An Essay on
© 2008 by Academic Services International, Los Lunas, NM, USA
This chapter examines the concept of Overshadowing, which is the process by which an entity influences or becomes the magician.
When we invoke a god or goddess, that deity descends from a higher level of consciousness into the magical circle and becomes the magician. This is known as overshadowing.
A higher level of consciousness means an expanded state of being, normally not available to human awareness.
As previously defined, the magical circle represents the energy field or aura of the magician. It is assumed that the circle (aura) has been cleared (banished) of all considerations prior to performing an invocation.
Overshadowing has many variations, including telepathic contact, trance channeling, conscious channeling, and full atonement. There is no place here for the magus to be overshadowed by a spirit or demon, because if that were to happen it would be a serious mistake and is known as possession.
Telepathic Contact is like talking on the telephone. The entity is still far away, but an image, vision or verbal message is transmitted to the recipient. Sometimes a complete two-way conversation will take place.
The telepathic connection is established through meditation or invocation.
In addition to contact with deities, there is also contact with "guides." Guides are astral entities who are often tinted with excessive glamour. They can be higher beings, or discarnate individuals ("dead people"), or simply projections from the magician's subconscious mind. They can be liars, or they might easily be misinterpreted. If they regularly communicate accurate information, they can be valuable.
In 1971, I made contact with three "guides" on the inner planes. They were a North American Indian named Sunrise, a black-robed man called Alnomnia, and an Adept of no name. These entities were my constant companions, advising me in all matters, physical and metaphysical. It was like having my own company of attendant fortune tellers. Were these real, independent entities, or were they projections of my unconscious? Who cares?
I can say this for them: They were always 100% accurate - never once was their information found to be false or even slightly misleading.
But in 1974, I received a message from "higher sources" that said I should "discontinue contact with these beings," for I was then in preparation for the central rite of white magic, the invocation of the Solar Angel - and how could I expect to communicate with such an exalted entity when I was still talking with astral guides?
So I broke off communication with them - but they certainly were informative. Thanks guys!
With messages or information being received via (any form) of telepathic contact, one of the most common questions posed by aspiring mystics and magicians is, " But how do I know if this is real information? How do I know if the message is coming from my higher self or some advanced being, or is it simply a product of my wishful thinking and power of imagination? It could be that I am just kidding myself."
This is a valid point and a well-founded question that every person who indulges in telepathy must ask, and answer for themselves. There are no guarantees or lie-detector tests available. The following rules-of-thumb may apply to this dilemma:
1. If a message (or even a passage in a book) intuitively internally "rings true" it should be accepted as being true. Of course, this assumes you're not wrestling with the intuition versus desire issue.
2. If a message can be verified through a Table of Correspondences, it is valid. This assumes you are a skilled Qabalist or Numerologist and are able to convert symbols or words into numbers and interpret the result.
3. Any entity may be examined by the trial-and-error method. This is where you get messages over a period of time and you keep track of them, seeing if they hold up as being true, or if they prove to be false. After a period of time, you develop a sense of discrimination.
Trance Channeling is when a channel (a receptive person) is completely taken over by an entity and he or she goes into a trance, which means the entity temporarily utilizes the mind, emotions and physical body of the recipient. As they are in a trance, the channel is usually unaware of any messages delivered and he or she remembers nothing of the experience. Trance channels are also called spirit mediums or simply mediums.
A trance is established through meditation or invocation. There is no place in magic for trances. The initiated magus is required to exercise free will and to remain in full, conscious awareness at all times.
Conscious Channeling is when a channel (a receptive person) is impressed by an entity, but he or she does not go into a trance, which means that the entity temporarily utilizes the mind, emotions and possibly the physical body of the recipient. As they are not in a trance, the channel is usually completely aware of any messages delivered and he or she will remember the experience. Like trance channels, conscious channels are also called spirit mediums or simply mediums. Sometimes they are simply known as consultants.
A conscious channeling connection is established through meditation or invocation. There may well be a place in magic for conscious transmission, but the channel usually is seated in a chair or an asana (yoga position). Sometimes the channel is standing or even walking around.
Atonement, in this case, means at-one-ment, which describes being of one-mind. This is our definition of magical overshadowing and implies that the entity utilizes the mind, emotions and physical body of the magus. The magician is completely aware of his or her alteration in consciousness and will remember the experience.
A conscious, magical overshadowing is established through invocation. This is the objective in magical practice. The magus is completely able to sit, stand or move around.
Overshadowing may involve various entities, including gods, goddesses, angels and masters. Spirits, demons and ghosts need not apply.
See Gods, Goddesses and Angels in the Appendix
Overshadowing is also applicable to some interesting concepts, including the transmigration of positions and the manifestation of avatars.
The transmigration of positions involves a person who holds an "officership" or a certain esoteric status within a group. The group is overshadowed by an Order that exists on the astral (or hopefully higher) plane, and individual people occupy specific positions that are singularly overshadowed by entities from the inner plane group.
When a person quits their position (or proves unworthy and is simply by-passed), this individual "loses" the overshadowing. Invariably, another member in the group (or a new member) soon takes up that position.
This has nothing to do with being elected or appointed. It seems to simply occur. Most groups have noticed that when someone leaves, another person comes along and members begin to whisper, "Why he's just like so-and-so."
This process occurs within groups that are formal or informal, white or black, ancient or recent, truth-based or illusionary. Overshadowing from the mental or astral (emotional) planes, without higher linkages, will be muddled and deceptive, yet it is common, for many groups and orders exist in the astral realm that are without a high lineage.
The manifestation of an Avatar is a rare event. It involves the direct incarnation of a cosmic being. Overshadowing of an initiate by an avatar is a bit more common.
An Avatar is a being who comes into the world in order to advance the evolutionary process. Thus he is a white magician of the highest order. By strict definition, he is born fully awake to his nature and purpose and this awareness never goes away.
It might be said that all humans are born fully awake, but then the rigors of parental discipline, toilet-training, and society's imposition of "reality" soon causes all awareness of cosmic consciousness to be repressed. Sometime, much later in life (if at all!), the individual is inspired to regain his or her universal consciousness, and they enter the spiritual path - this is also called The Path of Return.