Trance, visualization, and meditation are basic skills in Wicca, and in many Pagan and Witchcraft paths. Perhaps it’s my leaning towards writing that causes me to easily pick up these abilities, but from day one I’ve felt little to no difficultly doing the sort of meditation that takes you places – pathworking, specifically. When I first learning how to pathwork, I struggled briefly to calm down sufficiently enough to do the pathworking, but within a matter of days, it was fairly easy for me to get comfortable, close my eyes, let go, and journey through the landscapes of my mind.
After a few months of “formal” pathworking practice, complete with circle and candles and trancing, I began to find that I could drop into pathworking anywhere, as long as I relaxed, set my intention, and then let the journey go forth without my control. I remember the experiences I would have and how centered and at peace I would feel afterwards.
This became a regular occurrence, as I would often do it in school at my desk, laying my head down after rushing through a test and I had fifteen or twenty minutes to kill. I would do it on the couch at home, on the bus, at the beach – escaping daily into the inner reaches of my Self, meeting goddesses and my guides, having questions answered, doing magick in my astral temple when I wasn’t able to do it in the physical realm. I inwardly dubbed this “spontaneous pathworking.”
When I fell slightly out of Wicca and Witchcraft for a time, my Senior year of high school and the year I was in Australia, I fell out of practice of meditation and pathworking as well, and these “spontaneous pathworkings” ceased to happen. However, these past few months since I’ve been practicing once more and building my old skills again, I find I have been gradually able to do it once again. A few days ago, it happened for the first time in a while – I went to my astral temple that I had set up so long ago, and although it maintained certain aspects of what it was before, it was also changed in many ways – suiting the ways in which I have changed. I went there and did a spell I was not able to do in the physical realm because I’m traveling with my boyfriend at the moment. And today, at the beach, lying and meditating in the sun, it happened once more – and I met the Goddess and spoke to her of my questions, and what she wished me to do.
It feels really good to be able to spontaneously pathwork once more. It was a skill that disappeared and was sorely missed, and I thank the Universe that I have been practicing enough for it to happen once more. It took a few months, but it is back, and I plan to continue doing it every week – the peace that extends after is worth every moment.
How To Pathwork to Your Astral Temple
Get comfortable. This can be sitting or laying down in whatever position that is comfortable but in which you won’t fall asleep. If it helps you concentrate, set the “mood” by turning off the lights, lighting candles, and lighting an incense that aids in meditation and visions, like salvia (as an incense, it has no hallucinatory qualities that I have noticed. You can buy it in pre-made incense sticks). Begin a rhythmic breathing pattern. I find square breathing and the tantric breath of fire to be most helpful in attaining trance. If your mind wanders, gently pull it back to your breathing.
When you’re in a state of trance, visualize in front of you a path. Pay attention to what the path looks like, what it goes through, what is surrounding it. Note where you are standing and what is marking the beginning of the path. Note the sounds and smells around you. Look down at yourself and see what you are wearing or not wearing – this is your astral self. Sometimes, when I’m pathworking, I have flashes of myself in third person, revealing how my face and hair looks, similar to dreaming in that you can see multiple perspectives. Begin to walk down the path. Pay special attention the feeling of wind on your face and your feet stepping on the ground. This experience is real.
Let the path lead you. Look around you at the world you’ve put yourself in. Don’t force any experiences or images – like you are walking down a path in the physical world, things will appear as they will, not as you will. If you meet anyone or any animals or beings, be respectful and listen to what they have to say, but stay on the path unless you feel safe going in another direction. At the end of the path you will come to your astral temple. Note what it looks like, how big or small it is, what it is made of. Within your astral temple, you may do anything you like – this is your safe and sacred space. You can do magick, talk to the Divine, commune with your guides – whatever you wish to do, you may do it here.
When you’re finished doing what you wish to do, walk back on the path until you come to the spot you began walking from. Feel yourself entering your body once more. Open your eyes. Ground. Some people find it helpful to write down their experience, because it can often slip from your mind like a dream.
If you want to pathwork to other places other than your astral temple, simply visualize a different path leading somewhere else. I have had pathworkings in which I go into caves, on top of mountains, under the ocean – wherever you feel you need to go to get the answers you seek, you can go there.
Have a blessed week!