Although not neseccarily astral projection, I imagine this topic fits here. It's a practice used by Witches, Cunning Folk, Shamans, and dozens of other spiritual leaders throughout the world. 'Crossing The Hedge' is the practice of leaving this world and descending into the spirit world. It's a practice many people have continued to this day, and is where the term "Hedge Witch" comes into play (thank you once again Silver Ravenwolf for your continuing destruction of other cultures). At it's base, 'Crossing the Hedge' could be considered a form of what is today called astral projection. The same can be said for the 'Sabbatic Flight' of the witches. What are your thoughts on this subject? Are any of you seasoned practitioners at 'Crossing the Hedge' or the 'Sabbatic Flight?'
Re: Crossing The Hedge By: Personified Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Oct 07, 2014
That's a curious term. I think there's lots of different words for it, depending on which practice or culture is referring to it. In my practice,, Northern Tradition Shamanism, we call it "Utiseta" which means "Sitting out" as in "Sitting out of ones own body to project to other realms". We also call it "pathwalking/journeying". It's very similar to the concept of AP. I'd say I have a moderate amount of experience in this regard.
Re: Crossing The Hedge By: WhiteRav3n / Knowledgeable
Post # 3 Oct 07, 2014
"Crossing the Hedge". This is something I've practiced since I was 14 years old. I've always seen it like this. There is a grassy, hilly field with a large body of water, a river that extends as far as the eye can see. There is a stone bridge that extends from one side of this river to the other. I walk it slowly, paying attention to the cobble floor, the breeze, the weather, any animals in the vicinity, etc. I trace my hand along the side of the bridge and remain aware of every foot step, the way the ground feels under my feet. When I reach the middle, I walk to the edge of the bridge and peer down into the water. This is my moment to collect myself and scry a bit before continuing. As I walk the length of the bridge I feel myself entering the spirit world gradually. Once I reach the other end, I am fully there. Sometimes someone (a guide of mine) is there to greet me if I have called on them to aid me in my journey. This is not "AP" because it isn't entering the astral. It is entering what I've been told (by those there) is the "neutral" or middle plane that connects all realms. From there I can find my way to whatever realms I need to visit for my work. There are other bridges. Many in fact. But this is just one, the one I use and the one my guide brought me to so many years ago.
Is this what you are discussing? But there are so many levels to journeying! So many! Walking the worlds is just one. Dream walking, journeying within yourself, journey work for others, traveling to someone to be in their presence while doing magick for them ("splitting" yourself to be conscious in both places), meeting with others to practice with them, vision quests, walking like a spirit on this plane, etc.
I love this part of my work. It is the one thing I have practiced consistently and something I feel I am the closest to mastering.
What people cannot do is get caught up in it because if they anticipate results they can trick the mind into switching to a daydream. This is a state between wakefulness and sleep and the mind is eager to create. My mother taught me to always be in a state of wonderment like a child that knows nothing and can only observe and take in the new sights, sounds, and senses around them. This is extremely important, being able to retain that silence in your mind, gathering what you experience but only planning and considering your own actions in reaction to your surroundings. You have to detach yourself from judgement and expectation. This prevents your mind from filling in details that aren't there through imagination. It allows you to experience everything clearly without the level of "UPG" that many people are clouded with. This is why being able to control your mind and emotions is pertinent and why meditation is a useful tool.
I was my biggest critic and I did not merely accept that what I did was "real" until I was able to prove it by validating what I saw consistently, witnessing the manifestation of my work, and applying what I learned successfully to grow and develop. After 14 years of journeying everyday (except for the last 5-6 months of both of my pregnancies)...so technically 13 years, I can say I am completely confidant in my methods and practice.
Re: Crossing The Hedge By: WhiteRav3n / Knowledgeable
Post # 5 Oct 08, 2014
Because it can be dangerous depending on the circumstances. I stop all ceremonial magick and journeying when I am pregnant for the sake of the very fragile life growing inside. I continue with nothing more than light meditation, mantra, song, and yoga.
For a long while, I stuck with astral projection as in violent entry to explore the corporeal world incorporeally, because I thought that the best way to check if something was real was to remove the observer.
Now I set aside time to meditate, essentially letting what feels like imagination, take over. I've found some interesting stuff, at least, interesting to me.
Carl Jung also wrote (that is, calligraphed and illustrated) a giant book about this, the Liber Novus , where he did conduct what I believe we would refer to as hedge-crossing, but because he was a psychologist he just kept psychoanalyzing it instead of interpreting it literally. I mostly lean towards that approach, too.