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~ Altered States of Consciousness ~

Meditating, or acquiring an altered state of consciousness, has taken on an unnecessary aura of mystery in our modern world, yet we do it every day.  You have changed your focus of consciousness every night since the day you were born when you went to sleep.   During the night you go up and down from the light trance of alpha sleep to the deeper levels of delta and theta sleep.  If you were attached to an EEG machine (brain wave scanner) as you read this page, the cycles per second would show you that you are in an alpha state, a light hypnosis trance watching the imperceptible light pulsation's on the screen during a television show or movie induces a mild altered state of consciousness.

    Altering your consciousness for divine alignment exercises, pathworking, or any other type of meditation, spell, or ritual work, is merely a process of learning to consciously control which of these four brain wave levels you function at (usually always alpha and theta for inner-plane work)l, and deciding yourself how long you remain in each.

Brain Wave Levels

Name Cycles Per Second Human Condition
Beta 15 -18 Normal wakefulness, alterness, study, conversational level (person is aware of all physical sensations and bodily needs).
Alpha 8 -12 Light to medium meditation, daydreaming, focused concentration, drowsiness, sat-napping, some astral projections, easy guided meditation, very light sleep, reading, watching television, basic alignment exercises (person finds waking from this level not difficult)
Theta 4 - 6 Deep meditation, medium to deep sleep, complex astral projections, complex guided meditation, light unconsciousness, deity contact, pathworking (person find waking moderate to very difficult)
Delta 0.5 - 2.5 Very deep sleep, coma or deep unconsciousness, near death experiences, anesthesia before surgery (person has little or no consciousness of physical sensations or bodily need, waking is difficult, maybe even impossible in the deepest level.

    To place yourself deliberately into one of these altered states is not a mysterious or frightening trip into dangerously unknown realms which can only be attained and mastered by some great adept.  Those who would try to tell you that do not know what they are talking about.  Anyone can achieve some success on his or her first attempt, though, as with any endeavor, you will improve with practice.  It is all a matter of focusing your mind on one thing/event/idea to the exclusions of all else.   When your mind wanders from the intended focus, don't get upset, just gently bring it back.

    With practice in meditation and sustained concentration, your altered states can become longer and deeper, and at the deepest controlled states (the deep theta level) you can do some more advance work such as unguided inner-world explorations, unguided past-life regression work, and serious astral projections.   These are very natural states.  The only difference here is that you are seeking to gain conscious control of them.  The key to all these things is in learning to concentrate for increasing periods of time upon one thing only.

    You should now begin this daily practice of sustained concentration, especially if you are not already used to using meditation in your spiritual practice.   The better able you are to keep focused, the better success you will have in working with mythic figures.  To begin practicing this, go to a place where you will be unlikely to be disturbed for twenty to thirty minutes, gently close you eyes, and hold one image in your mind.  Keep it simple.  Choose a geometric shape or occult symbol with which you are familiar.  Use only one object, symbol, word, phrase, or idea per session, and focus upon it alone.  When you master this you will automatically be able to sloe the cycle per second waves of the brain, inducing a sort of awakened sleep during which all facets of ourselves are in a heightened state of awareness and receptivity.

    When you are able to keep this image in your mind for at least five minutes, then you can create a more complex scene.  Add more symbols, motion, color, or even make a mental stage splay.  Practice this exercise every day, increasing the complexity or your images, and soon your mind will be disciplined enough to take you anywhere at any time.


Excerpt From Edain McCoy's Celtic Myth and Magick, We really recommend you check out Edain McCoys Book for more information and as well as some of her other works.