1 Feb 1950 – Advice on Astral work

1 Feb 50 Huntsville, Ala.

Dear Candida,

Astral work is the most important part of practical magick, all magical effects and magical knowledge are gained, one way or another, by its media. What the Astral Plane is, is too abstruse a matter to take up here, you may have gotten some ideas from my past letters. How it works, in the beginning, is easy, any one with any psychic development whatever may learn it. However it can be extremely dangerous to the careless and unwary.

Some magicians use drugs, fasting, dance, mantra or yoga to get on the astral. This is almost unnecessary – all you need is a calm, steady will, quiet and plenty of determination. Then try this.

1. Banish
2. Open the temple
3. Get yourself in a comfortable ritual position (the Egyptian God – hands on knees with palms open – back straight, feet square – will do).
4. Calm you mind and body with deep regular breaths.
5. Close your eyes and imagine yourself standing outside your body, beside your altar. Keep up this practice until you get a clear image.
6. Transfer your consciousness to the astral body and open your (its) eyes. This is a trick. It will all be rather dim at first, but persevere.
7. Practice the pentagram and the hexagram (rituals) until you become used to working in the astral body. Turning is usually difficult, but it can be mastered. Keep at it. Make the pentagrams appear in fire – the names vibrate in the four corners. Visualize yourself standing on the earth, with the four archangels about you.
8. When this is easy, pick a plane and a purpose (i.e. to get information, to test someone, to determine the nature of a god, symbol, or spirit or dream). The plane is that appropriate – each idea has its own plane – i.e. the Egyptian, Arthurian, Artistic etc. When in doubt, use the general Magical plane. (At first avoid dead people and the plane of the dead. This belongs to the department of necromancy which is something else.)
9. In your astral. Rise straight up (always straight up) until you come to your plane. Then go about your business. Question and test the figures you meet. Get what you go after. Banish (with an earth pentagram) those that seem doubtful. Use your magical weapons as necessary. Use your head as necessary.
10. Return straight down. Return to your body. Banish. Record everything that has happened in detail.


A. Return to your body after any sort of astral work. This is important, in fact, vital. It is a trick, you click into place. Absorb everything. Leave no residue.
B. Banish bodily before and after each working. If there is any doubt or residue, banish again, with sulfur if necessary. Two things are most dangerous – to lose contact with the astral body (Scin Lica) and to bring back unbanished residues.
C. Rising for information is all that should be done until you are an expert. It is least dangerous. It may lead at any time to illuminations, which should not be taken too seriously. Always test, check, record.
D. Talismans and signs can be carried and used, according to your knowledge.
E. Advanced experiments.

1. Healing. Summon the astral body, diagnose the trouble and cure astrally (by banishings and invoking the appropriate conditions).
2. Injury. Vice versa. (This is very poor policy.)
3. Questioning. (a) ask the appropriate god. (b) summon the astral body and ask it. It may lie, but an answer can be forced. Don’t try to push the real powers around.
4. Astral intercourse. An amusing experiment for the advanced student. You simply visit the sleeping person in the astral. Some of the whitest and blackest Magick is done by this means.
5. Lycanthropy. You kill the animal in the magic circle and appropriate its form. It becomes your permanent familiar, you are responsible for it, and can be injured through it. Sometimes an inconvenience. Very evil magicians use children in this manner. Advanced magicians simply make the required form out of a body of darkness, but this is rather complicated.
6. Also you can manipulate the gods, spirits, talismans etc. on the astral to get almost anything you want. It is a wonderful method for the study of the Tarot.
7. Skrying. The greatest and final form of astral work. The investigation of planes and states of being (such as Aires) for illumination and initiation.

All magical work is actually done on the astral. It is the true home of every magician and should become as familiar to you as your study. The astral body is as truly your body as your physical. While your higher self resides in it, it is deathless and independent of the life of the body.

You can, I have discovered, use it to explore past lives – a much simpler way than the Magical Memory method. The dangers are through ignorance, carelessness, or stupidity – or overweening lust of result. Its proper knowledge and use is a tremendous and valuable tool, which you should use only to develop your own initiation. If you get in trouble call on me or Babalon. I have developed a strong sensibility on this plane. But don’t visit me, or try to. You know that we are taboo to each other until this work is finished.

As you develop, memorize your rituals and do them astrally. You are then working directly, without the intervention of the physical plane. Always know what you want and reject what you don’t. And don’t forget the link, that prime and often forgotten aspect of practical Magick. For the sake of your own initiation, record.

That’s about all there really is to it, although volumes could be written. There is more twaddle about it, and more people are fouled up on or about it, than almost anything – yet it is the most important aspect of Magick.
Don’t initiate the unready – it can be fearfully dangerous to anyone without suitable background.

Work slowly and carefully, persistently and you will have the whole of Magick at your command. But don’t let success throw you. Be skeptical and test. The astrals can fool and flatter and have overthrown many a foolish magician.
Once you have mastered it, you can work the reverse, and materialize astrals here, or yourself at a distance.

But that’s usually more difficult and extremely exhausting, unless you are up to it. Blood is often used – but of course the sex method is supreme here. Sex is the gateway, and energy is never lost – only transformed. Each sex act creates on the astral plane: under will it creates what you want. But that is indeed a deep matter, and needless to say one to be cautious about. Acquire the techniques first, and save the power until you know how to use it.
Well, this is it.

Love, Jack

P.S. Be sure to work only undisturbed. An interruption in the middle can be very bad. And never, never go to sleep while working. You had better observe the ordinary taboos – nails, hair and personal matters – lock your room, consecrate your food, and banish twice daily while working. Also keep the Star of Babalon with you. Always remember that you are working with your own purified, consecrated force – a far more delicate and subtle matter than handling so much Plutonium.