“Astral-walking”, “path-walking” or “way-taming”, as it is called in some Traditional Witchcraft and Shamanic circles, is the practice or the intended experience, of overlaying of two or more worlds; that of the seen and that of the energetic, unseen with the typical naked eye. The term “way-taming” originates from Northern (Norse) shamanism.
It is the practice of being in multiple worlds at once uniting physical reality and that of the Otherworld inhabited by spirits. Being consciously aware of this is seemingly like being in two bodies simultaneously. You walk in your physical body whilst allowing your etheric or astral body to walk in the other “world”. Therefore, you become attuned to that which naked eyes cannot see. The guidance comes from your connection to the energetic currents and your third eye.
Now, this should be considered an advanced practice for a Witch, particularly suited to those already familiar with such other ones as astral projection and dream walking. Why? Because in a way, it comprises similar qualities of both experiences. I must include that it is a different practice. An experience is something that either happens automatically to the Witch or is a result of practice.
Practice is actual technique. Way-taming also requires being very grounded in other basic practices and having full control of one’s own mentality. One must be able to delineate the different realities and assimilate them all at once or by breaking down the experiences literally in the speed of a lightning flash in one’s own mind, while staying free from fantasy. This is the difficult part. Having a skeptical mind is essential so long as there are no negative, preconceived notions. Being an intuitive is also necessary.
It is all too easy to blend fantasy with parallel realities and end up a psychological mess from straying across the hedges for too long, too often. I should know since I came close, really close. I was so much working in my astral and my light bodies that at one point I did not really care much to still be inhabiting my physical one and it seemed more like an annoyance I wanted to shed and move on to better things. Not that I was contemplating ending my life. I merely did not care if my life ended as I had zero fear of death. I still have no fear of this, merely a whole bunch of goals that are primarily spiritual service oriented I want to accomplish whilst still inhabiting this meat-suit. There is much Work to do! Everything comes full circle. Malkuth is in Kether as Kether is in Malkuth!
Luckily, I had enough grounding in Malkuth as well as a long enough lead rope for someone to pull me out, namely my Guardian which is known ceremonial circles as the Holy Guardian Angel or Daemon. Also, my flesh and blood husband who is very much a practical Virgo helped in this effort! However, what some may seem as temporary insanity and an infatuation of the arcane, may be regarded as brilliant and visionary to others. What I brought back from the nether worlds holds no price tag! I am a very spiritually wealthy woman and very lucky to be able to manifest what I can!
Truth can be relative… However there are clearly defined cases of bullshit and of what is real, here on terra firma! Make sure you have considerable grounding, maturity and a stable mental demeanor prior to learning the art of way-taming. If not, you may find yourself swimming its energetic depths without knowing the undertow can carry you out beyond some mental boundaries.
Learned how to way-tame for me came after learning astral projection and dream walking. Others may learn it in a different order. This is just the way I experienced it and obviously, my guardians did not think I was ready until I was an older adult. Usually when I discover some new practice or state of being, it is not through books or others training me. First would come doing it all on my own, then I’d find it by accident or else it would present itself as part of my studies and practice in one of the Traditions I am affiliated with. This never ceases to amaze!
This also tends to be part of the gift of being born a Witch. I am unapologetically of the belief that in order to be a true Witch, a true steward of Nature and thus a Priestess-queen or Priest-king of the forces of Nature, you have to be born a Witch. It is not something you can just acquire or learn. Knowledge of herbs can be acquired. So too can we learn healing with natural medicines, do Tarot spreads based on symbolism, Astrology, playing with crystals and the learning/practicing the lore of various traditions. However, being blessed with certain innate abilities is not something learned, but rather something we are just born with.
Witches learn to recognize that inner power for what it is. Then we strive to consciously hone it. The sacred mark of a Witch is in her ability to take all that is learned and all she is naturally blessed with and become a power to reckon with. She (or he) has the ability to manifest her/his will in the material world and in the unseen worlds. Some witches have magickal specialties and some have multiple arcane talents.
Many people do have abilities, it is just that either they remain ignorant of them or else are fearful of their own power due to societal expectations and upbringing. Mainstream religion also has had a way of scaring people into fearing their own personal power, as well as the witch. Then the witch ultimately fears herself! Such a vicious cycle of repression, and control by others that have no business trying to interfere in the personal. People outside arcane circles often tend to fear the power of a Witch or Magician.
But, we are not in the Dark Ages nor Medieval times anymore, not even the pristine 1950’s. We now, at least in most developed countries, have freedom of religion and spirituality. We can make choices that are far more inherent to our inner Natures without fear of being executed. Sadly, many still do discriminate against our kind…. Either out of fear, or ridicule, or both. Those that discriminate seem to think damning us will speed along the wrath of God quicker, when in reality, we are beyond such notions of duality and do not typically believe in a conventional type of afterlife anyways (aka “Heaven” and “Hell”) , so fear-mongering is not one bit effective. It only makes our assailants seem more and more ignorant, as well as blind to Truth. Sometimes we pity them, sometimes we laugh at them and sometimes all we want to do is educate them. They can choose then to take it or leave what is offered.
More and more Witches and Magicians are awakening however than before! Some may awaken earlier than others, some may need a little guidance with training, but not everyone has the “right-stuff”. And not everyone has to follow the very difficult Paths we have chosen to commit to. That’s ok. Our world needs all kinds of people, with all kinds of talents! We are composites of a multiverse rather than just a universe.
Whether we also in-turn choose to take on the Karmic responsibilities associated with being a Witch, is up to us. Also, know that once we take that oath, make the commitments to being a liaison between the seen and unseen, and a protector of the energies of Nature, here is no going back. We are gifted yes, but so we also have responsibilities that come with awareness and are often ostracized in typical society. Ordinary muggles tend to feel either very attracted to us or repelled for some reason they cannot put their finger on. Our energy is different than that of people that do not consciously work on their own energy and complexes. It tends to be intense.
We crackle. We pulsate. We burn….and we undulate…
Therefore, we attract or repel… Sometimes both at once.
Negative assumptions can be made from sheer confusion, which is due to misunderstanding. We are healers, prophets, poets and priestesses! And once we begin to be of service, it becomes as the core of our very beings. Way-taming is an excellent way to meet the denizens of alternate planes and work with them. I also recommend the Magician’s practice of skrying to this end as well, however that is a topic that deserves its own article. All can say about it personally is that my skrying experiences to the different planes; Elemental, Zodiacal, Planetary and Sephirotic, have always been effortless and extremely vivid from the get-go. I am sure this ability too has lent a hand in the practice of way-taming, despite the fact that way-taming is more of a shamanic practice.
Along the way, I have developed some techniques for developing the ability of way-taming How I learned it was due to.my desire and connection with the whole of Nature, which includes the eidolon of the Dragon Current.
So what is the eidolon of the Dragon Current? It is both the most simple, primal thing in the world as well as perhaps the most complex. This current is only available for those who seek to become attuned to it. This is the deified energy of all the Elements and the heart of Nature itself! It is all around us and within us. It is the Kundalini Life force, the electric current within our bodies and that which makes the planet earth turn, the storms roll, the winds blow and the waves crash upon distance precipice.
It is essential that a Witch or Magician be attuned to this first, or else they will never be able to way- tame. The formulae is quite simple:
In order to recognize something, we tend to have a relationship of some kind with it. So, the first step is to establish the relationship to the worlds beyond the veil that are in parallel to ours. You may think of them as dimensions, if you like.
Remember those tales you may have perhaps heard about faery-folk with mushroom rings?
Have you ever seen an odd ring of trees, perhaps with branches sloped over to form some type of enclosure?
Have you seen suspicious looking mounds in clearings and forests?
Have you seen odd trees that twine together and you see what looks like faces or doorways etched in the bark?
Well, normally to the naked eye, these merely appear as oddities of Nature. To a way-taming Witch however, these are habitations and portals to other dimensions that exist also in a non-physical reality, with different functions. When we “walk”, we see what is beyond. This may seem to be fantasy, but having initially experienced such phenomenon without even trying and being of sane mind and body, I can assure you that it is not. At least not from the perspective of a Witch!
It is better to not have any preconceived notions or else they might merely be psychological projections and this is something to avoid. So, how does one learn how to more clearly experience the energetic realms that overlay our own? Assuming of course one has already established some sort of energetic connection?
Practice, practice, practice! It is just like anything else in that regard.
Here is a simple exercise to help awaken and hone way–taming abilities in 7 simple steps:
- Outdoors, make sure you have a lot of room, such as a huge, empty lawn, meadow or other. It should be familiar surroundings that you can recall visually with your eyes closed. This place should also be a good distance away from traffic or other man-made distractions. The only noise that may aid some people, is music.
If you are one of those people who can better get into an altered state of mind with music, do so! Choice is up to you, but raucous music with many changes in tempo and lots of lyrics is not the best. Ambient or at least repetitive, is a better choice. Whether it be electronica, guitar strumming or percussion drum-based is up to you! Use whatever induces a trance-like state of mind.
- Next, spend a few moments tuning into the energies of Nature before beginning. Close your eyes. Feel the wind on your face and through your hair, the sun on your eyelids, the dewy grass on your feet (if barefoot), the firmness of the earth below and the freedom of the sky above. Listen to the rustling of leaves, the call of birds, or music. If that is what you have chosen.
- Mentally and emotionally reach into that place inside that calls on your sacred inner power. The fire in your blood, the pulsating of your heart, the recesses of your mind from a time long forgotten… This will aid you in this work tremendously.
- Eyes must be closed. If necessary, wear a blindfold. This is a form of sensory deprivation (that of plain sight) that will assist in tuning into everything around you energetically. Now, try to recall your surroundings and try and walk forward. Sense what is going on around you energetically.
- Keep walking as for as long as you feel comfortable doing, so without getting injured. Whatever you see and feel, firmly etch this in your mind for recording later on. If need be, and if not distracting, take someone with you to guide you so you won’t injure yourself by tripping on something or running into an object. Pot holes, fences and tree stumps are unforgiving obstacles.
- Practice this once a week, weather permitting, for a couple of months.
- Be sure to record any details of your experience that you can recall in your magical journal or grimoire.
This exercise will help to acclimate your senses to other worlds parallel to ours by temporarily shutting out visual “static” of sight and force you to reach out with your subtle bodies to energy around you. Best of luck my friends. The Spring season is the Western Hemisphere is almost upon us. Time to get outside into Nature and bask in her glory of new life!
Copyright © 2017 Leigh-Ann Rose Grace. All Rights Reserved
Artwork “Cernnunous Lady” by Voina Art