Copyright (C) 1999 by William Mistele.  All rights reserved.

Part I--Objects and Animals

Chapter 4, Mental Level:  Transference of Consciousness into
Objects, Animals, and Human Beings

     1. In this exercise, begin by placing an ordinary object in front of
you--a pencil, apple, glass of water, etc.  Now imagine your
consciousness is within the object.  That is, as far as possible,
imagine yourself becoming the object even to the extent that you
temporarily forget about yourself. 
    Take into account the shape, size, and quality of the object.
Adopt its point of view.  Consider the relationships the object has to
its surroundings such as the way it is used, its purposes, its present
location, and the room around it.  After you succeed with one thing,
move on to others such as "flowers, plants, shrubs, trees," etc.   The
immediate goal is to project your mind into an object for five
minutes without being distracted, even forgetting about your body
    2.  Move on now to living creatures--"a cat, a dog, a horse, a
cow, a goat, etc."  First practice with the animal being motionless. 
Later, concentrate on the animal moving naturally, for example, a
bird flying, a fish swimming, a horse galloping, etc.  Again, the task
is to project your mind within the animal adopting its consciousness
and modes of movement and perception for five minutes without
     3.  Now perform these same exercises within human beings. 
Start with people you know but vary your practice so you include
different age groups and the opposite gender.  Next practice
projecting into complete strangers, individuals you have never seen
and know nothing about.  Your goal here is to accomplish this
transference of consciousness into a complete stranger for five
minutes without distraction.  

Commentary.  We could stop at this point and write a number of
books about many practices relating to transference of
consciousness and its applications.  When I talk to practitioners of
most other hermetic or esoteric systems, however, they rarely have
any real experience with transference of consciousness.  If they do
use it, they use it only in very minor or else highly specialized
     But Bardon, emphasizing the necessity of working with the will
aspect of Divine Providence, naturally introduces projection early on
in his basic training.  Transference of consciousness is a magical key
in itself.  It joins  into one method essential elements of Divine
omnipresence and omnipotence.  It is both love and will in the same
moment.  It is detached from and yet also one with its object of
focus.  It is a fabulous tool and as I suggest it has countless
     It is also obvious that you could show anyone how to do this
exercise in a few minutes.  Imagining yourself as someone else, for
example, is routine for actors, writers, detectives, and even some
psychologists.  In basic role playing, which has so many different
applications in conflict resolution, business, law, therapy, etc., we
assume the character and point of view of someone besides
ourselves.  Let me pursue a few examples. 
     An actor or actress may spend months studying a part he or she
is about to play.  An actor studying the part of a cop may ride along
with a real cop for days or weeks.  If you have studied a role in
depth, then when you assume that role your imagination will already
be rich with details and feelings.  
     Long ago, my boss one day turned to me and said, "If you were
me, how would you solve this problem?"  I used to teach role
playing as a part of a class curriculum.  It was always surprising how
easily individuals who had never done anything like this before
could get involved with their parts.  Sometimes during elaborate
games the individuals bond so much with each other that they
actually cry and get very upset when their team makes a mistake. 
     A psychologist I knew mentioned that when all else fails in
working with a client he imagines he is the client and then he often
gets the insight he wants.  I knew a Taoist yoga practitioner who felt
very comfortable with her internal meditations and with projecting
her mind.  Quite by accident, she discovered she could enter another
person's body with her consciousness and practice her Taoist yoga
inside this person to bring about a healing effect.  
     Ira Progoff has a practice in which you interview another
individual and ask about the ten steppingstones or major moments
of change in the other's life.  You then imagine these steppingstones
or life transitions as if they are your own.  In this way, you gain a
sense of the inner flow of the other individual's life.  
     The Dalai Lama, during some of his public initiations, invites the
thousands of individuals present to project their minds into him so
that they pass through the chakras in his body as a way of bringing
to completion the weeks' meditations.  For me, the Dalai Lama's
heart chakra is like a vast sea of compassion.  If you can place your
mind within it and sense its energy, you can sense the energy of an
enlightened mind. 
      Those who keep files on other individuals such as various kinds
of social workers, intelligence officers, police, etc. study the history,
records, writings, and actions of specific individuals.  The
information they have is used to predict what that individual's
behavior will be in the future.  There is an intuitive element here in
which you enter into the thoughts and feelings of another person. 
You speculate on what the other individual is going to do almost as
if you are making the decision as this person. 
    There are, however, some preliminary concerns to keep in mind
regardless of how you proceed in practicing transference of
consciousness.  To get the most out of this exercise, it is very
advantageous to master the previous three chapters in Bardon's
training system. For example, if you have developed skill in
concentrating on the five senses, you will be able to adapt your
sensory perception to the creature or individual you are projecting
     If you are capable of emptying your mind of thoughts, then your
brain waves will be able to vary in range and quality to reflect and
experience another individual's thought vibrations.   If you have
worked with life force and the four elements in your own body, you
will begin to sense the nature of the life force and elements within
another object, creature, or person.  Consequently, all your previous
work will prove quite useful as you explore this exercise. 

1.  Transference of consciousness into objects.  I can not tell you
how this will work for you but I can share with you my experience. 
Here are some examples.  

A Coin.  I place a copper penny on the desk in front of me.  It is a
Lincoln head penny minted in 1997 in Denver.  I visualize the
penny on the desk.  And now I imagine myself within the penny.   
     I take on the coin's shape, its weight, its molecular vibrations,
and its functions.  It seems fairly easy to hold the imagine in my
mind of being a penny lying on the desk.  If the penny had eyes, I
could easily glance back and see my body sitting in the chair in front
of the desk and still feel my consciousness is not in that body but
here in this penny.  
    The most noticeable sensation I have is of the molecular vibration
of the coin.  The copper, for example, is a good conductor of
electrons.  I feel that conductivity, that readiness to serve as a
channel for electrons.  There is an extreme excitement in copper--a
sense of electrons moving near the speed of light through my being
and yet there is also solidity and endurance in the form of this coin. 
I seem to be able to taste the copper though that taste is not part of
the exercise.  
    I consider the connections of this coin to its environment and
notice a time dimension to the coin as well.  I am getting
psychometric impressions--of being the copper in the ground, of
being mined, taken to a smelter, liquefied, and then rolled into
sheets.  I am taken to a place where I am then minted into this coin
and of being shiny new.  From a bank I go all sorts of places, to
cash registers, pockets, and purses.   I am dropped and picked up
and finally placed on this desk in the here and now.
     I can sense the copper colored light which shines from the
exposed surface.  The color feels cold and distant and yet also
inviting and intense.
The head of Lincoln is stamped on the surface of the coin and it
seems I can easily imagine myself back in time within Lincoln as he
goes about his duties as president.  Part of Lincoln's vibration and
the history of the United States is here within this coin also.  
     It may seem a little odd but I also sense something of the United
States economy within this coin.  Though the face value of a penny
is rather small, this penny has been treated with remarkable
consideration.  It is used to give and receive exact payment and
change in business transactions.  Most individuals touching this coin
have been fairly well off financially.  A penny is of virtually no
significance but they still honor its value--it is a unit of money which
is figured into the value exchanged for items and services.  And the
number of individuals possessing it and then passing it on indicates a
highly active market system where there is a lot of cash to be
     I feel the sweat and oil from different hands and a few dirty
hands as well which have held this coin.  I can sense being in a
woman's purse who has a BMW in her garage.  I can sense being
held by a man whose hand is shaking.  He feels fear over his
medical condition.  But if I shut out all references to the past, I am a
penny lying on a desk at a certain location in a room.  I have a very
specific metallic vibration, a specific temperature determined by the
room's temperature, and a form which is rigid with little else other
than light acting upon it. 
     In my essays on gnomes, I mention how gnomes like to place
their consciousness within stones, minerals, crystals, various
elements, etc.   In a sense, this transference of consciousness into
this coin is similar to the way a gnome's mind might work.  I
mention in my essay on the gnome Mentifil my impressions in
working with some of the planetary metals.  Let's go on now to
another object--a tree.

A Monkey Pod Tree.  If I place my mind in the Monkey Pod tree in
my backyard, I feel its roots reaching down into the earth.  I sense
the flow of minerals and water from the ground up through the
trunk.  The tree is still growing and its roots are still probing down.  
   I feel the layout of the tree's branches and the way they balance
each other and sway in the wind.  I sense the process of
photosynthesis in the leaves utilizing light and converting carbon
dioxide into oxygen.  The little reddish pink flowers on the branches
have an extremely volatile and vibrant energy.   
     The tree seems extremely wise in the way it unites in itself
energies of the sky, earth, water, and heat to grow and reproduce
itself while enduring through the changing seasons of the year.  I
notice I really like the tree--its stability, incredible optimism,
endurance, vibrant life force, and inner silence. 
     As the tree, I seem to notice flows of energy moving through the
earth.  I seem much more aware of humidity, temperature, air
pressure, and the circling of the sun and moon.  I notice the
movement of organic life force through the tree and its astral quality
which is very soothing and vitalizing.    
     Ursela LeGuin tells in one of her stories about wizards who
changed themselves into trees and then forget that they were human
beings.  I can understand that.  I certainly enjoy transplanting my
consciousness into trees.  I notice the difference between the degree
of well-being which I ascribe to the tree and the lessor amount I
possess as a human being.  
    J.R.R. Tolkein also mentions in his mythology about Middle
Earth that the elves woke up the trees and taught them how to
speak.  I will sometimes send some energy into a tree and imagine it
responds to me in the form of a person with whom I can ask
questions and hold conversations.  You can find one of my
dialogues along these lines with a Maple tree and also a poem about
talking to a tree under my section on gnomes on my web page. 
     The druids used to work a lot with trees.  Some modern druid
tarot decks have cards with different trees on them and present the
qualities of those trees.  Certainly you can spend a great deal of time
studying the vibration, ecological niche, and quality of life force in
different trees.  Oak trees, for example, are noticeable different
from birch and yew trees and yet each oak tree is for me quite
unique and individual.  They are as distinct in their personalities as
are human beings.  
Summary.  I think it is important to spend some time in the mineral,
vegetative, and animal kingdoms before going on to work with
elemental and spiritual beings.  These kingdoms of nature are very
close to us and have a great deal to say to us about basic instincts,
vibrations, modes and ranges of sensual perception and emotive
experience.   And of course they are very grounding.  
     Those who venture too soon into the inner planes may well experience
some degree of disorientation or confusion because they can not figure out
how their experiences relate back to the "real world."  And our
experiences as human beings in society also fail to adequately prepare us
for inner plane journeys.  The range and intensity of archetypal
experience on the inner planes will always be far greater than what any
society in its art and psychology can imagine or dream.  Consequently,
transferring our minds into objects, trees, and animals trains our
imaginations so we become the rugged and tough adventurers we really need
to be if we are going to deal with the difficulties associated with the
disembodied forms of consciousness typical of spiritual domains.
     I might also mention in passing that this is a great time to explore
the different elements of nature by projecting your mind into rivers,
pools, lakes, oceans, clouds, winds, storms, mountains, rocks, the various
kinds of fire, etc. These fall under the category of inanimate objects.
     Occultists sometimes talk about fire of air, air of air, water of
air, earth of air and so on.  It is really nice to explore these elements
first hand through the images of nature such as hot air over a desert,
lightning, the jet stream, clouds, and dust storms and so forth.  Then you
know the vibrations and become comfortable with the energies.

A Hurricane.  Speaking of elements of nature, I noticed on the news
that there are several hurricanes moving toward the East coast of the
U.S.  Hurricane Dennis is a 100 mile per hour storm which just
went over the Bahamas.   The U.S. National Hurricane Center
thinks the storm will be moving along the Florida coast and then
possibly north toward Georgia and the Carolinas.  It is currently
moving at 6 miles per hour and is expected to be upgraded to a
category three hurricane.  There is a nice picture of hurricane
Dennis from a satellite photo at
     As I concentrate on placing my mind into hurricane Dennis, I
notice immediately a kind of exhilarating feeling.  There is this
dynamic whirling motion to the hurricane along with the pressure
and spiraling winds which keep the hurricane cohesive and in
motion even though spread out over several hundred miles.  All the
elements of the hurricane are present--the clouds, the rain, the
winds, the eye, the storm surge, the energy exchanges occurring in
the ocean and in the atmosphere.  
     With hurricanes, I also like to sense the essence or their specific
unique qualities.  For me each hurricane has a kind of spirit or
motive force which characterizes its nature.  It is kind of like I ask
myself, "What is the essence or spirit of this storm?"  For an
answer, I sense a kind of lizard quality.  The storm is slow,
determined, and it is slightly mean.  That is, there is a ferocious
quality to it.  Like certain animals, if you get within range, it will
attack you.  In other words, I would consider this storm somewhat
dangerous to population centers.  
    2.  The Animal World.  Before proceeding to review the exercise
on transferring consciousness into animals, I would like to make a
few comments.  The idea of adopting the form and consciousness of
an animal is rather fascinating.  Animals are totem spirits for
different Indian clans.  They are at the heart of shamanic practices
and they can act as familiars.  Animals have acute perception and
remarkable adaptation to specific environments.  They possess a
high level of instinctual intelligence. 
    For some American Indian tribes, the totem animal of a clan
represents a specific way for members of that clan to sharpen their
perceptions of the natural world.  If you can identify in your
consciousness with a specific animal, then you can extend your
range of perceptions and feelings.  You gain contact with a kind of
power and instinct for survival which is normally outside a human
being's awareness.  
     Furthermore, if a group of individuals works with a specific
animal over a long period of time, you gain more than the instinctual
energy and intelligence of the animal.  The animal takes on
archetypal qualities.  It becomes numinous and a symbol of divine
consciousness as well.  Thus, it is not only American Indians who
utilize animal imagery.  The prophets of Israel, though against all
attempts to use images or forms to represent God, still saw in their
visions a consciousness uniting man, eagle, ox, and lion. 

A Japanese White-Eye.  Introduced to Oahu in 1929, the Japanese
name for this bird is Mejiro.  There are two of these little birds
playing outside my window right now.  They are about four inches
tall and facing opposite directions on a branch about fifteen feet
away.  The tops of the heads of the males are black as are their tails. 
They have orange bills, white on the sides of their heads, and their
bodies are mostly gray.  There is a conspicuous white ring around
their eyes.
    I transfer my mind into the form of one of them now.  For some
reason, it seems fairly easy to do this.  My legs becomes bird's legs
and claws.  My arms become wings.  My mouth is a bill and so
forth.  Eye sight takes in more peripheral vision and is sharper in
sensing things in motion.  
     I recall some of the things I have seen these birds do.  They eat
tangerines which seems to me to taste very sweet and juicy but with
a much sharper taste for a bird than for a person.  It is a lot of fun to
fly and light on a branch. I remember a bird shaking the small
branch it was on.  It bent and then straightened out its legs
repeatedly to get the branch in motion while the other birds present
tried to hang on.  I try that in my mind.  I try singing in my
imagination and that feels really nice also.
     I also pause and spend a little more time staring at the white eye
on the branch.  I watch his movements carefully and mimic each
one in my mind as if I am doing it myself where he is on the branch. 
He pecks at his feathers, turns his head nearly all the way around,
and his partner hops over him to the other side tapping him lightly
on his back as he moves.  The branch moves up and down with a
gust of wind and the two of them glance all around as this occurs.
     As I gradually get more and more in the nervous system and
perceptual mode of the white eye, I notice various changes in my
consciousness.  It seems that I am much more aware of the songs of
other birds, where each bird is located in the different trees. I feel
fairly comfortable in the body of this bird. There is this combination
of feeling very relaxed and at home sitting completely still and yet in
any moment being ready to fly through the air which also feels like a
second home.  The physical body and vitality seem very light and
quick.  I stretch my legs, shake my wings, and take a hop down the
branch and turn around.
    The astral body of the white eye seems very self contained.  That
is, he is very centered in himself while at the same time he is aware
of being a part of the little community of white eyes on this hillside. 
These birds are very affectionate and communal which is seen in
part by the way they hang out together and rub shoulders or sit next
to each other.  Two more white eyes have joined us and are sitting a
few feet away on a another branch to the right and above.
   The mental body of the white eye seems to be constantly scanning
for animals, movement, and insects.  There is also a very strong
instinctual focus on mating, nesting, and parenting.  It completely
captivates my attention and interest. 
   I chirp a few times.  My partner flies off and after a few moments I
fly off as well.  I chirp, actually "twit" is a better word, four or five
times as I fly.  Flight is a very dynamic experience with wings, tail
feathers, and head all playing a part as I race through the air.  There is
no hesitation or shyness for this bird when it comes to flying.  When it
is in flight, its whole personality changes.  It is single- minded,
extraordinarily alert, and in command of its movements.
     As you can see, I like to add observation and imitative behavior
to my transference of consciousness.  If you are very attentive to a
person or animal, you naturally develop an empathy with the other. 
An image of the animal is reflected into your subconscious.  When
interacting with others, some empaths automatically feel what the
other is feeling.  
    But if you take the further step of spending some time in the
image of the animal and forgetting about yourself, it seems to me
you begin to alter your five senses to match the animals.  Your brain
waves alter as well.  What does a fly taste like to a white eye? 
     If you repeat your practice enough, some of that perceptual,
astral, and mental capacity remains within you and expands your
consciousness.  Cheerleaders at football games are in a state of high
enthusiasm.  This little bird is in a state of high enthusiasm all the
time, even when it is relaxing.  And the nesting instinct is rather
interesting.  It is a reminder of how essential it is to care for your
own.  Your nest, your home, is something you make and it is where
your heart flourishes.
A Wolverine.  

(See, e.g.,  the web site  for
pictures and information on wolverines.)

Let's try another animal--the wolverine.  I saw an interesting
documentary on wolverines.  There was one very fascinating scene
where three wolves had brought down a deer and were eating it.  A
wolverine, smaller in size than any of the wolves, casually strolled
up the deer and began tearing at it.  Two of the wolves backed off. 
The third wolf began to charge the wolverine.  
     The wolverine, again very casually, lay on its back revealing the
claws on its four paws.  It brought its head up and looked at the
wolf as if to say, "I am your death if that is what you want today." 
The third wolf then also backed off and joined the other two wolves
walking away.
    The wolverine I saw looked to me like a cross between a wolf
and a small bear though some compare it to a large weasel.  It is
obviously very ferocious and unafraid of much larger animals.  It is
also a loner spending most of the year by itself.  Like other
predators, it steaks out a territory.  
     I do not have a wolverine in front of me like I do a white eye but
I can imagine projecting my consciousness into one.  I take a few
moments to enter the form of a wolverine.  The long claws are the
first thing which captures my attention.  They feel very sharp like
razor blades mounted on steel spikes. 
     The next thing I notice is my sense of smell.  The forest reveals
the trees, flowers, shrubs, and animals which are present as if the air
conveys clear pictures of what is over the hill or on the other side of
the clearing.  As with a hunting dog, this creature's smell can easily
track another animal's path through a dark, damp forest.
     The third thing that grabs my attention is the muscle structure of
the wolverine.  This animal seems a like a body builder.  Its muscles
are highly developed giving it a lot of flexibility, strength, and
blinding speed when it strikes.  A bear can swipe its claws with
speed and strength, but the wolverine can leap, turn, twist, and
spiral as it dives for the throat to strike with all of its body weight in
the thrust.  A formidable predator to say the least.
       On the astral level, that is, the emotional life, the wolverine
seems very possessive of its territory.  It is very aware of the
boundaries it marks and of the layout of the land which it has
chosen for breeding and hunting.  The wolverine has the attitude of
a loyal commander who receives a message from his king--"Hold
your position at all costs."  Except the defender of this land has the
attitude that, in a pinch, your best defensive strategy is to attack
     It must be that what is so awesome to other predators is that as
the wolverine approaches it betrays no fear or hesitation in its
movement.  It is not that it lacks caution.  Its just that its demeanor
indicates it has already chosen the weak point in the other animal
where it is going to strike.  It moves with that kind of single-minded
    In its mental body, this wolverine seems kind of quiet and rested. 
It likes its own private space and does not like to be disturbed.  Its
mind is almost relaxed and peaceful except when it senses an
intruder in its territory.  Then a terrifying intensity and ferocity is
     It is sometimes said that fools have no fear.  But it is also true
that those with no fear can see a situation more clearly than anyone
else.  The wolverine seems to have this extraordinary mental
detachment.  It is zealous and unrestrained in its combat while at the
same time clever and flexible.
     A few years ago I was in a rather passionate situation when my
astral body took on this feeling of a wolverine.  When you feel
comfortable with and a part of nature, nature will sometimes offer
you some of its gifts.  I wrote the following poem in response to the
energy I found in myself.  I consider it more an expression of the
archetypal or numinous quality of the wolverine.  

                     I am the Wolverine

I am the wolverine
Wolves, mountain lion, and bear
Flee from me or else climb trees
To escape the fear I cause
Because of the terror 
In my teeth, my jaws, and my claws
Their game I claim as my own
All this land I roam is my home
The Goddess of the earth has declared it so
She has placed this ferocity within me
A gaze so cold, alone, and bold
Others' hearts weaken
The fire in their eyes dies--
It is wise they avoid me
That they keep their distance 
They know that if I wished 
I could steal their soul life
The way the moon steals beauty from the night
Or the stars steal rapture
From the dark emptiness of the void.
Though my reputation is well-known
Few fathom my inspiration--
I am the will that turns the seasons
That changes night to day
It is what I am
I am its manifestation
That is to say
What shines in my gaze 
Is beyond mortal understanding
You may think it odd 
I speak so openly, freely, and with eloquence
But intelligence is no defense
And reason is no shield
Against the powers I wield
I take what I need
I leave claw marks on the bark of trees
My smell is sharp
I see in the dark
The possibilities others' hearts can not conceive.
I am the wolverine.

In summary, it seems to me very advantageous to practice projecting
into animals if you live close to nature.  The animals remind us of
our basic desires and how those desires interact with our
environment. They sharpen our perception and keep us in touch
with not just instinctual but also archetypal energies.  
     I have met spiritual teachers who love to leap up to the mental
plane or the akashic plane in their practices.  They race "toward the
one" pursuing wondrous, mystical ideals.  Or, like the philosopher
Hegel, they fall in love with their broad conceptual schemes and all-
encompassing explanations for the relation of man, nature, and
divinity.  But they pay a great price when they do this.  
     They lose their feeling for being alive except on these levels of
abstraction and ideals.  They are only half aware of the world
around them.  Their senses are not acute.  They have no gut to gut
communication.  The vibrant and energetic energy which animates
and rejuvenates eludes their philosophies.
The Humpback Whale

I chose the Japanese white eye because they often sit outside fifteen
feet or so away from where I work.  I chose the wolverine because I
had a psychic experience with it.  Humpback whales often swim off
a beach a little over a mile from my house.  They sometimes come
within a few hundred feet of the shore.  
     Let me begin by quoting a few paragraphs from a web site on
the internet.  The site below, for example, gives song files, pictures,
migration routes, and other information:

"The humpback whale is named for the way its back arches out of
the water when it starts a deep dive. Its scientific name, Megaptera,
means "large-winged" and refers to its long, white wing-like flippers. 
Humpbacks are very dark colored whales, except for the flippers,
parts of the chest and belly, and the underside of the tail flukes....

"Northern hemisphere humpbacks reach an average length of 45-52
feet, and southern humpbacks reach 60 feet. The average weight for
a mature adult is 35-40 tons.

"Humpbacks are found in all oceans to the edges of polar ice, and
follow definite migration paths from their summer feeding grounds
to warmer waters in the winter. There seem to be three distinct,
isolated populations: North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Southern

"An acrobatic whale, humpbacks regularly breach (jump out of the
water), stroke each other, and slap the water with their flippers and
flukes.... Humpbacks swim in groups or pods of up to a dozen at
calving grounds, and in smaller groups of three to four during
migration. They can often be seen feeding together.

"Humpbacks are baleen whales that have 14-35 long throat pleats
that expand when the whale takes in water while feeding. They use
baleen plates to strain krill, herring, other small fish, and plankton
out of the water....
"Humpbacks are best known for their haunting vocalizations or
"singing." They have a rich repertoire that covers many octaves and
includes frequencies beyond the threshold of human hearing. These
songs, apparently sung by males, last as long as 20 minutes, after
which they are repeated, often with slight changes. When a whale is
singing, it floats suspended in the water, head down and relatively

I project my mind into a humpback whale.  Almost immediately I
notice an extraordinary sense of peace and well-being.  The entire
ocean feels like home.  There is an incredible relaxation combined
with rhythmic movement.  The ocean provides food.  Your mates
find you when you need them.  Even when you swim alone, you are
not really alone.  The other whales of your pod are in the same
     The mental body of this whale is incredibly interesting also. 
There is a way in which space and time are partially suspended as it
views its environment.  When you are in the tropics, your body is
sustained by the food you have eaten in the arctic.  And when you
are in the arctic, the warmth and community of the tropics remains
fresh and vivid in your mind.  The migrating between the two is not
so much a journey or quest for survival as much as a satisfying form
of exercise like going on a hike through the mountains.  
     I realize scientists are put off by popular attempts which
anthropomorphize whales.  By contrast, scientists are busy doing the
important work of making observations and collecting data.  But
there is also a telepathic rapport that is essential to communication
between the species.  Part of telepathy is taking another's
experiences and translating them into images and feelings from your
own experience.  The difference between being sloppy and being
proficient is a matter of how receptive you are and how much you
can put aside your own assumptions.
     The whale's mental vibration is a lot more open than my own.  I
tend to differentiate between the present moment and environment
in which I exist and the memories I have of past experiences and
also my thoughts about future plans and expectations.  The whale is
obviously aware of its present environment.  But it also retains a
strong awareness of its entire annual cycle of movement and
     Individuals who have near death experiences often tell about
seeing their whole life as if in a few moments.  The whale seems to
retain an awareness of its entire life cycle in each moment.  The
route of migration from pole to equator takes place within the same
ocean.  The movement is guided by temperature and light similar to
the movement between the surface which is bright and the depths
which are dark.  The changes of life and all that we experience
surrounds us wherever we are and in every moment.  Whales seem
to know this better than us.
     And so I seem now to stray into the archetypal dimension in
which the image of the whale carries power, beauty, and revelation. 
Certainly the songs of the humpback whale express something of
this mystery.  You see, whatever the scientific explanation for the
whales singing and its functions, there is something else present.  
     It is as if the ocean has raised and bred a creature which sings
some of its songs.  These songs belong not just to those who sing
but also to those who listen.  Sailors do not know of this.  They
have too much fear in their hearts and are much to greedy and
impatient to listen.  Scientists know nothing of this.  Their patience
is great and their tenacity relentless when it comes to making
observations and testing their theories.  But they too fail to listen. 
They do not empty their minds and become one with what they are
     What I can say about the archetypal domain of the whale is that
when I open myself to it, I feel the ocean flowing my body.  I feel
the currents and magnetic fields which flow between the poles.   I
feel the ocean with its power to sustain and nourish life.  But there is
     If there were a tarot deck of animals and the whale was one of
the cards, this whale card would also have a spiritual meaning.  Its
meaning would be the discovery of a place of the soul and heart
where healing and renewal are without limitation or restriction.  I
feel this now.  I find it to be awesome and wonderfully beautiful.

Common Difficulties.

1.  Shape Shifting.  Some individuals will have difficulty changing
their consciousness from the form of the human body to some other
shape.  Bardon has students practice holding visual images in their
minds for five minutes without any disturbances.  This preliminary
exercise is invaluable.  
    If you can picture your body as a hologram or like a hollow
statute,  you can slowly move your consciousness downward from
your head to your toes or into any part of your body.  This is a
matter of holding an image steady and then altering your location
within it.  
    Similarly, if you now picture an animal, you can move your mind
around within it, from the tip of its head to the end of its tail.  You
can visualize your hand turning into a paw, a claw, hoof, a wing,
etc.  This too is simply a matter of making a picture and then
imagining that you are responsible for changes in that picture the
way you are responsible for moving your own fingers.  Bardon likes
to emphasize visual concentration and obviously the visual sense is
very important in one kind of transference.
    Another way is just to picture the animal doing all the things the
animal does.  You watch the animal and you get a feel for it.  You
then identify with or internalize that feeling.  You can imitate the
animal's behavior in your mind or go over it again and again until
you get a feel for the instinctual life and perceptual mode of the
animal.  In Kung Fu and other martial arts, the students imitate
animal movements in their practices.  The idea is not just to master
the strikes and parries, but the spirit of the animal as well. 
     Other individuals will get all sorts of impressions, feelings, and
intuitions and basically find it easy to feel they have shape shifted
into an animal.  Their problem is not changing into the animal. 
Instead, their difficulty is in being out of control.  Their experience
is more like a vivid dream full of random impressions rather than a
concentration exercise.  
     Psychic perception has the capacity to identify with something,
observe all its connections to its world, and at the same time to
remain completely detached.  Again, one of Bardon's basic practices
is to maintain an empty mind free of any thoughts or disturbances. 
If you can do this, you can focus on those sensations and feelings
which you are interested in.  
     If you want the animal's sense of smell, you focus on its nose.  If
you want its hearing, you focus on its ears.  You eliminate other
distractions so that gradually you examine the perceptual and
instinctual system of the animal.  Though sometimes the instinctual
desires of animals can become overpowering during this exercise,
the idea is never to lose your sense of clarity.

2.  Getting out of your body.  Actually, Bardon presents mental and
astral projection exercises in chapters eight and nine of Initiation into
Hermetics.  But it is clear that this is also what we are doing here to
some extent.  Bardon says, for example, that "Adepts who have
been practicing this exercise, for years, are capable to understand
any animal, and handle it by their will power."  Controlling an
animal obviously involves more than just imagining you are an
animal in your head.
     In the beginning, however, it seems to make little difference if
you imagine an image of your cat, for example, and then imagine
you are inside of this mental image.  You develop the same empathy
and strengthen the same mental concentrations whether you are
actually in the cat or think yourself to be so.  
     The way to get a sense of being outside of your body and inside
something else is just to practice the exercise.  Some people can do
this effortlessly.  For others, it is like learning a new sport--there are
all sorts of new rules to learn, muscles to exercise, and tricks to
acquire.  Again, if you have done the concentration exercises in the
first three chapters, then if you imagine yourself to be in a certain
location, part of your mind is indeed in that location.  
     I have been in a room with fifty students practicing tai chi chuan
when I have imagined myself inside of the tai chi master. The
master immediately walks all the way across the room to examine
my form and correct my movements.  I have sat with a Zen master
on a number of occasions.  The one time I imagine I am inside of
his body, after we are done sitting, he turns to me and says with a
sense of urgency that we should do a seminar together.   
      I have been with an Indian medicine man who says he will never
teach a white man his healing methods.  But one time I imagined
myself within the goddess of the earth while I sat meditating with
him.  After we were done meditating, he immediately without pause
or explanation began teaching me how he uses herbs.  
     It seems to me there is something to be said for transference of
consciousness.  You can use it in positive or negative ways but as Bardon
says, consciousness knows neither space nor time limitations.  Whether you
actually are convinced or not that you are inside of something else, the
exercise of transferring your mind into another person, for example, is a
fabulous means for developing sympathy for the feelings and understanding
for the thoughts of the other person.  Certainly, students will want to
experiment with transference of consciousness in a variety of ways until
they feel they have made the technique their own.