Today we have a question from a student who finds that their apartment is a hotbed of spiritual activity. It is mostly benevolent, and she feels very positive about the activity (in fact she loves it). And she is doing the right thing, because even though it is mainly benevolent activity, she still performs daily protection procedures. Now, the problem is that, because her apartment is so alive with energies, she does not feel secure when performing trance journeying after the sun goes down.
Trance journeying is the process of entering into a trance to commune with the Spirit World through inner visions. In such a state you can absolutely be more receptive to the presences and energies around you. And as a result, these presences can be alarming.
So what do we do when we are concerned about negative presences interacting with us when we trance out? Especially after dark?
The first step is to always cleanse your home and your own bodily system before entering into trance. It is also important to have a pre-journey ritual in which you consecrate the space and make it sacred and under the watchful eyes of your guides.
Next, any medium or shamanic practitioner must learn to set boundaries. If I am entering a trance journey and I have a certain objective, I really only need to be meeting with beings who have a role in achieving that goal or who are associated with the undertaking. However, when you are in such an altered state in an area with heightened spiritual activity, you may find that even benevolent spirits and energies want to “come and play”. This can be distracting, and if you are trying to focus on other things even a benevolent presence can get in the way or even creep you out (as you don’t have time to identify it as negative or positive).
Therefore, it is important to set boundaries and let any spirits that are around you know that only those beings who are directly relevant to the task at hand are allowed to interact with you at this time. No matter how kind and sweet the being is, it is important that they do not enter into this situation unless they have a reason (as set by the practitioner) to be there. This avoids spirits of the land gathering around you en masse every time you enter trance!
And of course, we need to keep any malevolent entities away. This is when we rely on our guides and guardian spirit. These are your guards. Before a journey, it is essential to ask your guides to protect you from all negative entities and energies. They will be your “bouncers” and kick out anything that isn’t supposed to be there.
It is also a good idea to make an offering to the local spirits of the land and the genius loci (the caretaker spirit of a certain area). These are liminal beings that comprise the local “spiritual ecosystem”. They are your invisible neighbors. By having them on your side, you have an effective defense network protecting you. A spiritual ecosystem that is predisposed to liking you will keep you safe and out of trouble, just like a healthy immune system that keeps out bacteria and viruses.
So far we have looked at ways to keep oneself safe from negative presences. This is actually the easy part to address. The more difficult part is: fear.
And to quote Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune, “Fear is the mind-killer”.
The problem is, fear is natural. It is deeply primal to have some trepidation when the sun goes down. To our ancient ancestors this was when the predators came out! The Sun gives us a certain sense of security at our deepest level.
And unfortunately for spiritual sensitives, you become more aware at night, both because of the enhanced sensitivity and awareness induced by fear, and also because of the quietness and lack of material distractions. Therefore, while in that fear state you are more aware of activity which, even if benevolent, might creep you out!
The key is to face the fear. The fear is what changes your perception of any spiritual activity. And the fear is what can feed any negative activity.
This is why I said dealing with the spirits is the easy part. It is simple to make friends with the spirits of the land and to set up your guides as bouncers. The difficult part is reigning in your own mind.
I remember when I was living alone in Toronto in my early twenties. I was involved in a Thelemic lodge and was performing a lot of rituals in the house based on Golden Dawn material. It was fine during the day, but I can remember being more than a little worried about the apartment when 3am came around.
For me, the fear of the dark was making any presence, even benevolent ones, scary. And because it was dark and quiet, presences were easier to pick up on!
So what can you do? Well, the thing that shifts your mental state to worry and fear is the setting of the Sun. It is a change in the environment. Therefore, we need to make the environment happier and less intimidating at night!
It can be useful to play cheerful music, burn incense or candles with scents that remind you of happy times, and even dance a little!
You can take an object, like a crystal, and charge it under the Sun’s rays during the day. You can then place this object in your home as a channel for the Sun, radiating the Sun’s protective energies throughout your home (this process is just like making “moon water”).
You want to change the “tone” of the night before embarking on any trance work after the Sun goes down.
By influencing the environment you are in, you then influence your mental state, and this influences the types of trance you might enter.
Another strategy is to make friends with the dark. To do so, one can meditate in a room that is pitch black.
Of course, you should perform a cleansing of the space and your bodily system first, and put up the protection of your spiritual guides. Definitely state out loud that this is not the time for any spirits to make contact, even benevolent ones! And then, get used to the darkness. Make friends with it. The darkness was your first taste of existence when you were in the womb. Tell yourself that you are safe. Allow the darkness of the room around you to become a welcoming presence. With time you will be able to sit in darkness for longer and longer without becoming worried.
By performing spiritual protection, addressing the tone and setting of your space, and by becoming friends with the dusk and darkness, I am confident you will find your after-sunset journeys to be less spooky!