After you have learned basic astral projection, the next step is for you to produce a Body of Light that can be used as your vehicle of consciousness on the inner planes.
Unlike the basic training we adapted from Ophiel’s “Little System”, the Body of Light has a long history in all esoteric traditions and is described in religious terms as well as magical and shamanic. Nevertheless, it is not common knowledge and it does involve some very detailed and time-consuming study and practice. It’s well worth your effort!
There are two basic preliminary exercises that are well-known rituals, long used in magical training. The First is called the Qabalistic Cross and is adapted from The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie.
The Qabalistic Cross Exercise
The words employed are Hebrew because the magical system evolved from the Qabalah. We’ve providing their meaning, but please only say the Hebrew. Rather than “speaking,” you want to vibrate the words syllable by syllable, centering your voice at the back of the mouth and at a pitch slightly lower than normal, and feeling the sound projecting forth to the far reaches of the universe.
Here is the Qabalistic Cross Exercise:
Stand in a comfortable position, feet together. Take a few breaths to make yourself relaxed and receptive. Using your right hand,
As an advanced step, you may visualize a line of Light following the motion of your hand, forming a cross of Living Light before your body like a protective shield.
Summary of Purpose & User Values: While there are various esoteric factors at work in this simple exercise, the primary function is to link the four psychic centers together in a protective (non-Christian) cross.
The Magic Circle Exercise
Introduction. Most magician draw, or “erect,” a circle about themselves and their place of working. This is both a circle of protection and a container for psychic energies, and rather than a simple circle it is a miniature three-dimensional “world”—a sphere—with the magician at the center.
Both of the tracing of the pentagrams and the circle should be visualized in Blue Flame—the model for which you can establish by placing a small amount of rubbing alcohol or brandy on heat resistant plate in a dark room, and igniting it. Memorize both the color and the wavering of the flame. This is the color often seen in etheric and séance phenomena. It is sometimes called “Electric Blue” and visualizing it stimulates the throat chakra.
Here is the exercise:
Face East. Extend your right arm before you, and with your index finger trace a “banishing earth pentagram: ”a five-pointed star drawn in one continuous motion starting at left bottom point, up to the top point, down to the right bottom, up to the left, across to the right, and back down to connect at the bottom left starting point.
Pull your partly back and then still using your extended index finger “stab” the pentagram in the center while vibrating YHVH (YOD-HEH-VAV-HEH).
Face South. With you arm and index finger still extended in front of you, turn to face South. Trace another pentagram just like the first, stab it, and vibrate ADNI (AH-DON-NAI).
Face West. In the same manner turn to face West, trace the pentagram, stab it, and vibrate AHIH (EH-HE-YEH).
Face North. Turning to the North, trace the pentagram, stab it, and vibrate AGLA (AH-GAL-LAH).
Face East. Rotate back to face the East, extend your arms out to the sides to form a cross, and say:
Before me is Raphael; behind me is Gabriel; on my right is Michael; and on my left is Auriel. Before me flames the Pentagram and behind me shines the Six-rayed Star.
Repeat the Qabalistic Cross:
Relax and mentally close the circle.
Summary of Purpose & User Benefits: As previously mentioned, the Qabalistic Cross and Magic Circle exercises place the user in the center of a sphere that is both protective and a container of energy. It is also a container of magical (astral) consciousness, of awareness and intention within which magical rituals are performed to their completion without outside disturbance.
The Four Elemental Winds Exercise
Introduction. Once you have mastered these two exercises, and before closing with the second Qabalistic Cross, you will be standing in the middle of the circle. We are adding another exercise recommended by Ophiel in his The Art and Practice of Astral Projection. This exercise helps to awaken and balance the elemental forces in your own persona. Once you are familiar with the imagery and the feelings invoked, you may choose to modify the imager— but (1) keep it simple and (2) keep it archetypal and abstract. Here’s the exercise:
Facing East. You are still facing the East from the Magic Circle Exercise. Vibrate EURUS (E-U-RUS), the name of the East Wind. Enlarge the blue flame pentagram. Visualize a scene through the pentagram of a beautiful dawn with pink and rosy clouds. The East is the quarter of Air whose Archangel is Raphael. Feel AIR. Feel this Air wash over you and flow through you. Imagine and feel a soft and cool morning breeze coming from the dawn clouds and passing over you.
Facing South. After a few moments finish with the East and gently erase the image and feeling from your mind. Turn to face South. Vibrate NOTUS (NO-TUS), the name of the South Wind. The south is the quarter of Fire whose Archangel is Michael. Enlarge the blue flame pentagram and through it visualize a tropical scene. Visualize blue seas and white waves dashing upon rocky coral reefs with palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. Feel the gentle, warm almost hot, heat coming from this quarter. Feel it warm you through and through. Finish and erase from your mind.
Facing West. Turn and face the West. Vibrate ZEPHYRUS (ZE-PH-ER-US), the name of the West Wind. The West is the quarter of Water whose Archangel is Gabriel. Enlarge the blue flame pentagram. Visualize a waterfall with clouds of mist arising from it. The water-laden mist rising from the bottom of the falls is gently blowing towards you. Feel the misty wetness on your face and then feel it flowing into your consciousness.
Facing North. Now turn and face the North. Vibrate BOREAS (BOR-US), the name of North Wind. The North is the quarter of the element of earth whose Archangel is Auriel. It is in the quarter of Earth and in Earth itself, that all the other forces end. Hence Earth is the great final storehouse of all things and forces. You will find in Earth all the physical things you desire and all the things that you need to make you happy.
Enlarge the blue flame pentagram and see many immense fields of food crops feeding all the populations of Earth. See great fields of ripened corn, of wheat, barley and other grains, of rice, and other food crops. See vast orchards of trees loaded with fruits and nuts of all kinds. See the oceans and rivers with fish and other sea foods. Then visualize great herds of animals grazing on the green grasses. Everywhere there is Peace, Prosperity and Plenty. Beyond these fertile lands stretch great forests of trees that furnish lumber for our homes. Beyond these forests rise mountains containing mines of metals that supply other of our needs. And on the tops of these mountains is ice and snow which gather there and then melts and flows down to the plains through streams and rivers to nourish and water the growing things below.
See, too, the many factories transforming natural resources into the goods that meet our needs and desires, see that laboratories where new technologies are created, see the ships, trucks, trains and planes that transport the goods, see the many warehouses and stores that distribute the goods, and also see the hospital and doctors, and other services that make modern civilization possible.
Feel the bounty and great beauty of the Earth, feel the benefits of employment and wealth creation, feel the pleasures and happiness that life brings to all of the people, and feel, too, the role you play as a steward for all that is in the Earth Plane.
Turn to the east and close the exercise with the Qabalistic Cross.
Remember that all the actions you do on the physical plane extend “up” and through the Etheric, Astral, Mental, and Causal planes—all at once—to become causes of physical world effects. These rituals primarily benefit you, but also affect conditions in the physical world although mostly close to you.
Summary of Purpose & User Benefits: These quarters have no relation to the usual ideas of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, but are concerned only with the qualities of them. Connecting to the qualities of the elements gives you a principle role in directing material forces from the inner planes. Once you have completed the exercise of building your Body of Light you will be able to place your consciousness in position to direct these forces in relation with your visualized programs.
Creating the Body of Light Procedure
Introduction. This is a tedious but very powerful procedure that builds upon the previous three exercises. Remember, these exercises have no religious or other sectarian associations—instead they are programs of particular actions that utilize established inner plane connections to ideas and energies that add power to your mental and physical actions.
First we have to develop a deep connection between you and your physical body. It may seem redundant at first, but as you proceed with the exercise you will realize how little you really know your own body. Here’s the procedure:
Look at your right hand, turn it both ways, and note the appearance, the lines and marks, and movement and actions carefully.
Holding the hand up, palm facing you, bend the thumb over the palm and say “Thumb.” Speak it aloud if at all possible, but if not say it silently and feel the meaning.
Bend the first finger down over the thumb and say “First Finger.”
Bend the second finger down over palm and say “Second Finger.”
Continue with the third finger and say “Third Finger.”
Then finish with the little finger, and say “Little Finger.”
Do these actions slowly and watch the movements carefully. Feel them.
Now, reverse the process from little finger back to thumb. Do these actions with the same care and concentration as you did moving from thumb to little finger.
Repeat the complete exercise several times daily.
After a few weeks, expand the exercise to include the left hand in the same manner.
Next extend the exercise to the right leg, and then the left leg. If you can do it bare-legged, look at the toes, and move them as much as you can. Then flex the foot, rotate the ankle, bend the knee. Speak the appropriate words with feeling.
Sit in a chair, and bend forward and backward and sideways as far as you can and say appropriate words as you do.
While sitting, slowly nod your head back and forth, and then rotate it in both directions. Speak the words.
Stand up and raise your arms to form a cross, and then rotate your hands one way and then the other. Speak the words.
After doing this exercise for a couple of weeks, sit or lie down, close your eyes and “see” an image of your “inner” hands (appearing as grey-white-transparent shadows) doing the same actions with your “inner” eyes as you do them physically. After a few days, extend the closed eye exercise to the feet and legs, and then step-by-step to the whole body. See these actions just as you would with the eyes open but in transparent shadow.
After some time, sitting or lying down, with your eyes closed, see your entire inner body before you and mentally command it to do all these actions while your physical body remains still. This is important. The inner body must do every action, taking the same amount of time, as did your physical body. If you don’t see this, then you must repeat the previous exercises until you do.
Summary of Purpose & User Benefits: While the ultimate value of all this work—the Etheric Training Memory Stations Procedure, the Qabalistic Cross, Magic Circle, and Four Elemental Winds exercises, and then the Creating of the Body of Light Procedure—culminates in the next procedure, they have been immensely valuable in developing the inner resources of the physical/etheric complex and integrating that into the astral form. The net effect is truly summed up in the phrase “Mind over Body.” You now have the ability to effect mind control over the physical and energy body for health and healing purposes.
Transfer of Consciousness to the Body of Light Procedure
Introduction. This is the ultimate astral technology. Transferring consciousness to the Body of Light enables you to exercise astral powers often presumed to be mythic or possible only for high spiritual beings. And, to an extent that is true—but it is also true that you will now have the potential to become such a being. It’s like suddenly finding that you have the physical body of a super athlete able to excel in most sports, able to defend yourself against attacks, and capable of heroic feats.
Yes, you still have a lot of work ahead of you, but you’re now in the home stretch. With great power comes great responsibility. You will need to gain direct experience at the astral level to develop the ethical understanding that goes with such power. Be honest and humble and realize this is the true second birth.
Here’s the procedure:
Do the Qabalistic Cross Exercise with the physical body. Then sit in a chair facing east and visualize the Body of Light you have created standing in front of you, facing east. Command the Body of Light to go through the Qabalistic Cross Exercise. Watch carefully to see that all the actions are correctly performed.
End the program by withdrawing the Body of Light back into yourself.
Repeat the complete ritual, first with the physical body, and then with the Body of Light many times.
Always withdraw the Body of Light back into yourself.
Your next step is to transfer your consciousness to the Body of Light. This is no small accomplishment! You must feel and know that you are conscious in the Body of Light, seeing with its eyes, moving its parts, etc. Then extend the exercise to first include the Magic Circle with banishing pentagrams and finally the Four Elemental Winds.
You need to unite your consciousness with the consciousness of the Body of Light by transferring to that Body your physical senses, and then functioning on the inner planes through those senses. Perform the Qabalistic Cross and Circle of Flames. Sit in the center of the circle, facing east. See the Body of Light in front of you also facing east. Visualize yourself moving across the intervening space and enter into the Body of Light. Then attempt to see about you.
At first, you will see on the Etheric Plane. After learning to see, learn to feel. What you see are etheric counterparts of physical things. Learn to feel those things (but do no attempt to feel living things). Then continue on to develop senses of tasting, smelling, and hearing.
With the completion of this program, you will be tempted to think of yourself as a “Master of the Universe.” Don’t! Don’t give in to the temptation. Such hubris will isolate you from reality and wipe out all you’ve accomplished. You have the means to tremendous possibilities, of which the only limits are your own. That means that the dangers of abuse and self-destruction are even more enormous.
When you are not using the Body of Light, you must keep it inside your Aura by a conscious act of will.
Summary of Purpose & User Benefits: Your purpose is to create a Body of Light. This is more than a Thought Form, discussed in another chapter, but there are many similarities. But you also must transfer your consciousness to this Body, and that is a considerable achievement with many ramifications. To some extent, you do this when dreaming, and even when day dreaming, but a complete transfer of consciousness under direction of your will is mastery of the highest order. You now have conscious vehicle with which to explore the non-material universe.
You can also use the Body of Light as a Familiar, i.e. an extension of yourself on the inner planes, made of the material of those inner planes. It can be used as A Watcher and sent to any place to watch and record what is going on and then to report the information back to you. You can create A Guard in the form of an animal or other form and set it to guard something. If attacked, it will fight back as appropriate to its form. The Body of Light can be A Healing Agent—you identify the particular illness in the physical body and transfer it into the Body of Light, and then through your imagination you change the pictured illness into health. It can be used For Rejuvenation—transfer images back and forth between the imaged physical body and the Body of Light where you make the changes into the youth you had, or make it even better than when you were young. And you can use it as a A God Image—Image a particular mythical God and merge your body of Light with the God Force represented.
Perhaps the most interest possibility is to Merge with a Counterpart—all physical things have counterparts on the inner planes. Using your Body of Light, merge yourself with the counterpart and thus know it and control it. Think what it might mean to merge with a super computer and understand how to increase its power and speed. The possibilities border on science fiction, and there may be no limits.