Back in my reckless and feckless youth, (or “yoof”, if we’re being regionally appropriate), I was obsessed with learning how to consciously Astral Travel, and with learning how to invoke lucid dreams. I learned a very cool trick from an interview with Chris Barnes – the vocalist from Cannibal Corpse, who was incidentally way into this stuff – in which you program your subconscious as you’re falling asleep, by implanting triggers in your mind which allow you to ‘wake up’ in the dream, and start making conscious decisions while you are fully asleep. This is unbelievably effective.
What you do is this: As you’re dozing off – preferably not whilst driving – think of a light switch on a wall, next to a door. Make it as vivid as possible, and meditate on this until you are asleep. For vividity’s sake, I saw a bright green light switch on a red wall. Do this every night for a while; make that your falling-asleep mantra. And then in your dreams, on any given night, keep an eye out for this light switch. Once you see it, your mind will recognize it as a cue, and as soon as you see this cue in your dream, look at the palms of your hands (if you are lucky enough to have them).
What happens is this: When you look at your hands, you will immediately teleport into another place in the dream – could be anywhere. And because you a) saw your cue, and b) made the deliberate decision to look at your hands, you become fully cognizant of your dream surroundings, and can then walk round and go wherever you please. (I highly recommend doing this after watching several episodes of the Magic Roundabout!) Not only will you then get to enjoy absolute freedom to go anywhere in the world, but you will also remember every detail of the dream / trip when you wake up; this in and of itself is priceless – especially if like me, you have a memory like a whatchamacallit.
So I used to always go looking for said power animal, but in the last ~ 20 years, never found it, and started to discount the power animal story as being hokum. But recently I’ve begun doing this again, and something occurred to me: The Power Animal can be whatever you want it to be, and if it doesn’t find you, fkit – go and find it. Better still, program it in there. After all, spirit guides aren’t ACTUALLY animals – obviously. That would just be weird. They’re ghosts / telepathic aliens made of light / inventions of our perspective / small gods / whatever. So they’ll adapt to whatever form works for you. Since I moved to the US, I’ve had a particular affinity for frogs. This stems from a small metal statue we have on the coffee table of a frog sitting in a Buddha pose. This little statue has made me feel so Zen over the years, I named him “Peace Frog”. (Hmm – maybe my power animal is Jim Morrison – I could live with that too). So the conclusion of this is actually quite boring – nothing has yet happened with my power frog, but I just decided that’s quite appropriate. So I’m going to go to sleep tonight, astrally travel to someplace swampy and fetid – maybe a fetid swamp – and I am SO going to hang with my amphibious friend, to see what the hell is going on around these parts. Because while I’m awake, I live in a state of perpetual confusion and bewilderment. If anyone wants a souvenir, (like a bag of dead mosquitoes), let me know. You have about 8 hours to get your requests in, and then I depart.