain at the correct level is vital to good mental health. An abnormally high amount of Serotonin causes Mania (paranoia, schizoidal episodes etc); an abnormally low amount causes Depression.
  • Serotonin is naturally replenished by dreamless sleep: however, REM-sleep (Rapid Eye Movement sleep – the kind in which dreams with strong visual imagery occur) depletes it.

What has this to do with Lucid Dreaming? Simply put, Lucid Dreaming consists of a collection of techniques which aim at stimulating and enhancing REM-sleep, and thereby depleting the brain’s natural Serotonin levels. I mention this because I have come across a large number of people who are interested in the Occult – and who also suffer Depression. I am faced with the growing conviction that the high incidence of Depression among Occultists is either caused or exacerbated by the wrongful use of techniques such as Lucid Dreaming, and like techniques whereby the person retreats into a dream-world.

Therefore, the following pieces of guidance can be put forward:

  • The excessive use of Lucid Dreaming tends to cause Depression;
  • If a person already suffering from Depression attempts to become a lucid dreamer, they are making their condition worse;
  • If a person is on a course of anti-depressants (e.g. Prozac, Seroxat, etc which work by boosting Serotonin levels), attempting to dream Lucidly will vitiate the effects of the medication.

In light of the above, I can hardly caution readers wanting to know about Lucid Dreaming too strongly. We may laugh at the fundamentalist Christian or the superstitious low-brow who claims dabbling with the occult is tantamount to truck with demons, and against God’s will, but we must laugh at ourselves and our own rank foolishness when the scientist presents evidence to say they might have a point.

The revised and recently-implemented Lucid Dreaming Protocols of the Hermetic Order of Sol Ascendans take this into account, and state that Dreamwork is only to be attempted within a single 56 hour period per Lunar Month – which effectively means on two consecutive nights only. The rest of the time – approximately 26 days – not only is no attempt made to dream lucidly, but every attempt is made to sleep dreamlessly (or as much as is possible). This is considerably more difficult than the former method, which was to at least attempt to practice Lucid Dreaming and its associated techniques nightly. However, it is undoubtedly safer, and strikes what I hope is a balance between the hazards of Lucid dreaming, and its benefits.

I am caught in the position that I honestly believe that Lucid Dreaming is both a very good and very dangerous thing. Good, in that I have used it successfully for a number of purposes, all of which I am very proud to have done: works of Theurgy, healing rituals, and so forth. Dangerous, in that I cannot in any conscience endanger the mental well-being of any eager young neophyte. I speak as one who has himself suffered Depressive moods in the past, which I see with hindsight as nothing but my own fault.

In conclusion, I earnestly advise all readers to take these words of warning to heart. The information presented in this book details “How to do it”, but that should not be taken as an encouragement that “You should do it.”

If you suffer from Depression, or are taking anti-depressants, I advise you Not to attempt to dream Lucidly. If you do not fall into any of these categories, I would nevertheless advise you to deliberately limit the time spent attempting to dream Lucidly – spacing the occasions of practice with long periods of non-practice, perhaps in the manner suggested above, or even less frequently. If you start to fall into Depression, increase the length of non-practice time between Lucid Dreaming attempts or stop it altogether. Lucid Dreaming on a more regular basis than this is at your own risk.


Introduction

In ancient Greece, it was the custom to ascribe almost all phenomena to the action of divine beings. We have all heard about the most famous of these gods – Zeus, Ares, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, etc – because their folklore has been passed down to us directly in the present day, not just through the telling and retelling of mythology, but also in a practical sense in the field of Astrology.

And yet, we often do not hear about many of the other gods, who presided over functions which are important in their own right, but who have escaped the attention of history through a failure on the part of the general populace to guess their significance.

One such god is Morpheus, the God of Dreams.

I find it truly surprising that the worship of Morpheus is not widely known nowadays, as dreams have such a powerful hold on the imagination. They have an endless fascination, whether it be to present images from everyday life, or scenes which are utterly fantastic – whether they transmit messages of great psychic import, or just give expression to fairly ordinary unconscious desires.

It is not surprising that to the ancient Greek mind, dreams were classed as being under the presidency of a god, owing to their inherently intriguing nature.

It occurred to me, not long ago, that if Morpheus was known as a god, then he must have been worshipped, even if his cult was small. But what, then, were the rites enacted by the priests and followers of Morpheus? I realised that I already had the key: Lucid Dreaming.

Lucid Dreaming – the phenomenon whereby one becomes conscious that one is dreaming but without waking up – was (and is) the perfect expression for Morpheus’ worship, in that it combines dreaming, which is in any case sacred to him, with a psychic skill of great power, which can well be used to participate in the mysteries. That an ancient Greek experiencing it would believe it to be Morpheus’ special boon seems obvious.

Nowadays, Lucid dreaming is becoming an increasingly well-known subject. More people are experiencing it, because it is a little piece of the occult in which almost everyone can share. Indeed, I myself first became aware of Lucid dreaming even before I knew anything else about the Mysteries. And yet few people are fully aware of the enormous potential that is to be gained from a full mastery of this art, and even fewer have any idea of its place in an ongoing system of spirituality – the Western Mystery Tradition.

Therefore I write this essay in an attempt to show two things: first, the means whereby even a complete beginner can learn to master the art of Lucid dreaming – not merely to dream lucidly, but also to use his faculty for just about any purpose he chooses; and second, to bring back to public awareness that Lucid Dreaming is a Rite sacred to the God Morpheus.

The following is a description of a method for attaining this ability, and even how to make use of this faculty for magickal purposes. It is the author’s personal testimony that this method is guaranteed to work – so long as it is carried out properly.

Lucid Dreaming is an incredibly useful skill, in that it enables one to work on the astral plane even before one has mastered the art of Astral projection. I myself have experienced both Lucid Dreams and astral projection as well, and I can verify that in fact, both are a form of one another. I have been able to carry out certain magickal acts whilst in the lucid dream state and then later performed the same whilst astrally projecting: I have experienced similar effects on both occasions.

Lucid Dreams are especially useful to a practitioner in the Western Mystery Tradition, who, perhaps holding down a nine-to-five job, finds him- or herself pressed for time to perform the morning rituals such as the Middle Pillar Ritual, or the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram: one is able to do them whilst one is still asleep! This is an intriguing area of research, for if we are able to manage it, we will be collectively taking a real step forward towards the goal of integrating Spirit and Matter.

In Lucid Dreams, by consciously affecting the content of ones dream vision, we begin to understand something of the infinite wonder of which our imagination is capable: yet we remain constantly fascinated, because we realise that we can never exhaust that capacity.

It has been my personal experience that Lucid dreams may be used for: Clairvoyance and skrying; dream divination; invoking ones Holy Guardian Angel; performing certain rituals like the Middle Pillar, Pentagram and Hexagram; stimulating ones Intuition to provide answers to questions with which one is concerned; penetrating into the secrets of ones unconscious; and even Precognition – though whether one has the wisdom to act on that precognition is another matter. Generally speaking, anything that can be done on the astral plane can be done in a Lucid Dream: the dreamer will find that the only limit on ones ability to control the dream-state is how much effort one is prepared to put in to perfect ones Lucid Dreaming faculty.

Lucid Dreams may, of course, also be used for non-magickal purposes, i.e. for pure self-indulgence. Indeed, complete beginners should start developing their faculty by first learning to induce non-magickal dreams, as the ability to put Lucid Dreams to use is advanced work, and only for those who are confident in their practice.

Lucid Dreams: Basic Concepts

A “Lucid Dream” is a dream, occurring within what will usually be REM-sleep, in which the dreamer becomes aware that he (she) is dreaming – and then continuing to remain in that dream-state without waking up. The peculiar awareness is referred to as “lucidity” or “being lucid.”

Apart from this quality of lucidity, differences between Lucid and ordinary dreams can include the following (this is a non-exhaustive list):

  • The subsequent dream is far more memorable than a non-lucid dream;
  • It appears to be more vivid;
  • The dreamer has the conviction that he or she is an active participator in the dream, instead of being a passive spectator;
  • The dreamer is able to perform actions at his (her) own volition;
  • The dreamer is able to affect the scenery and content of the dream through a feat of concentration;
  • The dreamer is also able to affect the manner in which he or she interacts with the dream – this includes acting in way that would not normally be possible in real-life such as changing the shape of ones body, passing through solid objects, levitating, flying through space, teleporting to distant locations, travelling through time, etc*

*Hmm, well it may be possible to do all this in real life, but I’m not that advanced an adept!

However, I should emphasise that it may very well be that the dreamer finds it is not possible to do all or indeed any of the above in the list of differences on each and every occasion – the only way he (she) can tell it was a lucid dream is the bare fact that he knew it was a dream at the time.

It is also possible that a dreamer may have a moment of Lucidity, but lapse back into non-lucidity later on – in that on waking up he realises that he didn’t react to phenomena in the dream as he would have done if he had been Lucid.

And yet these abilities – to become lucid and remain lucid throughout the dream, to act and re-act with at least some of the same intelligence that one has when one is awake, to affect oneself and the content of the dream through concentration – these are all desirable abilities for the seasoned Lucid dreamer to have.

The main reasons why any lucid dream might fall short of the expectations one has for it include:

  • Lack of experience in Lucid dreaming;
  • Lack of practice;
  • Failure to observe one or more basic rules or principles;
  • There is something in your unconscious which is affecting the content of your dreams.

The solution to the first is simple: practice makes perfect. A beginner might see an improvement in the quality of his or her dreams in a few days, but Lucid dreaming is not something which happens straightaway: it should be developed over time. I have seen a certain book which said one could develop the faculty of an adept in just a month – but this is unhelpful, because for many this is too short a time period. So long as you practice constantly, you need only be concerned that you are making gradual progress, even if it is just little by little.

The solution to the second can be said simply, but might be more difficult to achieve in reality: “shore up your resolve”. The only way to maintain the ability of Lucid Dreaming to practice constantly. Even if you do not have any particular reason for dreaming lucidly, one should still do so to keep ones hand in. If you don’t happen to dream lucidly on a given occasion, you should still follow the procedure as best you can, for doing so increases the probability of you being successful on a subsequent occasion: but failure to practice decreases that possibility. If you go without practice for too long a period, you may have to bite the bullet and re-start as if you were a complete beginner. Lucid Dreaming is an extremely valuable faculty to have, and if you decide to attain it, you should be prepared to put yourself to some effort – as indeed you would for anything sufficiently valuable.

The solution to the third is to treat your lucid dreaming like a scientist treats his experiment: see if you can identify what went wrong, make a note of it, and then repeat but this time rectifying your mistake. It is here that the Dream Diary, of which I will talk more later, is essential, because using it you can use it to examine your practice in the cold light of day.

The solution to the fourth is more delicate – sometimes it is obvious what is wrong, because it crops up in the dream itself, however at other times it remains hidden. Sometimes it is something relatively trivial, sometimes it is a long repressed memory. I advise the reader to familiarise him- or herself with standard works on psychoanalysis and psychology. In Alchemy, the prima materia is putrefied before any attempt is made to transmute it into a precious metal. Similarly, having ones repressions brought to consciousness will feel like putrefaction of the soul. It is never pleasant to discover you have been harbouring an emotio is repugnant to your own reason – so unpleasant that at first you will be not believe the information when presented to you. And yet repressions, because they have a powerful effect on the unconscious, are bound therefore to also affect the quality of your lucid dreaming. Ideally, in order to be master of lucid dreaming, one should also master ones unconscious…

In fact, both Freud and Jung recognised the importance of dreams in the context of psychoanalysis. It is possible that the ability to control or at least affect the content of ones dreams may itself be of benefit in psychotherapy, though this is outside the scope of this essay.

Lucid Dreaming: The Technique

The Technique of Lucid Dreaming actually consists of three basic disciplines which must be learnt. They are, in the order one would typically learn them:

  • Dream Recall;
  • Directed Dreaming (or Dream Incubation);
  • Lucidity itself (i.e. the achieving and maintaining of the Lucid state).

These three are fundamental pre-requisites. Even if you choose not to develop you practice of Lucid dreaming for occult purposes, you should still learn these three.

Dream Recall is a method for raising your awareness and memory of your dreams. People who wake up each morning only to forget what they had just been dreaming do not make good Lucid Dreamers. The same goes for people who are convinced that they never have dreams. It is therefore necessary to discipline your mind to become more aware of your own dreams. The process of recalling ones dreams in as much detail as possible is such a discipline and dreamers often notice that their memory of their dreams radically improves after just a few nights of practice.

Directed Dreaming is the process of successfully deciding the subject matter for your dream, whilst you are still awake. In an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager” Chakotay manages this in a fairly straightforward manner, though what was not explicitly said that he would have had to have spent years being mindful of his psychic condition in order to possess this kind of mastery. In real life, most of us can get to the point where we decide the content of our dreams, though the process is more convoluted than what can be shown in a 45 minute TV show (nevertheless, it is fair to assume that the scriptwriters for that episode did know what they were talking about). Suffice to say, Directed Dreaming is vital to everyone who wants to use their faculty for a subject of their own choosing.

Lucidity – I have already talked about what the quality of Lucidity is in the section on Basic terminology. As an actual technique, it is fairly easy to become Lucid: it is very difficult to remain Lucid or to avoid waking up. For this reason the dreamer must take into consideration a number of practices which will help maintain the Lucid state – and, once established in these, further practices to improve its quality. I will now set out a practical study course, giving explicit instructions for attaining the faculty of Lucid Dreaming. In the same way that Franz Bardon emphasises mastery of every stage of his magickal course before moving onto the next, so the dreamer should not attempt a later step before he or she is confident with all the preceding ones.

Instructions for Attaining Lucid Dreaming.

Step One: Dream Recall

For this you will need a Dream Diary. This is very important and will be referred to in most of the subsequent steps. Obtain for yourself the following: A large pad of A4 (foolscap) paper; a new pen; a bedside lamp, penlight or torch, if you don’t have one already. It is often convenient to have a ring binder into which to load the paper: this will be the Dream Diary itself. Also a nightstand. Arrange everything around your bed so that it is all within arm’s reach from the position in which you normally sleep.

Now, go to sleep normally, save with this important thought in your mind: whenever you wake up, immediately write down what you were just dreaming about. Note the emphasis. You might wake up for just a short while in the middle of the night, or a few hours before when you would normally do so, and you may feel tempted, on account of being too sleepy, to lie still. DON’T. You must get into the habit of rousing yourself at this point to write down, in your dream diary, what was just going through your mind whilst you were asleep.

Your natural inclination will at first be to resist going to this trouble, but forcing yourself to record all your dreams at the earliest opportunity is exactly the kind of discipline that you will need to master to become a successful Lucid Dreamer.

Even if you can only remember hazy details, you should still write as much as you can about those hazy details. If however, you do not manage to remember anything, write down the following: “I chose not to remember my dreams“. Note carefully the way this is worded: you are affirming that it is your own responsibility to recall your dreams, and setting yourself the suggestion that the power to recall your dreams is within your free will – which, as it happens, is true.

On the subsequent night, repeat the procedure. Always use a fresh page in your dream diary for a new night, and make sure the date is clearly marked.

Repeat this for at least a week. At first, you will barely be able to write down one sentence about the contents of your dreams. On subsequent nights you will be able to write in more and more detail. Always try to write as much detail as possible – ideally you should be able to read your diary later, e.g. after you come home from work that evening, and remember exactly how the dream occurred.

Step Two: An Introduction to Coueism

This is a technique which can be used for improving the quality of your practice: it can even be used to improve the quality of your life generally, by setting yourself a beneficial affirmation. Readers of Bardon’s “Initiation into Hermetics” will recall that he himself suggests a similar technique.

Let us imagine that you want to achieve a certain goal – one that would be within your sphere of capability if you had motivation from your unconscious – e.g.:

I want to be happy
I want to be healthy
I want to be confident
I want to remember my dreams in detail
I want to be a Lucid Dreamer etc

Coueism is a method of converting these wishes into unconscious suggestions. Emile Coue, who originally devised this method, laid down these basic principles: first, re-word the wish as if you were describing a positive situation in the present, e.g.:
I want to be healthy becomes I am healthy
I want to be happy becomes I am happy
Etc, but not“I am not anxious” or “I am not a failure”. These should be changed into positive statements like “I am calm and relaxed”, or “I am successful.”

It was Coué himself who first invented the phrase “Every day in every way I am getting better, better, and better!” He had come to the conclusion that this is the perfect all-purpose wish (or “affirmation”), given that it is memorable, it fulfils his own criteria, it is specific enough to have meaning, but vague enough to allow the unconscious itself to decide on the best method of carrying out the affirmation.

The second step after deciding the Affirmation, is, just as one is about to fall asleep at night, repeat it to yourself twenty times. Coue decided on the number twenty simply because from experiments he was conducting it seemed like the most appropriate number. The affirmation should be repeated when one is one the point of dozing off – and again on waking up, when one is still feeling sleepy.

The reason why Coueism works at all is that it is in fact a form of hypnosis. The moment of feeling sleepy is akin to being in a hypnotic trance – when the critical faculties of the conscious mind are suspended, the unconscious is particularly receptive to suggestions.

A word of warning. When deciding on an Affirmation, do not include words which have double meanings. The reason being that your unconscious, contrary to what people like Jacques Lacan say, does not work like a language – it is only the conscious mind that does that. What will usually happen is that rather it will select words apparently at random from your Affirmation, and link them with images and ideas in your memory with which the individual words are associated.

For example, if you were to Affirm: “I will dream about my Holy Guardian Angel,” you unconscious might just pick up on the word “angel” and instead of being blessed by the appearance of a divine being sent by God, you might dream about eating Angel Delight, Angel Cakes, getting high on Angel Dust, visiting the “Angel of the North” sculpture in Tyneside, meeting someone you know called Angel (reading a copy of The Guardian at the time) etc.

I shall go on to more reliable methods of dream direction below. And by the way, there is a method for contacting ones Holy Guardian Angel whilst in the middle of a lucid dream – I have written about it in “The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel”.

Practice this for a week, continuing as ever with your dream recall.

Step Three: Directed Dreaming – Three methods.

Once you can recall your dreams in detail, and are happy with the use of Coueism, you can move onto deciding the content for your dream before you go to sleep. Here are three methods to use: spend at least one week practising each of them. Afterwards, when you are more experienced, you can decide yourself which you prefer, though for maximum versatility you should be confident with all three.

Method One – The Basic Method

Pick a topic for your dream – something that can be described in one sentence. Or better still, one word. Whilst you are still a beginner, pick a topic in which you are not normally emotionally involved, or which it never occurs to you to think about (only try experimenting with subjects with which you are personally concerned when you are more experienced). Nevertheless, this should leave you with plenty of choice about what to pick: e.g. going to somewhere far away, meeting a celebrity or character from history, performing an activity which you don’t normally do, etc.

It is good practice for both beginners and more experienced to treat their dream-work purely as scientists treat their experiments, i.e. with objectivity and detachment. What I mean is that we should treat our dream-work in the same way as we would like scientists to treat their experiments – most actual researchers are lured by the wonga of Patent rights and kudos of PhDs.

In any event, having decided on the topic of your dream, on retiring to go to sleep, take your Dream Diary, and on the page on which you will be recording that night’s dreams (remember: a new page for a new night), write at the top in large capital letters “I WILL DREAM ABOUT …”(here insert the chosen subject of your dream). Underline “Will” about two or three times, and concentrate hard on the sentence as if you mean it in deadly earnest. Then put your Dream Diary aside, turn out the light and settle down to sleep – as you have been doing over the past few weeks already.

Coueism may also be of use, but you should only use a general affirmation like “I can direct my dreams.” Do not say, if you want to dream about e.g. Ayer’s Rock in Australia, say “I am going to Ayer’s Rock” or you might find yourself waking up with a strong urge to actually go there in real life. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but defeats the object of learning how to dream Lucidly.

If you wake up at any time, again write down as much detail as you can remember of your dreams – and use some kind of marking like underlining or asterisks or marginal notes etc to indicate any part of your dream which agrees with your subject.

If you find you have dreamed about exactly what you wanted, you may consider this stage successful. If however you did not, and there is still time before you would normally get up, re-write the phrase “I WILL …” etc underneath what you have just written, and go back to sleep again.

If you go through the whole night without dreaming about your chosen topic, write underneath your entry for that night in large capitals: “I Chose not to dream about my selected topic.” i.e. you are acknowledging that the responsibility and ability to direct your dreams lies within your own free will.

However, there is conceivably another problem, and this is the same one as I mentioned in Section Two, on Coueism. That is, your chosen topic might have been too vague. E.g. If you write “I WILL DREAM ABOUT THE TAJ MAHAL” you may find yourself dreaming about Taj Mahal the blues guitarist, or even the Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant at the end of the road. Should you find that your dream only partly agrees with your intention, you should look again at what you wrote and see if it can’t be re-worded. If it can, do so: if it can’t you will either have to try again but this time concentrating not just on what you write, but on the meaning of what you write; or else you will have to abandon this one attempt and pick another subject, but not before writing out, as described above, “I Chose not to dream about my selected topic.”

Nevertheless, it may be that some topics about which cannot be dreamed under this first method may still work with methods two and three below.

Practice the first method for a week, or if you find you are successful before then, continue to the end of the week but with a different dream subject (or even subjects).

Method Two – The Picture Method

This is similar to method one, but with one important difference – you need a photograph or picture of your dream subject. The picture should be small enough so that you can set it up on your nightstand, but large enough so you can see it clearly from your normal sleeping position when you have the bedside lamp on.

Follow the procedure in Method One, but when you come to write out “I WILL DREAM ABOUT…”etc, you should then spend some time staring at the picture. It should be the sort of picture which you can remember in detail with you eyes shut. After staring at the picture for some time, put it aside, turn out the light and go to sleep, trying to remember the mental image of the picture.

Do not when imagining this mental image, run through a mental dialogue of thoughts which occur to you in connection with the picture. Rather, try to hold the picture in your mind’s eye, whilst keeping verbal thoughts silent. Repeat this same procedure each time you wake up during the night.

You should be able to tell when you are successful, as you will find yourself dreaming about the content of the picture. Always be sure to carry out what was said about success, failure, and recording your dreams in method one.

I myself have also used this method with Tarot cards and tattva symbols, to great effect.

Method Three – The Visualisation Method

This is slightly difficult in comparison to the previous two, but can be the most powerful of all of them. Start off as you did for Method One. You may incorporate the use of a picture as in Method Two if you wish. Turn off the light and settle down…

…It is here that the work of Method Three begins. Consciously relax, by bringing awareness to each part of your body in turn, and making sure that all muscle tensions release. Maintain slow, unforced breathing.

Now visualise the subject of your dream as a moving scene, such as a film or television program, or as an incident in which you are participating. Note well: the visualisation should be one continuous sequence: do not allow it to become a series of unconnected images.

As with Method Two, only allow your visualisation to remain in your head: silence any verbal thoughts.

Success comes in two forms: firstly, you may find that a dream later in the night corresponds to what you were visualising. Secondly, you may well find that you fall asleep and start dreaming about your desired topic whilst you are still visualising!

As with methods one and two, repeat the procedure every time you wake up during the night, and remember to record your dreams and note down your successes and failures.

Step Four: Sammaspati

This is a technique which will help increase your success rate in dreaming about exactly what you intend. It is in fact a Buddhist meditation technique, and comes on the highest authority for use by practitioners of the Western Mystery Tradition, having been recommended by, inter alia, Dion Fortune, Rudolf Steiner and Aleister Crowley amongst others.

The procedure is as follows: before getting into bed for the night, take up a comfortable meditation posture, in which the spine should be straight and upright. You should not lock your muscles in any way, you should maintain the posture anyway without effort. You should sit on a firm service e.g. the floor or a chair – I do not recommend your bed itself. If you are not a seasoned yoga practitioner, you should avoid the difficult “asanas”, and sit in the “Easy Posture” i.e. simple cross-legs. Alternatively, you may take a chair or stool and sit in the so-called “Egyptian Position”, also known as the “God-position” in Thelema and in the Aurum Solis: i.e. sit upright with the legs together (uncrossed), hands resting on thighs.

Allow the back of the neck to lengthen and the chin to drop down. Take some moments to consciously relax, by bringing your awareness to each part of your body in turn and allowing your muscles to release. Breathe naturally. Once you feel that you have relaxed you can proceed to the next step.

Starting with the present moment visualise your entire day backwards. E.g., if the last three things you have done are to walk upstairs, go to the bathroom and then go into your bedroom, you will visualise yourself getting up from your seated position and walking backwards into the bathroom, and from there walking backwards out of the bathroom and down the stairs facing the wrong way. It is as if you have filmed your daily activities and you are watching it with the film threaded the wrong way through the projector, or with the Rewind and Play buttons on your Video are depressed at once.

Continue with this backward-visualisation throughout the events of that day. You should aim to observe these mental pictures with detachment, as if they had in fact happened to someone else. Moreover, your visualisation should be a complete sequence, and not a series of disconnected images. Your visualisation should go back as far as you can remember, which includes the contents of your previous night’s dreams – or even the events of the previous day or days as well.

It has been said, though I cannot say whether this is true or not, that if it were possible to remember in this way ones entire life, one might even recall ones previous existences.

The effects of this process, i.e. Sammaspati, are two-fold: firstly, you will find yourself passing into a deep meditative state or trance, in which it is fruitful to concentrate on Affirmations and the like in a similar way to which you did with Coueism.

Secondly, because you have recalled the images of the day to full consciousness during your meditation, they are less likely to affect the content of your dreams. You may well find that you discover emotions which you felt about a given event about which you forgot but nevertheless left their impression on your unconscious. Hence, what is left for your dreams will be the subject upon which you have decided, and nothing which has entered your mind by accident.

Spend a week incorporating Sammaspati with all the foregoing practices. Sammaspati is an extremely important exercise: ideally you should perform it every night for the rest of your life.

Step Five: Discernment

With Discernment you are now dealing with techniques which will lead you directly into actual Lucidity.

Lucidity is caused by reacting to an event in your dream which makes you realise that you are dreaming. The event in question is essentially arbitrary – it could be the sight of your hands, or of any other visual cue, or the occurrence of an event such as finding yourself floating or flying, or indeed anything. However, none of these lucidity-causing events will do you any good unless you train yourself to become sensitive to what is going on in your dream, even more so than you are at the moment. The best method I have found in my experience is to develop the quality of Discernment.

Discernment is the ability to detect whether an occurrence within your dream is in any way realistic. For example, (this happened to me recently), let us suppose you dream of walking into a darkened room, and you naturally try the light switch by the door. The light comes on, and then immediately goes out again. You try the switch again and the same happens. Now, ideally you should be able to Discern that this is not how light-switches work in real life: thus you now have a strong clue or prompt that you are in fact dreaming.

Once you have got into the habit of being alert to inconsistencies within your dreams, you will be able to go on to train yourself to become Lucid whenever you Discern that something is out of place.

Begin the practice of Discernment by re-reading your dream diary up to this point, and highlighting or underlining any detail, which examined in the cold light of day, is obviously inconsistent with waking life.

When doing Sammaspati from now, become aware when reviewing the previous night’s dreams which parts were inconsistent with real life.

When settling down for the night, write at the top of the new page in your Dream Diary “I CAN DISCERN REALITY”. You may also try making this an Affirmation.

Whenever you wake up during the night, or even the next morning, and you record your dreams, note down any detail which which you successfully spotted as out of place or illogical in the manner: “I DISCERNED that…“(etc). However, should you find that your dream contained a detail which you only realised was unrealistic now you are awake, note it down thus: “I CHOSE NOT TO DISCERN that…“(etc). By this very choice of words you are asserting that you already have the power of Discernment – you are now trying to shame yourself into making use of it!

Repeat the above procedure every time you subsequently go back to sleep. You will find that at first you are using the phrase I CHOSE NOT TO DISCERN that… an embarassingly large number of times – you may even want to devise an abbreviation or a certain symbol as a kind of stereotype to replace it, and thus save time in writing up your dream diary. However it is vitally important that you do not forget the significance of the abbreviation or symbol as it is only by subjecting yourself and your dream practice to this level of criticism that you will gain the sensitivity required for full lucidity.

It has often been the case in my own dreams that I have noted half a dozen (or even more) inconsistencies of which the first five I Chose not to Discern – but the sixth I did Discern and that sixth one was the one that caused me to become Lucid.

Practice the art of Discernment for at least a week. If you find that you are able to successfully Discern inconsistencies, all well and good. In any event, you should be thoroughly established in the practice of subjecting your Dream Diary – and yourself thereby – to the kind of criticism that I have outlined below. If it so happens that you do not find yourself experiencing proper lucidity yet, or that you are not Discerning inconsistencies as they happen, there is nevertheless a way of using what you have learnt of Discernment to achieve your goal – I will describe this in detail later on.

Before I leave the subject of achieving Discernment, I should mention a practice which may speed up your mastery thereof: the Reality Check. I have already told you in the section on basic terminology that a desirable skill for a lucid dreamer to have is that “The dreamer is able to affect the scenery and content of the dream through a feat of concentration.” The rationale of the Reality Check is therefore to regularly, throughout the day, attempt to change your environs simply by concentrating, just to make sure you haven’t drifted off to sleep without knowing. Stick to something simple – like trying to make a passing car suddenly float into the sky, or anything of your own devising.

Repeat this regularly, e.g. every half an hour. Obviously you will not succeed if you are awake, and it may seem pointless – but the habit of regularly checking whether you are awake or dreaming will eventually make you check your own dreams to see if you are dreaming or not. The Reality Check thus develops your powers of Discernment, by making you concentrate on it throughout the day.

However, do not be tempted, if you are at work, to try turning your boss into a toad, if at school making your teacher fall through the Earth’s crust, or at college making that member of the opposite sex whom you fancy who sits a few seats a way do a striptease, etc etc. You may find that this does not improve your Discernment at all, but causes you to fall into a day-dream!

Step Six: Active Imagination

I will now write some details of a certain technique which will be of interest to beginners who are having difficulty achieving lucidity, to enable them to get some idea about what it is they are aiming for. It should also be of interest to those more experienced, as it is also a method for developing Clairvoyance, Skrying, and stimulating ones intuition.

“Active Imagination” is a term coined by the founder of Analytical Psychology, C.G. Jung. It is a particular method of visualisation which he developed as an alternative to the free-association type of psychoanalysis invented by Freud.

Unlike the other exercises in this essay, Active imagination is only indirectly connected with Lucid Dreaming – it can and sometimes should be done whilst one is fairly awake.

I mention Active Imagination here as ideally, a Lucid Dreamer should have as much mastery over his dreams as he would in the visions he would see in this method.

To begin Active Imagination, sit in a comfortable position – e.g. the same posture in which you sit for sammaspati. It may help to have pen and paper handy.

Select a topic for your experiment. This would be like the topic you would choose for a directed dream, but with one important qualification – it should simplified to one key-word. If you have a particular question on your mind, you should decide upon a key-word which sums up the subject of your question. E.g. For “How do I earn lots of money?” your key word might be “Money.” For “I want to know what it’s like in the Bahamas,” your key word would probably be “Bahamas.”

Having selected your topic, allow yourself to become relaxed, and try to make your mind a complete blank. Now think about the key-word once, and then try to keep your mind as still as possible.

Carefully observe the first thought that pops into your head immediately after you have thought about the key-word. This is very critical – a second or third thought is likely pop in almost immediately afterwards but these do not count, because they are almost certainly generated by your conscious mind reacting to the first thought. It is only the first one, arising spontaneously before you have time to react that we are interested in here. Write this very first thought down – or, if it is not a word itself (e.g. a picture or sound) write a very brief description of it.

This is where the process starts to differ from Freudian free-association. Repeat the procedure of the two preceding paragraphs, re-starting with the key-word, not whatever you have just noted down on your piece of paper. Repeat this around half a dozen times, so that you end up with a list of thoughts, all of which arose completely spontaneously as a result of thinking about the key-word. Take some time to examine the list, so that you can remember its contents without having to look at it.

The next stage is to begin the visualisation proper. At this point Jung himself said some people needed a kind of ritual before settling down to their visualisation. What this is should be left to the individual – it should be a definite act which signifies your will to concentrate on your inner vision, and ignore all external influences. Those familiar with the G.’.D.’. might consider the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram at this point.

Re-settle yourself in your seated position and close your eyes. It should go without saying that this exercise should be conducted in privacy, when you are not likely to be disturbed.

Before your mind’s eye, construct a scene whose elements include all of the thoughts you have just written down. You should not torture yourself into trying to create a real-life scene – a fantasy scene will do just as well and indeed may be necessary if the elements are sufficiently incongruous. However, it should be fully developed: you should have the impression that you are looking at an actual place full of the thought-elements. Your vision should not be a succession of random images.

Remaining calm at all times, concentrate on the vision, so that as you lend it your full awareness, it becomes as clear as a television image, or an actual three-dimensional situation. Maintain regular breathing. Avoid the temptation to tense any muscles.

As with other types of visualisation, this active imagination should be continuous, unbroken. However you may find distracting thoughts cropping up which threaten to break up your vision. It is here that you must learn the particular way of concentrating which will ensure success in your vision. Do not think you can get rid of the distracting thoughts by willing them to go away, for in doing so you are still paying them some attention, which is more than they deserve. Do not try even to force these thoughts from your mind. Instead, you should concentrate on your intended vision with all the care that you would if you were trying to listen out for a particular sound across a crowded room. I emphasise the word “care”: for you should be completely calm in the manner in which you concentrate upon your active imagination.

Another example: take a tight-rope walker for instance. You can bet that he does not allow stray thoughts to enter his mind when on the middle of a tight-rope. You can also bet that he does not allow himself to be distracted by fear – and this includes the kind of physical reactions that occur to frightened people such as unnatural breathing, tensed muscles, etc. Instead, the way in which he takes great care is to keep his mind still and body relaxed while he concentrates on the rope.

Therefore, meditate on your vision with complete calmness and with the greatest possible care – as if the slightest perturbation from your mind will shatter your vision completely. Yes, this is difficult! However, you are also learning a key to maintaining the quality of your lucid dreams, so it is thoroughly worthwhile you learning this.

Assuming you can maintain this active imagination with any degree of success, you should start off by looking around and simply observing what is happening. Are people talking? Are they interacting with each other? Gradually turn around observing everything that there is to be seen, and look up and down.

To begin with, this should be the extent of your experiments: however, once you have got used to Active Imagination, and are able to maintain the integrity of the vision, with the required state of mind, you may go further. If you see people in your vision, you may attempt to talk to them, that is, by imagining that you are doing so. Suitable questions include asking the significance of what you can see, asking them to explain their actions – and if your original intention in making use of Active Imagination was to find the answer to a question, then obviously that question itself.

It is of the utmost importance when asking such a question to keep the mind as still as possible, so you can detect the first thought that occurs spontaneously thereafter – compare this with what you did when you generating a list of words associated with the Key-word. The reason being that you want to know what your Unconscious really thinks on the matter. However, if you are sloppy in your concentration, or you allow yourself to pay attention to the second or third thought occurring (or even a later one!) you run the risk of finding out not what your Unconscious really thinks but what you wish your Unconscious really thought. From the point of view of someone who wants to use Active Imagination as a means of stimulating their intuition, or even practising Clairvoyancy and Skrying – or someone who wants to eventually enjoy a really good quality Lucid Dream – this would be less than useless.

To further practice your powers of imagination, once you have the ability to concentrate on your vision, attempt to change one aspect of it at Will, without the integrity of the vision breaking up. E.g. make one object appear or disappear. How do the characters and events in the vision react to the things which you are causing to happen? Concentrate on causing one change, until you are confident with maintaining your inward vision – then go on to practice with a completely different change, and so forth. This should be done over the course of many Active Imagination sessions.

To end your Active Imagination session on any one given occasion, you should open your eyes and make another definite symbolic act, this time signifying your firm intention to end your vision and return to normal consciousness. Again, those who know their G.’.D.’. might consider making the Sign of Silence (also known as the Sign of Harpocrates) at this point. Once finished, write a full account of how you fared, in a similar manner to the way you record things in your Dream Diary.

You should practice the Active Imagination for at least a week, and not move onto the next step until you have achieved the kind of concentration, and control over your inward vision as I have indicated. You will find, when you are more experienced practising, that instead of basing your Active Imagination around a Key-word, you can also base it around a key-picture. Generate the list of words on which you base your active imagination by stilling your mind and staring at the picture in question – noting down the very first thought which occurs each time.

NB It is best to avoid contemplating magical symbols in this way unless you are familiar with the principle of clairvoyance – I will give a brief explanation in a later section.

Step Seven: Achieving Lucidity

First I shall recap about all you should have achieved so-far: you should be recording your dreams assiduously in your Dream Diary. You can dream about topics of your own choosing when you so desire. You have learnt how guide your unconscious into following your willed desires through affirmation. You have learnt how to improve the quality of your dreams by performing Sammaspati before retiring. You have become used to visualisation, and what is more important, the level of concentration required to sustain it through Active imagination. Most importantly, you are practising the habit of Discernment, and actively looking out for inconsistencies in your dreams.

You should not go onto the next step until you are confident in your practice of everything in the above paragraph. Now I am going to deal directly with achieving lucidity in practice – and to do this I shall be referring back to everything about which I talked in the foregoing sections.

Read the following definition several times until it is committed to memory: the quality of Lucidity means exercising as much control over your dreams as you do over Active Imagination. In other words, remember how I wrote at some length about the care you need to show in concentration? About your ability to cause Willed changes to your vision? About carefully observing your surroundings, and interacting with the characters that you see? In Lucid Dreaming you are going to do all that whilst asleep. Readers might be wondering why I bothered with Active Imagination instead of going straight to Lucidity itself – the answer now presents itself: by using the metaphor of Active imagination I am giving the beginner some idea of what Lucidity is actually like, so that he or she will recognise it when it occurs to them.

There are several particular methods of achieving lucidity: I advise the dreamer to practice all of them until you can decide for yourself which you prefer. When selecting a method only do one-at-a-time; do not try one method one night and another the following – or even different methods on the same night.

For the moment, whenever you attain lucidity by whichever method, do not do anything at first apart from repeating “I am Lucid” quietly to yourself. If you become overly excited at becoming lucid you may cause yourself to wake up. Therefore you should initially try to remain as calm as possible.

The Discernment Method – version one.

Set yourself an affirmation along the lines of “I become Lucid when I Discern an inconsistency in my dreams.” Assuming you are well established in Discernment this is the most straightforward – the additional practice of the Reality Check is recommended.

Although this is the most straightforward, it may be that many of your dreams are filled with inconsistencies which You Chose Not to Discern. If you find this to be the case, do not despair, rather try the following:

The Discernment Method – version two

Let us assume that you have woken up in the small hours, having already had one non-lucid dream. You have recorded it in your Dream Diary, and on review you realise that there are a number of inconsistencies which you Chose Not to Discern. Now you are going to attempt a feat of visualisation similar to the third method of Dream Direction in Step 3 above.

Settle down to sleep, and consciously relax by bringing your attention to each part of your body in turn, allowing the muscles to untense and become still. Maintain unforced regular breathing. Now, replay the contents of your dream before your mind’s eye – but this time allow yourself the commentary along the lines of “I am lucid. I am lucid. That’s not realistic – I must be dreaming. I am lucid. I am lucid etc”. In other words, acting out what you should have done in you dream, in your visualisation.

This can be a very effective method indeed. Success comes in two forms: first, you may slip into a lucid dream directly from your visualisation, without ever becoming aware that you fell asleep. Secondly, even if the first does not occur, you are increasing the probability that you will have a proper lucid dream later in the night.

The Visual Cue method

Select something for a visual cue – set yourself an affirmation – “When I see “[name of Visual cue]” I become Lucid.” The visual cue can be anything, for example: your own hands, an object, person or place, an animal, etc. To decide something really effective, you can go over your dream diary entries of the past few days and identify something that crops up in your dreams regularly. You can also combine this method with the idea of the Reality Check, by e.g. making your Reality Check the task of looking out for a specific cue.

It is helpful to get a good look at your chosen visual cue immediately before going to sleep. This is why it is often most convenient to use your own hands as the cue, as anything more ostentatious will mean you have to hunt around for a decent picture, or setting up the object on your nightstand, etc.

Both this and the various methods of Discernment work by prompting the critical faculties of your conscious mind to come into operation, instead of just lying dormant (literally!) as they do in a non-lucid dream.

The “Dream Yoga” Method

This is something of a curiosity, although I myself have tried it in the past and have achieved remarkable results with it. It was originally described by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, a Tibetan spiritual master in the Dzogchen tradition.

In order to carry it out, one should be well versed in the technique of meditation. Recourse to a good book on Yoga is recommended for explanation of basic terms, e.g. Light on Yoga or Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, both by BKS Iyengar – the former is a practical guide and the latter is an erudite study of yoga philosophy.

The procedure is as follows: when meditating, listen to the sound of your breath, and decide how best to describe that sound, e.g. “Aaaaaaaa…”. Now visualise this sound as a glowing white symbol e.g. the Tibetan letter “ah”:
ah
or simply the English letter “A”, located in your heart. Meditate on this symbol in your heart, until you have attained samadhi – or deepest state which it is possible for you to achieve, as it is very difficult to achieve samadhi per se.

Remember that success in meditation rests in keeping the mind perfectly still. It is not about generating a train of thought, but making the mind rest on a single point. In Yogic terms, meditation may be characterised like this:

First, the outside world disappears – this is pratyahara or Sense withdrawal.

Second, ones own body disappears. The object of meditation is hanging in empty space. This is dharana or concentration.

Third, all other thoughts which are competing with the meditation object disappear. It is as if dharana has become effortless: though one does not realise this at the time – if one did this would constiute a break in concentration. This third phase is dhyana, or meditation.

Fourthly, ones own Ego itself disappears. This is a very strange phenomenon indeed. The mind becomes locked still, as if it couldn’t move even if it wanted to. Meditators who look back on this afterward (it is not possible to do this at the time – if it were, the mind would not be still) report: an explosion of energy (known as agni or kundalini); a sense of overwhelming peace and tranquility; an impression that one has transformed into the actual object of meditation. However, the key quality is the perfect stillness of the mind – so still in fact that it is really impossible to describe with complete accuracy. It is not the most perfect stillness imaginable – it is a stillness so perfect it is beyond imagination. This fourth phase is samadhi, which means “divine consciousness” or “being at one with God”.

Note well that none of the four phases described above by willing the effects described, but by concentrating on the process itself. Therefore, in the Dream Yoga meditation, do not try to will the outside world to disappear and thereby cause pratyahara. Instead meditate purely on the
ah
or “A” itself, and let the outside world disappear of its own accord. Similarly, do not keep wondering “Am I in Dharana yet? Am I in Dhyana yet?” etc – if you have to ask, then the answer is “No,” because the very fact that you have to ask means you are not concentrating on the object.

Once you have finished meditating for the evening, retire to bed in the normal way. Namkhai Norbu recommends sleeping on the right hand side, blocking off the right ear and nostril, for vivid dreams – or doing the same, mutatis mutandur, on the left for dreaming of the Void. Furthermore, on waking up, meditating on the same symbol but at the throat helps in dream recall.

In explaining this method, Namkhai Norbu said that its main purpose is to enable the practitioner to receive “transmission”: i.e. of teachings, spiritual advice, and most importantly of the non-dual state which is both the starting point and the objective in Dzogchen practice. In his autobiography, Namkhai Norbu relates that he often used this Dream Yoga to visit his own master to receive further teaching – even though the master was otherwise incommunicado in Tibet, and Namkhai Norbu had long since gone to live in the west to escape the Chinese persecution.

Step Eight: The Lucid Lifestyle.

At this point I shall include some advice on how best to organise your life so as to maximise your success at Lucid Dreaming.

Lucidity is not for those who don’t get a full night’s sleep. Going to bed early is recommended, at least no later than midnight. Curiously however, I have found that it is not necessarily helpful to go to bed especially late and have a lie-in the following morning.

This is not to say “Don’t go out to pubs and night-clubs” etc – however, if you do, you should resign yourself to the fact that you are not going to have a lucid dream each and every night. Nevertheless, you should still carry out the practise as best you can – recording your dreams in your dream diary, noting inconsistencies which you Chose not to Discern, practising sammaspati as often as possible, etc.

Don’t eat indigestible foods in the evening. You have probably heard the saying “Eating cheese at night gives you nightmares.” There is actually some sense to this, as cheese, being slow to digest, will keep your digestive system at work during the night. Hence your unconscious mind will be receiving troublesome signals from your body whilst you are sleeping.

For similar reasons, only go to bed after you have emptied your bladder and voided your bowels. Moreover, you should take care to mind your physical health. Exercise regularly, avoid doing anything obviously unhealthy, such as risking injury or disease. You are not going to have trouble-free nights – and therefore have dreams which you can control – if you are disturbed by illness.

Avoid taking drugs. Generally they are never necessary for Lucid Dreaming – all of the practices in this essay can be achieved whilst totally drug-free. Lucid Dreaming is a perfectly healthy way of accessing unusual states of consciousness. It is safe, and not only does it not damage your health it can even be good for you. Conversely, everyone should know by now what kind of damage to physical or mental health drugs can cause. There is really no point in risking your well-being or your sanity to go on a drug-induced trip, when it is possible through Lucid Dreaming to experience what is essentially a “trip” that is risk-free.

There is a scurrilous plot-detail in Dion Fortune’s novel “The Sea Priestess”, in which the hero experiences dream visions whilst dosed up to his eyeballs on (prescribed) morphine. This is by no means recommended. As far as I can tell, Dion used this as a literary device to get the hero to start experiencing visions within a few days – it would have taken up an overlong part of the book if she had described him going to the trouble of actually learning Lucid Dreaming. It is entirely possible, by adhering to the discipline which I have outlined in this essay, to experience visions as astounding as those which occurred the hero of “The Sea Priestess” – without having to become a drug addict.

There are no special rules for diet. Vegetarianism, veganism, eating only certain foods for religious or ideological reasons: all of these are in fact irrelevant to success in Lucid Dreaming. So too is tee-totalling, but this does not mean it is a good idea to go out and get hog-whimperingly drunk. However, if you do follow a certain dietary practice for religious, moral or ethical reasons, you should carry on as before, as the emotional upset you will receive from interrupting your diet probably will interfere with your ability to dream lucidly, even though the food itself does not. Therefore, when it comes to diet, one should simply remember the advice about indigestible foods late at night, and avoid anything which is obviously unhealthy – and of course, don’t disobey your doctor’s instructions if your diet is medically prescribed for you.

When you travel away from home, for whatever reason, take your Dream Diary with you, so you can carry on your practice. It is preferable to take your actual dream diary – trying to use scraps of paper which you will copy into your real diary later is often unsatisfactory. If you go without practising Dream Recall, which is the first and most important skill of a Lucid Dreamer, for any length of time, you will only waste time trying to get back into the hang of remembering your dreams. Practice continually – even if you are unable to dream lucidly every night or at all, stick as close to the procedure as is possible.

There is no particular rules for sex – this is purely for the judgement of the individual (I have already mentioned the considerations of getting enough sleep and not doing anything unhealthy). Ideally you should explain to your partner what it is you are trying to achieve with Lucid Dreaming – so that not only do they tolerate your nocturnal activities, but they lend you their active support. In a later section I will describe how you can experiment with lucid dreaming together.

Avoid doing anything that will cause you emotional upset. Guilt, frustration, fear, anger, hatred – not only are these bad in themselves, they do not make for good sleep (and therefore Dream) patterns. Sammaspati can help alleviate some emotional problems to an extent, but it is far better to avoid them at the outset – and this may mean modifying your behaviour in everyday life. Hence, here is at least one argument in favour of observing morality – if you don’t, you risk preventing the success of your lucid dream practice, in addition to any aspiration you have to mystical attainment.

Periodically re-read your dream diary, to compare your present practice with the past. If you have difficulties, you may be able to discover the both the problem and the cure by examining how you coped on previous occasions. As I encourage you to experiment with a number of different techniques in this essay, you should make a careful note of what technique or technique you are using at a given time, so you can correlate them with your successes – and failures.

Similarly, later on I suggest a number of ways you can make use of your Lucid Dreaming faculty once you are confident in it. In each case you should always note down what you are trying to achieve, and how you are going about achieving it. The same goes if you decide to use Lucid Dreaming to explore a completely new area of either your own or someone else’s devising.

Step Nine: General Advice for Lucid Dreaming.

You should only move on to this step once you are able to achieve lucidity in your dreams on a regular basis.

As you begin your adventures in lucid dreaming you will probably come across three main problems: first, not being able to control your actions; second, lapsing into non-lucidity; and third, waking up suddenly.

The first problem is solved through both preparation and practice. You should realise, I hope, that having mastered both dream direction and achieving lucidity, how it is possible to combine the two and have a lucid dream about the topic of your choice. However, it happens to the best of us that if we set ourselves a given task to accomplish in our Lucid dreaming, we may not be able to achieve it first time. Try, try and try again. Lucid dreaming is a talent for life: given that your only responsibility for success is to yourself, you should concentrate primarily on the quality of your experience, not on achieving it in a given time-frame. Therefore never be afraid to repeat your efforts on a succeeding night if what you desire does not occur immediately.

I have found that dream direction is more likely to happen first time if the topic is something you need to do, or you would find it genuinely useful – as opposed to mere wish-fulfilment. Trying to use Lucid Dreaming unselfishly – e.g. to give you an idea how to help others – also works well: but not if the only reason is to win glory for yourself and inflate your own ego.

“Not being able to control your actions” is solved quite simply by identifying with which part of the dream you are unsatisfied, and then firmly resolving that in the future you are in fact able to control it as you wish. This is quite simply because dreams are ultimately the product of your imagination, and your imagination can be controlled through Concentration. The use of Affirmation might be considered – but you will find that sometimes all that is necessary is to simply remember you have the power to control your dreams before you go to sleep. To give an example, I remember one of my own dreams where I found I could not pass through solid objects. It occurred to me that this was absurd when I woke up, as I was allowing my Waking sense of what is possible and impossible to impinge upon my dreams. Once I realised this, I found that I rectified the problem soon after, and I was happily phasing through walls and plate-glass windows and the like.

Albert Einstein himself said that “the Imagination is more important that the Intellect. For the Intellect is limited by what is known at the time – but the Imagination is infinite.” When Einstein said the Intellect was limited, he of course was referring to extents of human knowledge of which ordinary people who are not Nobel Prize-winning scientists are not aware – yet even he was conscious that the sum total of human knowledge if finite. With Lucid dreaming you yourself are able to explore the Infinite Imagination in full vividness. The only limits on your imagination are ones which you yourself are allowing to exist, for every fantastic idea (including ones not yet imagined) can be explored within your mind. Therefore, free your imagination by the power of your Will: concentration, perseverance, and the knowledge of the true extent of your abilities.

If you want to have a lucid dream about a specific topic, as opposed to a more general one, it is wise to prepare yourself whilst awake by reading or revising everything you are likely to need to know before going to sleep. There is a certain phenomenon when you become aware that you are dreaming, but you find it strangely difficult to remember certain things. This can be quite a bind if you are aiming to use your lucid dream for a quite detailed purpose. As to why this sudden amnesia occurs, I have heard numerous explanations, mostly of an occult variety e.g. in a lucid dream, the Nephesh is separated from the Ruach, or (in other words) the Astral body is separated from the Mental Body. I will not go into this in detail as a full discussion of Occult anatomy is outside the scope of this essay, and in any event is not strictly necessary in order to overcome the problem. I merely mention it here so that people who are familiar with e.g. the Qabalah can carry out research on their own.

Suffice to say, most problems of this kind can be overcome by making a specific effort to remember all information that you are likely to require before you go to sleep. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to sustain the dream-state long enough through remaining calm, concentrating, and guarding against non-lucidity (see below) until you actually remember the desired fact. This second method is very difficult in practice and is far inferior compared to that of prior revision, as outlined above.

The second problem, that of “lapsing into non-lucidity”, can be an insidious problem at first, because you don’t realise it happens until after you wake up. The solution is simple. Repeat the same test you used to achieve lucidity periodically throughout your dream, so as to keep yourself on your guard. For example, if you look at your hands to achieve lucidity, do the same throughout your dream. If you have been practising Reality Checks, continue to do so after you have achieved lucidity – and likewise for Discernment. If you do not remember to do this, again, think about using Affirmations, or simply form a firm resolution to remember before going to sleep.

The third problem, “waking up suddenly”, is one of the trickiest pitfalls faced by beginners. One of the main causes is to be suddenly confronted by a surprising experience: hence the less experienced lucid dreamer is most susceptible because he or she will be discovering new phenomena in their practice as a matter of course.

However – “forewarned is fore-armed.” You will find that the mere act of knowing that a given event has a surprising effect will prepare you for the next time. Hence by repeating the lucid dream you will be able to retain your composure, and thereby stay asleep and stay lucid.

For example, in another essay, which can be downloaded from my web-site as “The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel”, I describe how I attempted to contact an angelic being during a lucid dream. I was successful, yet I was unprepared for the fruits that success would bring. Hence the (literally) “heavenly ecstasies” caused me to awake rather sooner than I would have wished! However, on subsequent occasions I repeated the same procedure, and experienced the same effects whilst remaining in my lucid dream.

Thus, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of a lucid dream, always remember that you can repeat the same lucid dream later with the benefit of experience. Re-examine the third method of Dream Direction, in step three above – you may find that you can re-enter the lucid state immediately by employing your powers of visualisation. What is more, if your Will to have a lucid dream about a particular subject is especially strong, you will find that you can re-enter the lucid state almost automatically, the moment you begin to feel it breaking up.

Being able to achieve Lucidity is a significant achievement – if you are able to manage it you can feel rightly proud that you have successfully trained yourself to experience a genuine example of “the Paranormal”. As a Lucid Dreamer you are able to access a mode of consciousness of which the vast majority of people on this planet have no appreciation. Indeed, some do not realise it exists, some do but have not (for one reason or another) experienced it, whilst some are even afraid of it.

However, before you are tempted to rest on your laurels, you should bear in mind that in order to maintain your abilities as a lucid dreamer requires as much work if not more from now on as you have done up to this point. All of the skills presented to you should be practised regularly. If you relapse, you will find you may well have to start again from the beginning in order to get back to your former level of competence.

Projects for the Advanced Lucid Dreamer

The foregoing was the essential basics of Lucid dreaming, and to be regarded as the basic tools in the dreamer’s toolbox. However from here on what I present is to be regarded as purely optional. It is meant to demonstrate some of the unusual purposes to which Lucid dreaming can be applied, and may be regarded either as challenges to be undertaken by those who are experienced, or simply just as an intellectual curiosity.

Clairvoyant Dreams

Note first of all the difference between Clairvoyance and Remote viewing. Remote Viewing consists of obtaining a vision of a real-life place or event: in fact it is what most people usually believe “clairvoyance” to be. However, real Clairvoyance really means obtaining a vision from an occult source – it need not have anything to do with real-life events at all.

“Occult” may seem like a sinister word to some, but in fact it does not pose a danger to those who approach the subject in a sensible manner, and following a number of guidelines which I will describe below. However, just as it is not logical to be afraid of the occult, there are a worrying number of people who are willing to put too great a reliance on its use. These are the sort of people who think “The Craft” was a realistic film …

To prepare for a clairvoyant dream, you need to do three things:

  1. First, select a magickal symbol – this will be the “topic” of your dream;
  2. Second, you should do some research on this symbol – are there any magic words, prayers, mantras, divine names, names of angelic beings etc associated with it?
  3. Third, you need to devise a test to make sure what you experience in your dream is to be trusted.

I will now go into each of these three in detail:

A Magickal Symbol could be any kind or pictorial or diagrammatic device which is associated with magic. There is a wide variety of choice – e.g. one of the sixteen figures of Geomancy, a Tarot card, a symbol used in alchemy, astrology, or some other part of the Western Mystery Tradition – or even something from the Middle-east or orient. It is best to start off with something simple, before moving on to anything complex.

For example, in tantric yoga, the elements of Spirit (or Ether), Air, Fire, Water and Earth are represented by certain geometric shapes. Spirit is a black egg or oval, Air is a blue circle or hexagon, Fire a red triangle, Water a silver crescent and Earth a yellow square. These elements (or “tattvas”) also occur in combination – a picture, “tattva.jpg” can be downloaded from my web-site. Let us suppose, for a moment that you choose the simple Fire tattva, the plain red triangle.

The next stage, Research, has a two-fold purpose: you will use what you learn to help you test the reliability of your vision; but you are also going to use it to enable you to invoke the force that the symbol represents. Note that it is not in fact necessary to believe in this force, because you are going test everything you experience, even against common sense. In fact it is better not to believe in anything in particular, as this might be a preconception which will colour your judgement. The only warning I will make is that you should also try not to disbelieve anything – because this is just as much a preconception as belief itself.

To continue our example: you delve into the topic of tattvas, to find out what is said about the red triangle of Fire. It so happens that an occult order like the Golden Dawn has their own set of attributions for the various tattvas, which would take too long to go into here: although these might be of relevance to someone initiated in the Golden Dawn tradition, they are not necessarily connected with tantric yoga itself. As it happens, one Swami Pragyamurti of the Bihar School of Yoga told me the actual yogic mantras connected with the tattvas: Ham (Spirit), Yam (Air), Ram (Fire), Vam (Water) and Lam (Earth). Hence, Ram is the mantra in which you are interested for the moment. (To those who are familiar with the subject, you could compare these mantras to those associated with the chakras).

The third stage, the Test, is necessary because in the course of your dream you will encounter various characters or creatures from whom you want information. You would therefore demand that these beings undertake a test to demonstrate their sincerity. Do not heed anything said by a being who does not test well. What the Test is can depend on both the subject of the dream, and the religious persuasion of the dreamer (or lack thereof).

It is good practice to ask the being to repeat the appropriate word or words which you researched in stage two. Also, if there are symbolic gestures associated with the subject, make the being perform these. Furthermore, the Christian clairvoyant should ask something like “Do you accept the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ?” To which the being should say yes. The Muslim can demand that the being proclaim the Shabadah; The Jew can make it recite the Shema or otherwise demand it recognise the authority of the ineffable Name of God. In short, depending on your religion you should demand that the being recognise the authority of what you yourself hold sacred. The adept can demand it recognise the authority of his Holy Guardian Angel. However, if you are not particularly religious you should leave this consideration out altogether.

Now, onto the actual clairvoyant dream itself. Refer to the second method of dream direction which I wrote about in Step Three above. Use a copy of the symbol as the picture you would use as the subject of your dream. When you become lucid, Will that this symbol appear in front of you – then project yourself through it as if it is a “magic doorway” (NB in the Golden Dawn one would actually project through a negative of the symbol: i.e. if the original is in black & white, the negative will be white & black, etc).

Once through, do not move about, but concentrate on the words, gestures etc which are connected with the Symbol. To take our example of the Fire Tattva, now would be an appropriate time to chant Ram. At first you might not see anything, but continue for a while and you should soon find yourself in a scene of some description.

Do not move about by yourself: rather, Will that a guide come and meet you. When such a guide appears, Test it – in the manner indicated above. If it tests well, you can go onto the next stage, but if it does not, you should continue concentrating on the correspondences of the Symbol as you had before, until a guide appears who does test well. Note that “testing badly” doesn’t just include giving a wrong answer, but also giving the right answer in a hesitant or untrustworthy manner.

Assuming that a guide appears who does Test well, you should ask it its name. Note that if a being is really connected with the symbol you are exploring, it will not have an inappropriate name – if it does, you can guess something is not aright. However, if everything still checks out, you can now go with your guide to explore the scene or landscape.

Ask the guide to explain what everything means – all the contents of your vision have some relevance. Some of it might seem obvious – e.g. in the Fire tattva you might see a lot of flames about – but what kind are they? Volcanic? Solar? Or just ordinary? What is burning? A particular fuel? Or even an object? Some of it might not seem obvious at all. Why for example do you see particular scenery? Particular creatures? You should try to find out as much as possible as about what you see and experience.

If you meet other beings, Test these as well. Do not go off without your guide at any time. It may be that you change guides in the course of your dream, in which case thank the last one. You should not go with a new guide who does not Test well.

To end your clairvoyant dream, return with your guide back to the doorway through which you came, and thanking your guide, exit. Do not attempt to wake up before exiting: it is not necessarily dangerous but it may well disrupt your ability to have clairvoyant dreams in the future. If you find yourself waking up inadvertantly, you should very firmly visualise yourself leaving the landscape in the proper manner – in a similar fashion to the active imagination.

It is salutary to learn something about psychic protection, in case you meet a frightening or menacing being in your dream. You will find when looking in reference books where magickal symbols are listed that there are a number which are associated with protection – e.g. the Pentagram, or the Sign of the Cross. The simplest method of psychic protection is to memorise such a protective symbol – the one with which you most identify – and imagine it in the air between you and the troublesome being. For those who know the Golden Dawn style of magick, one can also use the Pentagram Ritual, the Banner of the West, the Formula of AGLA, the Sign of Silence or god-form of Harpocrates, etc.

As usual with all dreams, make a full record of everything that occurred. Examine this carefully to see if you discovered any meaningful message – or if there was a flaw in your working which you failed to spot. Finally, note how it is also possible to combine this Clairvoyant method with the Active Imagination, which I have already described: it is possible to develop ones faculty in this way, without falling asleep first.

Precognitive Dreams

What I am about to write will not reveal the method for discovering next week’s lottery numbers. Unfortunately. It will reveal however a means of judging the outcome of some event in which you yourself are personally involved, and therefore have an opportunity of affecting the outcome. It may even be a way of predicting the outcome of something in which you have personal knowledge, but you have no conscious way of knowing what will occur.

This is far more useful than it sounds – for example, what is going to happen when you next go to that important job interview? Meet up with someone socially? What is going to happen in relation to something happening at your place of work? Etc, etc.

The reason why this works at all is that your Unconscious mind takes in considerably more information than you realise Consciously. Hence you may be pondering some thorny problem with no joy, whilst your unconscious already has enough information to work out the solution – but you don’t know it. The way to access the answer is through Lucid Dreaming.

Let us assume that you want to know what is going to happen when you go to meet someone. The principle is as follows: using any method of dream direction which you feel appropriate, induce a Lucid Dream about the event in question. On becoming lucid, take some to collect your thoughts and calm your emotions. Then, taking infinite care and not rushing, will yourself to travel in your dream to the geographical location of the meeting, and forward in time to when it is to occur. You should see the person or people you expect to meet there. Carefully observe their behaviour, in particular their emotions and general behaviour. All the while, you should be careful to maintain your lucidity – this could take quite some nerve, as you may find yourself having to sustain your lucid state for a long time.

The important thing to remember is that what you observe is likely to show a general indication of what will happen – though an accurate one. Thus, if the people you meet in your dream are angry, it is likely that they will be angry in waking life when you go to the meeting. However, if you hear them say specific words, it is less likely you will be able to predict these correctly.

The key to this method depends on the quantity of data stored in your unconscious, so your chances of success are likely to be greatest for a matter in which you are already keenly interested. Those familiar with Golden Dawn magick can perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar Ritual on becoming lucid, as done properly this can fortify your mental processes and make accuracy in your prediction more likely.

David Fontana tells an amusing story of a man who was able to get tips for the horses from his dreams with surprising success. The tips would come in the form of cryptic collections of words and images which would make no sense until he looked at the race-card the next day, when the clues from his dream would all fall into place. Unfortunately, this only ever worked as long as he gave away all his winnings to charity – Poseidon, the god of horses, deserted him if he ever thought of betting for himself. I found this story somewhat incredulous, until I experienced precognitive dreams for myself. And of course when I found out from an old hand that while steeple-chases are a lottery, the flats can apparently be worked out if you apply enough to concentration to the horses’ track records.

Telepathic Dreams

As psychic powers go, telepathy is one of the more fantastic, as it presumes reliance not on the contents of your Unconscious mind – but someone else’s. However, I will offer two suggestions which the interested might choose to investigate.

There is a theory dating back at least to the French occultist Eliphas Levi, that the Astral plane is not confined to the mind of individuals, but has a collective existence – an objective existence if you will. Levi states that everything that exists on the Astral plane is made of a substance called “astral light” or AUR. In other words, everything you see in an astral vision is in fact composed of this substance. Levi goes on to assert that Astral Light is an exceedingly responsive medium, which can be affected by the power of fixed thought.

Where this leaves us, is that I have already said that in lucid dreams you are in fact accessing that very astral plane – rather like the way you would with astral projection. Hence, we now have a theory which tells us we might be able to effect phenomena like telepathy. The way to proceed is as follows:

Induce a lucid dream, and Will that the person to whom you wish to communicate materialises in front of you – you should see them quite clearly. Now simply tell them your message, whilst concentrating on the idea that they are hearing your words in reality.

This is all well and good, but in order to find out whether it worked we immediately run up against some of the problems of psychic research. For example, doubtless one of your friends wouldn’t mind receiving a telepathic message from you, but if you tell them before hand about what you are going to do, an independent observer could rightly claim that the act of telling them might have caused them to dream about you anyway.

On the other hand, if you don’t tell them, you run the risk of sounding somewhat stupid if you ring them up the next day to find out if they dreamt about you – unless of course you have a very trusting relationship.

Therefore, the only real way you can really test out a telepathic dream is to try it on a relative stranger. The only ethical telepathic messages I can think of in these circumstances is if you try to get in contact with a teacher of the mysteries in a sincere effort to learn from him or her. Or you could get a warmongering dictator to stop his evil ways. However, for those of you who don’t have so many scruples, I leave it to your imagination about what can be attempted. But it is not necessary to go to such trouble to test your telepathic faculty if you free yourself from any idea that you are going to use it for a selfish motive from the outset.

A second method of telepathic dreams can be put into practice as follows: you will need the participation of a friend what has also studied the art of Lucid Dreaming. Agree between yourselves to both dream about a certain topic on the same night. Thereafter, meet your friend in the middle of your lucid dream. Be sure to make a very accurate note about everything that occurs.

Three things are likely to occur as a result of this way of working: first, you will find that either you or your friend are in fact better able to control your respective dream-states, in which case you can then go on to act as each other’s yardstick as you both develop your faculty.

Second, your relationship with your friend will inevitably grow more intimate, as in comparing your records you will come to know the secret workings of their mind. For this reason, this method can be profitably used by partners and lovers: however, whatever your relationship, you must realise that you owe your friend the highest possible level of discretion – as much as you would want your friend to have given that he or she will be privy to your secrets.

Third, you might experience genuine telepathy – or at least a phenomenon which is hard to explain by other means. Bear in mind, however, that while this method is suitable for deepening your relationship with someone to the psychic, it will be very difficult to stand up to the criteria of parapsychological research – though as I say, this will not be a problem if you have freed yourself of all selfish desires in relation to your psychic abilities.

Alternatives to “Coueism”

Whilst I recommend Coueism as it fits best in with the lifestyle of the typical lucid dreamer, you should be aware that it is not the only method for impressing affirmations on the unconscious. For those who want to pursue this subject in detail, one should search for topics like self-hypnosis, or yoga nidra.

I would like to briefly mention a category of methods which although they have the same effect as Coueism, they are markedly different. They have to do with the control of emotions. In her book “The Mystical Qabalah” Dion Fortune closes by saying:

“It is concerning the power of the visual imagination that we are so lamentably ignorant in the West. Coué just missed the turning when he sought in prolonged attention a substitute for spontaneous emotion.”

Dion Fortune was constrained by vows she took to a magickal order not to reveal the secrets of practical magic: and yet in this remark she suggest the basis for a system of controlling the unconscious which is very close to the methods of the occult. The two key ingredients are: a visualised object; and an act of spontaneous emotion.

Fortune was writing more than sixty years ago, and in the intervening time we have learnt a great deal more about the structure of the brain – and the mind. As a result one can surmise that she was ahead of her time. Both visualised images and strong emotions are dealt with by the right brain – whilst verbal and numerical thoughts are dealt with by the left. From this, it will be seen that modern education makes great emphasis of left-brain skills, but those who want to rely on their right-brain (e.g. artists) are in a precarious position. Hence, by using Visualisation and Emotions, we are making use of parts of the brain not normally exercised by ordinary life.

Therefore, one can fashion an alternative to Coueism by taking these two principles – and get a glimpse into the rationale of magick thereby. For example, it might be possible to rouse the emotions associated with music and dancing – as is done in Shamanism. One could call upon the emotion of lust, or sensual desire, as is done in various forms of sexual magick. Theoretically, one could also call upon unpleasant emotions, or stimulate them in less than desirable means: however, I shall not deal with these as to do so is unconscionable and the basis of black magic.

Quasi-shamanism

For this you will need to select – or even compose yourself, it you are a musician – some music with the following criteria: it should be loud; it should have heavy percussion; it should be fairly fast, e.g. 200 bpm, (or you could try experimenting with polyrhythmia); it should be quite long, longer than 5 minutes though there is probably no need for it to last longer than half-an-hour; it should not have any key-changes or musical devices which require intellectual appreciation; it should end on a sudden climax. Actually some of the music to be heard in modern night-clubs could theoretically fit this description. The Quasi-shaman beforehand decides on a visualised image which fits his or her willed intent. Then, one should get seriously into the selected music, until the sense of wild abandon actually clears the mind of all thoughts. At the climax, with a massive burst of emotions, allow the visualised image to explode in vividity before the mind’s eye – exactly coinciding with the last beat of the music. Immediately retire to the Chill-Out Zone – or bed, if you were conducting this in your bedroom – and relax completely, making absolutely no effort to think about anything in particular.

“The Seal of Action.”

For this I shall assume you are happily married, in a full state of health, and your spouse is not only sympathetic to your will to dream lucidly, but he or she is willing to actively assist. Even if not happily married, this may still work if you are in a long term relationship, but probably not if you don’t have a regular partner or are promiscuous.

It should be fairly obvious that orgasm is an example of “an act of spontaneous emotion”, and it is for this reason that there are methods of making use of sex to achieve control of the mind and states of mysticism. However, every method which I know demands that before attempting to control their minds, partners should learn to control their bodies by refining their technique. Specifically, one should learn to prolong intercourse so that, not including foreplay, it lasts for around half an hour. “Half an hour” is based on the approximate time according to one yoga source that it takes of meditation to achieve samadhi.

Recourse to a good book, like the Kama Sutra, is recommended – not only for men, but also for women, as if they want to use this method to control their mind they should be in a position to know what their partners are supposed to be doing.

The sexual gymnastics envisioned may sound like hard work, but the point is that the discipline required to prolong sex for that length of time – coupled with the sustained pre-orgasmic ecstasy – serves to concentrate the mind wonderfully, and heightens the appreciation of the climax when it finally arrives.

Therefore, to put this into practice, decide upon a simple visualised image which will be the subject of your affirmation. Then, make love as indicated above: do not think about the visualised image at the time, but rather become absorbed in the act itself. At the moment of orgasm, allow the image to blaze in vividness before your mind’s eye … and then put it out of your thoughts completely.

A pleasant side-effect of “the Seal of Action” is that you will inevitably become more intimate with your partner, and your relationship will deepen, as this technique often needs to be developed over time. More to the point, it is fun to practice.

You will notice that in the methods “Quasi-shamanism” and “The Seal of Action” I say: “Do not think about the object.”. The reason being that the process is complete at the moment of climax: any further mentation on the subject would be interfering with the integrity of the procedure. Imagine your affirmation is a nail – you are in effect attempting to use a burst of emotion to “hammer” that nail into your unconscious. But once you have squarely delivered the hit, you do not interfere with the nail anymore, and to do so might even be counterproductive. Therefore, once you have used your act of emotion to imprint your affirmation on your unconscious, you should then merely trust that your actions have done their job.

Theurgic Dreams and the Path of Initiation

“Theurgy” is the use of magickal ritual to achieve mystical consciousness. The concept comes from Neoplatonist philosophy, e.g. “On the Mysteries of Egypt” by Iamblichus.

It is possible to put the faculty of Lucid Dreaming to Theurgic use. I have written at length on one such method in the essay “hga.zip” which can be downloaded from my home site.

I recommend that those who are interested in the subject familiarise themselves with some of the literature which I mention in the bibliography. Technically this counts as the “occult”, though you will soon realise that the serious study of Theurgy really precludes any involvement in the sinister aspects which are usually associated with that term – e.g. Satanism – or even just the plain disreputable – e.g. dabbling in magick for everyday needs and trivial concerns, such as changing hair/ eye colour, facial appearance, love spells, etc.

Theurgy ultimately leads the practitioner into discovering that true magick is in fact a very pure discipline, and deserves to be treated with the highest respect.

I would at this point like to make some remarks to those who chose to commit themselves to the path of Spiritual Development, and Initiation. It has been my personal experience that the ability to dream lucidly can be of enormous benefit to such people: for example, you can use your faculty to investigate questions of mystical import. Whether you are able to rely on the answers your dreams provide depends both on your mastery of the lucid dreaming faculty and the work you have done on your own character.

If you are an initiate in a magickal tradition, it is possible to use Lucid Dreams to help you perform the tasks which are a part of your occult work – for example, to investigate the esoteric meanings of mysteries into which you have been initiated. Indeed, it is possible to tell a real initiation ceremony, as it is a powerful motivation – and an enabler – to in fact complete these tasks. To date, all my best quality Lucid Dreams have been ones which helped me perform magickal acts which were necessary to my own spiritual development.

The Astral Plane

There are a great number of other uses to which Lucid dreaming which can be put: it would take an encyclopædia to describe them all. Therefore, rather than list them, I will write about the methods which will enable the reader to carry out research on his or her own.

You should first recall what I said in the introduction: “Lucid Dreaming is an incredibly useful skill, in that it enables one to work on the astral plane even before one has mastered the art of Astral projection.” Here therefore are your first points of reference for your research: the astral plane, and Astral Projection. Find out about these topics, and how they are described by writers on the occult and psychism. I have included a number of suitable titles in the Bibliography.

Realise this: Lucid dreaming can be used to do just about anything it is possible to do with Astral projection. Therefore, if you see one writer describe one way of working with the astral, it is likely you can achieve the same effects whilst dreaming – assuming you develop your faculty enough.

Many of the people who have worked on the astral plane are occultists. For example, Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Franz Bardon et al. talk about it extensively – although each does so in a different manner, and brings their own personal perspective to the subject. Therefore, it is advisable to read these – and to read a wide range of different authors generally.

However, the occult is not the only reason to make use of the faculty of lucid dreaming. You will find that it can come in handy for a number of interesting purposes. For example, an artist or musician might try to use Lucid Dreaming to tap into a vein of inspiration. Paul McCartney relates that “Yesterday”, the song to which he admits feeling most proud, came to him in a dream – it is therefore interesting to speculate what would happen if Sir Paul practised Lucid dreaming. In more recent times, other pop musicians have done just that, for example, The Aphex Twin, who has said he gets inspiration by going to sleep in his studio and using Lucid dreaming to explore new ideas.

Let us not forget that in art, Salvador Dali claimed to derive inspiration for his paintings by taking short naps, to see what images would appear in his mind. In Literature, Robert Louis Stevenson based the plot of “Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde” on a nightmare he had. How richer would the arts be, if all creative people were able to seek inspiration from their dreams – as is possible when using Lucid Dreaming!

The Lucid Dreaming Protocols of the Hermetic Order of Sol Ascendans

Not to be reprinted without permission from the Cancellarius.

  1. These are the Lucid Dreaming Protocols of the Hermetic Order of Sol Ascendans
  2. Lucid Dreaming is a sufficiently well-known subject such that both Neophytes and non-initiates will be aware of it. However, it is only a necessary skill for Lords of the Paths of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti and above.
  3. In any event, the minimum requirements for using Lucid Dreaming in connection with order work are:
    • the Initiate is of sound mind and body; does not suffer from Depression, and is not taking SRI anti-depressants (whether for depression or for any other reason);
    • the Initiate has successfully kept his / her magical record for some time, to the approval of their Adept;
    • the Initiate is sufficiently well-versed in Astrology: particularly in being able to draw up and read natal and horary figures.
    • the Initiate is competent in Clairvoyance, particularly in the methods of testing Clairvoyant visions, as described in the papers regarding Clairvoyance and Astral Projection.
    • the Initiate is competent in the technique of meditating on a single-point, as described in the Neophyte Lecture; the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram; the vibration of Divine Names; and any other ritual which is appropriate to the particular working for which Lucid Dreaming is undertaken.
    • Last but by no means least, the Initiate should be thoroughly familiar with Lucid Dreaming, by VH Fra.’. Justificatus.
  4. The proper method of working is as follows: at least one month before attempting to dream Lucidly, the Initiate should first (if he or she has not already done so) draw up their own Natal Horoscope – and note the exact position on the chart of their Ninth House.
  5. Then, consulting an Ephemeris, the Initiate should note when exactly the Moon next passes through the Ninth House. This will usually be a period of approximately two or three days.
  6. This two-day period, and no other shall be the nights set aside for the working. Until that period, the Initiate shall not attempt in any way to dream lucidly in any way whatsoever. After that period has passed, the Initiate shall not attempt again until the Moon again passes through his or her Ninth House in the following lunation (i.e. the next month). This is very important.
  7. During the time when the Moon is not in the Initiate’s Ninth House, the Initiate should refrain from all practices which are calculated to facilitate Lucid Dreaming: Dream recall, dream incubation, sammaspati, etc.
  8. Should an Initiate fail to observe this proscription against Lucid Dreaming except at the proper time, he or she should be aware that HOSA has every right to disregard the results of such Lucid Dreams as being flawed, or unlikely to be magically valid. The Initiate should also be aware of the health risks involved of attempting to dream lucidly for anything more than brief periods, well spaced-out.
  9. Therefore, on the proper night (or nights) for Lucid Dreaming, the Initiate should proceed as follows:
    • On the day prior, the Initiate should fast – he or she may take one light Collation, so long as it is comprised of easily digestible foods. Water, and non-alcoholic drinks (preferably decaffeinated) can and indeed should be drunk, to avoid dehydration. Initiates who for medical reasons are obliged to observe prescribed dietary requirements are exempt from this fasting requirement, though they should still attempt to eat easily digestible foods for their evening meal, and preferably have digested all the contents of their stomach by the end of the night. The object here is not to mortify the flesh, but to make sure ones digestive system does not interfere with the lucid dreaming.
    • The Initiate should arrange his or her circumstances so that they have at least an hour free for meditation and preparation in advance of going to bed. The Initiate should not be overly tired when retiring for the evening i.e. so exhausted that he or she falls goes straight to bed and to sleep without the preparation.
    • The initiate should of course have previously gathered materials appropriate for the evening: pen, paper, bedside lamp; pictorial or symbolic symbol of the object of the Lucid Dream, if appropriate; Juniper scented-incense or perfume for the room (e.g. Juniper essential oil, used in conjunction with a scented-oil burner); the “High Priestess” Tarot Trump; ritual implements as appropriate.
    • Having thus prepared, the Initiate should perform sammaspati meditation thoroughly.
    • The Initiate should then conduct an invocation of the Lunar Planetary forces. This should include: the Lesser Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram; the consecration of the room with the Juniper-scented perfume; the Invoking Hexagram of Luna; the vibration of “SHADDAI EL CHAI”; meditation upon the “High Priestess”; and such prayers and imprecations to the forces of the Moon as the Initiate deems appropriate. THEN, WITHOUT CLOSING, THE INITIATE SHOULD RETIRE TO BED.
    • The Initiate should then follow the correct procedure for Lucid Dreaming, as detailed in Justificatus’ monograph.
    • The following morning, the Initiate should conduct the Closing: by offering grateful thanks to the forces of the Moon; by giving a License to Depart in the name of “SHADDAI EL CHAI”; and by performing the Banishing Hexagram Ritual of Luna; and the Lesser Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram (again).
  10. Throughout Lucid Dreams which arise that night, the Initiate should strictly observe the guidelines relating to Clairvoyance, and the testing of visions, to wit:
    • The Vibration of the correct Divine (and Angelic) Names which are appropriate to the subject matter of the Lucid Dream;
    • The use of correct Signs and ritual gestures, where applicable;
    • Challenging everyone and everything that appears with the Names, Signs and Gestures;
    • Banishing anything that does not give a good Challenge;
    • The Initiate should only explore a dreamscape with a suitable Guide, whom the Initiate summons with the Names, Signs and Gestures as above. Needless to say, the Guide should give a good Challenge. On ending the exploration, the Initiate should only exit the dreamscape at the point of entry thereto – thanking the Guide as appropriate.
  11. Failure to observe even one of the rules on Clairvoyance – e.g. the Initiate mistakenly vibrated the wrong name – means that the whole vision is to be discounted as Flawed. The Initiate must repeat the whole procedure on another night.
  12. Finally, the Initiate must write a detailed report of the results, whether successful or unsuccessful, in his or her Magical Diary.

COMMENT. For those that are interested, the HOSA protocols are based on the following premises: that “Dream Divination” is the magical power of the path of Gimel (attributed to the Moon), row 13 of “777”; and moreover that Agrippa states in his “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” on attempting to seek a dream oracle one should only do so when the Moon passes through ones 9th Solar House – the 9th House being related to (amongst other things) dreams, visions and intuition.

Epilogue:

Hymn to Morpheus

 Oh Morpheus! Who, in times of old
 Was worshipped here below by men
 I pray Thee thy Mysteries to unfold
 That I might reverence Thee again.

 Recall: in Egypt in days gone by
 The priests, perchance to divination
 Did in chambers full sanctified
 Repose in sleeping meditation,

 And therein by Thy sacred power
 Didst dream the vision they had sought.
 Oh may I from this very hour
 Learn myself what those priests were taught:

 My power of attention magnify
 So, whene’er I Discern disparity,
 Bless Thou my dreaming state so I
 Then enter vivid clarity;

 And calmly fix my mental stirring
 So over obstacles I climb
 And find my vision-object occurring
 While resting in Lucid sleep sublime.

 For I am Thy priest, oh lord of visions,
 Thou art my lord and source of light
 I take it as my sacred mission
 That I may perform Thy sacred rite.

 Thus oh Morpheus! Now in times anew
 Be worshipped here below by men
 I shall evermore to Thee be true
 As I do reverence Thee again!

Bibliography

Title Author Published: Publishers Comments
Initiation into Hermetics Bardon, Franz 1999 (Second English edition. Original = 1956 Merkur Probably the best book for the beginner in the field of the occult, it is a detailed course in how to develop psychic powers which may eventually be applied in a magickal context.
777 Crowley, Aleister     A reference book – data relating to the Qabalah, and its relation to magick.
Magick Crowley, Aleister     A complete course. Contains lots of interesting information on the astral plane.
The Secret Power of Dreams Fontana, David 1995 Shaftesbury A book about the phenomena of dreams generally, including – but not confined to – lucid ones.
The Sea Priestess Fortune, Dion   Thorsons Novel: Dion Fortune used her own background as a psychic and ritual magician to provide plot-detail.
Applied Magic Fortune, Dion   Thorsons Non-fiction. Fortune mentions some considerations which are relevant to the development of psychism.
The Mystical Qabalah Fortune, Dion   Thorsons Key work on the Qabalah and its relevance to the Hermetic tradition.
Light on Yoga Iyengar, BKS   Thorsons A complete manual of hatha yoga, with explanation of the underlying principles of yoga philosophy.
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patajali Iyengar, BKS   Thorsons The Yoga sutras are the prime text in the discipline of Raja Yoga, and as such one of the most important sources of Yoga philosophy. Here they are translated and presented with erudite commentary by Mr Iyengar.
Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light Norbu Rinpoche, Namkhai 1992 Arkana The technique of dream yoga, mentioned in the section on attaining lucidity, is described in detail with examples.
The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen Norbu Rinpoche, Namkhai 1986 Arkana Namkhai Norbu’s autobiography – also contains detailed account of Tibetan spiritual practices.
The Golden Dawn Regardie, Israel 1989 (6th ed.) Llewellyns The sourcebook of Golden Dawn magick.
Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: How is it attained? Steiner, Rudolf     Description of the psychic development process of Anthroposophy.

Appendices

The following are all examples from my own dream diary of the phenomena described in this essay. Not only will they help to illustrate how the techniques of Lucid Dreaming are used in practice, they also show some of the more unusual purposes to which they can be put.

Appendix One: My Very First Lucid Dream

Many years ago, I first heard about the concept of “Lucid Dreaming” in a newspaper interview with someone who claimed to use it regularly. I was fascinated – the concept that I could if I wanted become conscious within my dreams appealed to me greatly. It so happened that I came across a book about Lucid Dreams in my local library soon afterwards – I took it out and studied it assiduously – as I did with every other book on the phenomenon which I could find.

It was from that time that I started to keep a dream diary. I went away to college, and kept up my practising there. However, nothing much was particularly happening – after a short while I found I could recall my dreams in quite good detail, but not much more. The nearest I got to Lucidity during that time was once when I realised I was dreaming… and woke up immediately. There was absolutely no time to appreciate the experience – in no way did it live up to any of my expectations. I regarded it as a complete cipher.

I would have given up with my Lucid Dreaming practice altogether, were it not for the fact that I expanded my interests at the time into psychism. I was especially interested in the works of Dion Fortune, the occultist, whom I discovered was familiar with lucid dreams and astral projection herself. As a result of reading her works I took up Sammaspati, and meditation generally. I also revived my habit of keeping a dream diary.

I am ashamed to say that at the beginning of my magical career, having no experience of the occult, I made no qualitative differentiation between the writers and their tomes. I read everything not realising that despite reading some genuine occultists I was reading many more hacks and outright idiots. I still cringe with embarrassment at the amount of bilge I wrote in my magical diary (i.e. separate from my dream diary) in those days. I suppose there is still a lot of rubbish going into my magical diary nowadays, but at least now it is “high-quality” rubbish!

Nevertheless, I persisted. I remembered something about doing reality checks and tried to incorporate those into my daily practice as well. Then, some six or seven months after re-starting my dream diary, I had a strange experience. One night, I dreamt I was wandering through the centre of the town I was in, and slowly it dawned on me that I recognised where I was… and yet it didn’t look quite look like the place I remembered. A strange sensation of clarity was entering my brain… could it be that I was dreaming? Without thinking I looked at my hands – at that moment I realised I was indeed Lucid! More to the point, I was still in the dream and not waking up!

When I came to write up my dream diary, I noticed that the most noticeable effect was that from the moment of Lucidity onwards the contents of my dream were infinitely more memorable than beforehand. I was convinced that I was in the dream, and participating in it: and not just looking at it like a movie or TV programme.

However, I also noted that whilst I was sure of having achieved Lucidity, I was not necessarily able to affect the contents of my dream.

Now a curious thing happened. I had gone for many months not experiencing Lucidity, but now I had experienced it the once, I started having Lucid Dreams regularly. It was if the knowledge that they were a real phenomena and that I was capable of experiencing them had given a boost to my confidence, so that I was able to find dreaming Lucidly on subsequent occasions easier. I was now certain that I could dream lucidly – so long as I observed the correct technique.

From that time on, I also found that the quality of my Lucid Dreams also improved with practice. I solved the problem of not being able to affect their content by making an effort to remember that I in fact could – just before going to sleep. I later discovered the practice of Coueism, and used that to improve my mastery of the art as well.

Today, I have found that by consistently following the practices which I have described in this book, I can have at least one Lucid Dream a night. However, if there is something that I urgently need to do, I could have multiple lucid dreams – or one big one consisting of several linked together. If nothing else, let my example help you to keep your faith all the while between the time you start to practice and your first Lucid Dream: you will certainly find this hard, discouraging even – but once you have broken your duck, and dreamt Lucidly the first time, you will instantly gain the confidence and assurance, which will repay all the work you have been doing.

Appendix Two: A Typical Lucid Dream

In which I describe one of my many lucid dreams so as to give a broad range of examples of the principles and techniques described in this book: Dream Direction, Discernment, Controlling the dream content, preserving ones lucidity, etc.

30th April 1998: At the top of the page in my dream diary I wrote “I WILL DREAM ABOUT THE SUN THINLY VEILED IN CLOUDS.” I had actually underscored “WILL” three times. Why “the sun thinly veiled in clouds?” you are probably thinking. The phrase is actually taken from Israel Regardie’s “The Golden Dawn” – it is one of the subjects about which a certain kind of initiate, known as a “Lord of the Paths of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti” is supposed to meditate. The long title is usually abbreviated to “Portal” or “the grade of the Portal”, etc. In other words, I was attempting to use my lucid dreaming faculty to see if I could use it as a substitute for meditation – to penetrate into the esoteric meaning of this detail from that magickal order.

I seem to have had at least three dreams that night – the third was by far the most memorable. The block-quotes are the original dream diary, whilst everything in Times New Roman is contemporary comment. The first entry that day reads:

0551 In orbit above the Earth.

However I note that I have made an asterisk and scrawled at the bottom of the page:

* A man with two mandolins – one made of wood – can switch between both of them with ease.

What had obviously happened is that after writing out the main dream of the night, I only then recalled an earlier dream, so I had to make note of it as best I could. It is important to note down details of every dream that one remembers, even if only vaguely – this might make for an untidy page in your diary but sometimes this is unavoidable.

The third dream I recorded as follows:

0637 A music shop in —* I see a very strange instrument, like a bass guitar in the window – described as Ritchie Blackmore’s own despite looking nothing like a real strat (it does have a heavy whammy bar and an underused middle pick-up). I go in. There are other guitars around the place – I see one apparently made by Boss effects. I go over to a stand where there are Midi wind-controllers. I try to see how much they are – someone pushes past me to get to an alcove. I also see a twin-necked guitar and a machine – a vocal fx processor. I go around the shop.

{* the name of a town near where I live}

{Comment: Given that one of my hobbies is music, wandering around a music shop does not cause me to become lucid because this is the kind of thing I might do in real-life. However I did miss one important detail – if it was a bass guitar it couldn’t be Ritchie (Deep Purple) Blackmore’s, which would be a customised Fender Stratocaster (the details about the heavy whammy bar and unused middle pick-up are accurate, by the way – I seem to recall reading about it in some magazine, probably the very day before this dream).}

I see — * and some woman come in. I go out the back and find myself in a clothes boutique. I walk around and then down some stairs. I meet two women whom I do not recognise.

*** Then I realise I am dreaming.

{* This was a girl I know.)

{Comment: Aha! This is more like it. My instinct for Discernment kicks in as soon as I move from familiar to unfamiliar territory, and unusual things start occurring.}

I remember that I am supposed to be dreaming about “the Sun thinly veiled in clouds”.

{Comment: Good. The Dream Direction worked}

I take the fire exit and go into the back yard. It is dusk / evening. I fly up to some nearby rooftops to look for the sun.

{Comment: This is typical sort of behaviour – now that I am Lucid there is no reason why I can’t employ any or all of the powers of a comic-book superhero, as if they are completely real. All I have to do is remember that I can affect my dreams this way (while awake), and it becomes possible. It helped that I was an avid reader of Marvel Comics when younger – Spiderman, the Avengers, X-Men etc etc}

I have been followed by the women – they are fussing about. The Sun has gone down – there is only street lighting and floodlights. I walk briefly behind a wall, remind myself I am still Lucid,

{Comment: Good – always a sensible precaution. Why I stepped behind a wall I can’t remember – I think I suspected that if I tried to change the scenery of my dream too violently the vision might have broken up.}

and Will myself to travel forward in Time to tomorrow morning. I step out from behind the wall and it is morning – I can now clearly see the Sun – a white disc behind a bank of clouds.

{Comment: Good. See my comment about using “superpowers” above.}

I concentrate on it – I have an intense dhyana or samadhi-like feeling. I fly towards the Sun…

{Comment: I have previously described what “dhyana” and “samadhi” are in the section on Dream Yoga above. What actually happened, I can quite distinctly remember even though it was over two years ago, was that I flew through the clouds, and the dream disintegrated into pure white light. Ordinarily, one might class this as a failure as far as lucid dreams go, but I have read enough mystical literature to suggest that in the context of the particular subject of the dream – and the reason for dreaming thereof – this might have been the very answer for which I was looking. E.g. “What is the significance of ‘the sun thinly veiled in clouds’? The Sun is the Self (Tiphereth) – by piercing the Veil one experiences self-realisation – samadhi – the pure divine light (referred to as LVX in the Golden Dawn).”

I could have guessed all this, but it is one thing to idly construct a metaphysical theory, and another to experience confirmation of the same theory in the form of mystical revelation or Gnosis. For a start, the latter is more personal, more profound – and the fact that it has occurred is evidence that one is spiritually better for it. Which is the point of setting meditations for initiates in the first place.

I include the rest of my dream diary entry for that night. It seems that as I had accomplished what I had set out to achieve, my unconscious decided there was no further need for me to dream lucidly.}

I dream I wake up and start writing in this diary.

{Comment: This used to happen to me, especially after I had had a particularly vivid lucid dream. I am so used to writing down all my dreams that I begin to dream about it. It was particularly annoying when I realised upon actually waking up that I had to do it all again! Fortunately, when it has occurred more recently I have remained lucid, and so wasn’t fooled.

The rest of that night’s dream is included but there isn’t much of particular significance.}

I find myself bent over this diary on the steps of a cinema. A bus comes dangerously round the corner. There is a Dr Who movie on. A fan dressed as the 4th Doctor says he doesn’t like it now he’s not in control i.e. it’s not his part. I go in. I am at some dinner party. There is a discussion about who is the most interesting person you’ve met under a lamp post. I say I do not stand under lamp posts, because of the people that might come by. We are eating baked potato or something.

Appendix Three : Satan

In which yours truly meets the Evil One, the Prince of Darkness – and shows the correct method of dealing with the so-called “dangers” of the Occult

7th November 1999: At the top of this page in my Dream Diary I wrote “I WILL INVOKE MY HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL” – although from reading the account of that night’s dreams it seems I Chose Not to Dream about My Intended Topic. (I did succeed the next night but this is beside the point).

We pick up the action in the first dream recorded that night:

“A man is speaking to a woman – he says he became more inspired after hitting her. He goes into an office… I Chose Not to Discern I am he. Satan is here. I banish him with a pentagram and say “AGLA! Ateh Gibor Le-olam Adonai! For Thou art mighty forever Oh Lord! In this Name, depart from here, faster than a speeding train!” Satan departs. I then do the LBRP. I Chose not to Discern I seem to be in [the address of the house I lived in before my present one]. I have to wait while people go by – I try some Invisibility but it doesn’t work…”

My dream diary further recalls that I had one further dream that night, (a particularly long one), on a matter unrelated to both Satan and my intended dream-topic. I note that after the shock of meeting Satan in all his infernal monstrosity, and exorcising him successfully, I slept peacefully for the rest of the night and woke up feeling refreshed.

Comment: I seem to have become Lucid in this dream without realising it – either that or my hermetic practices were so firmly imprinted onto my consciousness that I carried out the correct method of dealing with such an occurrence as Satan appearing without realising it.

One phenomena I have noted in my dreams over the years is that I non-lucidly observe events from a third-person perspective – and then I suddenly become one of the characters whom I was just observing. This is what I mean when I say “I Chose Not to Discern I am He.” In my experience, it is only after I start experiencing a dream from a first-person perspective that I become lucid.

The key to understanding this dream is that, in the tradition of the Golden Dawn, the formula of “Agla” is one of Exorcism – I remember first reading this in “Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn”, by Patrick Zalewski. “Agla” is a Divine Name. It is a notariqon (i.e. an acrostic or abbreviation with mystical significance) for “Ateh Gibor Le-olam Adonai” – which is Hebrew for “For Thou art Mighty forever Oh Lord!”. Hence the first part of what I said on seeing Satan. NB “Thou” refers to AGLA, who is God Himself, not the object of my Exorcism.

Why I said “By this Name, depart from here faster than a speeding train.” I do not know. The first six words are obvious – I was improvising a speech of exorcism on the spot. As to the rest, I can only surmise I had an unconscious urge to find something to rhyme with “Name”.

The pentagram which I first cast at Satan was a Banishing Pentagram of Earth. By “cast” I mean I traced it in the air with my index finger. To understand why I did this one has to be familiar with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (which I subsequently performed), in which the normal procedure is to make Banishing Pentagrams of Earth to the four quarters – the name of God associated with the North is “AGLA”.

The LBRP itself is a ritual taught to Neophytes of the Golden Dawn – one of its uses is as a ritual of protection.

Clearly, even if the figure I saw was not the actual Devil, it was certainly some kind of Jungian Shadow phenomenon: that is to say, not only Satan, but the rather unsavoury man I had observed as a third party were projections of my Shadow. Therefore, by exorcising Satan, I saved this man, whose viewpoint I took, from the power of hell – in other words, in a certain manner I was actually saving myself.

In either situation the procedure is the same – to exorcise and control it by the divine power. Reflecting on my experience, I note that according to “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage”, the first thing that an adept does after attaining the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel is to confront and command the obedience of all the demons of Hell. Despite not having done the actual Abramelin Operation, I have nevertheless made contact with my Holy Guardian Angel – and here I am meeting the infernal region’s denizens anyway.

Recourse to the works of C G Jung, particularly in relation to what he calls the Shadow, is recommended, for a more psychological idea of the significance of these kinds of events. It is interesting to note that the Golden Dawn system of magick seems to share a lot of concepts about the human psyche with Jung. But the G.’.D.’. was in existence long before Jung formulated his theories!

I should add that more recently I have had another dream in which I was beset by demons and the like. However, this time I had first invoked my Holy Guardian Angel, according to the method given in “The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel”. Moreover, I had been reading the Goetia to see how an Exorcist should behave. The Goetia, a mediaeval grimoire, contains a number of prayers and exorcisms for controlling the spirits, as well as descriptions of ritual equipment for use in the evocation ceremonies. For example, there is the Vessel of Brass, in which is used to imprison the spirits, and the magick triangle, in which the spirits are conjured to appear.

Thus, on this occasion, already secure in the knowledge that I had the protection of my Holy Guardian Angel, I found myself surrounded by a large crowd of unsavoury looking characters. I shouted out “I will damn thee in Hell by the power of the name Yod He Vav He” [this is a phrase directly inspired by one of the prayers in the Goetia], “if you do not get into the Triangle.” It worked. Once in the Triangle it was a simple matter to consign them to the Vessel of Brass, and then magically seal it.

I mention this to show that there is already a rich source of how to deal with the dangers of the occult already in the Western Mystery Traditon. Just be careful to remember that it is only God and His Holy Angels who have power over demons – not other demons themselves.

Appendix Four: Dream Healing

In which I demonstrate an example of how Lucid Dreams may be used to access the Astral Plane, in the same way as Astral Projection – and offer some interesting food for thought for Reiki practitioners…

3rd June 1999: Around this time, some people I knew, who had just become parents for the very first time, were faced with a frightening problem – one of their twins had suspected brain damage. All would be confirmed later that week when the baby was to have another CAT scan. Being very religious, they had asked for prayers from the congregation of at least two local churches.

I wondered if I could not use my occult powers to help out. You see, there is a certain method of Astral Healing, which Aleister Crowley describes in his book “Magick in Theory and Practice.” It is supposedly possible to deliberately increase the brightness of someone’s aura, which then stimulates that person’s own physical health. The typical mode of working would be, whilst Astrally Projecting, to look at the person-in-question’s aura. In a healthy person this would be shining brightly anyway, but in an unhealthy person a physical defect would show up as a discoloration of some sort. Then, by laying ones astral hands on that person, one could alter the appearance of the aura to a more healthy condition by directing Divine light into it – i.e. simply by willing that this Light is passing from oneself to the patient.

It is interesting at this point to compare this method of healing to the Japanese art of Reiki. Perhaps this is what in fact happens in Reiki as well – a healing of the physical body by first healing the astral body. I would be interested to hear the testimony of actual Reiki practitioners who have also learnt the art of Lucid Dreaming – to see if Reiki is in any way feasible whilst in the lucid state.

To see whether me using my Lucid dreams for this purpose was a good idea, I decided to conduct an I Ching divination. The results were as follows (from my Magickal Diary of 3.6.99):

“I intend to use My Magick Powers to save the lives of —-“[name of the mother]“’s babies. Is this a good idea?”

Illustration:
         
         
         
         
     
         
60 Chieh   50 Ting

60[“Chieh” – Limitation] Keep a sense of proportion. Accept reasonable limits to your powers and success will come. You cannot have everything you want. Important turning point. Make limitations tolerable.

50 [“Ting” – The Cauldron]

Great good fortune & success. Keep low profile, melt into crowd. Do not be adventurous. Appear conventional. Sacrifice something I love, perhaps?
Conclusion Generally a good idea to at least try. Must not become too big-headed about so-called magick powers if things turn out alright. Be modest. My ego may take a knock – but how?

With this divination fresh in my mind, and taking it as an encouragement to go ahead with my plan of action, I retired to bed. I had a lucid dream almost immediately – it was one of those occasions when I found myself slipping into a lucid dream straight from a visualisation – without realising I had fallen asleep first. In my lucid dream, I travelled across town to the hospital in which I knew the babies were, and finding the babies, I proceeded to perform the astral healing in the manner indicated. Afterwards, I dreamt non-lucidly for the rest of the night.

The next morning I heard there was no change in the baby’s condition – “critical but stable.” The only gleam of hope was that the baby had not yet had the second CAT scan. I reflected on the ramifications of my I Ching divination. Clearly, I would have to “be modest” – being Christians, the young couple would probably not approve of someone involved in the occult, even if it were well-intentioned. I decided I would have to keep silent about the whole matter – and to this day the couple still have no idea that I did anything unusual (the name of the person who writes this is a pen-name, by the way, to protect my privacy and that of those who know me).

One of the things one realises when taking the path of occult initiation is that the Ego is not the true Self. Ones identity – and more importantly, the amount of value that one attaches to ones identity – is actually illusory in a certain manner, as it can ultimately be changed through a feat of Will. This is the experience of the author. The Self, however, assuming it exists at all, is independent of the Ego – it is that which continues to exist when the Ego is destroyed – or at least silenced, and caused to disappear. In fact, the path of initiation is really all about coming to better know the Self – and this necessarily entails being able to transcend ones Ego.

Therefore, when I write that My ego may take a knock, I look upon such a remark not so much as a warning, but as a signal that I will better be able to realise my Self in the future. An ego-knock feels unpleasant, to be sure, but the satisfaction to be derived from better knowing the Self more than makes up for it. It is one of the greatest ironies in the west that people use the word “selfish” when they really mean “egotistical”, whilst the word “selfless” – which should really be “unegotistical” – in fact describes the best way to become more “Self-oriented”. If only more people in the world realised this, there would be more deep-seated contentment, and less friction and antagonism.

As regards this particular healing episode, I realised that even the baby did recover, I would not be able to take credit personally, as there were several hundred (perhaps more than a thousand) people praying for this baby themselves. Who was to say that their intercessions were not just as effective as mine? The only thing that could be done was in all humility to dedicate any success not to me, but to the source of the Divine Light with which I purported to heal the baby. Who incidentally is the same person to Whom all those church-goers were praying, i.e. God.

Nevertheless, I now realise that I was able to induce a lucid dream so successfully that night because I was convinced I was undertaking a worthy purpose, and moreover, the divination convinced me that it was a good idea to try. I therefore had two very powerful factors operating on my unconscious when I went to bed that evening – the success of inducing such a lucid dream was assured.

As it happened, when the baby did have its second CAT scan, the doctors and their parents were astonished to find that the suspected brain damage had completely disappeared. Indeed, I have seen the baby many times since and can report that it appears to be a normal, completely healthy young toddler. The parents were of course overjoyed and naturally believed that the power of prayer and Divine intervention was responsible for this miracle.

Appendix Five: A Clairvoyant Dream

An example of using a Lucid Dream to explore a tattva symbol.

Between the Winter Solstice of 1997 and the Autumn Equinox of 1998 I made a deliberate effort to skry into each of the twenty five tattvas. That is to say, I have already explained that the tattvas can exist in combination with another tattva, so the maximum number is five time five. On some occasions I used Clairvoyance based on the active imagination: other times I would “go on a tattva journey” by specifically inducing a Lucid Dream for that purpose.

Around about dawn on the 14th May 1998, I skryed into the Water of Air Tattva. Symbolically this is a blue circle or hexagon, surmounted by a silver crescent. I was using the Golden Dawn system of attributions for the tattvas (not those of Tantric Yoga). According to the Golden Dawn, Divine and angelic names are associated with the elements: Air – Shaddai El Chai , Raphael , Chassan ; Water – Elohim Tzebaoth , Gabriel , Taliahad . Moreover, Air is associated with the sign of a Theoricus, and Water with the sign of a Practicus.

Here is what I wrote in my magickal diary that day:

 

“14th May 1998 … This morning I had an OOBE – it was like a Lucid Dream, except in my physical body I could still hear the birds singing outside my window. I took the opportunity to go on a Tattva journey:”

[Here I note down details of the Tattva, and draw some diagrams as well]

“On going through the Tattva I found myself on … High Street.” [i.e. the main street of a town 3 miles from where I live.] “I vibrated Names but no guide appeared. I then found myself in my bedroom I was met by Colin Mochrie off “Whose Line is it Anyway?” He tested well by signs and names – though I was conscious of willing him on.

“I looked round the bedroom. There was a purple duvet. My Bass Guitar was both on the left and right side of the bay windows. (Perhaps this means that on the Astral plane all Time happens at once). …”

[I omit some details about trying to go downstairs to remote-view the headlines on the morning paper – it didn’t work – and of trying to visit a friend’s house – as an experiment it was inconclusive as I never was able to find out if what I saw was accurate at the time I projected there. I note that at the end of the episode I did however specifically leave the Tattva by the proper method].

We have here an indication that Out of the Body Experiences and Lucid Dreams are not so different – something I have suspected since first reading Dion Fortune all those years ago.

I should explain: I have a bass guitar in my bedroom. Recently I have been keeping it in one corner of the room by the window, but years ago I kept it in the corner on the other side of the window. There was once a purple duvet lying where I had seen it, but not at the time of my dream.

I admit that the imagery of the vision is not immediately penetrable by my keen Qabalistic insight. Why should I find myself in familiar and not fantastic surroundings? Why should Colin Mochrie appear (apart from the fact that I had seen him on television just a few days previously)? It is tempting to dismiss the contents of my vision as a hotchpotch of left-over images from my unconscious – but for a strange occurrence that happened several months later…

On the 22nd August 1998, I bought a copy of a magazine called “Kindred Spirit” – which seems to be the New Age equivalent of “Hello!”. This is a really meretricious publication: it is compiled exclusively and none-too-subtly on the “Advertorial” principle i.e. we will write an article about you if you buy our advertising space. In this particular edition, Joe McMoneagle, the Remote viewer, had taken out ad-space for a conference at which he was the main speaker, so naturally there was an in-depth article about his talent. As it happened, McMoneagle described some of the phenomena he had encountered whilst remote-viewing, and claimed that not only had he “seen” unknown destinations, but had also seen things which had been at the same site in the past but were not there in the present. From this he concluded that “All time exists at once.”

I did a double-take on reading this, and immediately remembered what I had written earlier that May. Since that time I have read of other people who have come into contact with psychic phenomena, all of them claiming that “all time exists at once” – it being only consciousness that divides it into successive moments. I found this quite encouraging, as it neatly cured a bout of existential angst I had been suffering after consulting a certain occultist’s Akashic Records, to see if I could discover the mysteries of reincarnation.

Therefore the moral of this story is that Claivoyance and Lucid Dreams can indeed be used to discover esoteric truths. However, you should not reject something just because it looks strange – because you never know when it is going to be confirmed, even by an unlikely source. Conversely, you should refrain from believing that a fact thus revealed is true until you have tested it thoroughly with the ordinary waking mind.