Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventures in Astral Projection

Adventures in Astral Projection
With guest blogger Carolyn Sullivan

What is Astral Projection, you ask? Quite simply, it is the act of your consciousness leaving your body and going somewhere else. It is also called an out of body experience, alternate state of being, remote viewing, lucid dreaming. There are other names for it, but I think you get the picture.
Sir Argus Wherlocke has the gift of astral projection. He escapes the dank cell his body is caged in and finds himself naked in a rose garden. (I hope he is careful around the thorns!) According to all the laws of AP no one should be able to see him, unless he or she is a sensitive, but Lorelei Sundun does see him. I am not going to give away anymore of the story then that, but I will say that Hannah has come up with a great way to get around the “laws”, and once you see what it is, you will realize it is possible. (If He’s Dangerous, June 7, 2011)
Ah, now you are wondering who I am, and why Hannah would ask me to write a blog about Astral Projection. Without giving out my real age, I will admit that I began studying “New Age” subjects long before someone plastered the tag “New Age” on them. Back then we were learning “ancient mysteries”. Discovering ways to expand the mind. Barnes and Noble did not have a section dedicated to “Alternative Religions”, “New Age”, or Tarot Cards. Charmin was a toilet tissue, nobody had ever heard of a Shaman. They would rather believe you were talking about toilet paper that Mr. Whipple begged you not to squeeze, than something that defied the rules of their religion.
          Concerned friends gave me copies of H. P. Lovecraft novels, hoping to scare me out of the “stage” I was going through. Nothing stopped my search for greater understanding. I kept studying and moving along in my own research.
          When Hannah asked me to write a blog on this subject, I was honored. It had been decades since I last researched the subject. I had spirit travel down solid. I thought great strides must surely have been made since I first traveled on the Astral Plane. The book shelves and internet must be loaded with reams of comprehensive material. Others must have developed a system that could take you from the comfort of your body and onto another plain in zero to sixty. (We will return to this thread shortly.)
          Television has handled AP in nifty ways. The most notorious show that used Astral Projection as a plot devise was Charmed. Actually, they got more right than they did wrong. The eldest sister, Pru (played by Shannon Doherty), had the gift of telekinesis (able to move objects with mind power). The first time Pru “left her body” was an accident, but she found it was a powerful tool in the sisters’ fight to protect San Francisco from evil. After that she studied and practiced. 
          Did you see the key word in there? Practice. That is the nitty-gritty of everything you want to do in life. To develop a new skill takes time, a smattering of knowledge, and lots of practice.
          The most important ingredient in your quest to jump out of your body and check on your husband, kids, boss, etc, is a strong belief that you can do this. You cannot go into it thinking “I hope I can, I hope I can, I probably won’t.” You MUST believe “I can do it. I can do it!”
          The next step is a nice soothing bath, or if you prefer, shower. Use the time you spend cleansing yourself to think about what you are going to do.
          Go someplace quiet. This is something you have to do alone. No giggling friends, snorting spouses, demanding kids, or barking dogs. Bring a pleasantly scented candle and incense with you. You need a candle, preferably white. Incense is not really required, but since the dawn of religion it has been believed that incense can protect you and take messages to the gods for you. However, if the scent is too strong it will have you thinking about your aching head, polluted sinuses, or rioting belly. Remember, you need a quiet, pleasant place in order to feel safe.  If incense draws you out of the moment, sacrifice the incense and get it out of your area.
          Light the candle and shut off the lights. (Special note: Never meditate in the dark, it invites evil to enter.)
          Make yourself comfortable. You could be there for a long time and you don’t want to tip over when your spirit goes on walkabout. While she is taking a look-see wherever you have sent her, your body could decide to tip over and the jarring will jerk you back to your body.
          Clear your mind and focus on the candle flame. (I am not a chanter, so when I meditate I look into the flame and let my spirit take over. If you are a meditation chanter, go ahead and get those sounds out.)
          When you are deep into the meditative state encourage your spirit to leave your body for a few minutes. Do not overdo. Very few people can achieve an out of body experience the first time. You must do this over and over. Remember, if you want to get to Carnegie Hall you must practice, practice, practice.        
For your first flight you should limit yourself to hovering around where you are and watch your body. This may not work the first time you try it, nor the twelfth, maybe not even the hundredth. But if you don’t keep trying you will never find the joy and the freedom you feel when you can go to other places.
          This has worked for me, but I will caution you, once you become proficient in Astral Projection be careful where you go. Do you really want to see what your husband does on his “boys’ night out”? Will it make you a better parent if you hover over your teenage daughter while she is dating that tattooed freak you’ve warned her about? It is far better to go to another plain and seek self awareness rather than playing a game of gotcha with friends and family. It is fun to play spy until you see something that makes you want to gouge your own eyes out.
          Now back to the subject of my current research. I did find large tomes and gigabites of information. The technique I have shared is my own, however, some of what I have just shared with you has been printed into book form for large sums of money and gives you approximately three-hundred pages of dry reading. I found one online site that wanted me to read twelve articles on how to get started, and even more articles on preparation. It broke the ritual into twenty-five steps.  Twenty-five steps!
          My method has worked for me for more than a quarter of a century. It has also worked for everyone I have taught it to. Save your money, save your time, and follow my free course in Astal Projection, courtesy of our mutual friend Hannah Howell.
          If you want your spirit to fly like a hawk over the plains, it is better to KISS. Keep. It. Simple. S. . .
Believe in yourself.
          And practice.  Practice.  PRACTICE!

Carolyn Sullivan has been working in the psychic business for more years than she admits to being alive. Everyday she posts Animal Totems, the color of the day, and assorted words of wisdom on her website thebewitchinghour.com and also on her facebook page, The Bewitching Hour. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bewitching-Hour/111323905616176 If you would like to know more about Astral Projection, Telekinesis, Psychic readings, etc. write to her at:

For a limited time only, get a half hour reading from The Bewitching Hour for half price. Go to:
thebewitchinghour.com and click on “If He’s Dangerous”.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

"I think she's dead." 'No I'm not."(Monty Python)

(had this all set to go up yesterday but Blogger crashed.  And it wasn't even Friday the 13th yet.  Thus is my life. So - here is yesterday's blog.)

Bet you were wondering though.  I just seem to be sinking in a morass of work and petty emergencies.
And - no - the picture has nothing to do with this blog.  I just wanted something pretty to look at while I wrote this blog.

Next book out is IF HE'S DANGEROUS, available June 7th.  It's Sir Argus Wherlocke's tale and he finds himself entangled with a bad guy who thinks Argus's gift can be taken away and used by someone else as well as a pretty little duke's daughter. Other members of the Wherlocke clan make appearances as I can never seem to write a tale without one or more of them wandering through it.  Going to get the cover up here ASAP.

Right now am working on a new Murray tale - HIGHLAND NOBLE - which has a MacFingal and a Murray lass tangling it up.  Brian MacFingal - one of the many illegitimate sons of the weird pater of the clan - and Kenna Murray Lucette, a pretty little widow in a lot of trouble.  But those Murray lasses have a skill at finding trouble and then finding hot men to help them.  It's due at the end of June so - yes - I'm deep into deadline mode.  Again.

Finished a novella tale for the next vampire anthology at the start of the year.  The page proofs for that are sitting on the dining room table and must be done and back to the editor by the 17th.  Just signed for another.  It doesn't have to be about the MacNachtons but I think it will be.  Not really done with them yet.

Right now, sun's shining, it's cool but nice, and I'm fighting the urge to go out and work in the garden.  Just keep telling myself - too much work to plow through yet, garden's not going anywhere, etc.  Sort of working.  Brian and Kenna are whining that I'm leaving them in the lurch and probably wouldn't appreciate being left stranded just so I could go pull some weeds.  Although, there are a lot of weeds growing up out there.

Just did a blog post for Borders, an interview for a friend's site, and a newsletter article for one of my writers' groups.  So figured it was way past time to get back to this.  As you can tell from this ramble my life seems to consist of meeting deadlines with pauses for trips to the vet, trips to the dentist, runs to the car place because my keys don't work any more, exchanges with the web hosts because the password doesn't work any more and need to get an update on there, etc.  See?  Continuous little emergencies that always take a lot longer to deal with than they should.

My problem right now - aside from having to run out to open the gates in the back garden to let out a stupid wild turkey who flew into the garden but can't seem to fly out - is that I now have another story nudging at my brain.  Lady Olympia Wherlocke is bugging me and she is not a patient woman.  When I go on those little wanderings in my mind that happen when I'm doing some chore it's no longer just ideas on the Highland Noble story there but pushy Olympia.  She will pay for this later.  Might even get Kenna and Brian to beat her into silence.   So - back to work now.  I've circled the days on the calendar when I think I can come and post.  Let's see how well that works.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Jerri Hines writes historical suspense/romance books

Before I start, I would like to thank Hannah Howell for having me today. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Oh, what to write! A dramatic murder suspense? A scary page-turning paranormal? A love story for the ages? Oh, so many possibilities run rapid through my mind staring at a blank page! Why then am I drawn to historical suspense/romance? Why does the past conjure up so many tales to be told?

Perhaps because I romanticize the past. Or perhaps it’s a connection to the past I seek. I know only that I love the challenge of recreating a bit of history to be told again. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love history. And as you might suspect with my writings on the American Revolution, I find this period of time utterly fascinating. So many ideas swirl around my little head when I do research and none more so than when I was doing research for Patriot Secrets.

During this research for Patriot Secrets, I discovered the Culper Spy Ring. The more I read, the more fascinated I became. Inspired, you could say. Within Patriot Secrets, more so in the sequel Winds of Betrayal, I have a spy ring loosely based on the Culper Spy Ring. The whole of the story holds everything one could wish to write a thriller…action, intrigue, danger, love...

As one might think, the danger of living the life of a spy was enormous. They lived with the constant fear of discovery. And if discovered they faced the hangman's noose as was seen with the death of Nathan Hale. During occupation of New York, Nathan Hale was caught by the British authorities and was hanged without trial in New York City. In mid-1778, General George Washington appointed Tallmadge the head of the Continental Army's secret service. With that, Tallmadge established the Culper Spy Ring. Secrecy was of the utmost importance. Washington never even knew the names of those in the ring. He knew them only by numbers or an alias.

My research led me to speculate about women’s roles during this time. With nothing being more dangerous at that time than spying and the price of being caught for a man was hanging, what about for a woman? Let’s just say that I don’t think men, both American and British, thought women capable of such a deception. I believe they were and would have been efficient in their efforts.

The women seemed to have been just as passionate for their cause as the men of that time. Case and point, Margaret Kemble Gage, American born wife of General Thomas Gage, Commander of the British Army at the beginning of the American Revolution in Boston. Did you know that it was highly suspected that Margaret Gage supplied information to Patriot leaders? It was suspected she may have even given the information that led to the famous ride of Paul Revere. Her punishment…General Gage sent her to England.

Although for another woman, I doubt the punishment would have been so lenient especially after the war began to turn in favor of the Patriot cause. But without question, I’m inspired by stories of strong, opinionated women. It is the reason, I write about strong women…women who have to overcome adversity to achieve their happiness.

As a reader I want a book that allows me to escape from the world around me at least for the few hours. As an author I strive to create that escape. It is my hope I have succeeded in Patriot Secrets.