Thursday, 28 June 2012 12:55

Astral homesteading

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I've got a great astral homestead set up. On it, I have a wardrobe of astral clothing, a workshop full of astral gadgets, a tool locker filled with astral tools, the astral lab filled with experiments, and, of course, the Astralnet, which is sort of like the internet. There are the astral temples, the sacred groves, and the hedge, beyond which the mysterious wildwood arounds.  There is technology, logic, and creativity here. And there are faeries, lots of faeries.

When I create a talisman in this world, I travel to my astral workshop and forge its astral component. The astral labs and workshops are open 24/7/365, whenever, whereever I can get a quiet spot to get there.  And, of course, the laws of reality are a lot more flexible there, so any crazy thing I want, I can make. 

Putting it together might require a quest.  Perhaps one of the components I determined my astral component to need for a talisman of cleverness was the feather of a very smart bird.  I can wander through the astral landscapes to find such a bird from whom I can receive that feather. A little quest onto itself, one that bestows cleverness to the one who completes it, yields the treasure I need to create this item.

I take my treasure back to my astral workshop and I carefully wrap the silver hair of a unicorn around it, then place it in a purse made of woven moonlight. I reach into a pool in the yard which collects the moonlight and spins from my fingertips the light of the moon, creating a vessel of pure magic in which to place my feather.

Then, I determined that I needed something from the sylphs, so I went to seek them out to get some.  Another astral trek, this time getting out a glider so I can catch a wind and soar to the tops of the mountains where the sylphs make their homes. 

Back in physical reality, I prepare a talisman with a crow's feather, a piece of aventurine, some lavender and a silver pouch. Through ritual work, I walk between the worlds and tie the astral component to the physical component.  As above, so below; the talisman exists on the astral and physical worlds now.

When working in the astral, I have an astral component to my altar, my altar room, my magical tools, and so on - all created in the astral either deliberately or as a secondary effect of working with the tool or space so much.  Having this astral temple set up with an astral component of my tools means that I can access it anywhere, anytime I need it, and even pull the tools to me so that I may use them at will.  It's so convenient for those times when pointing a bladed object in public might get me arrested.

Because I use my broom so much for astral travel (beyond just accessing my astral homestead), a solid and impressive astral component was necessary for it.  On the astral, my broom has a stick made of pure, light jet - long, somewhat crooked yet perfectly contoured to my body. The head is made of thin, whiplike bristles groomed to an immaculate point, and bound in place with a strong, yet flexible thread of moonlight.  Burning from the core of the jet stick is a glowing white light that shines through the surface of the stick in the parts where I have words and symbols carved out.  It's responsive to my every whim, going as fast or slow, as high or low as I want. It moves like an extension of myself and requires nothing more than thought and focus to fly it.  Doing sharp dives and acrobatics on it is fun, but it can leave my stomach feeling queasy if I'm not careful; motion in the astral realm can have physiological effects, so be mindful of your body always when traveling.

With natural items, such as wood, herbs and stones, I don't need to create an astral component for them. Because they have a life force of their own, I merely need to discover their astral component. In doing so, I can create a stronger bond with the natural item I am working with.  Traveling to the astral to discover such things is often aided by holding the herb/stone in my hand while traveling, and if it's an herb, taking the occasional deep breath of its scent.   With natural items, I'm not creating the astral component, I'm meeting it.

Travel back and forth to the astral homestead for magic has given a lot of depth to my practice. It's made my tools more useful, given me a greater understanding of the natural substances I work with, and gives my work another layer of reality on which it applies.  My astral homestead, my home on the other plane, has been useful to me in many ways It's been a place I've gone to frequently for a long time, a place of familiarity in a wild and weird world, a place where I can work and create, and a place to go when I need a change of perspective. 

The book, The Shamanic Witch by Gail Wood, has some excellent techniques in it for traveling to and working in the spirit worlds. If you are interested in journeying to and working within the spirit world, it's well worth a read.