If there is one book to begin your studies of the Astral world, this one is it: “Astral Doorways”, by J.H. Brennan (Published 1971, by Thoth Publications). Energy healing is built on several foundations of knowledge, one of which is Western Magical practice. This impressive book introduces both beginning and advanced healers to the basics required to understand – and to experience – the Astral worlds. In addition, Mr. Brennan includes many useful exercises for healers to practice, to gain vital phenomenological experience of both the Astral and the Etheric realities.
In the first chapter of this book, “Understanding the Astral”, the author presents a personalized introduction to exploring the Astral, including examining what it is we mean when we refer to “the self”.
“A Pathway to the Doors” presents the importance of concentration and visualization practice. It might be tempting to skip over this chapter, except that it contains the keys to any kind of progress in working with the Astral: how to develop a functioning mind “screen”. You will find similar encouragement to develop your visualization and focusing skills in the lectures and writings of the late Greek Cypriot Healer, Dr Stylianos Atteshlis (“Daskalos”), as well as the books of Aleister Crowley.
“The Ultimate Protection” presents the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, a variation of an Order of the Golden Dawn occult technique. This chapter is one way to gain insight into the use of symbolic reality, and of the importance of ritualistic order in dealing with all things in the Astral.
“Elemental Doorways” looks at various ways to gain access to the Astral environment, but is thankfully short on specific ritual details. The themes in this book want to inform you, to prepare you, to inspire you to seek more, but not to hand over the keys of esoteric knowledge earned the right way: under the guidance of the magical Ritual Elder.
Mr Brennan touches on many topics, including parallel universes, the Tarot, the I Ching, and (of course) discarnate Astral Entities. The book ends with his notes on the differences between the Etheric and the Astral planes, and suggests that there “may be a degree of intimacy between them’. After reading this book I was left pondering, perhaps for the first time, if the Etheric plane is the energy system of an individuated being, while the Astral is the dimensional playground in which many other such beings play, work, and evolve. Truly an intimate dance between two realities.
Although at first glance this work may seem dated to the modern reader I nevertheless highly recommend it as the essential introduction to practices and information that student Astral healers must absorb, and integrate, during their studies. The power of any book is not whether it is elementary or advanced; it is that it informs the reader at any level of knowledge, and creates a desire for deep change, or further inner reflection. “Astral Doorways” is such a book.
© 2016 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.