Image from centralpark2000.com)
So, if you've been paying attention you may have noticed I've taking on an Underworld Atlas project, in which I'm going to verbally explore the regions of the Underworld/Shamanic realms I visit on an almost daily basis.
If you plan to go astral-hopping at any point, there are some pre-flight checks you may want to look into.
Here are some basic ironic rules for beginning and maintaining astral flights.
0. Don't freak out while planning your fight.
Think about why you want to go there. You should probably have a good reason before attempting it. Even if your reason is 'I feel compelled to go there, like a memory pulls at me', that's a perfect reason. Pulls are how the astral gets your attention.
Don't flip out about going. If you are flipping out, let it have its way and then get over it.
Don't freak out about dying. Can you die on the astral? Yeah. But you usually just re-spawn somewhere else. You have to fuck up really bad to actually kill yourself here. And by fuck up really bad I mean you need knowledge of the universe so deep it would take years to achieve, and then if you cut ties to your body it would likely be on purpose. So don't flip out about that.
Don't freak out that you probably won't look like yourself. A soul is made up of many facets, like a stone. You might be a different one there than you are here. No big deal.
1. Fasten your seatbelt. It's going to be a bumpy ride.
Before you decide to travel on the astral, there are a few things you're gonna want to do. Don't attempt it in the first place when emotionally in turmoil. Bad idea, that means you're vulnerable and you don't want to be that the first time you go there. You know that scene in Inception where the dream-people become aware of them and all turn and stare in unison? Yeah, if you look lost/confused there's a good chance you're easy to pick out, like walking in a bad part of the city.
Realize the astral is not happy happy perfect land. It is not paradise. Are there places resembling that there? Yeah, and enjoy them. But know it is dangerous to go there unless you're in the know, generally speaking.
2. This flight is going to be a while.
Make sure you have nothing important to do that day. Astral travel gives you an energy/mental high it's hard to snap down from quickly. Your body is going to feel weird and you won't be able to really think straight for a while. So don't try to drive or you might start seeing things in the forests staring back at you, okay? In a worst case scenario keep food with you because that can bring you back down. If you get good enough at it you never really come down; and you kind of settle into living a double life with a switch between them.
3. Start with smaller planes.
Don't try to go everywhere in the whole place on your own the first times you attempt to go. When you land there, you usually have a 'place' where you'll always land. Start by exploring that place, and when you're comfortable with how you feel there, you can try to move beyond/through that place through a portal or doorway. You'll be excited, but start slowly.
4. Make sure you know where your oxygen is.
Do not attempt an astral journey if you have no defenses. If you don't know what defenses are, you definitely shouldn't attempt it. I'm not even talking about other beings bothering you--I'm talking about riding energy currents. Transportation works a lot like energy-surfing or conduits of fast-moving water. You need to have enough strength not to get sucked in and get where you want. I'm also not talking about vague-wishy-washy-sphere-of-light-defense. (cue hatemail?) I'm talking about seals and locks and solid knowledge of psychic self defense. If you kindly ask spirits that wish you harm to leave, you are probably not going to survive the astral.
5. Do not bother your fellow seat-partners.
DO bring guides/spirits you trust with you the first time, specifically if they have astral experience. Do NOT poke beings you have no idea about. DO go read my post on 7 rules for talking/interacting with spirits. Do NOT assume you are automatically welcome on the astral. Do be prepared for a fight, and know how to fight. Just in case. You are a very very small speck in the whole of existence, so remember that well.
6. If you have a friend, take them too.
If you are lucky enough to have a friend that is already astral experienced, have them sit with you. In the worst case scenario if they have the experience they can pull you back if you do something stupid, which you will, since you're new. Reconcile with that fact, and move on. It's good to have an anchor, even if it's long distance. Failing that get a deity/guide to do that for you. It's possible to go without this but it's just extra safety precautions, like entering the maze of the Minotaur with thread.
7. Feel free to ask questions.
As I've stated before, nobody cautioned me on this shit, and some shit went down because of that. So if you need help or wonder what the hell region of the astral you're in, please, ask me. I am not The Grand Authority On The Astral (that's my partner haha!), but I absolutely want to help people that want to travel there.
8. You are not the captain.
There is a fine line between doing astral work and inner work. Inner journey and outer journey are different things. When you journey into yourself, you are the captain, and you can influence the landscape at will.
When you astral journey, you are NOT the captain, so all kinds of shit you don't expect is going to go down. Some of it is going to sound unbelievable. That's probably a good sign. Constantly check yourself for hero-complexing as well. It's easy to forget you're not the only human in the landscape doing astral work to benefit others. You are not the savior of the entire astral. You share that role with thousands of other beings, most of whom are much higher on the totem pole than you. You can't begin to imagine how huge the astral extends multi-dimensionally. So realize AGAIN you are a tiny tiny speck in a big big land.
9. Remember to land.
There are times in astral journey you will feel insane. Positively crazy. This is when it helps to have a real-life friend who can confirm for you. My partner is that person for me. We have interacted with the same being in the same way at the same time without knowing and accidentally confirm that for each other. Multiple times we have confirmed name and landscape for the other. You act as the other one's eyes when you are not there, and you each act as each other's reality check. It's easy to want to be there all the time (Dragons! Magic! RPG music!) but one has to remember to land. You were obviously put in this life for a reason; otherwise you would be born on the astral.
At the same time, if you're Called and ignore it too many times, the astral pulls back, sometimes with dire consequences. I've heard of Shamans brought to the brink of death because that way they couldn't pretend Spirit wasn't contacting them. So don't let that be you, okay?
10. Frequent Flyer
It will soon become apparent the more you go, the more things you're going to get involved in, and depending how good you get at journeying, you might be in the middle of shopping and get yanked in Astral-land in the middle of a fight where you're like WTF?? That's how the astral pulls you back. Don't be surprised if you're in the middle of working and suddenly see a completely different area with your astral sight. You will not have complete control over it until you get really good at living a double life. That's okay. The beginning is the roughest part, then it gets easier.
And it's exciting. You have thousands of answers and lands are your fingertips. It's a fascinating place with no beginning or end; a labyrinthine series of portals and worlds and unbelievable happenings. But where did you think imagination came from, anyway? Something to think about...