Congrats. You're in the matrix.
If you've even been Spirit-walking to anywhere, you've landed directly in the matrix at least once. And by the matrix I mean in the fucking mires of an illusion.
Illusions, the astral, and you.
If the astral functioned like earth and had percentages of shit in the atmosphere, it would be at least 85 percent illusion magic and energy. Illusion magic is what I mean when people refer to glamours, and things generally not being as they seem, or when you choose to appear as something you're not. If I choose to appear to a human spirit as an Angel, I'm using illusion magic, that is, consciously controlling the energy waves around my spirit body to bend them into a particular form.
Illusions are woven into the very fabric of that, and this, world. Every time you dress a certain way you're portraying an illusion meant to do something. Impressing someone, dressing to look attractive, attract attention, or even to be invisible are all illusionist tactics, and used in our bag of tricks. Human society functions on a bed of illusion and trickery. The entire political system, for instance. The illusion of choice in many aspects of our lives. The idea of a false dichotomy. The idea of illusion as a tactic is nothing new.
Camouflaging for war, choosing a dress carefully to wear to court with nobles to express some sort of wealth, the wearing of an engagement ring--all of these aspects can contribute to an air, glamour, or illusion.
Now that I've given you physical examples let me tell you rule 1 of the astral--shit is rarely what it seems.
Take it from somebody who has landed in illusions enough times/has been formally trained via my guide to tell the difference. The astral is a serious of illusion pitfalls, traps and nonsense, some of it woven into the very fabric of the astral itself (like a Matrix without a creator) and some created with a specific purpose in mind. You can create an illusion with a specific target in mind, or you can just leave a trap a la hunting and trapping to just grab whatever for a particular purpose.
Now the nitty-gritty: When I say astral illusion magick, the process is as follows.
1. You have a need for an illusion. This informs what sort of thing you need to put up. For instance, when K. was testing my illusion skills, he told me to create a dense landscape and try to out-maneuver him in that landscape.
2. Like a crystal grid, the illusion has to be anchored to something in reality. The Last Unicorn had that part right about Mommy Fortuna's magic. Every great illusion has to be anchored to a shred of truth or real shit to be stable. It might be counter intuitive but an illusion is a living, breathing entity/spell that has to be fed from some source you create.
3. How many anchors you choose ups the complexity of your illusion, because illusion breaking involves locating and dismantling anchors. If I create a 6-anchor illusion we're going to be there a while as you try to locate and dismantle all of my shit. It's like rigged capture the flag.
When I saw anchors they don't have to be visible. They can be points of energy, like light, and this makes it really difficult to find them. More often I find them in "weak points" in the illusion, like a back wall, or a window, or some area that doesn't look as "finely crafted".
4. The number of anchors you need depends on how many "points" your illusion has. If you want a forest, that's 1 point: physical space. If you need time to pass there, you have another layer, like an illusion-onion. If you need other entities to be in the illusion and act normal, a la Inception, that's layer and anchor 3. If you want hostile weaponry or entities, that's layer 4. And so on and so forth until you can get a very complex illusion.
The more anchors you have in the creation of illusion, the more "high definition" your illusion looks, as compared to a regular TV screen, which is how everyday, mundane reality looks.
Illusions essentially created boxed-in areas/think of like a forcefield over an area of the astral/this plane. It's like a giant half sphere over a huge area, right? This illusion is then anchored to something inside that space, and "programmed" to either keep things in or let things in or don't let things out unless in such case they find a way to break out.
Before you get all creeped on me consider this: Illusions, like most things, can be good or bad.
GOOD REASONS TO USE ILLUSION MAGICK
+You need a completely closed off area to train, speak to someone, or perform some action or other, completely away from prying eyes. On the astral there are many.
+You are transversing memories of things that happened already and need to keep your body safe while you're off traipsing.
+You need to disguise yourself to go on recon journeys or you just really can't be seen.
+You're facing a foe you can't defeat in a bid for power but you might be able to get away with trickery and quick illusion magick.
+You're working with human spirits that won't go with you to the other side unless you look a certain way and you need to change your appearance.
+If you can make an illusion, that means you can break it, and that's possibly the most valuable skill you can learn on astral journey.
+If you really want to beat somebody up/curse somebody but it's not really a good idea, it's a valid way of shadow working to create an image of them, destroy it, and process a lot of feelings without involving somebody else's threads and energies.
REASONS PEOPLE slash beings OTHER THAN YOURSELF CAN TRY TO STICK YOU IN ILLUSIONS
+To force you to face something (This can be helpful to you or coming from a harmful entity that forces you to see horrible things over and over)
+To give you said closed space to speak to the entity/spirit/deity away from prying ears and eyes
+To distract you while they go after your physical form (have had this one happen)
+To try and beat YOU in a fight because they can't match pure power to yours so they go to illusions instead, which most aren't skilled at breaking unless you've been trained
+To train you in some skill facing illusion people/"enemies" so you can't hurt yourself or others during practice sessions (for instance I practiced healing in illusions often so I wasn't literally hurting other people by accident)
+To trick you by appearing to mimic your guide or deity in a bid to gain something from you, whether that be trust, energy, your affections, or anything else you have that they want and can't outwardly take, or don't want the fight.
So now we have a sampling of reasons illusions can be very useful to us and others. I can't teach you exactly how to create the illusion because it depends on the person/can be dangerous in the wrong hands, but I can teach you how to recognize and attempt to test or dismantle an illusion you're inside. This is ultimately far more useful to the beginner because not everybody is suited to illusion magick. Like healing or cursing they are skills that you either pick up easily or have to work really hard at. Illusions are kind of my thing because they are my guide K's thing as well, so I got introduced to that shit very early on.
Make no mistakem illusions can be highly dangerous and volatile things, but if you do Spirit-work you're PROBABLY going to walk right into one at some point. The tricky part is you may not know until much, much later, because illusions can be seamless and mimic reality to a fault.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE ILLUSION MAGICK
1. On an individual/"Glamour"/Shapeshifting
This I have firsthand experience with, and this is why I stress discernment with trusted Spirits. Things ROUTINELY try to mimic K to me. Like, all the time. The thing is he's not an easy person to pull off. Consistently something is off, either his mannerism or his energy or even missing buttons from a coat. First, learn details of your entity. I know what K wears, and why, and what he feels like, so when it's NOT him I just KNOW immediately. For a second level of discernment, we invented a system where he presents a certain signal or sign and I do the same so we know we are the other. This is also intelligent.
But recognizing a glamour or shapeshift on another being comes down to first knowing what the original person they're mimicing feels like. This makes it exponentially easier on you because you're scrutinizing for anything, no matter how tiny, that is "off" in the picture they've crafted. It's hard to keep up a complex appearance so often something is bound to be missing that they just forgot.
Secondly, this is a feature of most illusions, but look for shininess. There's no better word for it. One function of illusionist practice is it has the side effect of making the creator hard to look at, as if it's a very well-waxed and shiny car. The aura or energy field takes on an almost too-HD appearance and, when compared to a background, looks strange, like a photoshopped realistic animal on a cartoon landscape.
Look for things that would never happen. Once in an illusion world K killed his wife right in front of me to test my healing capabilities. Yeah weird shit happens on the astral but it feels different in an illusion area.
Look also for "waviness" in vision like heat off the black pavement in Summer. If you're lucky and the illusionist isn't that good, parts of the illusion will look weaker than others or give themselves away as a key.
2. Over a place/"Area"
Look for, again, the shininess. But if you approach the boundary of a place, step over it and suddenly it feels completely different, be highly suspicious. If the Illusionist is good, the boundary will be barely perceptible to astral sight, but there will be one.
It could be hidden or broken up but if you focus extremely hard something is usually off that you can more or less feel. Astral trick--you have actually throw energy like dust against a suspected boundary and watch what it does. I throw like blue energy-sand at boundaries and they usually show me where the boundary is. This is useful in battle situations because if you can sense a boundary you can slip into an illusion and take it over yourself, trapping the original maker inside.
The wavy heat lines also apply, and look for very either conspicuous or non-intrusive items. Giant, strange trees, lakes, out-of-place items, etc. These are usually anchors for the illusion and the area around them is extremely weak.
3. Involving an entire area/with people
Everytime this one has happened to me it was like Inception. The people milling around didn't notice me until I figured out I was in an illusion, and then it was like open fucking season. Most Illusionists don't have the time to "program" individual people doing individual shit for forever into an illusion, so for this case look for people "repeating". The same guy crosses the street 5 times as you watch, the same woman drops the same hat and gets it, or the same dog sniffs the same mailbox 6 times. You're looking for the absence of random movement.
Also weirdly enough in illusions I notice a lot of people tend to program wind/air into the thing. Just a weird detail to overlook.
Okay Dusken, so I suspect I'm in an illusion--what now?
There are a couple of things.
1. Reality Checks
Illusions are nasty shits because some of them come with a layer of memory fuckery or ability fuckery. Look for the sudden inability to use magix you know how to do any other time, or, like dreams, forgetting how you got there.
2. Guides/Gods Behaving Badly
Look for sudden 180 personality switches in guides or gods. If they fail your checks, procede to fuck them up. It won't hurt them; the illusion should just dissolve.
3. Look for strange waviness, shinies, or objects
As described above.
4. I have one or more of the above, Dusken!!
This is where I try to describe to you how to dismantle an illusion.
First, you have to locate an anchor point. Remember what I said above--an illusion mimicking a perfect replica of Venice has at least 4 layers, or anchor points. One for the landscape, one for the water, one of people, and one of sound. If an element is very complex, much like a 3-D model, it requires its own anchor. Programming water is very difficult, so I could attach that visual to one anchor point.
In my hypothetical vision of Venice, I get to choose my anchors. So I choose a statue of a guy on a horse in the town square, a merchant stand, a boat that moves around, and one pigeon.
Guess which one of these you could locate first?
Finding a stationary anchor that's huge and gives itself away is easy. I always proceed through an illusion checking these first. Press on it with your hand. A lot of times your hand will go right through or feel this gummy like resistance. Reach into the item and pull something out. Sometimes it feels like pulling the plug on a bathtub, sometimes I legit retrieved orbs and powerful objects from an anchor. When you remove an anchor it's like causing a black hole in the energy system, so be immediately prepared for collapse, inception style. If an illusion has multiple anchors, it's usually somewhat stable until you get rid of all of them.
So you got rid of that first anchor. How are you supposed to locate an anchor of a merchant stand among hundreds? For some reason anchors give off this violent blue energy to me when I set the intention to "show me the key." So I kind of just feel the direction an anchor is in and I can tell from there what to do. Alternative, fucking start running at shit. Not kidding. Run until you feel like you hit a wall and the illusion repeats glitch style. This usually means you're near an anchor.
The air around anchors also, as stated above, tends to be weird and warpy. I've legit seen patches of black background on an otherwise normal landscape, like I was in a badly glitchy video game. You're looking for areas of sudden high-glitch. Images skipping, people going backwards, etc.
The third anchor is harder. A boat is a moving target--sticking an anchor in that is kind of hard. In this case you're still kind of feeling out direction. I also employ sigils at this stage. I have a sigil I use that functions like a compass and points me to weak spots. It's just a matter of visualizing something like that yourself and following it. At this point I would get on top of the moving object and remove the anchor that way.
The fourth one is similar. But if on a "living" creature, be prepared for a chase. The illusion is a closed circuit and will try to prevent you from breaking it, even if the creator isn't present.
Be prepared to fight the minute you recognize the illusion. The world tends to turn on you the second this happens. That means people, animals, and evil forests style. In a particularly horrible instance the minute I realized it the simulated torture that was occurring got fucking tons worse. And make no mistake--you can feel sensations in an illusion just like in the "real world". And they can be twice as traumatizing.
What happens when I remove all the anchors?
Fucking run. No joke.
Illusions collapse with an absence of anchors. I'm talking black-hole quality. Get the fuck out of there through any door you can before it shuts completely. There will be a door. There's just a matter of finding it, is all. Be prepared to fight while running because the astral loves you okay.
In part two I will eventually be able to explain how to forge/create illusions, but this is the more important skill for people that don't have some serious reason to use or need illusion magic. I simplified it a lot and I know it sounds confusing so feel free to ask for clarifying shit.
And don't think about how much of daily life is an illusion. You'll think yourself into a grave, trust me.