Astral Destinations: The Grief Place

There’s a place somewhere between the realm of dreams and spirits that is for release of grief emotions.

Perhaps you’ve been there. A place where sorrow is understood and, despite the beings moving around you living their lives, you feel comfortable to be in your grief.

It starts at a sandy altar. A table-style of sandstone, about mid-chest to waist high on an adult. Incense burns here, billowing individual trails of smoke coalescing into a wind of fragrant prayers. The altar is in a courtyard with a blue open sky above, but shadowed by the surrounding pale sandstone walls. Awnings of hand-dyed fabric hang high over the altar, protecting it from rain.

In the dream or astral visit, you start here. Most often you’re at the altar and light incense, shakily pray, or simply try to say goodbye through a pinched, watery smile. Some people linger here, wrapping themselves in black homespun fabric and tucking themselves into corners to cry. Sometimes, people are with you, other times they are not. Who? They could be family, friends, lovers, or strangers that could have been more. Sometimes, its just you.

Who is there depends on what you’re mourning. Mourning a family member, a loved one? You may have loved ones alongside you, family to support you, friends to carry you, lovers to hold you, pets to comfort you. If you’re mourning an event that could have been, a situation you might have had or was in, or just losing a piece of yourself, you’re usually alone.

Either way, there you remain. Until finally, you’re ready to move on. You place your final piece of incense on the altar, say a final goodbye that feels like a loss all on its own, a goodbye that isn’t quite as shaky, a smile that isn’t quite as heatbreaking, and you slip through the archway to the left of the altar.

People move here, work here. It’s a dyer’s marketplace. Baskets of little ornaments, flowers and florals, bolts of fabric, and pocket charms sit on sun-bleached tables. You cannot see the sun though. The entire space has flapping cloth awnings on tall pole, protecting the workers from the heat of the sun, protecting you. More fabric hangs, little banners and flag, swatches of material in all manner of hand-dyed goodness. Blues, greens, reds, oranges, purples, and pinks. Natural linen color dominates with a rainbow of tucked away color. In the distance, you may hear chatter, soft and indistinct. A weaver’s loom works, but it’s comforting. the passage between these stalls, with gently smiling people sharing actual kindness, is narrow. People do not get in your way. As you move, they seem to never be in your way or make you slow down or stop unless you want to stop. They don’t readily acknowledge you either, unless you glance at them first. A smile, a pat on the arm, maybe soft murmuring that’s meant only to be comforting, supporting. Then they move on.

The passage is like a C, but there are other corridors that lead elsewhere to the marketplace. You can even sometimes glimpse where the fabric awnings break into brilliantly, unbelievable blue sky.

In time, you do weave your way through, following a course that you only seem to know in your head. Sometimes you find yourself with dried flowers or charms pressed into your hands. A long string of beads around your wrist, a shawl of soft mauve around your shoulders.

At the end, you come out to of the space with nothing before you. More sandstone buildings are to your left, but the doorway is hidden in the depths of that fabric maze. Beyond the buildings and marketplace is nothing but endless white plains and blue, blue sky. Sometimes family and loved ones stands before you, waiting for you. They may even have a car ready to go. Sometimes its just you.

The dream or astral visit ends there. I’ve been to this place several times, each time mourning different things or people. And it is always the same altar, the same sky, the same place, the same twisting, fabric passage.

What happens during that time varies. Once I came out with a long length of wooden beads around my wrist, neither a mala or rosary. Another time I came out of that comforting place with a bunch of tiny purple and blue flowers in my hands. It varies.

This place, a place of letting go of your grief, should be sad. Instead, I’d say its more comforting than anything. Like finally being able to catch your breath or how much better you feel after crying. You’re still miserable, but there’s a feeling of releasing, letting things go. It’s a somber place, but one of profound peace and change.

Have you been here? Does this place sound familiar? I honestly can’t tell you how to get here. I think you just arrive when you need to be there. I hope that introducing people to this special place will encourage more visitors.

As to whether its a dream or an actual astral destination… I think it’s both. I think a place can be both a dream and astral. The astral is connected to dreams. It can be influenced by dreams. And dreams can slip into astral travel. I think its both.

Spirit Destinations: When Spirit Worlds Connect to the Physical World

The astral worlds are not a free-for-all. Not all of them at least. Anyone who has dealt with the fae are definitely aware of this but many other places outside of fairylands have rulers that hold territory. Knowing you’re in someone’s territory can be tricky and knowing where those territories begin and end, especially because they change all the time, is a full time job. My best advice is to assume you’re trespassing and be polite as possible if confronted (and run away if you need to).

But there’s another territory to think about. Another weird thing that can happen. Sometimes the astral spirit worlds and the physical worlds mesh together.

Sometimes you step into a place here in the physical world and you think, “oh crap, this is connected to the spirit worlds, somewhere”. You might even feel unsafe and need to hightail it out of there. And other times it’s the best place ever to meditate and be safe.

This is one of things that you’ll know if you’ve experienced it because it’s often a defining moment for you. One you’ll remember. It’s also similar to fairy tales and legends of wild hunts and faerie proceedings.

 

When Spirit Worlds Connect to the Physical World by This Crooked Crown

 

What are the signs?

There are numerous signs that indicate that a particular area is experiencing a merging or an overlap. Some of the signs appear for other things like a psychic attack so be aware of that possibility and look for multiple indications that the spirit world is overlapping into the physical world.

As always, if you feel like you’re being hunted, stalked, or in danger, leave the area immediately and go to a safe place where you can calm down, ground and center yourself, and get something re-energizing to eat.

  • A weird energy signature
  • An immensely powerful energy
  • Feeling yourself being drained of energy
  • Feeling your energy hum
  • Feeling an increase in energy, like adrenaline, but is likely difficult to control
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Pressure in your head or body, especially forehead
  • Surge of emotions, images, sounds, or smells out of nowhere that are not your own
  • Hearing voices or music or sounds without a discernible source
  • Smelling scents that are out of place and without a discernible source
  • A sense of flightiness or lack of control like intoxication
  • A feeling of dream-like fog
  • Feeling of being small or in front of something large
  • Being overwhelmed emotionally or spiritually, like a wave overtaking you
  • A feeling of open-ness in a small that should not feel that open
  • A feeling of disconnect, like watching yourself do something outside of your body
  • Feeling watched or not alone
  • The feeling of immediate danger
  • Time is working too slowly, too quickly, or you seem to be out of time
  • Becoming lost in the physical space
  • Objects, pathways, walls, and other things seem to move or become blocked when they weren’t moments before

 

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Walk along the water with me?

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What triggers these connections? 

Spirit worlds connecting to physical worlds can happen in any number of ways. These connections are not permanent and some will disappear even a few hours after it appears. You can remove a connection with enough time, effort, and energy but it would be a hard-won fight.

Anywhere can be connected at any point in time to the spirit worlds but it often happens when no where is there and therefore there isn’t conflicting energy. Or they are areas with lots of potential but nothing happened. Or they’re areas of high energy. Liminal places, like crossroads, rest stops, buildings with lots of empty hallways (schools, offices, abandoned buildings), and bridges are common targets as well. Any place you’d expect spirit activity is particular susceptible to this kind of phenomena.

These are a few ways that the spirit worlds and physical world can become connected. Keep in mind, these aren’t the only ways and not every method will works for every area. Some places seem more susceptible to certain methods than others, likely due to energy reasons.

  • A land spirit makes the connection or holds significant power in that place
  • It’s a height of power and energy for some reason and thus easily accessible to spirits
  • A human dreams or recreates that space in the spirit world
  • They are so similar of places in looks, energy, or history that they merge for unknown reasons
  • Spirits gather there for unknown or multitude of reasons, thus making the physical world more like a spirit world.
  • A practitioner connects them for easy access to the spirit world
  • A practitioner has cast a lot of energy or spells recently or invoked a spirit, opening the way for this sort of thing
  • There’s been a wild hunt style procession recently through that area
  • Construction, death, powerful emotions, trauma, or other events can cause havoc, not unlike ghosts getting riled up during a home remodeling.

 

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Twilight cherry blossoms

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What to do

What you can do with an area that is connected to the spirit worlds is up to you. I recommend leave it alone. It’s probably not hurting anyone (except you might see a rise of headaches and emotions in that place) and it will often go away on it’s own. As mentioned above, you can try to get rid of the area but you must be very sure of yourself and your ability to manipulate the spirit energy in order to do this properly. You can patrol or guard the area, making it sacred, and thus keeping outsiders from going into it.

Most of the time, if you leave the area (and spirits inside the area) alone, they’ll leave you alone. They’re essentially just visiting.  However, if the spirits begin to get aggressive, you may want to step up and remind them that while the area IS theirs, most humans cannot see or sense them and therefore do not know to stay away. You could even banish them from this realm, leaving the territory connected or go ahead and sever the connection. Whether you do not this or not is up you. It’s personal choice.

As for myself, I typically leave spirit connected areas alone. I might go and remind aggressive spirits to play nice or I’ll have do something about them but most often, I leave them alone. So long as they’re not actively hunting humans, I have no problems with them. I find such areas a delight to visit because I truly love the spirit worlds and knowing I can connect to them here in the physical world at times is something I find absolutely amazing.

 

February Round Up

What a month.

This month has been a whirlwind for me. Posts were going great and I was doing really well on all the projects I had going. But then it suddenly became too much and by the third week of February I crashed entirely. I needed a break and anything I attempted to do except rest fell apart. Since my Silence Festival (three days of unplugged utter silence) was the same week, I just kind of disappeared from the world for a while.

On top of that I had some family stuff and projects that needed some attention (which will continue into March but it won’t be a surprise at least!) Plus I injured myself no less than seven times. My poor hands are covered in band-aids. On the other hand, I’ve recently achieved a small fitness goal so that was exciting for me.

 

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Cozy night in.

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That being said, look at the site updates! There’s new stuff! Well, kind of. I moved some menus around and cleaned up some back end stuff. Two big things is that I’m now accepting sponsorship and so on. This is more for fellow shop owners and indie deck creators that rather than some big corporation. No worries, this suddenly isn’t becoming affiliate link central. I also added an ongoing projects page. This is a loose timeline of when to expect certain products in the shop or certain projects to be up and running.

There’s going to be some new additions to the site soon that required this kind of sprucing up. Namely, I’ll be putting up a sourced correspondence page for you all. My biggest challenge right not isn’t the correspondences themselves but implementing them in a way that’s convenient and cleanly done. A huge long list isn’t super interesting to me nor is a million page hopping links. If you’ve got any ideas, let me know.

 

 

Oh! But a major score was to be had when I found an intact copy of my links from my tumblr resource page. Tumblr is where I originated as a blog and a lot of my posts were/are really popular there. About a year back, tumblr FUBAR’d page links and in an instant, everything was gone. I’m so excited to be able to give this resource back to the people. The posts may be old and rant-y but their tumblr originals.

The only problem is tumblr itself. It seems to really hate links in super long pages now so even copying and pasting the document over doesn’t work. New links were erased too. So I ended up keeping the page live here on my website and redirecting people here from tumblr so they can click a tumblr post and be re-directed BACK to tumblr. How dumb is that? At least it’s safe from the vicious tumblr gremlins I guess. Sheesh.

 

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This week's Free Tarot Tuesday Twitter Reading is up!

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Let’s get to the posts this month though, hm? This February was about love and divination. We started off with five divining techniques to discover your sweetheart and then discussed the spell / divination of knotting a garter which me and like three other people found interesting. Haha.

With Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle of the month, I reviewed Edain McCoy’s Bewitchments which got a pretty great review. For the big night itself, Tarot Emulation Attraction Spell brought your favorite tarot card avatars into your personal closet. Be the High Priestess for your coven meeting then be the Knight of Wands or the Lovers for a night in with a special someone. That special night in could be even more special with the super popular Chocolate Rose Tea Love Philter recipe. If that special someone isn’t paying attention to you, the spell Think of Me or the readin Love Letter could be handy too

 

Chocolate Rose Tea Love Philter by This Crooked Crown

 

Love’s not all about romance though. Friends are important too! The Friendship Knot Spell is definitely something you might come back to when your current crop of friends are less than awesome.

I probably could have followed my own advice offered in five tips for loving yourself or gave myself a reading using the included divination spread Loving Myself. Or maybe I should have visited my astral friends featured in Spirit Destinations: Spirits Who Can Help. Instead I went to my old self-care habit of reading and writing (which isn’t bad either!)

The all-purpose spell Wish Granter, Bring Me A Wish is a bit unusual but might be worth trying if you need something. There was also a somewhat nasty curse using a plant’s growth that I’m kind of in love with. (Not sure what that says about me. Haha)

 

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Current library read 📚

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So it’s been a weird kind of month. Next month is definitely off to a better start already and I’m so excited to share some new stuff with you. Plus spring is so, so close and I’m really excited to ditch the winter blues. Thanks so much for reading and see you in March!


Decks featured:

  • Sacred Creators Oracle by Chris-Anne © Chris-Anne.com

Spirit Destinations: Spirits Who Can Help

Even if you’re familiar with astral travel and spirit realms, it’s difficult to find spirits that are both trustworthy and helpful. Sometimes you’re looking for a specific kind of spirit and that’s even harder.

Why someone might look for a particular kind of spirit varies. Sometimes you’re serving as courier. Sometimes you need to heal a spiritual wound. Other times you want help casting a spell or information. And sometimes you don’t know why you’re doing something, you were just told to do it. (Let’s be honest here, this one’s probably the most common reason).

The following spirits are very busy but they are willing to have their pseudonyms shared with my followers so they can help. I can personally vouch for each of these spirits and many are personal friends of mine. The region itself, especially the valley of the spirit ruler, is extremely safe for dreamers and residents alike.

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A hearth in the forest.

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Laeta – A healer spirit of renown. Laeta takes patients from all over and usually does so without payment. They can heal spiritual and physical wounds, speed up recovery and ease symptoms of sickness and mental illness. Laeta can also perform spiritual surgery. Pretty much a spirit physician. Remember to give yourself time to heal in the physical world as well.

Laeta can be found in the infirmary, a lower yet airy level of the castle. Ask for directions from anyone within the castle.

Heleinra – She’s a catalyst spirit. She can incite things to occur such as inspiration and motivation but she can also encourage healing, ease bouts of depression, and so on. She will require a trade or purchase of services.

She’s a bit harder to locate (although, she’s close to Laeta) so ask around the castle grounds for her and take a peek into Laeta’s infirmary to see if she’s hanging out there.

 

The Maidens – A cluster of spirits who focus on love, relationships, sex, passion, and beauty. They’re matchmakers. There’s at least five of them, possibly more. Gaining their attention may be difficult as they remain close to the ruler but they can definitely help point you in the right direction in regards to love. Be aware that they shift bodies easily and are members of the proverbial fashion police. They may ask for equal trades for their services so the price they request may be very high for you. Make sure you verbally agree to whatever you’re buying. Sometimes they get carried away.

 

Candle Smoke

 

In order to find the Maidens specifically, you’ll have to gain entry to the ruler’s hall (which is mostly just walking in and being polite to staff) and try to catch their eye; they tend to wander the hall so it could be relatively easy to gain their attention. A quiet word with one of the guards will also work. You can also join the queue to talk to the king and when called upon, ask for the Maidens’ assistance (although if you do this you should offer the king a small gift as thanks for their attention.)

Moba – A spirit that serves under another spirit within the ruler’s court. Think of his position more like an assistant. The spirit he serves under is directly in service to the ruler so you won’t meet with Moba’s boss. That being said, Moba is great for pointing you towards a direction to increase your wealth or find opportunities. He won’t, specifically, help you get that wealth but he can point you in the right direction. Typically he appears as a young teenage boy and will probably be darting about the castle or the ruler’s hall. Speak clearly and quickly with him; he’s very busy and won’t have long to talk. He may or may not collect payment, depending on the favor.

The spirit ruler of this area is may be helpful as well. They can be asked for advice, information, guidance, or tips. They may even be asked for aid in combat, magic, or political situations. Just make sure that you’re willing to tithe them appropriately and pay whatever they’re going to charge. They’ll expect clear cut agreements though so don’t worry about being tricked into an agreement. This is doubled if you explain you’re a dreamer/spirit walker.

If you want to speak with them, you’ll need to ask one of the attendants in the hall for an audience. You may need to wait for an audience and that wait may take too long so you might need to make several trips with the hope that you can get an audience while you’re still lucid and within the astral plane.


 

How to pay for a spirit’s service:

You may need to “pay” for a spirit’s services. They may ask for currency, worship, trade, barter, or even just information. There’s a lot of ways to pay for such things so ask in advance what they want in payment before agreeing to anything.

How to find one of these spirits:

First, go here. All these spirits are found in the service of the same spirit ruler. Typically, this area’s pretty safe and the people friendly so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting through the forest, up to the castle, and asking one of the guards or staff for the spirit you’re looking for.

It’s also a good idea to make an offering to them within your own home. They may not show up in your home but you never know. Do NOT summon them. They will not help you if summoned. It is a condition of this information being shared. Good luck and happy adventures!

 

Spirit Destinations: Valley of the Witch Seer

Valley of the Witch Seer is a massive valley filled with a vast forest surrounded by tall mountains and a wide ocean. It has a wide, white sand beach that’s excellent for lounging on. Ruled by a well-known spirit seer, this area is largely peaceful and friendly.

This is my go-to area when entering the astral. It’s peaceful, it’s relaxing, and people let you do what you want without bothering you so long as you aren’t cruel. War is kept to a minimum too which is always a bonus.

Names

Something to know is that “Valley of the Witch Seer” isn’t actually the real name of this area. It’s also known as “Valley of the King Seer”, “Valley of the Seer King”, “Witch Seer’s Kingdom”, and similar combinations. The king here sometimes calls it “Myrdin” or “Myridin” and various approximations of that but that’s fairly rare. Largely, it’s just left unnamed. Before it was known as the Golden Tree Valley or Deep Forest. The beach and ocean area wasn’t part of the original territory either and had a wide-variety of names that have been largely forgotten since the ruler left the forest and conquered the beach.

These cliffs are known as the Hanging Cliffs or the Golden Cliffs. The mountains to the far left (straight across when passing by the Hanging Cliffs) are  known as the Aerie locally. Elsewhere, they’re known as the Diamond Cut Mountains, or the Waves of the Earth.

The ocean is known as the Ocean of Fallen Tears, Sea of the Giant’s Tears, Sunlight-Glances-Off-This-Body-of-Water-and-Dances-Across-the-Sands-to-Scatter-on-the-Sea-Glass- Castle-and-Dies-at-Sea. Locally, it’s known as the King’s Sea or Dragon Sea or Mermaid Cove.

 

Directions

You’ll have to travel past a modern-appearing city known as Raika or  Toreeh City. This city is really great for commerce or dance clubs. The modern roads go right to the edge of a cliff where it switches to dirt. Asking directions from this location usually gets you into the valley fairly easily.

Following the road  as it winds around the bottom of the large bluff and cliffs known as the Hanging Cliffs or the Golden Cliffs. This road dumps you into the huge forested valley.

Sometimes the road’s called “The King’s Road” but it’s mostly only called that by the locals.

When asking for directions, you’ll probably do best by asking directions to the witch seer (king). The king is largely implied for this particular ruler but most people will be able to fathom out which seer you’re asking about. Information brokers and certain fox spirit clans in particular are good sources of information. The kingdom is very large so it’s a popular destination, despite the sparse population.

 

Climate and infrastructure

Infrastructure in this area isn’t terribly well-built. Homes and villages are constructed with wood, stone, and magic but some residents live in trees or burrows. There are a few scattered buildings but the most noteworthy building is the ruler’s castle. It is made of sea glass and sand, towering up like the mountains it mirrors on the right of the beach. It half sits on the water. The is a modern-appearing city on the other side of the cliffs before entering the valley.

Trade is flourishing in this area and the villages tend to be friendly. The port attached to the castle especially is a current focus. If you need a place to stay, you may be able to find room & board in the villages or even in the castle. You can also camp out in the wilderness.

Roads do exist in this area but there isn’t a road to the castle. Instead, roads lead in and out of the valley and to villages or the mountains. Water is extremely common in this area and you can follow most streams and rivers  to villages or right to the beach itself.

Temperature wise, this area is temperate with a late summer-early autumn season. It does snow, on occasion but that largely depends on the ruler’s moods. This realm is largely stable, topographically speaking, but the weather fluxes to the ruler’s moods. The sky is usually very blue and the forest near the entryway will be golden and red birches fading into your “average” green forest trees.

There will be tall mountains will be in the distance on all side of the forest, save for the road you’re on and the sea. The mountains are very hard to climb and tower so high they are cloaked by clouds. The ones right of the castle are known as the Taira Mountains. In the mountains and cliffs there’s an aerie city of griffins. There’s other beings living in those mountains so it can be pretty fierce at times. Clan members of the fox guards also live at the base of the mountains by the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean so be wary of hurting any of them. This fox clan tends to hold a grudge.

The ocean in the distance is very blue and cool. The sand is bright, white, and clean. It smells slightly floral, from the local beach flowers along the edges. the beach is framed by low cliffs on the left and right sides. The ruler’s castle sits to the right on the beach.

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Spending the afternoon on the lake.

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Friendliness of the locals and how to identify yourself

Identify yourself as a “dreamer” or “spirit walker” if you don’t specifically have a name or title you want to be known by.

This region is extremely welcoming to humans so don’t be afraid to say hi to people. Even the king themselves is rather friendly. The king’s court is large but often has time for visitors.

If you run into trouble or are attacked, you can informed the king. Whether they address the issue or not depends on the situation but they’ll take care of problematic people.

 

People to know in the area: 

The spirit ruler is very powerful both personally and politically. So long as you don’t cause a fuss or incite violence, they won’t concern themselves with you. Don’t cross them though and don’t hurt their people. They’re vicious when necessary and they might not use violence to get back at you. They may just smear your name for all to hear or to block you from the astral.

Many guards are fox spirits so they make tricks or try to bribe you – you do not need to pay to gain entry into the kingdom or the palace. They also don’t appear human so prepare yourself mentally. Much of the staff is like this.

There’s a lot of staff that’s willing to help out but we’ll get into that in a future post.

 

Sights and things of note in this area:

That castle has a pool and waterfall of cleansing water. Visitors and staff can bathe in the lower public part of the castle to cleanse themselves spiritually and receive minor healing. There’s another part of the pool in the ruler’s audience hall which is worth seeing because it’s beautiful but they’ll gut you like a fish for trying to use it.

The spirit king here uses magic, especially in combat often leads battles. It’s kind of like watching a video game or anime so they’re worth watching from a safe distance if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

Warnings and things to be wary of: 

Be careful around the beach. There’s a very large sea dragon that likes to bask in the sun there. The dragon’s pretty ambivalent in general towards most things and won’t like being bothered with questions.

Merfolk also like to sun themselves on the beach, near the rocks, but they might try to drown you for the fun of it. The ruler and/or their staff will probably stop them but it’s better safe than sorry. The dragon, however, won’t help.

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Another image from the lake yesterday.

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Honestly, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a less modern and less populated area. The folks are friendly and helpful but it’s sometimes a journey to get here. But, if you want a good place to start your astral exploring, this is a good beginner area.

 


I’ll add to this post when there’s a new information to add so check back often.

Does some of this sound familiar? This location and people have been mentioned here, here, and here. Been here before? Drop a line and let me know if I need to add information.

Spirit Destinations: How to Find Your Way in the Astral

Treading the spirit realms can be really difficult. It’s like going to another country: you don’t know the language and the culture’s a bit weird. You make stupid mistakes, and probably end up in a not-great neighborhood at some point.

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From our friend's dock while visiting yesterday.

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Getting directions to anywhere in the astral is complication. Super complicated. I’ll explain. The spirit realms are always in flux. There’s always some conflict to avoid, some danger to be wary of. The topography and land itself changes at the whims of residents in the world. Wars and battles cause lots of detours. When a new ruler takes over, the entire land can shift and change. The very land itself can morph to suit the whims and personality of the ruler. The rulers become, in part, land spirits, protecting their territory from harm. It’s not unlike the story of the Fisher King. Even if the land doesn’t adjust to the ruler, there are dangers in the environment to watch for. Then there’s the people. Look at our own world. Look at all the cultures, all the taboos, all the knowledge and secrets that exist in it. Look at the hate and love we have. And we’re all humans, a single species with that much diversity. That diversity exist in every species, without fail. There are uncountable numbers of species and races in the spirit realms. You may be able to make some generalizations but most of the time, you’re a fish out of water. Add onto that each person’s own free will and individuality and you have a mess to deal with. Everyone has agendas of their own. People – and they are people – have , jobs, obligations, families, and lives to attend to. After all, how often do you pause to give strangers directions? The residents here might not pause their lives for you either. And that’s OK. We’re all people and have busy lives. Some folks will help and some won’t. Some people are nice and others are cruel. Variety makes the worlds wonderful, after all. But with all of that variety and flexibility comes a massive problem: how do you to find anything in a world that changes so much?

 

Asking directions can be a chore in and of itself. You may have to barter something just to get some complex set of instructions. Those directions might not even be accurate. Things change so often that halfway through the trip, there’s usually some change. Even if you get directions that are accurate, the names for things aren’t the same. For example, I live by an ocean when in the spirit realms. It has a lot of names: Ocean of Fallen Tears, Sea of the Giant’s Tears, Sunlight-Glances-Off-This-Body-of-Water-and-Dances-Across-the-Sands-to-Scatter-on-the-Sea-Glass- Castle-and-Dies-at-Sea (yeah, really). And that’s just the three I know. I’ve heard it called other things. The valley I live in itself doesn’t even have a name. The ruler’s been stable for years but hasn’t come up with a name yet for it. How do you give directions to a place with no name? Directions aren’t like google maps either. There often isn’t a “Take a left at exit 64 and travel 6.4 miles to veer right onto Main Street”. Instead it’s more like this: “Go to the Forest of Dean (but not that Forest of Dean, no, not that one either, that one) and talk to the fox spirit there. He’s going to try and eat you but once you deal with that, give him this ball of magic black ooze. He’ll tell you where to go next. He’s going to lie to you at first but wait a few minutes and he’ll give you your next destination.” That’s a lot of work just to get a new pair of shoes or something.

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Alleyway near Jackson Square

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See? Lots and lots of complications. But, never fear. It’s not all that daunting when you have an adventurous spirit. Here’s some tips on how to somewhere in the astral.

  • Get the right directions. Ask around and see what directions people give. Spirit allies can probably provide help, if necessary. Seeking out an information broker is a good alternative. Information brokers tend to avoid giving bad directions. Their reputations rely on them go doing their jobs successfully. When in doubt, go to a trusted information broker. Just expect to pay an arm and a leg.
  • Check in often to determine your true location and get local news. Inns are specifically designed for this but roadside restaurants are surprisingly excellent too. Detour if necessary but try to stick to your directions. If you detour too much, you’ll end up somewhere else entirely usually with more trouble than you need.
  • Don’t tell everyone where you’re going. Instead, pick a location nearby where you’re heading. For example, if I was going to see the ruler of the territory, I might ask directions to the forest the ruler lives in. Save yourself trouble by being cautious with your business.
  • If you’re told not to stop, don’t stop. The best example of this in direction is from Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. “Go to the main road outside of the city and follow it away from the mountains,” said the frog. “After a while, you will come to a small pavilion made of gold, surrounded by trees made of silver with emerald leaves. Go straight past it without stopping, and don’t answer if anyone calls out to you from the pavilion. Keep on until you reach a hovel. Walk straight up to the door and knock three times, then snap your fingers and go inside. You’ll find some people there who can help you out of your difficulties if you’re polite about asking and they’re in the right mood. And that’s all.” (Page 11)
  • Landmarks aren’t always landmarks. Sometimes you’re given directions that include people as a landmark, like the fox example above.
  • Travel in groups. Traveling together will allow for more interpretations of the directions. Extremely useful when the directions are hard to fathom.
  • Hire out a means of travel. Hiring a car, ship, horse, chariot, carriage, may be expensive but worth it.  You may even hop on the bus or spirit subway to make things much faster.
  • Think in alternative means of travel. You might walk everywhere but discover that you need to fly to get over a ravine. So sprout some wings,  hover, or ask for aid as necessary.
  • Remember that the spirit worlds are intertwined with this one. It is the strangest feeling to realize that you’ve been in this subway station before in the astral.  You’ll also want to remember that the spirit world isn’t always an accurate representation of this world. Sometimes walls are missing or there’s extra doors or a staircase to nowhere. In these sorts of liminal places, you can easily slip into the spirit realms. Those with second sight can see a merging of worlds in these places as well.
  • Sometimes you can just appear there. Teleporting in the astral is totally doable. You can also slip back into you body and re-enter the astral in your destination. This is a bit like cheating when you’re suppose to be on an epic journey but it can certainly make things easier. Please note it’s rude to appear in someone’s living room so aim for a backyard or something instead.

So that’s it! That’s how you get directions in the astral. It may be really complicated but that’s the fun of it. Now get out there and explore!

Introducing a New Series: Spirit Destinations

The astral and spirit realms are immensely vast. Possibly too vast to even understand. This is an amazing place full of adventure, dangers, and wonder.

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Scenes from Gettysburg

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Everyone has the capability to astral travel. It takes practice to be able to slid out of your body, to ignore the physical feeling of your body, and cast your mind elsewhere. Even the most established practitioners have trouble with it at times, depending on their own spiritual turmoil and stress. There are hundreds of names for this journey and thousands of ways to do it. Research, experimenting, time, and practice will help you determine which methods are best for you.

The crossing to these lands is described as the most difficult part. But that’s not necessarily true. Knowing where to go is. Once you have a means of travel the destination becomes the question. When dreamers or spirit walkers arrive in the realms they either in an entirely strange place or somewhere familiar. (If they’re not aiming for a particular destination, that is.)

Finding a safe place to land and explore can be extremely difficult. Even if you do find a place, it can be hard to find it a second time. Asking directions in the astral is nearly impossible. The worlds and very topography change with the whims of the residents and rulers of the territories.

The best way for beginners to start is to know where they’re going and to know that place is safe and welcoming.

So, I’m launching a new series called “Spirit Destinations” that detail as much as possible where to go in the astral and spirit realms and what to find while you’re there. I will be personally vetting each location so you’ll know what and who to avoid along the way.

I’m really excited to share these places with you and I hope to see you in the astral!