~ Leave what concerns your body behind. Try to insulate yourself from things your body may nag you about. Noise, hunger pains, uncomfortable posture. If the body has nothing to complain about while you're gone, then it will be all the easier to abandon the physical. Journeying is not the same thing as seeing some place in your mind. To fully experience astral the body has to be completely forgotten. The mind must be quieted and a deeper part of yourself let fly.
Some people are hindered by fear that fully leaving the body will be dangerous. What if you get lost? What if something steps in while you're not there?
~ Create an environment that works. There is little to no danger in astral unless you're deliberately seeking out power and high-level experiences. If you are, then you probably already know what precautions suit you. If you fear, then protect yourself. If your craft involves ritual, cast a protective circle for yourself before you go, guarded by your elements perhaps. If you like spells then cast a charm over the area that your in that allows no entry of harmful entities. If you rely on spirit work then ask friendly beings to watch over you. It all depends on your preferred flavor.
~ Notice the way you leave and come back, and standardize your steps. Pay attention to any patterns you may already have: having a particular position you sit in, item you hold, incense you burn, or visualization as you step from you body- take note of everything you do and repeat those things. This creates a trigger that will make leaving your body automatic once that stimuli is provided. Don't have a common method? Make one up! Experiment.
I read about a shaman who supposedly used two stones to induce trance state - a large rough stone and a smaller one. The small stone was dragged in a slow, methodical pattern against the larger one. The resulting low, grinding, constant noise, was like a hum that lulled him away.
|Copyright at AnnEnchanted.deviantart.com|
~ When you land in the other place be barefoot. Concentrate on your bare feet, the way the ground feels against your skin, the motions lifting you legs and setting them down again. This will ground you in the place you are. Is the floor cold or hot against your feet? Are the stones scratchy or smooth? Is the soil loose or compacted? Dry and cracked or rich and dark? If you're not use to walking around barefoot then spend some time outside without shoes and note the texture of grass, dirt, sidewalk, etc.
~ Write something down. I love writing, but I also feared other people reading what I wrote of these strange new experiences. My answer - be paranoid! I encoded my travels in magical scripts, using key descriptive words, and simple images to remind me of certain places, events, and feelings.
~ Ignore me. If you find something that works really well for you, do it no matter what you read! Don't let yourself be contradicted by other peoples convictions. Your craft is your own, remember that no one understands your perception of it quite so well as you do. Question everything, learn, but never lose faith in yourself.