Author Topic: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes  (Read 1256 times)

Olive

Som·no·man·cy (n) - The use of sleep related states for magical and alchemical purposes.

Somno (sleep) + Mancy (~divination) = Sleep Magic.


Category: Practice, Lifestyle

Difficulty: 2/5 

Recommended Prerequisites for Mastery:

6 months of daily meditation 20 minutes or more

or

Occult initiation into the first degree, attainment of second-sight/astral sight.



I. Differentiation between the magic of sleep and that of dreams.

In other words, the topic of this discussion shall be focused on using sleep and sleep-related states as magical tools rather than those methods which are enacted while in dreaming consciousness. We shall surely return to the latter subject in time, but until then I would recommend taking a look at @Kapalika 's thread on the subject which contains some general ideas on the subject (http://orderoftheserpent.org/forum/index.php?topic=567.msg5117).


II. Sleep Deprivation and Bad Habits

Before we discuss potential methods for using sleep to sow and reap great benefit to ourselves, we first must briefly mention how to address the negative impacts which can easily be accrued by a poor approach to the practice. For example, many adults and children are subject to chronic sleep deprivation. The CDC reports that 35.2% of all adults in the United States get less than 7 hours of sleep per 24 hour period 1. This figure tracks closely with other conditions that can also affect the quality of sleep such as smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, and physical inactivity. If it is at all possible for the initiate to avoid these conditions or to suspend them temporarily, it would be most helpful to do so in seeking to master this subject.

Even if most of the overtly negative preconditions can be avoided, our problems are not solved. For the practitioner shall also have to set aside enough time to get a healthy amount of sleep on a regular basis. This duration is often reported as 7+ hours, but in practice one should likely try for at least 8 hours to aim for natural and restful sleep (and if you are already sleep-deprived, you may need as much as 10 hours a day until you have recovered). Another factor that is poorly reported upon is the negative impact of noise exposure upon a sleeping person. The ears are not totally forgotten in sleep - they continue to hear faithfully and this information intrudes upon the dream world and draws subconscious attention away from other processes. A similar thing can happen with light exposure during one's sleeping hours, though to a lesser extent. If it is all possible, one should endeavor to have a quiet and dark space to sleep in - free from all intrusion. A space like this is of enormous value and will be mentioned again in various other practices.

Another problem is the use of alarm clocks in order to make early shifts and classes after potentially working long hours the night before. Many people are in general overworked and thus are forced to use such tools in order to regulate their daily routines. This is unfortunately one of the worst detriments to making the best out of a night's sleep and the process of waking up. An alarm clock is a jarring intrusion into your resting essence, shaking you to waking consciousness and demanding that you at once open your eyes and move, and begin the morning struggle (if not to fitfully steal a few more moments of sleep before repeating the same experience). This method totally destroys one's ability to go through the natural process of waking, and much less to make use of hypnopompic states of consciousness.

Sleep deprivation and other negative sleep factors cause an internal deficiency which is no less debilitating than hunger - and yet because of its subtle and pervasive nature in modern society, it is rarely addressed as a real problem. Sleep deprivation has been used as a cruel method of torture 2 3, and has been shown to precipitate psychotic episodes 2 and even death.

Other side-effects of these conditions include:

• Irritability and sensitivity
• Inability to remember dreams
• Retarding effect on growth and healing processes
• Misalignment with the circadian rhythm of the body
• Temporary state of "shocked" consciousness from the quickened transition

We carry these things with us into our day, and they are not always the easiest of conditions to shake off. Making a directed effort to address some of these problems will greatly increase the quality of your sleep and give you a good baseline to begin using it for magical and transformative purposes.


III. Sleeping Naturally

In contrast to the complicated and myriad effects that come with the chronic sleep deprivation in the modern world - where indeed even in wealthy countries sleep is neglected and disturbed - the most beneficial way to conduct sleep is extremely simple. I'd like to share a quote from the mammoth tome of pessimism called Ever Deeper Honesty, which describes this quite aptly 4: (Slightly paraphrased for better readability)

Quote
1. When your body/mind is naturally tired, you will naturally want to lie down,
and your body/mind might sleep, or do whatever it does.
And,
2. When your body/mind is totally finished lying down, it will naturally not want
to lie down any longer, and you will naturally have to get out of bed.

Despite this being extremely simple and easy to do, most people are not doing this (or not being allowed to do this). Which means that they are not even listening to their own bodies. And if they are not even listening to their own bodies on such a crude level, it is highly likely that other things are also happening in their bodies which they are not fully aware of.

Indeed, there are so many spiritual books/teachers/courses/etc, which all teach you how to
listen to your body/intuition/etc, but none of this is as important, as being able to naturally
wake up (when the body/mind is ready), and naturally go to sleep (when the body/mind is
ready).

...

Note: It's important to see, that this is not about being able to stop (and rest, take a step
back, etc), on an occasional basis.
-- Ie, it's not about having 3 or 4 evenings a week, where you go somewhere (and/or do
something), to stop (and rest, take a step back, etc).
-- Ie, It's about being able to do this naturally, every day, 24/7.
And it’s important to realize, that this is not something that is a “want”, but a “need”.
-- Because, if you just “stop” for a short while, (eg, stopping for a whole week, or month, or
year), this will not help, because as soon as you get back into your normal life, you'll be
back into the routine (of not letting your mind/body naturally rest when it needs, and for
however long it needs).
-- Ie, the only way to make a true/permanent difference to your life, is to naturally live your
life, like this, everyday.

Note: Saying that all of this is important, might sound ridiculous (to some people),
however, what is more ridiculous, is a life where:
1. You can’t go to bed when you want.
2. You can’t wake up when you want.
3. You can’t just stay in bed if you want.

And indeed, this level of achievement alone can have massive impacts on the practitioner's life. The ability to sleep alone, in a relatively sound-proof, light-proof room for as long as the body and mind naturally require (that is, until going through the full process of waking until one is ready to get up without an alarm clock) is invaluable. Some of the effects of this include: the ability to remember dreams with much greater clarity; starting each day with a mind that is fully recharged and healed to a great extent; consistently having energy levels which are overflowing rather than deficient; much better mood in general; no need for caffeine, which would further tax the resources of the body. These abilities become more and more apparent over longer periods of time, and being able to consistently sleep effectively should be considered one of the greatest fundamental methods for the purification of the intellect, and the emotional mind (Air and Water).

This alone can go a long ways towards alleviating the need within one's psyche that can cause her many impediments in her alchemical work. Consistency in this practice of natural sleeping also allows for the recognition and observation of the various states of consciousness peripheral to sleep and the transition periods between them, which we shall discuss in brief directly.


IV. Hypnagogic States of Consciousness

Hypnagogic (adj) - relating to the state just before falling asleep.

Now it seems we are getting into the real meat of the practice, or what is experienced most definitely as an active form of practice rather than a matter of discipline and Will. That is, the observation and appreciation of the transitional periods in consciousness. Only so much can be said in text, so the initiate should work by his own experience to see exactly what is there, and how it can be made use of. The first of these kinds of experiments involves the hypnagogic period just before falling asleep. This is probably the easiest category to explore and also one of the most intriguing, and so we'll speak a bit about it first.

The practice sounds relatively simple, but the actual doing can be a little tricky - since it involves observing and learning from experience that is happening at some of the most rarefied and relaxed states of consciousness available throughout one's day. This is why the primary requirement for this type of magic involves a relatively solid base in meditative practices - wherein the skill of maintaining focus and presence in all different states of consciousness is honed. The alternative prerequisite, is the acquisition of what I second-sight. This is the ability to perceive veridical visual impressions that do not arise from the functioning of the eyes or the reception of any light. Equal to this prerequisite is the apperception of extrasensory powers, or in other words access to modes of perception beyond those of the five senses. This is a relatively deep topic on its own, so we won't divert too much to discuss it here; these abilities qualify a candidate because a person who has mastered any of them has a strong ability to perceive and recall those phenomena which happen on very subtle levels and in different seas of conscious possibility space.

The practitioner should recuse herself to her sleeping room while not sleep-deprived. As she approaches natural sleep, she should attempt to maintain a subtle level of awareness as the processes of drifting asleep take place. One should observe without preventing sleep from approaching by raising conscious activity overly much. As this is done, several different kinds of phenomena may begin to occur, including:

• Dis-identified speech of an inner voice, speaking with great clarity (or a great dementedness) about sometimes surprising topics
• Weak and frenetic visionary experiences, sometimes rising into full blown consistent visions with color.
• Less frequently, auditory effects that do not seem to arise from internal gesticulations or from external sources.
• Divinatory effects - future and possible future events being revealed subtly
• Rarefied states of feeling resulting from sinking into oblivion while maintaining awareness
     → Sometimes incredibly blissful as the comfort of the bed is enjoyed, and as the various processes of the body are wound down
     → As this happens, the related impulses of the Will are relaxed and set aside, giving it less and less reason to bring consciousness outside of itself.
     → Awareness eventually relaxes itself totally and returns to Essence (spirit).
     →     → Similar to a Samadhi-like experience - but notably different and less intense in these circumstances
     →     → Nevertheless, both experiences can be classified among joys as Shiva-Bliss, since they are bliss arising from the dissolution of self and of experience itself.
• Once one has become skilled with this practice, then she may wish to explore what happens when it is done from a state of exhaustion rather than peaceful sleepiness.
     → Greater hallucinatory and delirious happenings
     → Powerful practice for strengthening the Will and training discipline


V. Hypnopompic States of Consciousness

Hypnopompic (adj) - relating to the states immediately preceding waking consciousness, and during the transition to full wakefulness.

This state and the last one often get thrown around together - but they are in truth markedly different in experiential quality and applications. At the end of the day, one wearily returns to bed and takes comfort in that respite as her physical processes take the chance to heal themselves, and her mind is let loose from the chain of mundane existence - quickly spinning off into semi-incoherent and self-indulgent tangents. But in the morning, one is suddenly born again, gasping, from that state of ultimate relaxation and infinite mental potential. She struggles to make sense of the lingering afterimages and feelings as the ordinary sounding of waking consciousness reasserts itself. In this way, the hypnopompic stages of waking amount to a kind of violence - the violence of creation; as such magical and alchemical methods that make use of this transition period are themselves more violent than their counterparts and similarly powerful. It has been said that some of the creative insights which are usually attributed to dreams actually happen during this period of waking from R.E.M sleep. Whether or not this is true you shall have to explore for yourself in your personal practice.

The practice I recommend to begin experimenting with this, is similar to the previous one if only in description. One must exert control at the critical moment of instantiation and then prevent herself from mentally tensing up at this experience. Instead she must assert a calm watchfulness and observe what is happening within herself carefully. It is imperative that an alarm clock not be used for this practice. One should be waking from a night of natural sleep, and as this is happening she must resolve to keep her eyes closed for 3-5 minutes and refrain from moving as the aforementioned observation and appreciation begins. The natural process of waking takes several minutes to complete and this should all be observed without interruption.

Here are some things one might experience with attention to this practice:

• Observing the instantiation of one's waking consciousness.
• Taking note of one's first thought of the day - slippery as this notion may be. First intentional thought of the day, first heard thought remembered etc.
• As long as the eyes remain closed, one's dream recall will be nearly perfect. Use this to reach back into Dreaming consciousness and analyze the content there to recall important semiotics and the emotional states you have been in throughout the period you can remember.
• An incredibly fresh and vibrant state of consciousness, sometimes the most pure and satisfied of one's day.
     → High states of bliss can be achieved; they are different from hypnagogic states as they are based on restful and springlike being rather than awareness of dissolution.
    →     → According to the framework previously mentioned, this would be classified as Brahma-Bliss transitioning into Vishnu-Bliss if sustained as the period ends.
    →     → Done correctly, this joy of birth will be accompanied by a sublime state of Will-lessness that will allow the adept to experiment, unimpeded by impulses to move or think.
    →     →     → (Advanced) Using this birth of consciousness divided from the material world, to create a separate existence for oneself before eventually opening the eyelids.


VI. Napping and Interrupted Sleep Schedules.

Napping is not only a casual way to catch up on sleep, it is actually quite a useful tool for occult and spiritual purposes - especially those who are interested in exploring the processes of dreams and sleep. If an adept has had a long day and is exhausted or is otherwise suffering from certain mental ailments such as headache and brainfog, it can actually be more beneficial for her to simply take a nap and recover rather than simply going right into a more demanding practice such as meditation or yoga. (Although if she has determined that she will continue her practice then and has no other time to perform it to make her regimen, she should still perform the practice, or she sins against her Will.)

Varying lengths of nap time have been proposed for different desired effects. Short naps, colloquially referred to as “power naps”, are those ranging from 10-30 minutes. This kind of nap does not allow enough time to get very deep into REM sleep, and so they are often not very useful for generating inspiration. However, they are sufficient to “wipe clean” the current mental state of the practitioner - and this property makes them a great way to break through such limitations as procrastination and writer’s block. I have also found them effective for storing up a bit of extra energy before going about a task.

Longer naps, such as those that go 1-2 hours or even longer are sufficient to create the sensation of awaking to a new day. They are usually enough to fully rejuvenate the practitioner unless he has sustained more serious bodily damage or exhaustion. These kinds of naps also have a good chance of passing into REM and also into the deepest states of sleep which are beyond dreams. In these cases, inspiration from dreams becomes again accessible and is sometimes easier to recollect owing to the smaller amount of time between dream and waking.

More fine distinctions on nap time can be made, but this would serve no real purpose, as each adept will have to discover for herself what effects she can induce by altering the time scale - and this is something that is by no means able to be spoken about in a general sense.

It should now be noted that the restriction against alarm clocks can be lifted for naps and interrupted sleep schedules, as these things may prove impossible to experiment with accurately without some external signal to intentionally break up sleep at the desired time. Still, care should be taken that the alarm not be too varied or agitating enough as to destroy the potential usefulness of the waking state by requiring immediate action. The best noises that can be used for this purpose is either a single short note of sound, or otherwise a constantly sounding tone which is not too loud or grating. Either of these will allow the adept to wake and take note of the signal without being required to take immediate action to silence it.

One additional purpose of napping, which is quite obvious, should be noted all the same due to its significance for our purposes. This is that taking naps or making use of interrupted sleep schedules makes it possible for the adept to experience multiple hypnagogic and hypnopomic effects in a day. She is not limited to the usual one of each. This allows her to take a closer and more frequent examination of her subject.

The use of interrupted sleep schedules needs little explanation, as the term speaks for itself. By setting (non-invasive) alarms during the night, one turns her sleeping period into a series of deep naps. There are several different ideas about how to best go about this - but I shall list only two for those who wish to experiment with this.

Up to 4 hours rest, 1 hour awake, 4 hours rest. - This schedule is meant to replicate the natural sleep schedule that humans pursued before the advent of modern time scheduling and artificial lighting. It is speculated that this spare hour of productivity (under the moon) was responsible for much of the copulation of ancient humans. Whatever the case may be, it does allow for two very deep periods of sleep per day, and a single hour of productive time apart from all worry as the rest of the world sleeps.

3+ hours rest, then waking every 90 minutes - This schedule is designed to assist in trawling up even more material from the deep places of dreaming consciousness. In theory, the long period of rest is enough to allow for REM and dreamless sleep. Following this, the adept can quickly rise for just a few moments and record whatever she remembers from the content of her dream. Afterwards, the end of each 90 minute interval is meant to interrupt a period of REM - allowing for greater dream recall. I have had some success with this method, but I advise caution. It is a difficult schedule to keep and one must be careful not to exhaust herself pursuing it.


VII. Sleeping Asanas

- under construction -


Title of Mastery

One having mastered these practices should consider themselves as having earned the Somnus Dreadnought - that is, the God of Sleep's heavy coat. Once you've thoroughly integrated the results to the point of being able to speak about the merits of the degree and to keep consistent mastery over your sleep, you can wear it with confidence. Fools may scoff at its significance, but in the weary lines of their faces you shall spy the oversight of those who have neglected the art of natural rejuvenation, and who approach the dark half of their lives with carelessness.

Sigillic Representation of Degree

-under construction-




Citations

1. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
2. https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1962.tb50101.x
3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dreaming-in-the-digital-age/201412/why-sleep-deprivation-is-torture
4. https://www.everdeeperhonesty.com/ (page 436-437)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 09:01:40 pm by Olive »
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Etu Malku

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 04:20:36 am »
There is also Sleep Saturation which we use in H☿D, forcing yourself to sleep throughout the day, for days. What begins to take place is your unconscious mind intertwines with your conscious mind. Dreams and the unconscious mind step forward during waking consciousness. When properly primed entering majiqal trance states is effortless . . . plus you're well rested!  8)
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Kapalika

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 04:39:39 am »
I'm fairly well experienced in dream magic and lucid dreaming. However a word of caution, don't oversleep, it will mess you up. I do agree that naps though can be good for developing lucid dreaming and dream divination skills.
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

Etu Malku

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 05:15:58 am »
"Sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity, and cognitive issues including difficulty with memory. Similar to people who sleep too little, people who sleep too much have higher overall mortality risks."

https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2018/07/16/yes-you-can-sleep-too-much-heres-why-oversleeping-is-a-problem/


I'm a graduate of the Monroe School of Trance Technology and also from the Claymont Society for Continuous Education (1985). I've spent a good portion of my life studying trance and possession. In the H☿D we exercise caution and safety in everything we do which involves our bodies and minds. Like any other extreme practice leading up to majiqal trance, Sleep Saturation should never be practiced beyond its use to assist in trance induction.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 05:24:36 am by Etu Malku »
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Liu

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 02:27:10 pm »
As much sleep as I seem to need (8.5-10h, not including the time to fall asleep or to get up, or I feel tired all day), I might want to make some use of it, but don't know where to start.
[I might actually have sleep apnea according to my doctor - going to a specialist next week, made the appointment already over 2 months ago.]

I used to keep a dream diary, consistently for over a year, but I have stopped a few weeks ago - getting up is difficult enough without trying to cling to the fragments of a dream and note it down, and I don't even use an alarm most days - luckily, I can more or less decide myself when I work.

20 minutes of meditation is something I haven't done since more than a year, and I wonder how I could make time for it since I already feel like I have too little.

Note: Saying that all of this is important, might sound ridiculous (to some people),
however, what is more ridiculous, is a life where:
1. You can’t go to bed when you want.
2. You can’t wake up when you want.
3. You can’t just stay in bed if you want.
If I'd have an office of my own I'd do that more consistently, but I already try to sleep whenever I feel tired and am at home - what keeps me back are media addictions and social obligations, and the fear of messing up my sleeping rhythm by taking a late nap.

Quote
The practitioner should recuse herself to her sleeping room while not sleep-deprived. As she approaches natural sleep, she should attempt to maintain a subtle level of awareness as the processes of drifting asleep take place. One should observe without preventing sleep from approaching by raising conscious activity overly much. As this is done, several different kinds of phenomena may begin to occur, including:
That sometimes happens without trying, especially when I'm very tired - didn't ever try it intentionally, though.

Quote
• As long as the eyes remain closed, one's dream recall will be nearly perfect.
Would need to check to make sure, but I'm quite certain that this is not true for me at all.


Quote
VI. Napping and Interrupted Sleep Schedules.
Did try those out for a while last year as I had no real obligations, being unemployed and living at my parents' place. I'm especially fond of the idea of sleeping thrice per 24h. It is a tad difficult when being employed and attending courses, though, and even when I did try it last year, I needed much longer naps than the schedules prescribed and still felt always tired even if keeping to a schedule for a while.

Olive

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 08:38:03 pm »
I'm a graduate of the Monroe School of Trance Technology and also from the Claymont Society for Continuous Education (1985). I've spent a good portion of my life studying trance and possession. In the H☿D we exercise caution and safety in everything we do which involves our bodies and minds. Like any other extreme practice leading up to majiqal trance, Sleep Saturation should never be practiced beyond its use to assist in trance induction.

Indeed, oversleeping can be quite bad as well. It has a high chance of inducing migraines in those that are predisposed towards them. Of course I don’t advocate overuse or abuse of these practices. Fortunately, the simple information available in the “Sleeping Naturally” section should be enough to keep one out of either extreme.

That’s an interesting set of credentials, btw. I’ve already noted your seeming experience on the matter, but now I shall surely keep an eye out for whatever information and practices you care to share here on the forum.

Quote from: “Liu”

I might actually have sleep apnea according to my doctor - going to a specialist next week, made the appointment already over 2 months ago.


Certainly try to diagnose and address any pre existing conditions first for the greatest improvements to the quality of your sleep. I should perhaps have mentioned Sleep Apnea and other adjacent conditions in the post, but all I can do is defer to medical professionals when it comes to that rather than trying to offer some kind of folk remedy.

Quote
I used to keep a dream diary, consistently for over a year, but I have stopped a few weeks ago - getting up is difficult enough without trying to cling to the fragments of a dream and note it down, and I don't even use an alarm most days - luckily, I can more or less decide myself when I work.

Keeping the dream diary for such a period is quite the accomplishment- truly. They are notoriously annoying to keep up with. And your work situation, if it is as you’ve described, is a blessing. You would do well to make the most of it.

Quote

20 minutes of meditation is something I haven't done since more than a year, and I wonder how I could make time for it since I already feel like I have too little.


Never too late to get back on the horse, friend. There are a myriad of different ways to approach meditation, but some kind of sitting practice is in my experience fundamental to spiritual development and alchemy. 20 minutes/day really is not much of a commitment if you’re taking this stuff seriously. You must be busy, but surely there is some time you can reserve to yourself. I mean hey, it’s better than TV - and the benefits are enormous. :)

Quote

Would need to check to make sure, but I'm quite certain that this is not true for me at all.


It certainly has proven to be so for me. Just this morning in the eyes-closed phase of waking, I was able to review a long dream that ended up coming full circle and began repeating itself in a loop. I was able to resolve what remained of the experience and started my day beautifully. Now? I could only describe fragments of the dream with some difficulty.




One thing I perhaps should have stressed more is the benefit of sleeping alone, without someone else in the room or on the bed. If this is not possible it is not a lethal detriment to the practice by itself, but I have noticed in my experiments with this over the past two months that it does have an impact on the depth and quality of sleep. It probably has to do with the mind subconsciously holding onto the other persons presence and not fully allowing itself to relax, as well as attempting not to wake them etc. I also notice that I tend not to move as much or at all when sleeping with another person - likely for the same reason. I’ve come across this same recommendation in Thelemite writings, so it seems to be a recognized point of importance for the practice. (If anyone’s interested in this I can cite it when I get back home to my books)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 08:45:38 pm by Olive »
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Liu

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 08:57:52 pm »
Keeping the dream diary for such a period is quite the accomplishment- truly. They are notoriously annoying to keep up with. And your work situation, if it is as you’ve described, is a blessing. You would do well to make the most of it.
Thanks! I certainly try to.

Quote
Quote
20 minutes of meditation is something I haven't done since more than a year, and I wonder how I could make time for it since I already feel like I have too little.
Never too late to get back on the horse, friend. There are a myriad of different ways to approach meditation, but some kind of sitting practice is in my experience fundamental to spiritual development and alchemy. 20 minutes/day really is not much of a commitment if you’re taking this stuff seriously. You must be busy, but surely there is some time you can reserve to yourself. I mean hey, it’s better than TV - and the benefits are enormous. :)
And I also don't find time to watch TV, or even much YT, which I do quite more often than that. But let's see what I can do. At least I have been doing daily 5-minute meditations the past few months, but dropped that habit some days ago, gotta pick it back up again.

Quote
Quote
Would need to check to make sure, but I'm quite certain that this is not true for me at all.
It certainly has proven to be so for me. Just this morning in the eyes-closed phase of waking, I was able to review a long dream that ended up coming full circle and began repeating itself in a loop. I was able to resolve what remained of the experience and started my day beautifully. Now? I could only describe fragments of the dream with some difficulty.
I'll try it when I think of it and report back.

Quote
One thing I perhaps should have stressed more is the benefit of sleeping alone, without someone else in the room or on the bed.
I can count on two hands the occasions I slept in the same room as someone else since I was like 5 ^^ (school trips, mainly)

pi_rameses

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 12:34:44 am »
I wasn't going to mention anything until I was sure: I have been sleeping alone without an alarm for a little over 2 weeks now. And I manage to get up as early in the morning as I would like fully rested at the baseline level. I haven't been fully tracking my dreams but it seems like something worth trying once I think I properly conditioned myself not to wake up abruptly wondering about time. There is always the question of whether I had a dream unconsciously but forgetting it or having it vividly and remembering.
"Some say Kos, others Kosm.
As you did for the vacuous Rom,
grant us eyes.
Grant us eyes."

-Micolash, Host of the Nightmare

Olive

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2019, 01:23:07 pm »
Some months ago we were talking about the effectiveness of the simple technique I suggested for remembering dreams. There was some question on if it actually worked.

This is just a short update to say - since that time I have tested the practice dozens of times with very good success. It does work. You just have to have the discipline to start reflecting as soon as waking consciousness is established. The best way to train yourself to do this, is to consistently wake up naturally, without harsh interruption, and lay there with eyes closed for 5 minutes or so while turning the gaze of your mind behind you.

I did say that this would produce perfect dream recall, which is perhaps too strong of a claim. It is difficult to reach back more than 2 or 3 dreams back, but the most recent of them can be recalled in great detail.

I used this technique again this morning to pull out the contents of my dream which were at first totally unnoticed and forgotten.

For me, at least, the very first actions I take while awake will determine how much I remember. If I get up at once and start getting ready, I probably won’t remember more than tiny fragments of the dream, unless some chance event brings its contents back to my minds eye.

If I get up and immediately get on my phone and start surfing the web, in most cases my dreams are destroyed and I may not ever remember them. I speculate this has to do with the large density of information being focused on and absorbed. This either overwrites the short term memory of the dream, or perhaps quickens the process by which the memory is let go of.

If I get up and go immediately into reflection, the world of my dreams opens up to me again, and even specific details and actions can be brought back to mind with clarity. This has proven to be an invaluable tool to measure and keep tabs on the contents and obsessions of the subconscious/unconscious mind. I find that I am far less bothered by these subconscious tendencies throughout the day - as knowing their representations in my dreams, I recognize them again while waking, and am not taken in by their changed appearances.


I have noticed many other benefits derived from taking good care of sleep. My energy levels are very consistent, even when I do much to exhaust myself. My skin and general appearance has improved slightly, and short naps have become a panacea for curing all kinds of ills. I cannot totally explain why, but it has become much easier for me to go to sleep on command, wake up generally when I want to without external stimuli, and get a far greater quality of rest between the two.

One has to love the Somnus Dreadnought.  :)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:25:34 pm by Olive »
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Liu

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2019, 05:58:01 pm »
Some months ago we were talking about the effectiveness of the simple technique I suggested for remembering dreams. There was some question on if it actually worked.

This is just a short update to say - since that time I have tested the practice dozens of times with very good success. It does work. You just have to have the discipline to start reflecting as soon as waking consciousness is established. The best way to train yourself to do this, is to consistently wake up naturally, without harsh interruption, and lay there with eyes closed for 5 minutes or so while turning the gaze of your mind behind you.
I seem to have lacked the discipline to think of leaving my eyes closed after waking up. I should provide myself with some reminder that will call this back into my mind when I head to bed.
Therefore I can't really say whether it works or not; the few times where I think I did leave the eyes closed for at least some seconds there was some dream recall but not more than in some other situations.

Quote
I did say that this would produce perfect dream recall, which is perhaps too strong of a claim. It is difficult to reach back more than 2 or 3 dreams back, but the most recent of them can be recalled in great detail.
I don't even necessarily recall most of a dream while dreaming it; I have noticed myself forgetting the beginning of a dream while still asleep.

Quote
I have noticed many other benefits derived from taking good care of sleep. My energy levels are very consistent, even when I do much to exhaust myself. My skin and general appearance has improved slightly, and short naps have become a panacea for curing all kinds of ills. I cannot totally explain why, but it has become much easier for me to go to sleep on command, wake up generally when I want to without external stimuli, and get a far greater quality of rest between the two.

One has to love the Somnus Dreadnought.  :)
I normally get to bed at the same time every day with rare exceptions, but that hasn't helped much with needing too much sleep.
During Christmas break I actually witnessed myself waking up from sleep apnea (and falling asleep again almost immediately again), or starting to snore while falling asleep.
But well, at least I know by now that my nasal breathing problems are not caused by external circumstances like allergies but simply something chronic. So I can only hope that the medicine I'm supposed to take will start working, it is expected to take a while... (and currently I need to take a break from it due to some other illness.)

HangedMan

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 02:08:31 am »
I appreciate this post very much.

My thoughts on the hypnopompic state are very much similar. Sometimes answers and solutions to deeply ingrained problems spontaneously spring up from that state, like bubbles floating up from a pond. Sometimes I get cool ideas for art.

Thank you for sharing. This is a worthy practice to reach toward!

NEMO 93

Re: Somnomancy - The use of Sleep-related States for Alchemical Purposes
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 03:15:31 pm »
Amazing write-up! I'm gonnna have to read it when I'm more awake can process it.